The Fermi Paradox is a question that puzzles and interests scientists (and also everyone else, let's be real.) The question, initially posed by Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, wonders at why there are, in theory, so many livable planets in the cosmos, but humanity has yet to make contact with any type of intelligent life. Bill Nye decided to confront the question in a short YouTube video from BigThink. And for the well-known science educator, the answer is simple: be patient. Nye believes that the one of the major obstacles to making contact with alien life is just timing.
He said “The answer, I think, is not that complicated. We've only been listening for other civilizations for 50-70 years, depending on how you count. You have to acknowledge that civilizations have to emerge and be able to communicate at the same time. When you have something that's been going on for 13.6 billion years, there's a lot of opportunities to miss each other.”
This clarification skews more positive when it comes to conceivable causes for that silent blackness that we call space. Other theories consider that our civilization has yet to touch the Great Filter, an evolutionary wall that's almost impossible but one all species face if they wish to live on. Other scientists think we have already passed the Filter, and we just haven't found another species that is as prosperous.
Optimistically the answer is as blushing as Bill Nye proposes—a classic case a telephone tag.