However, what if we use the same logic for the chances of advanced civilisations occurring? Well then things don't look so good. After it took 4.6 billion years for a civilisation to arise that could produce anything more technologically advanced than a stick. Life may be common but intelligent life may be rare.
This is an interesting thing. I actually kinda lean in the direction that intelligence developing might be the more likely bit, once you've gotten over the hurdle of life starting.
The idea being that once you have a situation of complex biological life where there is evolution, then the strategies for survival are gonna be pretty similar anywhere. So, evolution will always give rise to social creatures that work together, which leads to social intelligence- and those that are resourceful with the environment, which leads to abstract intelligence. And its just a matter of time before one species gets locked into a runaway process of: more intelligence=more resources for 'brain'=more intelligence=non specialization=forced to rely on intelligence, like we did.
It's pretty interesting how soon life started after Earth was able to support it though. Makes you wonder.
Edited by ad hoc, 28 December 2012 - 10:29 PM.