[ExI] BICEP2 and the Fermi paradox

Alfio Puglisi alfio.puglisi at gmail.com
Mon Mar 31 22:46:32 UTC 2014

After all the news about BICEP2's  (indirect) detection of gravitational
waves produced by inflation, I was pointed by someone to this paper by Alan
Guth, one of the fathers of inflationary theory:


it goes something like this: if the eternal inflation hypotesis is true,
the entire cosmos is undergoing continuous inflation, which gives birth to
"ordinary" universes here and there. But since this is inflation, every
second there is more room by a crazy factor like 10^37, and so each second
10^37 more universes are produced than the second before.

Now, consider one of those universes. At a certain point, a first
space-faring civilization may develop. As that universe gets a little
older, it might develop a second one. But, older universes are vastly
outnumbered by younger ones (by a factor of 10^37 for each second of
difference), so a civilization picked up at random will almost always find
itself in one of the youngest universes that permits its existance, and
with no second civilization in sight.

I am not sure that I got all of that correctly :-) It does make sense in a
crazy way, with that biiiig assumption about the eternal inflation, which
of course is unobservable as far as I know.

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