In his video, Professor Kipping made an interesting thought experiment. Imagine a million people being locked up inside cells, being told that they have only one minute to escape by picking the lock of their cell with a hairpin. Imagine, said Professor Kipping, that it is incredibly hard to pick the lock, but by pure chance one out of every million prisoners will pick his lock and escape. When asked whether it was easy or hard to escape, the lucky ex-prisoner will insist that it was easy. He picked the lock of his cell almost immediately! No big deal!
But that, said David Kipping, could be a case of pure statistics. Some one has to get lucky even if the odds are very much against each of the prisoners. Similarly, said David Kipping, we could be the lucky ex-prisoner of the Universe. The Earth could be the only planet anywhere where life got started quick and easy and was given the chance to evolve from that point on.
We simply don't know if we are alone or not, says David Kipping, but we might be, in which case the Earth and everyone living on it would be incredibly special.