About a month ago, English physicist Brian Cox was discussing a variety of topics in an interview on LADbible TV titled Brian Cox On The Multiverse And Life On Other Planets. You can hear Dr. Cox respond to a number of questions about the infinite universe, multiverses, finding intelligent life off planet, black holes, the end of the Earth, and even the recent DART mission. It is worth spending 23 minutes of your time listening to his answers.
For instance, he notes that it is his reasonable guess that there are no other worlds in the galaxy like ours in terms of harboring intelligent life. He points out that it took anywhere from 3.5 to 4 billion years for intelligent life to form on the Earth, which is about 1/3 the age of the universe. If we do find other life in the galaxy, he expects it to be slime and not much more. Later on, he states that not even the intelligent life on this planet would have been possible without a planet-killer asteroid taking out the dinosaurs, so it was a fluke that made way for intelligent life.
All in all, he said it is a “big ask” to expect to find other planets with intelligent life in this violent universe with a 4 billion-year chain of life uncut by events, making our civilization quite unique. Of course, earlier in the interview he also points out that there are about 2 trillion galaxies in our “small patch” of the universe, so even one intelligent planet per galaxy can amount to a lot of civilizations. Yet ever seeing or even knowing about these civilizations is something else. Add in the idea of multiverses created by endless big bangs, and the odds of intelligent life increase again within these other unknowable universes.
It’s a lot to get your heard around, though Dr. Cox has a way of making it all sound so reasonable. For that reason, I again ask you to spend 23 minutes with Dr. Cox to clear your head and make room for some new ideas.