Why do aliens not respond to us?

This article is taken from the monthly magazine Sciences et Avenir – La Recherche n°905-906, dated July-August 2022.

The universe is a dark forest where every civilization is a hunter armed with a rifle. […] He must be careful, because the forest is full of other hunters like him. If he notices another living creature […], he has only one choice: to open fire and eliminate him. In this forest, hell is other people […]. Any creature that reveals its existence is very quickly wiped out.” Featured in “The dark forrest” (Actes Sud, 2017), second part of a trilogy beginning with “The three-body problem (2016), this theory forms the main plot of the novel by the Chinese author Liu Cixin. It states that the universe teems with extraterrestrial civilizations, but that these remain in the shadows, fearing discovery and destruction…

It is also one of the many solutions to the famous Fermi paradox, stated by the Nobel Prize winner and Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi in 1950. During a meal with his colleagues at the Los Alamos Laboratory (USA), he then posed the following reasoning: since our galaxy contains about 200 billion stars and hundreds of billions of planets probably orbit them, a large number of civilizations must have evolved to master interstellar travel. Thousands of species should therefore have visited us, Enrico Fermi assumes. However, we found no trace of it. How to explain it?

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