You’re absolutely right that we’ve got a pretty special situation here on Earth, what with the moon giving us tides and mixing the waters as if it were part of a recipe, and with Jupiter sucking up a lot of the objects that would otherwise make it to the inner Solar System.

But (I know you could hear the ‘but’ coming) at latest estimate there’s about 2x10^23 stars out there (about one-third of a mole, come to think of it), and we’ve come to realize in the past decade that most stars have planets. The likelihood that we’re the only advanced civilization is pretty much zero. That being said, advanced civilizations must be very rare (in terms of both location and time frame).

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Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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