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Professor Brian Cox has admitted that Earth could be the only place where life could ever match the intelligence of humans— and warned it will be "extremely rare" to find aliens in our galaxy.

The space buff's intervention comes after claims by US Congressman Andre Carson’s that UFOs are “a potential national security threat”.

But speaking on the BBC's Sunday Morning show, the professor and former D Ream member offered a more bleak outlook to those wanting to seek out extraterrestrial life.

Asked if there was a chance intelligent lifeforms had found their way to Earth, he replied: “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 universe, and that is a long time, so that may indicate that microbes may be common, but things like us may be extremely rare.”

Asked in the past if believes alien life could exist Professor Cox has not denied it but rather thinks that the chances of a hi-tech civilisation emerging in our galaxy are very slim.

He has previously explained: “I tend to restrict myself to the galaxy, as I do think it’s possible that at the moment that there is just one civilisation in the Milky Way, and that’s us.”

Professor Brian Cox is currently touring the world with his 'Horizons' arena show, which covers topics ranging from the interior of black holes to the origin of life and the universe itself

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