Are humans the real ancient aliens?

But consider red dwarf stars, the runts of the universe. Their masses are considerably less than Sol’s, which means they burn more slowly. The consequence? Red dwarfs with one-tenth the mass of the Sun have lifespans that are up to a thousand times longer.

All else being equal, that would give red dwarfs a thousand times the probability of eventually using its energy to host a world with life. Clearly, it’s most probable that this life would arise not when these stars are still young – which they all are now – but instead during their long adulthood. In other words, the red dwarfs are just getting started, and their biologically fecund years are still ahead.

And here’s an additional fillip: Red dwarfs are as plentiful as bad drivers, comprising three-fourths of all stars. So not only are they individually a thousand times more likely to become winners in the biology lottery, there are a lot more of them buying tickets.

Loeb argues that, looking back on creation ten trillion years from now when the curtain is falling on the universe-as-we-know-it, you’d have to say that the overwhelming majority of life arose around red dwarf stars – and on average, trillions of years after Earth was over and done.