Will mankind die out or are we in a computer simulation?

The Fermi Paradox is, in essence an assumption (via for instance the Drake Equation) that, because our galaxy contains a large number of stars like our sun that are billions of years older than our sun, and that some of those stars have Earth-like planets, and that those planets, in turn, might give rise to intelligent life, then the galaxy should, by now be overrun by extraterrestrial intelligent life.

One possible solution to the Fermi Paradox, as stated by Elon Musk in the following video would be that we’re living in a computer simulation:

In this clip, Elon Musk asks if he’s missed something.

Well, the argument (as can be heard in the video) goes that given enough time, we would also be able to create games indistinguishable from reality.

It seems logical, except for a few things.

We’re talking about time as if the universe has been existing for a very long time.

Compared to the time we’re given, that’s right, however, there are stars today, that will exist for a 100 billion years. That’s more than 7 times the time the universe has existed so far. This could indicate that we’re in fact in the infancy of the universe.

What would that suggest?

Perhaps we’re one of the first intelligent beings to exist in the universe? Or perhaps those that exist haven’t reached the star travel potential yet?

On the other hand, how long does a civilization need to start travel among the stars? If it can be done, can it be done in a million years? If so we’ve had about 13 000 × a million years of time so far.

Perhaps we’re young among civilizations, but then we have to question some of our basic assumptions about how to contact extraterrestrial intelligent life.  Who says they’re using radio signals? Perhaps radio signals are as archaic a communication medium to them as smoke signals or cave paintings are to modern man?

Regardless, I think it’s a bit early in the day to throw in the towel and assume the Fermi Paradox must be answered with a computer simulation or we’ll all be doomed.

I feel a quote coming on, this one from Anteaus of the Nox in Stargate SG-1:

“Maybe one day you will learn, that your way is not the only way.”

Header image: used and modified under Creative Commons license thanks to Tony Werman

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