What is the percentage chance that organic life exists anywhere in the universe other than earth? Discounting any life that originated on earth - whether it's microbes that were blown to Mars by an asteroid, or human descendants who time-traveled, I'd say the chance is pretty close to zero. It seems like just about everyone agrees with Jodie Foster's character in Contact - that the universe is so big, and contains such a huge number of potentially life-originating planets, that it's pretty much a given that what happened here must have also happened somewhere else. And I get it. It's a matter of respect for numbers that we'll never be able to comprehend. Or rather, it's a respect for the fact that we'll never be able to comprehend them. But do people not recognize the difference between the numbers 1 and 2? Or more accurately, the difference between 1 and any other number besides zero. The number zero was invented - or rather recognized as a mathematical concept - a relatively short time ago. Its recognition revolutionized mathematics, science, and civilization. The difference between 0 and any other number is the biggest difference between two numbers that there is. In existential terms, it's the difference between existence and non-existence. The second biggest difference has to be the difference between 1 and any other number. The universe is only 18 billion years old. The earth is 4.5 billion years old. And it took 3 billion years of life to come up with a cerebral cortex. 3 billion. That's 16.7% of the time the universe has existed. That's a huge chunk. If it only took 0.1% of the time the universe existed to evolve a cerebral cortex somewhere in the universe (in this case, here) - ie if the universe was 3 trillion years old - I'd be more inclined to think there might be something else out there. Needless to say, if we found proof of a second occurrence of life originating, I'd be all too happy to infer along with everyone else that there have got to be thousands more instances. Isn't it much more likely - albeit less dramatic - that we're simply the first? And might even end up being the only ones?