Rare Earth

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The earth may not be at the center of the universe, but we may be the only ones who know it.

According to Dr. Peter Ward, a geologist at the University of Washington, bacteria probably hold pride of place as the most intelligent life out there in the cosmos. Which might explain why, after 40 years of listening for extraterrestrial signals, we haven’t heard a thing.

If the theory is true, it shatters Carl Sagan’s fond belief that brainy aliens exist in millions of flavors. For hard-core Trekkies it might just spell the end of the world.

Try to imagine life without our fine green friends: no more close encounters of the third kind; forget Sunday nights in front of the X Files; your Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy would be useless; and you’d never have the chance to share Reeses Pieces with E.T.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Dr. Peter Ward, a geologist at the University of Washington