The Fermi paradox is a question: if other intelligent alien life is present in the universe, why aren’t they here?*
Even if we postulate large numbers of aliens with the technology to visit Earth, we can now explain why they aren’t saying hello. We’ve been broadcasting idiocy into space.
During a recent conference that focused on the possibilities and implications of long-term space flight, a German professor made an attempt at applying Christian theology to extraterrestrial aliens, leading him to ask the question “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?”
We’ve moved so far beyond speculating about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Now we’re wondering how many Jesii exist in the galaxy.
If other life forms exist in our universe, he said, we should try to understand why Jesus chose to save those from Earth over other civilized life forms from other planets.
Did God reserve his grace solely for Earthlings and abandon the rest of the intelligent creatures in the universe? If not, how did God deal with the sin problem on multiple planets?
One possibility he mentioned is that God-incarnate visited each of the civilized planets and saved each of the races that inhabited them separately.
In order for that to be possible, however, he says multiple incarnations of God would have to exist at the same time. Assuming each incarnation took about 30 years, and based on how long civilizations are expected to survive, he estimates that there would have to be approximately 250 incarnations of God present in the universe at any given time to cover the sins of each civilization.
So picture the poor bewildered aliens parked out there in the Oort cloud, proposing to send a diplomatic mission to Earth. They aren’t worried about us as a threat — star-faring civilizations aren’t going to be intimidated by a species that has barely been able to wobble a handful of missions to their moon, and is even rethinking their space program — but they are going to be considering the other implications of contact. “The humans…next thing you know, the Seventh Day Adventists will be knocking on our doors on Saturday mornings to hand out tracts; the Catholics will be building special schools and flooding our courts with Jesuits; and the Baptists will be telling us we can’t bezorp the paramales with our deedloids or we’ll burn in Hell. And their arguments will be so stupid. Scratch the contact mission, I don’t think we can handle the exasperation!”
And so the earth orbits alone around its star, abandoned and avoided by the more sensible species of the galaxy, like the creepy born-again Jesus-freak at school with the glassy eyes who you avoid having a conversation with because all he wants to talk about is the Bible. Damn you, religion! It’s your fault we can’t commune with the great minds of the galaxy!
*It’s not really a paradox. It’s an observation that can be explained by the idea that technological intelligence is very rare, and so widely dispersed that communication, let alone travel, between them is unlikely.