Aliens may exist but not in our galaxy, Professor Brian Cox claims.
He says ETs could be somewhere out there.
But he reckons civilisations like ours would be “extremely rare”, with just “one per galaxy” on average.
The TV scientist made the remarks following claims by US Congressman Andre Carson’s that UFOs are “a potential national security threat”.
The American politician warned they are “real” and “need to be investigated”.
Prof Cox admitted it was “one of the great mysteries” whether intelligent alien life forms had found their way to Earth.
He said: “If you forced me to guess, I would say there may be microbes all over the place, that’s why we’re looking for life on Mars, for example.
“But in terms of intelligence, one thing to think about, the origin of life on Earth, it looks like we have good evidence life was present 3.8 billion years ago and the first civilisation to appear on Earth was about now, give or take.
“So it took the best part of four billion years to go from the origin of life on Earth to a civilisation.
“That’s a third of the age of the age of the universe, and that is a long time, so that may indicate that microbes may be common, but things like us may be extremely rare.”
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He added: “There are two trillion galaxies in the observable universe, I’m sure there are others out there.”
The broadcaster says he believed the biggest risk to the future of humanity is a “lack of perspective”.
Prof Cox said: “I don’t think many of us think – many of our political leaders maybe don’t really think in terms of, is it possible that this is the only, let’s say, the only island of meaning in a galaxy of 400 billion suns. That matters.
“I don’t think that’s some kind of whimsical idea. It might focus the mind.”
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