Since this is the last day of the challenge, I wanted to have a little fun. That's why I decided to post about the Zoo Hypothesis.
The Drake Equation is useful for calculating the possible number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy. The answer garnered varies depending upon the values used for each variable (we know some values fairly well, while some are more of an educated guess), but it's a fun intellectual exercise even if we don't get any solid answers from it.
I believe there's life elsewhere in the universe. It's too large and amazing for me to think otherwise. Still, I'm not holding my breath while I wait for a spaceship to come down and take me for a ride, no matter how cool it would be!
There's debate over whether we've ever been visited by extraterrestrial life. Some contend we have, while the official consensus is that we haven't. Those who believe in alien life often claim that we haven't been visited due to large cosmic distances, but this isn't the only hypothesis out there.
The Zoo Hypothesis speculates that intelligent alien life hasn't contacted us in order to allow for us to evolve and mature on our own without interference. If they observe us at all, we're like animals in a zoo (except we don't know we're in a zoo and we can't see those who are watching us). Maybe it should be renamed the Prime Directive Hypothesis. That name seems more appropriate to me.
And for a little bit of fun and deep thinking, here's a clip from Star Trek TNG where the crew of the Enterprise debates the scope of the Prime Directive. Enjoy!