What are the chances of humanity ever finding extraterrestrials before we die out?

Just as a general opinion, considering several factors that would go into making this calculation, I would say the odds are much less than .001%. Here are some of the things that must happen for us to discover the existence of extraterrestrial life. The odds might be a little better if we accept extraterrestrial microbes into our study. However, as often as this question, or similar, is asked in Quora, let us assume we're talking about sentient extraterrestrial life.

  1. Let's talk about the universe, as we know it. A few minutes ago, I asked the worldwide web what is generally accepted as the age of the universe. Most of the answers were somewhere between 13 and 14 BILLION years. A billion is quite a large number. I read an article in Readers Digest, way back in my childhood, that stated that to count from one to a billion as quickly as possible would take a person more than thirty years. This makes perfect sense as 1,000,000,000 seconds takes 31.7 years (how many seconds does it take you to say 125,717,794?).
  2. Humans, as we know them, have been around for about 40,000 years. This represents a very minute tick in the timeline of the universe. The general population has been aware of the concept of light speed for a little over 100 years: a very small tick in the lifeline of humans. So not only are we discussing a sentient population, but that sentient population has to be advanced enough to understand the concept of the speed of light. Also, since we have been thinking about the speed of light, we are nowhere near attaining even a small fraction of that velocity with any form of matter. Could be hundreds, or thousands of years before we figure out how to approach or even beat light speed, but I'm thinking it is more likely that it will never happen. Quantum scientists seem to have already given up on the idea of achieving light speed and are trying to figure out ways around it, such as going by the crumpled up sheet of paper theory (or wad of string) of the universe and trying to figure out how to jump from one fold to another without having to travel across the entire surface of the sheet (or length of string). This would, of course, involve the discovery of some hitherto unknown dimension. I wish all you quantum theorists the best of luck in your endeavors.
  3. The beginning of life on Earth was a random occurrence and there was no planning involved on when this would happen. So logically, this would be the case for any other life forms to develop elsewhere. Considering the age of the universe, what is the likelihood that this would occur in two or more locations at the same time? Or that these lifeforms would achieve "sentience" and/or become aware of the concept of light speed and figure out how to beat or get around it at the same time?
  4. And finally, let us take into consideration, the vast distances between star systems. I am going to assume any sufficiently advanced sentient life forms are having just as much trouble with the inconvenience of light speed as we are. Even radio waves, which do travel at light speed, would take so long to reach extraterrestrial civilizations, and the response returned to Earth, that the gap between sending and receiving would be thousands of years and therefore pretty much useless as far as learning anything about the responders, let alone doing anything about their discovery.


Carl Sagan said "The universe is a pretty big space. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So, if it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space, right?"

Whilst this quote (which is one of my all time favourites) is true it also means everything is a very, very, very long way away. Distance, in itself, isn't necessarily completely unsolvable however (Has NASA Really Created A Warp Drive?) and it's quite likely that interstellar travel will exist for us at some point in our future.

Thinking of the number of potential planets with life on them, it's important to recognise that any alien civilisation less developed than us won't have the technological means to initiate contact.

Considering the pool of potentially habitable planets that remain, a more pertinent question might be why would a alien civilisation want to contact us in the first place?

Right now, our civilisation is wrecked by wars raging around the planet, something that has been continuous since the end of World War II.

On a daily basis we are are laying waste to the precious environment that supports us on the single planet that can sustain life that we know of.

As societies, our civilisation is torn apart by petty rivalries, selfishness and a desperate desire to accumulate money in the face of all other concerns. As a species we are, as a collective, violent, idiotic and psychopathically self destructive.

The best large scale example we have of how we interact with a new culture that we encounter is the colonisation of what is now called North and South America by Europeans.

In both situations the indigenous people living there were more or less wiped out by violent genocide, disease and violence dealt out on a continuous basis by the arriving settlers (Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas - Wikipedia).

In North America alone the death toll is likely to have been in the region of 95,000,000 to 114,000,000 deaths (The American Indian Holocaust, known as the "500 year war" and the World's Longest Holocaust In The History Of Mankind).

As yet no real and tangible restitution has been given to the indigenous survivors.

North America continues to celebrates, on an annual basis, the beginning of the massacres with thanksgiving and President Trump belittles and attacks the remaining right of the survivors (Trump challenges Native Americans' historical standing, Trump's direct assault on Native American tribal sovereignty).

In Brazil the new President, Jair Bolsonaro, has declares that he will reduce or abolish Amazonian indigenous reserves and has vowed on several occasions: "If I become president, there will not be one centimetre more of indigenous land." He recently corrected himself, declaring that he meant not one millimetre (Bolsonaro's election is catastrophic news for Brazil's indigenous tribes).

Tell me, based on all of this, if you were an alien, would you contact us?

you should look into ‘The drake equation".

Frank Drake tried to figure that out, amny years ago, and put together an equation where you work through the factors- number of stars, number of planets, number of planets that could support life, how long until life becomes complex, etc etc etc.

Although the answer depends on the numbers you use, it generally suggests that there should be plenty of intelligent life.

Enrico Fermi ( yes, that Fermi) suggested a reply- ‘Where is everybody"?

The problem is that if we have 1 million intelligent species, spreading them over our entire galaxy means that our best chance is going to be picking up some kind of radio/tv/ broadcast . The distances are too big.

Unless they went for cable, like we did, which cuts down on the transmissions.

Also we are way out on the western spiral arm of the Milkyway galaxy. I like to think that we have at least 1.5 million years left as a species, ( assuming 4 million years as the life of an average mammalian species) so we are likely to hear something before that time runs out, if we are lucky and smart enough to stop killing ourselves or drowning ourselves in toxins.

In our life time? probably not.

On my opinion before Man ever finding extraterrestrials before he die out I believe that first of him can his creation the robot to find out extraterrestrials because these ones can be sent to sideral space on aircrafts because they are as the aircrafts, that is, don't need to breath and as Man has to breath this will be a difficult situation to him to go to sideral space, so chances are that the aircrafts that can leave Earth will be pilotted by robots as to Man die out I don't believe on that at all because his Creator, at his image and similitude, that is God and not nature wouldn't want that so Man is destined to live forever on Earth or Heaven.

What are the chances of humanity ever finding extraterrestrials before we die out?

Remote. Check out Mike Pavlik's answer.

I once interviewed the manager of the UWS Observatory on a community radio program. She had been actively involved in SETI but had recently switched to SETL-the search for extra-terrestrial life. She would be delighted to discover something as simple as a microbe!

What are the chances of humanity ever finding extraterrestrials before we die out? Near ZERO

We will not find aliens on Earth so we can stop looking here. We would need to travel to another galaxy because we are the only intelligent civilization in the Milky Way and we are only one species. Travel to another galaxy is many millions of years away and may be billions of years away. Our Sun is not going to allow life on the earth for more than another billion years. If all humans die in a billion years we will never find any intelligent aliens.

The only way we will find aliens is if they travel here to Earth. We will not find them but they will find us. Why would they come?


It may happen, keeping in mind the immense distances involved and the time it takes for transmissions to get here whether they are artificial or natural. Plus the evolution time period for a species to develop technology and use it so that it arrives here during our life span, or they effect their planetary environment to an extent it could be recognized at great distances.

http://www.creationoftheuniverse... How the process started.



There are to main categories of extraterrestrials 1)Those created by God or by our Christ Michael like your guardian Angel. Many of that category are already here and some contributed to the implantation of life on our planet 2) All other humanoids with flesh and bones born on other planets. I think that you mean those. Then it might come one day but they are very far away if you exclude our sun system. The closest sun is some 4.5 light years away, Supposed that their science is advanced enough to travel at 10% the speed of light, It would take them 45 years to reach planet earth. They will need a trailer behind their rocket for all their supplies. So quite impossible!!!!

Astronauts: Isn't it scary to be out in space, so far away from Earth?

I don't know the feeling, but I can tell you that being so far in space you will come to realise that how small and fragile is our planet and we know nothing as compared. Till date we know more about mars than our own oceans and the core of the earth. So far

Is life hard as it seems?

It's harder than it seems. Vi never knew it was hard until I entered the world of work where I entered s different culture and had to learn work that didn't suit my natural personality and interact with people that responded to things in opposite ways then me. Many never encounter such

What if the Roswell craft was shot down by other aliens who are protecting the Earth as their territory?

The key to alien invasion of any form or any type of warfare is beyond our current imagination if it even exists.In reality we are so far behind any type of lifeform that can visit us we pose zero threat. At the most we are cattle to them to