Thanks, Teodor, for this thoughtful article. I have put a link in my own Medium article “If we find life on Mars — we are doomed!” which adopts Nick Bostrom’s view that there may be a “great filter”, something that inevitably and reliably destroys any civilisation that evolves. That is why nobody has visited us. We must remember that colonizing the entire galaxy takes just 20–40 million years. If dinosaurs had become intelligent and advanced to space travel the Milky Way would now be completely colonised by those creatures. And believe me, no aliens have visited or are in fact still here. We are able to search for and will likely find sterile neutrinos — but we cannot fine a ballpoint pen or just a Hershey bar wrapper of an alien civilisation that has visited Earth? Gimmeabreak!

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Frederic Alois Friedel, born in 1945, science journalist, co-founder of ChessBase, studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford.

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