TED Talk: The Mysterious Fermi Paradox

Here is is my TED talk on the Fermi Paradox which basically consists of the fact that there is a high probability of extraterrestrial life but we have not found any yet.


K. (2015). The Fermi Paradox – Where Are All The Aliens? (1/2). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNhhvQGsMEc
K. (2015). The Fermi Paradox II – Solutions and Ideas – Where Are All The Aliens? Retrieved June 18, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fQkVqno-uI
Fermi Paradox. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from http://www.seti.org/seti-institute/project/details/fermi-paradox
Dvorsky, G. (2013). 11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox. Retrieved June 18, 2016, from http://io9.gizmodo.com/11-of-the-weirdest-solutions-to-the-fermi-paradox-456850746
The Fermi Paradox – Wait But Why. (2014). Retrieved June 18, 2016, from http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html
Slide/graphic sources:
Alicia Ellis


  1. Alicia,

    I loved your TedTalk! I have never heard of the fermi paradox before, and it was an extremely interesting topic! I like how you used grains of sand as a way of measuring and comprehending how many exoplanets with intelligent life there are. I also like how you explained the different types of civilizations (type 1, 2, 3) and even included a possible 4th one. Your speaking pace was good, and you managed to make a pretty confusing topic easy to understand for an audience who is not familiar with it.

    I also believe that there is no use in finding an answer to the fermi paradox. There are countless cons: probably no way to physically meet them, no way to communicate with them, possible chance of inter-species conflict, and huge amount of money and rescources are being used to do this research. There is one possible pro: that if we find intelligent life who’s technology surpasses our own then we might be able to increase our technology. However, like you said, the cost far outweighs the benefits. The only reason we are searching for intelligent life is curiosity, which is in my opinion not enough.

    Do you have your own theory solution to the fermi paradox?


  2. Wow Alicia, good job! I think that you did a really good job on summarizing the paradox and you kept you talk captivating for the whole time. The drawings you put were all really helpful and accompanied your talk nicely! I also share the same opinion as you, that we shouldn’t put this much effort into the fermy paradox, and that it is very risky. In addition, the reason I think WE still have not received any signals or signs of life, is that there is that there may be nobody else looking for life, or that we are too different than than the extraterrestrial life for to receive and send our radio waves. Again, the universe is so large and mysterious that, there may be a utopia of life in a galaxy that we will never find

  3. Hi Alicia. The topic you chose is very interesting. I am very interested in the exterritoral life and space exploration. You said that you don’t support searching for exterritorial life because we might find high type species than us. But I have seen research that suggests that the first exterritorial life we might find has a higher possibility to be a single celled organism rather a more intelligent specie than us. So I suggest that scientists should continue their search for exterritoral life.

  4. Hey Alicia! Great topic! This is truly going to keep me up at night. Your delievery was amazing and drawings were great! I honestly couldn’t stop watching! I do have to ask you for more information on something you said. Near the end of your video, you said that if we were to encounter a type three society, we could potentially destroy the milky way. How do you think that’s possible? Is it possible to destroy a whole galaxy, or do you believe that other societies have advanced technology which could potentially destroy a whole galaxy? This is such a good topic, man. Great job!

  5. Good job Alicia!
    This is so crazy to think about! You chose a really cool topic and did a really good job with it. You had some good, solid research but sometimes the numbers were overwhelming. You used pauses well and your drawings were really cool and helped me visualize the what you were talking about

    If you had to say the opposite of what you believe, do you have an idea to improve the way we are searching? Something you would change?

  6. Wow, great job Alicia! The Fermi paradox is a really complex topic and can often be quite difficult to explain. I think the hand drawn slides really down and added on to the quality of the video. Personally, I am one of the people who would want to find out the answer to the Fermi paradox.

    Question Time:
    Do you think humans could ever become a type two II type III civilization? Why?

  7. Great job Alicia! There is so much I’d like to say but I’ll keep it short. I just love your topic as a whole, the fermi paradox has always been a topic I found crazy and I’m glad someone in TALONS was brave enough to tackle the topic of it. Tackling it alone is a tough situation to put yourself, but you did it so well. I loved your hand drawn slides, they really added a lot to the presentation in terms of quality. I also appreciated the differing theories you gave for solutions to the fermi paradox. I have a question though, how would humans go upon finding extraterrestrial life, you mentioned you are against humans going out and searching for it because of the risks of other more advanced species, but how would we even go upon our way to find them? Thanks again for a great video Alicia!

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