Are we the earliest intelligent species in the universe?

Universe Intelligent Species Planets

Could humans be one of the earliest or even the first intelligent species to evolve in the universe ?

Most people believe that we will eventually find life elsewhere in the universe despite us having found no conclusive evidence of it so far. SETI has been hunting for signs of an advanced alien civilization for years but has to date come up with nothing. Could it be that intelligent life is simply too 'young' to be sufficiently widespread for contact to occur ? What if humans are one of the first ever intelligent species to exist in the universe ?

Arthur C Clarke once commented on this possibility by suggesting that in a trillion years advanced civilizations may look back on us and say "they knew the Universe when it was young."

Perhaps he was right.

There are 200 billion stars in the Milky Way and 90% are small enough and old enough to have planets in orbit. And only 10% of these stars were formed with enough heavy elements to have Earth-like planets with 2% of these in orbit within their star's habitable zone ( via ).

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