Perhaps. Perhaps not. I think it’s possible, maybe even likely, other civilizations on other worlds simply evolve into machines. People might think that’s crazy now, but if you look back at history and the advancement of technology, humans (biological life forms) are only evolved to live on planets. They are NOT evolved to live in space. To live in space and intelligent species will likely evolve into machines. At that point faster than light travel will become pointless, needless even, because the civilization that evolves to that point will no longer have a need for faster than light travel because they are machine with infinite upgradability which makes them technologically immortal. They would also likely be less detectable to our current technology, which could explain why we have found no evidence of their existence. (of course they could not exist at all) but that’s unlikely given the sheer number of habitable worlds out there. At least some of them advanced beyond their own biological forms into technological life. AI power machines. These super intelligent machines would have no reason to contact us or communicate with us and would likely have the ability use matter/energy at or near 100% efficiency, meaning they would not be detectable to us with our current technology. Meaning, aliens with interstellar travel capability are machines and undetectable to us. This makes us believe that the universe is devoid of life, when in fact it’s most likely teeming with life most of it biological microbial life, some advanced life, and some highly advanced life that has evolved into machines. It’s just the most logical place for evolution to go. I think this is how it all works. To me it’s simple and logical. Why stay human? Humans aren’t very efficient. In fact humans are very fragile and inefficient…even on earth. We must live in a very limited zone on earth. We evolve on the surface. Not under water, not high altitude. Not in extreme heat and not in extreme cold. Yes we can survive in these environments, but ONLY with technology. Our technology is what has allowed us to evolve to what we are now. But even how advanced we are, we are still extremely limited in our abilities. When things are too dangerous for humans, what do we do? We send in machines! Robots. We use these robots to go places and do things and interact in the world in places that human beings could never go even with the most advanced protective technology known. We’re already developing hyperintelligent AI, and we’re putting that AI in robots. It’s only a matter of time before that technology is advanced enough to compete with humans for superiority. Our only hope to survive is to merge with it by augmenting ourselves with technology. Cell phones and laptops are just the beginning. Look at the last 100 years…now use that knowledge of our extremely rapid technological advancement to predict where we’ll be in another 100 years. 200 years. 500 years! If we don’t destroy ourselves with war or AI we will be able to survive by evolving into machines power by AI, effectively merging with technology. Becoming technology. I think this is how life evolves. We have zero reason to believe that biological life is the pinnacle of life in the universe; and further we have EVERY LOGICAL REASON to believe that life evolves into machines. Meaning that biological life is simple one stage in evolution. (I go into more detail about this in my Quantum Life Hypothesis, which I am still writing.) So I think Musk is wrong here because I think he’s assuming some disaster (Great Filter) prevents advancement. It’s possible. Yes. And I think he’s about about there being a lot of dead planets out there. But I also think than many other civilizations evolve beyond that point where they almost destroy themselves. That’s where we differ in opinion. I explain the reason we don’t see life out there is that it’s undetectable to our current technology, in part because we’re looking for the wrong things, and mostly because life out there is so advanced that it is very efficient in it’s use of matter/energy. It’s really that simple. I don’t think it’s as complex as most people make it out to be. Some civilizations die so some worlds are dead, and some civilizations evolve into machines.
I think the answer is BOTH.