Life only got started one time here on earth....."The most profound and true statement that ever was"...as Mr Byrne has expressed it..
Does anyone even dispute that? If true, I believe it is, this seems to be the 800lb ‘gorilla in the room’ on many issues discussed here at AO... Why hasn't life happened over and over on a planet so perfectly suited for live? Why not every day and in the creek behind my house?. And why is this not the most important (and least likely) component in the Drake equation of probabilities for ETL?
Like most of the readers here, I dearly want to believe that we are not alone...that SETI will find more than a proverbial hum. But I read about the chances of spontaneous self replication with enough zeros to go around the block...and it only happened ONCE here on this floating smorgasbord for life !
If I use that 'one-in-a-trillion-trillion' chance of life just getting started, factored with the probability of having all the natural resources needed to advance a civilization, times the liklihood of the physical configurations required to manipulate those resources (thinking smarter dolphins and elephants), I come up with an absolute zippo chance of aliens flying around our galaxy and stopping here at some point in history. Not 00001%. More like a ZERO and I don’t need all the other factors to get to zero and no we sure don’t qualify.
In fact I think we could be the most progressed life form within our galaxy. Nothing wrong with this thinking and It makes all of mankinds achievements that much more fascinating. I enjoy Ancient Aliens (and websites such as this) as much as anyone but I attribute it to our Amazing Ancestors, all these special people who came before us.
A millennium from now, with deep and intimate knowledge of our Milky Way, the notion of us as mere midgets amongst a galaxy full of planet hopping aliens will be parked in the same space that flat earth thinking occupies today.
In the meantime, there’s still money to be made on the contrary.