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With a new (and hopefully final) "Planet of the Apes" movie about to open across the USA in 2017, we thought it would be interesting to take a fresh look at the theory subscribed to by Carl Sagan and the astronomers involved with SETI, that human-like intelligence is a convergent feature of evolution -that there is an intelligence niche, into which other species will evolve if the human species goes extinct. A notion that could have serious implications for our search for intelligent life in the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond.

The big question is: "is human-like intelligence a convergent feature of evolution? Should we expect to find extraterrestrials with human-like intelligence?"

In the “Great Drake Equation Debate” (an equation created by Frank Drake to estimate the number of civilizations in the Milky Way with whom we might communicate via radio telescopes) most experts assumed that once life got started it would get smarter and smarter until one day, it would hit upon the idea of building a radio telescope. "A stupid things get smarter” model of animal evolution and believed it to be a universal trend. Lineweaver calls this idea the "Planet of the Apes" hypothesis.

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