This question is posed also as a mini theory, although I am really asking if someone knows how some parts of our universe would be far-more advanced if "everything" started at the same time (i.e. The Big Bang (BB)).

Could the advancement of some parts of the universe, be much greater if everything originated from the same point, like the Big Bang theory suggests? I pondered this when I learned about Proxima Centauri B, a habitable exoplanet discovered in 2016, and wondered why its potential civilization (or any from other exoplanets), could be vastly more advanced than ours.

Considering the Big Bang theory's stages of cosmic origin, where everything started from a single point and expanded like ripples (metaphorically speaking,) it's conceivable that the elements of the creation, such as particles, matter, energy, and gases, came into existence around a similar time frame. This makes me question whether we might be overestimating the technological progress of potential alien civilizations. Perhaps, they haven't advanced remarkably faster than us, and that's why we haven't received any tangible evidence of their existence.

In a way, this alternative perspective challenges the notion of a Type 2 or 3 civilization, already thriving out there. It raises intriguing possibilities about the shared origins of the cosmos and how it may influence the development of life and technology on habitable planets.

So, could we just be waiting for signals from other extraterrestrial civilizations in vain?

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    $\begingroup$ Nobody knows. We have exactly one example of life on a planet, Earth. It is impossible to generalise. Perhaps we are the first, perhaps we are the only. We do know that planets essentially similar to Earth could form much earlier in the history of the universe, but we don't know if the development of life on Earth was particularly quick or slow, or average. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Aug 4 at 8:43
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    $\begingroup$ "Perhaps they haven't advanced remarkably faster than us" -- how much faster is "remarkably faster"? Civilization took 4.5 billion years to arise on Earth. If it arose just 1% faster on another planet that formed at the same time, then civilization there would have reached our stage 45 million years ago. We've only had civilization for around 10 thousand years. How far will we advance in 45 million years? $\endgroup$
    – Sten
    Aug 4 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ Hey @Sten, I totally get where you're coming from! Instead of 1%, it's a tiny decimal with leading zeros. "Remarkably faster than us" means pretty impressive, but not dramatically different. 45 million years is a long time, and imagining more advanced life is hard. We have a few things per 'million' we can point to, like distance, universe age, and Earth's age. Why would it be so different elsewhere if life takes time to form? There's still a lot we don't know, but exploring these possibilities is fascinating! 🌌🚀 $\endgroup$ Aug 5 at 5:32

1 Answer 1


Star formation began just a few hundred million years after the big bang, and our kind of metal rich Population I stars have formed for many billions of years. The slightly older Population II stars are also known to have planetary systems. So the starting points of system formation likely stretches over many billions of years. The peak of the star formation curve is roughly at z=2, 8.1 billion years ago - long before Earth formed.

So were planets producing intelligence exactly 4.7 billion years after they formed, we would be relative latecomers.

In practice there is likely a lot of spread, where some biospheres may evolve faster and others get stuck or have accidents. So expecting age differences between intelligent species on the order of billions of years is not too unreasonable.

  • $\begingroup$ Ok, that makes a little more sense, when you break it down by Population type I and II stars. However, I'm still not following your "- exactly 4.7 years after they formed" piece, since you are implying a reference point of certainty in relation to signs of intelligence in other planets when there is still 0 data, evidence, or solid positively certain discovery of intelligent life anywhere else. Hey, I'm not the best person to speak on the subject, but I can't help wondering if we are part of a same level of "stuff happening," like in waves, and all previous waves have backwashed. $\endgroup$ Aug 5 at 6:00

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