This post is a step outside my normal boundaries but when I though about this I knew I had to share. All life is formed by the seemingly random process of evolution through external demands made on the life form. Evolution is basically each individual unit of each race trying it's hardest to survive, the ones with better skills or genes will reproduce more and through hundreds of generations this process can form quite complex new biological patterns for life (the human eye for example).
Why am I talking about evolution with a title like this you ask? Well as life becomes more and more complex through adapting to a more complex ecosystem. Life forms will be forced to process more and more information. This brute force processing is not what we normally call intelligence but more the basis of intellect.
Couple a lot of brute force processing power with great complexity, for example living in a flock that has some form of communication and abstraction capabilities (communicating things that are not there at the time of communication), will lead to the right environment for the evolution of intelligent life.
This is a very short and shakily constructed version of how intelligent life comes about. We still lack enough knowledge to make more then guesses about the subject.
But tracing back to evolution all these components are important enough for any life form,in almost any stage of evolution, that they will happen if the external environment allows it.
This means that we can claim intelligent life to be an evolutionary imperative. A evolutionary stage that is a focal point of the evolutionary process. Not THE, but A. We have no idea what we, as a species, have been through or where we're going.
If this is even partly true intelligent life, in some form, is extremely likely to exist. But will we recognize it? Or will humanity still exist when it comes about? Is it already dead?
No matter what the answer to these questions; it is a comforting thought that there is intelligent life somewhere in the universe.