In Brief

Humans ‘probably only intelligent life in the Universe’

Researchers put odds of mankind being alone in Milky Way at up to 99.6%

UFO hunters’ hopes have been dashed by a new study that says humans are highly likely to be the only form of intelligent life in the Universe. 

A team of scientists led by Anders Sandberg, a research fellow at Oxford University, have concluded that there is a 53% to 99.6% probability that humans are alone in our galaxy, the Milky Way, with a 39% to 85% chance that no intelligent life exists outside of the “observable universe”, Metro reports. 

The team reached that somewhat depressing verdict after studying the “Fermi paradox”, which addresses the belief that there is a high probability of intelligent aliens existing in the universe despite a lack of supporting evidence, the newspaper says. 

The study, called Dissolving the Fermi Paradox, does not dismiss the possibility of alien life but rather suggests that other life forms could be “less advanced than on Earth or simply no longer exist”, the Daily Express says.

Speaking to astronomy news website Universe Today, Sandberg said: “One can answer the Fermi Paradox by saying intelligence is very rare, but then it needs to be tremendously rare.

“Another possibility is that intelligence doesn’t last very long, but it is enough that one civilisation survives for it to become visible.”

There is a “fairly high likelihood that we are alone”, Sandberg adds.

Other studies have come up with a variety of theories as to why humans have not been contacted by extraterrestrials.

One theory, known as the zoo hypothesis, states that there is an abundance of life in the universe but that such life forms consider humans to be too “basic and primitive” to merit attention, says US-based magazine The Atlantic

Another suggests that intelligent life “pops into existence for a few thousand years before getting wiped out of existence for mysterious reasons”, the magazine says.

Recommended

The Week Unwrapped: Ethiopia, passwords and a plague of mice
A pair of rats
Podcast

The Week Unwrapped: Ethiopia, passwords and a plague of mice

NHS facing ‘biggest pressure in history’ as 12 million await treatment
Health Secretary Matt Hancock
The latest on . . .

NHS facing ‘biggest pressure in history’ as 12 million await treatment

The e-scooter invasion: can we cope? 
An e-scooter pilot program launched in London on 7 June
Why we’re talking about . . .

The e-scooter invasion: can we cope? 

When will children get Covid vaccines?
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
The latest on . . .

When will children get Covid vaccines?

Popular articles

The GB News reviews: foxy, fresh or utterly deadly?
GB News launch
In Review

The GB News reviews: foxy, fresh or utterly deadly?

Sex doll’s husband considers dating humans
A sex doll
Tall Tales

Sex doll’s husband considers dating humans

Simon Kjaer: the heroic Dane who helped save Eriksen’s life
Denmark captain Simon Kjaer in action against Finland at Euro 2020
Profile

Simon Kjaer: the heroic Dane who helped save Eriksen’s life