Astrobiology and SETI:
the possible solution of the Fermi paradox
Aleksandr V. Bukalov
The Centre of Physical and Space Researches,
IIS, Melnikova str., 12, Kiev-050, 04050, Ukraine
Basing on the new physical approach in description of the characteristics of live matter, the author
obtained a numerical values for mass of living matter in the Universe, quantity of biospheres in the
Universe (Nbio~3.3·1018), quantity of biospheres in the Galaxy (N~5·107). The calculated average distance
between biospheres in the Galaxy is l ≤ 40 light years. However, the probability of disclosure of an extra-
terrestrial civilization, analogous to Earth one, is too small, P~10-5. It is shown, that a paradigm of the
expansive and extensive development of the modern technological civilization in the bounds of SETI is
useless principally, as for planetary civilization exist demographic, power, destructive and genetic-adaptive
natural barriers, and limits of continuous growth and cosmic expansion. A strategy of intensive growth of
civilization using the low-energy quantum technologies is more realistic. In that case, the radiation of
civilization becomes low and it is very difficult to detect such civilization in the electromagnetic diapason.
It is the possible solution of astro-sociological Fermi paradox.
Key words: SETI, quantity of biospheres in the Universe, life in Galaxy, strategy of the
civilization growth, astrobiology, communication, thermodynamics.
PACS: 87.10.-e, 96.55.+z
The determination of the inhabited planets quantity is rather complex problem today. The
detection of the gigantic clouds with organic molecules in the Galaxy points out that in Cosmos there are
natural resources for the alive matter creation (nuclein and aminoacids) under the suitable conditions on
certain planets. Recent investigations of the Mars meteorites provide us to make a conclusion about the
existence of some life forms on this planet. This conclusion is supported by the known fact of the
existence on Mars of the dryed rivers beds. Besides, recent investigations provided the detection of the
freezed water under the Mars surface. The organic molecules were detected in the comet matter, which
also can be treated as concentrators of organics and the primary reactions of the organic molecules
synthesis, especially under the drawing near the Sun and other analogous stars. The last 20 years
investigations showed that some alive microorganisms are extremely proof against the action of
unfavorable factors and are able to survive in the space vacuum conditions.
2. The quantity of biospheres in the Universe
The mentioned facts totality proves us to make a conclusion that the life was not sure born on
Earth (or even on Mars) but populated the Earth when the suitable conditions was risen on the planet after
cooling. Thus the Earth biosphere is not a unique one and the only in the Galaxy and Universe.
Then the regular question arises: what is the quantity of inhabited planets? Till the lately time it
was known only the probable evaluations like the Drake formula, which has rather hypothesis character
Basing on the new physical description of alive matter properties, the satisfactory exact numerical
estimations were obtained for alive matter mass and, correspondingly, for the quantities of the biospheres
alike to the Earth one [2, 3]. The essence of the new approach is just the following. Any alive organism,
beginning from a cell, has the certain degree of order, which can be expressed by the information
evaluation formulae. But under the standard approach to the alive organism information evaluation,
proposed by L.A. Blumenfeld , the information quantity in biological object does not differ from the
one in a lifeless matter, for example, a stone of the same weight.
Thus the standard thermodynamics approach has led us to the deadlock. The difference between
the alive matter and the lifeless crystalline one is rather obvious. The author analysis showed that the
mentioned approach does not take into account the alive matter dynamics character, connected with its
biochemical dynamics. By other words, the Blumenfeld formula is suitable for the “instantaneous”
“freezed” state of alive matter, when it does not differ compared with a crystal. By the way, the whole
Boltzmann-Gibbse thermodynamics is valid only within the “freezed” quasi-stationary alive state. The
consideration of the temporal, time (metric) degrees of freedom provided the author to describe more
adequate the alive matter state, which differs compared the lifeless one rather obviously and observable
The temporal (time) degrees of freedom are described by the quantity of time intervals ∆tk as the
minimal time interval, needed for the biochemical process checking under the given temperature.
Thus the formula for the information quantity or the alive matter degree of freedom includes the
static and the temporal degrees of freedom:
ln(( )!) ln ln( !)
IKT t P P W N
' ' is the quantity of the organism temporal degrees of freedom per the certain time t (for
example, the time of the life or reproduction cycle). The quantity of information in alive organism as an
energetical and space-time object is expressed by the quantity of the Planck invariant cells . Under this
approach the quantity of the organism temporal degrees of freedom is described by the tempodynamics
like to thermodynamics. Such a metric ordering of alive matter has an energetical analogy: it refers to the
equivalent energy quantity, which is necessary for the support of the alive matter dynamic structure and
its time degrees of freedom, i. e. for the support of the namely alive matter state. The calculation show
that the energetical equipment is rather significant . It is cel
103J/s for a cell and bio
biosphere. This energy prevails by 7-8 orders of magnitude compared with the solar energy. Nevertheless
its equivalent source can be shown, it is the Universe vacuum energy, which determines it dynamics and
5.5 10 J per 4.49 10 s
Taking into account that the information-energetics contents of the whole structural global levels
of matter in Universe (plasma star matter, planet matter, atomic hydrogen of nebulous) is approximately
equivalent to İU » 1052 J/s, what is expressed by the approximate equality of the Planck cells per every
structural level, one can conclude that in Universe there are not more than ĖU / Ėbio = 1019 biospheres,
equivalent to the Earth one, with the total mass ~M∑bio ~ 1034–35 kg. If we take into consideration that the
vacuum energy can be spread by the several structural levels, such as stars, planets, dark matter etc., the
vacuum energy quantity, spent for the biospheres matter support, can be some times less. Let is evaluate
the biospheres quantity more precise. The aminoacid residuals of alive matter in the Universe makes up:
==3.47·10121 = is the Planck cells quantity or the Universe action.
In this case the biospheres quantity in Universe makes up:
bio KT KT
PN »3.3·1018, (5)
where NKT is the aminoacid residuals number in the Earth biosphere, NKT»
barions number in the Earth biosphere, β»1/340 is the numeral coefficient, determining the aminoacid
residuals quantity. Note also that β = α / 2
, where α = 1/137 is the thin structure constant and
2S=2.5 is the coefficient of the total mass relation to its dry matter . α–1 is the approximate quantity
of molecules in the average considered residual.
The mass of alive matter in biospheres obviously makes up 99.9% of the total alive mass,
whereas the possible scattered bacteria and their spores make up the negligible part. We suppose, in
accordance to the conclusions of V.I. Vernadsky and other investigators, that the alive matter is especial
but rather natural state of the Universe matter distribution in the form of protons, neutrons and electrons is
concentrated previously in the stars plasma and makes up near 0.045 of the total Universe mass. The more
ordered, partly crystalline planet form makes up approximately 10-5 of the mentioned mass. Thus it is
rather obvious that the alive matter makes up the certain quantity and has to be spread in the whole
Universe like stars and planets. This supposition can be connected with the principle of the maximum
entropy production under the certain conditions. Moreover, the alive matter degree of order provides that
for one barion and electron (proton or neutron) in alive matter there are approximately 1.75·1018 barions
(protons and neutrons) or gaseous hydrogen atoms in Universe.
Taking into account that the crystalline planets total mass in Universe makes up
~1022·1025 = 1047 kg, we obtain that for one barion of the planet crystalline matter there are near
1052-53 / 1047 ~ 105-6 of barions in Universe.
Thus the alive matter degree of order compared to the planet one is Z1=
1.75 10 3.5 10
compared to the hydrogen clouds Z2=
1.75 10 3.5 10
| (where the barion density 1
Besides, there is a reason to suppose that the alive matter fills all the Universe structural levels
and the biospheres quantity is near to the maximal possible one.
The obtained relations prove the life phenomenon cosmos conditionality and the alive matter
Now let us evaluate the biospheres quantity in our Galaxy with mass M»1012kg.
There are ~3.3·1018 biospheres in Universe whereas the barions total quantity is 1.56·1079. Then
in Galaxy there are (1±0.5)·108 biospheres, i. e. near 50 millions. Under the condition of their uniform
space distribution the average distance between biospheres in our Galaxy (Milky Way) makes up R»40
Taking into account the possible “life belt” in the Galaxy rotation circle , the biospheres
density can be greater by some times and the average distance between biospheres can be reduced to 20-
25 light years, i. e. to the nearest star systems.
Thus the first obtained values, connected with the alive matter space characteristics, point to
the existence in our Galaxy near hundred millions of biospheres, which are analogous to the Earth
one by some degree. This result provides us to produce the more sure search of inhabited planets near the
But another question is risen: which of these inhabited planets are populated by an intellectual
life? Let us outline the methods for this problem solution.
From the obtained results it yields that near the Earth at the distance of 110 light years one can
suppose the existence of biospheres, evaluated by the number from 5 (minimal value) till 50 (maximal
value on the base of the hypothesis about the “life belt” in rotation circle). The relation of the Earth life
existence time (4·109 years) to the intellectual creature development time (4·105 years) is
K1 ~ 4·109 / 4·105 ≈ 104.
The obtained value means that a civilization, technologically analogous to the Earth one, is
rather unique and can be situated at the distance more that some thousands light years from the
Earth. Thus the possible biospheres can be divided by the two kinds: those ones, which have not any
reasonable life, and other ones, which have it in the form of developed civilization. Near the Earth there
is no civilization, which uses the radio communication. This conclusion is proved by the 40-years
helpless attempts to receive any artificial radio signal. The humanity possesses the radio communication
during 100 years and thus one can conclude that within the radius of 100-150 light years there is no
analogous civilization, which is in agreement with our calculations.
There is very low probability to receive a radio signals from the developed civilization because
they can come from the distance of hundreds and thousands light years. Is it possible to receive these
signals and to recognize them? Under the condition of the civilization technological development (it is
only a one of the possible development strategies) the changes are produced with a great rate. For
example, we are not able to read a magnet disk using a laser disk recorder player. But these information
containers were produced within the same technological civilization, the time distance between them is
only 15 years! Thus the technological “mating” of different civilizations is rather small, thought they
Besides, there is the known astro-sociological paradox or Fermi-paradox: if some
supercivilizations exist, they have to show their expansion all over the Galaxy. But where are the traces of
Many authors viewed various aspects of SETI [27-34].We begin to answer these questions by the
notice that the CETI and SETI programs developed and are developing now in the cause of the possible
detection of the electromagnetic signals from other civilizations. The zero result was obtained within
such paradigm despite the essential efforts and the biggest radiotelescopes usage. Meanwhile there are all
the reasons to suppose that the interstars radio communication paradigms inadequate in its base to the
mentioned problem. Now the human civilization uses the radiowaves but this fact does not prove the
others communication methods absence.
Let us begin from the known fact that the radiowaves intensive usage causes the electromagnetic
pollution of the Space. For instance, the popular usage of the mobile telephones causes the sharp rise of
the SHF-irradiation of human organism. There is the natural limit of the electromagnetic background and
the excess over this limit causes the alive organisms degradation and their genetics structure destruction.
Meanwhile the intensive development of physics and modern technologies makes us to come to the
following conclusion: the radio communication usage in modern form is rather short stage (∆tr≤150 лет)
within the civilization development time.
Already now the works are produced in order to the development of the principally new
communication systems, including the usage of superlight signals [16, 26], and in the nearest 40-50
years the principally different, new technologies will be developed and applied. Let us note, that
namely J. C. Maxwell considered his equations as incomplete, whereas the connection of
electromagnetism with the gravitation theory is not ascertained1. Meanwhile the discoveries only in these
topics are able to initiate the principal changes of the situation in the communication industry. Modern
attempt to communicate with some other civilization can be shown by the following model: a tribe on an
isolated island tries to communicate with another island (under a fog condition) using the big drum
because any other methods are inaccessible for them.
Thus the developed civilizations, and moreover the supercivilizations, do not use the radio
communication and we have to accept this conclusion as the most probable. The mentioned
communication is expensive, low effective on great distances, limited by the light barrier etc. Thus the
paradox of the electromagnetic silence of Space is eliminated. As we have noted, the stage of the
intensive usage of radio communication makes up near 150 years (actually it is the communicative
horizon of the civilizations communication) and it is very improbable (P ~ 10-4÷5) to detect this stage. In
connection with this it is rather reasonable to consider the possible version of a civilization development
in order to understand the essence of any supercivilization (according to the Earth measures).
1 In this context it is enough to remember the known phenomenon of the ball lighting, which is not explained and
reproduced till now.
3. The strategy of the civilization evolution:
demographic, power, destructive and genetic-adaptive natural barriers,
and limits of continuous growth and cosmic expansion
The intensive energy usage and the heat expulsion have the natural limit, connection with the
thermal overheat of planet. Thus the limit of the mined and used energy for our biosphere is 3·1015 J/s
 (the modern production is ~1013 J/s).
Within SETI it was proposed by N. S. Kardashev the possible civilizations division by 3 types
according to the mined and used energy as well as to the existence of the correspondent space and
astrophysical effects . The I type civilizations use the planet energy sources, the used power is
~4·1012 J/s, their technological level is near the modern Earth one. The type II civilizations are the energy
of their stars, the power consumption is ~4·1026 J/s. The type III civilizations use the energy within their
Galaxy, the power consumption is ~4·1037 J/s.
But the staged civilizations division by three types, despite its perspective for the Earth
civilization development, looks rather unrealistic. The matter is that the used energy has to be checked.
But even the mentioned energy fluctuations, without saying of breakdowns, exceed significantly the
biological stability level of the alive organisms and the whole biosphere. One large breakdown of the
installation with the power 1013-15J/s (for example, solar space power station) has the energy
concentration, which can destroy the significant part of biosphere and civilization. For the more large
power operation (types II and III civilizations due to N. Kardashev) the alive creatures must have the
superstraight material, which has noting common with organics compounds. This version is probable as a
hypothesis, but it is impossible to have any contact with such creatures according to their specific actions,
which under the global approach can be perceived by us as the natural processes and non-differed from
the actions of the natural processes and non-differed from the actions of the natural laws in modern
understanding. Thus the extensive way of the civilization development into supercivilization can lead to
the line and according to the barriers of the biological strength.
Let us consider the principally another version when the development impulse causes not to
extensive but to intensive development of the resource- and energy-saving technologies. The electronics
micro-miniature modules introduction has place as well as the general transition from the physical work
to the intellectual one with the processes operation prevalence. This phenomenon has its reflection by the
creation of the information society, where the prevalence of the information production and treatment has
place. Not only the information technologies but also the psychoinformation ones are developed and
introduced , what provides to treat the large information flows. The nanotechnologies intensive
development has place in order to replace a number of expensive, unhealthy, power-extensive productions
and the molecule robots rose, including those ones, which are able o correct the organism defects.
Besides, the mentioned technologies practically resolve the problem of the fast exhaustion of the stored
resources and minerals.
Thus the developing civilization under the presence of the energetic, thermal, destruction barriers
begins to develop intensively by the reducing of the energy consumption per the produced and used
products. This civilization will become less and less power-extensive and thus it will be less and less
detectable. Taking into account the very probable transition to the other communication means usage
including the one, based on other fields and interactions, the developed civilization will not be
detectable within the electromagnetic range.
Thus the technological civilizations are rather seldom. Their existence term is near 200 years and
then they disappear, but not quite, as I.S. Shklovsky supposed  on the base of the modern science-
technical paradigm, but transform into something other. Such transformations are similar to the transition
of a caterpillar into chrysalis and then into butterfly or any other insect2. Besides the usage of the modern
genetics energetic technologies and cloning will lead to the inevitable prolongation of human life as well
as to the population growth stabilization due to the life condition improvement and the elimination of the
civilization expansive development. S.P. Kapitsa showed that the limit of the Earth population growth is
near 12 milliards 3. To be sure, such an intensive method of civilization development changes its
cultural characteristics and strategies. In perspective it can lead to the oriented change of genetics code
and to the appearance of a new species Homo sapiens, which will have “super-human” abilities compared
to the modern people . It is necessary to point out that the civilization information growth does not
mean the energetical one. Such an evolution also is not directed to the creation of the artificial
autoevolution “Lem world” [17, 25]. The intensive development is the third way and the most probable
one, according to our mind, compared to the possible expansive and autoevolution ones. The quantum
technologies are developed, including the teleportation, with the output to the quantum metric
characteristics in quantum Universe , connected with the space-time transitions4, which have such an
uncomplete prototype as the theory of “wormholes”. Obviously that the mechanisms, devices and
equipment for the space motion become “unperceptible” under such technologies despite their high
potential power, penetrating ability, motion speed. One also has to note the psychotechnologies etc. Such
a “supercivilization” has the access to the whole Galaxy or Universe but it does not lead to the extensive
expansion because this civilization has another aims5. Besides, taking into account the biospheres density
in Space, one can conclude that the suitable planets are populated by an alien life form whereas the life
for an unsuitable planets needs the essential resource spending. But it is not excluded the some planets
usage for the minerals production with the usage of robots. Such a strategy is not practically investigated
by the modern SETI paradigm, oriented to extensivity.
2 This process can be accomplished by important social shock
3 The obtained results correspond to the independent calculations by UN, World Bank, NASA etc.
4 If one considers the alive organisms as the quantum objects it is possible for them to tunnel, to travel through
space-time according to the mentioned transitions.
5 In this case the field forms of life instead of molecule ones look rather natural (this corresponds to the K.
Tsiolkovsky “Ray Mankind”
Let us return to the problem of the search a life out of the Earth. To be sure this life will be found
soon or late. It is true that then the following question will rise inevitable: besides the investigation what
have we to do with this strange life, which probable is aggressive to our life form? From out point of view
it is more preferable to populate the nearest planets, for example, Venus, and to transform them by the
Earth form of life, as it was proposed in the 60th of XX century. From another side the overcome of the
electromagnetic communication barrier will probable correspond to the entering of the Earth civilization
into the new development phase. Then it can provide the contact with the developed civilizations on the
principal another level and the introduction into their “community”, which can be constructed on the
principles, which are rather different compared the ones accepted now within the Earth cultures.
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