Many, many moons ago, I graduated from Cleveland State University. I got my degree in Liberal Arts and, I believe, the highest level of scientific education that I remember receiving was College Biology II.
So it comes with great angst and trepidation to say that I don't think the Fermi Paradox is all that unsolvable, because I don't consider myself a great scientific mind.
Another famous speculation on the subject called the Fermi paradox, posited by Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, asserted that if another intelligent life form was indeed out there, we would have met it by now. -NASA
I don't necessarily buy that theory. Earlier this week, I was reading about fast radio bursts from 7.9 billion light years away. Scientists were stumped as to what would cause such an unnatural phenomenon. I don't know what did cause it, I just know what didn't cause it.
About a hundred years ago, radio station KDKA started broadcasting commercially to Americans, so lets use the number 100 as a nice, round base number. Let's say that evolution is true and the whole universe started 13-14 billion years ago. Since traveling by light years is like traveling back in time, those radio bursts above aren't just 7.9 billion light years away, but from 7.9 billion YEARS ago. There are no the theories of evolution that explain how intelligent life could evolve so quickly.
One hundred light years away is about as far as you can look if you are looking for humans that evolved at our same rate. Basically you can't look outside of the Milky Way Galaxy for life. Not that it isn't there, but that it's not there more than 100 years in the past. Let's pretend that the aliens evolved exponentially faster than human, you still really can't look past our closest galaxy Canis Major Overdensity. At 25,000 light years away, what was going on in 25,000 BC on Earth? Humans using rocks to draw on cave walls. Our closest neighbor when you consider spiral galaxies is the Andromeda Galaxy at 2.5 million light years away, or we see it as it was 2.5 million years ago. If radio waves travel at the speed of light, and we find aliens using radio waves in the Andromeda Galaxy, that means they evolved 2.5 million years (at least) faster than us. You don't have to be a Mathematician to know that's probably bad news for the Homo Sapiens.
The edge of the Oort Cloud is about 3 light years away, so it is highly probably that there's no intelligent life all the way to the edges of our Solar System. Could there be some semi-intelligent Ice Dolphin Mutants on Europa? Doubtful, but not impossible. We just know they aren't using radio waves to communicate. There are about 500 stars within a hundred light years of Earth. If similar evolutionary patterns exist throughout the universe, the planet Proxima b, which orbits around the star Proxima Centauri (and was discovered only 3 years ago), is the prime candidate for us to find other life forms today.
In another thousand years, people will look back in amazement that so many people thought we were alone in the universe, just like a thousand years ago people thought that the universe revolved around the Earth.
The aliens are 100% out there. The problem isn't necessarily overcoming the obstacle of distance, but overcoming the obstacle of time. I told my son that not in my lifetime, but in his lifetime, someone would find aliens. They will be in the Milky Way Galaxy and we won't make contact, but we'll know that they are there. The question I couldn't answer for him is if they'll know that we are here.
Me writing about science is like Shatner singing about science....
Or Weird Al singing about extraterrestrial life.