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Highly-advanced technological extraterrestrial civilizations of the sort capable of great longevity, interstellar travel and permanent off-world colonies are likely to be exceedingly rare in the cosmos, a new paper in the International Journal of Astrobiology concludes.

Using the scientific ‘Principle of Mediocrity,’ the paper notes that based on a sampling of one, our 100 year-old tech civilization is also likely to be representative of the average age of tech civilizations in both our galaxy and the universe at large. In fact, it argues that, if extraterrestrial civilizations exist, some 95% would have technology no more than 200 years beyond our own.

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