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Intelligent Life Is EXTREMELY UNLIKELY To Be Out There!

Intelligent Life Is EXTREMELY UNLIKELY To Be Out There!

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The search for intelligent life may be over! A team of Oxford University researchers claims life on earth is probably a unique universal phenomena, and that it´s “extremely unlikely” that any other intelligent life exists anywhere else in the universe.

In 1959, the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi posed the Fermi paradox as a way of questioning whether human beings were the only intelligent life in the universe. But today, according to a recent IPSOS poll, “Just under half of Americans believe UFOs exist and have visited the Earth,” and the idea that we are the only intelligent species in the universe is utterly outrageous to at least these 150 million people.

Throwing a cat among the pigeons, a team of researchers from Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute have published a new paper that all but says the words “we are all alone.” The chief argument is that took approximately 4.5 billion years for a series of complex evolutionary transitions to spark what would become intelligent life on earth. This, coupled with the widely spaced timing of key evolutionary transitions on earth, led the scientists to conclude that the expected transition times likely “exceed the lifetime of Earth,” suggesting the evolution of intelligent life is “exceptionally rare.”

Evolution: from single cells to intelligent life, and then human evolution. An unlikely, essentially rare chain of events and likely not statistically possibly beyond planet earth. (elyomys / Adobe Stock)

Evolution: from single cells to intelligent life, and then human evolution. An unlikely, essentially rare chain of events and likely not statistically possibly beyond planet earth. (elyomys / Adobe Stock)

The Chance Of Anything Coming From Mars Is A Million To One!

The new research leans on the Fermi paradox and the primary claim in this new statistical study is that the chances of intelligent life existing anywhere but earth is “exceptionally rare.” They also concluded that human-like civilizations are extremely unlikely to exist on other planets. The Oxford researchers make this assertion on an observation that’s really hard to argue. Namely, that it took about 4.5 billion years for a series of evolutionary transitions to produce intelligent life on earth. Therefore, for life to have evolved elsewhere in the universe “it would take longer than the whole of Earth's projected lifespan.”

The question on the lips of diehard alien believers will be “so what type of science suggests we are all alone,” because in the polarized world we live in “my science is often better than your science.” Yes, that´s actually a thing these days.

Dr Anders Sandberg, lead author of the new paper, told the Daily Mail that the principal statistical application they used was a kind of “Bayesian analysis” that determined the probability of the same transitionary events that occurred on earth occurring elsewhere.

Intelligent Life Is Unlikely And Science Proves It

If these scientists were a bunch of sloppy-Joe skeptics maybe they should launch torpedoes at their underlying “assumptions.” For example, if they set out to prove life doesn’t exist perhaps their whole experiment leaned towards this expectation, skewing the results. However, according to Dr Sandberg his team made the primary assumption that what happened on earth “is typical for what happens on other planets.” The scientists highlight how low the probability actually is.

Multicellular life evolved on earth, according to the paper, and “originated independently over 40 times in nature.” The new statistical approach allowed the researchers to estimate how unlikely all the steps leading to life on earth actually were, Dr Sandberg told the Daily Mail. And knowing these levels of difficulty, it turns out earth is a very “unlikely planet,” and that the chances of us, being, well, us, is even infinitesimally smaller.

With enormous technological listening posts like these, we have been trying to find signals from other forms of intelligent life for a long time. But maybe there isn’t anybody else out there! (ILYA GENKIN / Adobe Stock)

With enormous technological listening posts like these, we have been trying to find signals from other forms of intelligent life for a long time. But maybe there isn’t anybody else out there! (ILYA GENKIN / Adobe Stock)

Alien Intelligent Life, For Now, Is A Dead Idea

While this whole idea that we are all alone in the universe might be new to you, the scientific world has been buzzing about this outcome for at least a decade. In 2014 celebrity British professor Brian Cox debunked all ideas about intergalactic alien life in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, when he stated that he believed “humans were the only form of civilization in our galaxy.”

While skeptics sharpen their pencils to attack this new paper, they must keep in mind the challenging words of Dr Sandberg. He states that for anyone to prove life is indeed out there, evidence of “much earlier transitions than the ones that occurred on Earth, or multiple instances of transitions” must be presented. And there is no sign of that coming soon from anywhere!

You can read the full paper, ‘The Timing of Evolutionary Transitions Suggests Intelligent Life Is Rare’ published Online:19 Nov 2020. DOI:

Top image: The search for intelligent life on other planets may have reached its end. Statistically it's just not possible: we are alone!                     Source: vchalup / Adobe Stock

By Ashley Cowie



‘Rare’ doesn’t imply ‘None’ AND with billions, if not trillions, of planets in the Universe the possibility of intelligent life is actually quite high.

From stardust I was born, to stardust I shall return


Just to add to my comment on December 3rd, now ‘NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’ has just printed an article by the aforementioned Nadia Drake, on December 18th, entitled: “Alien Hunters detect mysterious radio signal from nearby star.’ which concerns our nearest neighbor, ‘PROXIMA CENTAURI,’ (that is known to have two exo-planets), from which a “conspicuous signal,” has been dubbed  “BLC-1,” that appears to have been detected by the ‘Breakthrough Listen’ project, a “decades long search for alien broadcasts from the nearest million stars...”

“Caution” is still the word at this point, but researchers state, “Only human technology seems to produce signals like that...” The current breakthrough came in April of last year, but “although the signal is faint, BLC-1 passed all the tests the Breakthrough team uses to filter out the millions of signals generated by humans.” As scientists state, the signal, “though faint,” was “narrow in bandwidth, appeared to drift in frequency, and disappeared when the telescope shifted its gaze from Proxima to a different object...Over the following days, four similar signals appeared...” One astronomer mentioned how, “this is super exciting because we’ve never gotten to the stage where the algorithm found something that’s actually interesting.”

The article goes on to state, (as I’ve mentioned in my previous comment about the possibility of many inhabited star systems probably existing within our Galaxy) that, “If BLC-1, is against all odds, a postcard from the star system next door, then statistically speaking THE MILKY WAY MUST BE ABSOLUTELY STUFFED WITH COMMUNICATING CIVILIZATIONS...” Plus, “in this case, there would be more than a half-billion societies out there in our own galaxy—that seems like a lot.”

Nothing definitive has been stated yet, since more studies need to be carried out, but the scientific community is definitely excited as it should be!

Dr. Dan

Then you’ve just undone your whole argument.  To have been created means a creator exists which means there is at least one other intelligent entity in the Universe!

From stardust I was born, to stardust I shall return

No big mystery to unravel here. We were created. That's it. The odds of even ONE planet being just close enough to a sun not to freeze and just far away enough not to boil are so infinitesimal that even the most short-sighted scientist would laugh out loud. But there is, and ONLY ONE. There are no more! The circumstances for life are just right here on earth because it was designed to be so.

Jaaydubb's picture

While I would be the last person to sully Oxford University,  I shall not sit quiet and idly by while members of the scientific community debase themselves for reasons known only to them. This is not science. Science is fact. There is no fact in this paper. At best is is an unprovable theory. Unproven, it is nothing more than conjecture. I'm am utterly amazed this even passed a peer review. The assumptions made in this paper are childish at best. The good doctor Sandbergs ability to anthropomorphize life, as it relates to existence on this planet alone as a control to disprove exobiological existence, is short sighted at best. Earth is in fact unique. It contains life that is carbon based. We exist in and breathe an elemental gas, oxygen. A highly corrosive gas at that... (ask any rusty automobile if you don't believe me). Can Dr. Sandberg rule out the possibility that “life” elsewhere is not carbon based, but in fact based on an element we could not have possibly imadgined yet, as it does not exist on this planet. We have yet to discover all the elements on our world, let alone those on another. And what if they breathe and metabolize something more corrosive than oxygen? Methane or hydrochloric gas? And while we are at it, the Fermi Paradox falls victim this line of thought as well. Ask your self this, why have we not looked at the surface of Europa to find life? Could it be that we haven't bothered to look because WE can't breathe methane? Life CAN NOT be based solely on OUR iteration. Perhaps we haven't been contacted because our our own corrosive oxygen atmosphere. Somewhere in the heavens, after a relaxing  soak in a liquid nitrogen cold tub, someone looked through a telescope at Earth and said, "there can't be life there, it's saturated with an oxygen atmosphere.” It would seem that another thought experiment would apply to this paper besides Fermi. How about Schroeder's observation. If it can't be observed, it's both alive and alien. This theory proves nothing, as nothing has been observed. Conversely, that does not mean it's not there, only that we have not observed it yet. Science indeed. 


ashley cowie's picture


Ashley is a Scottish historian, author, and documentary filmmaker presenting original perspectives on historical problems in accessible and exciting ways.

He was raised in Wick, a small fishing village in the county of Caithness on the north east coast of... Read More

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