The Origin of the 'Fermi Paradox'

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A. R. Martin (2018), JBIS, 71, pp.200-206

Refcode: 2018.71.200
Keywords: Fermi Paradox, Fermi Question, Extraterrestrial Intelligence

If life is common in the Galaxy, and the development of intelligent, technical civilisation is not unique to Earth, then why do we see no signs of this life? This conundrum prompted the famous “Fermi Question” – “Where is everybody?” – and the subsequent “Fermi Paradox”, both referring to the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi. This paper is not concerned with aspects of the “Fermi Paradox” as such, but rather it attempts to document the origin and evolution of the “Fermi Question” and the “Fermi Paradox” itself. The history of the first – the “Question” - is now (relatively) straightforward. That of the latter – the “Paradox” – is not.

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