I have no way of knowing, for sure, of course, but I don’t believe that life exists anywhere in the universe but on earth.
Behind my house in the forest, there is a creek that runs through my property. I built an arch over it made of hundreds of rocks, three long lengths of rebar, a large sheet of hardware cloth, and a lot of cement. I look out of my sliding glass doors every morning and see it there, totally confident that there is not another one exactly like it anywhere in the universe, NO MATTER HOW MANY BILLIONS OF STARS AND GALAXIES there are. Unless, of course, there is a God, which I am confident there is not.
I see the phenomenon we call life as no more likely to exist anywhere but on Earth than does my stone arch. Of course, I could be wrong; it is possible that life as we recognize it is a repeatable event, but I see no empirical or logical indication of that. If it does, no scientific evidence has as yet proven it, despite 50 years of stargazing by hundreds of deluded SETI researchers, who are barely distinguishable from Christians trying to find evidence of Jesus and God. Virtually all biologists now agree that all the life we see in the world evolved from a single, one-off meeting of molecules a few billion years ago that serendipitously conjoined to form an entity, possibly deoxyrobonucleic acid - DNA - which had the possibly unique power of self-replication. Given the quadrillions of opportunities for it to have happened more than once on earth since then (a factor Frank Drake ignored), one would expect to see evidence of it having happened relatively often; but none has been unequivocally discovered. As far as any scientific evidence indicates, life on Earth did not spontaneously appear again and again, but only once; and natural selection subsequently allowed it, over billions of years, to lushly cover the planet.
I expect some contributors to T.A. to respond by citing the Drake Equation alluded to above. But that formula is highly biased since it deliberately omits any factors that would argue against the eruption of life being a common event. It is equally valid to use the Drake Equation to posit that the stone arch over my creek must exist somewhere in the vast expanse of our known universe as to argue for the ubiquity of the phenomenon of life. If we find any life on Mars I will completely abandon my hypothesis, but I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime, feel free to tell me where I’m wrong.
Incidentally, when pressed, even Carl Sagan, who was SETI’s most religious supporter, admitted that he had no actual evidence of life existing anywhere but on earth. But his hope that it might kept him searching. For that matter, I would be thrilled to be proved wrong. So have at it.
Maybe the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light at its edges, but only if you don't account for the expansion of space. Factor that in, and perhaps we're back at C as a constant again.
Its the same expansion.
So, again, its not pointless to try to answer a question for which there is no known answer, as, most questions are ASKED because an answer is sought in the first place.
The journey, towards the answer, tends to, historically, lead to other answers, and, other questions.
For example, now that you know the expansion of spacetime means we are getting larger on an absolute scale, but, cannot see this change, on a relative basis, you can perhaps be able to imagine further implications of the way the universe works, and, perhaps even imagine applications that take advantage of this expansion.
Basing an absolute negative claim (that we can never know what came before the big bang) on a theory in which we are exploring in its infancy (expansion of the universe and what that means if information is lost due to the limitations on us re: speed of light)...and using this theory as though its robust and absolute while ignoring many other things (we can deduce a lot about the universe without traveling to another galaxy or even leaving Earth...or that some natural phenomena or man made phenomena will let us take massive shortcuts when exploring space or tha meta-information can be gained through analysis of the trivial (background radiation) ... is intelectually pitiful. I find it amazing how one can dismiss a question because we lack information we currently don't have access to it and that anything less than conclusive proof justifies a handwave...and then base that on something that cannot possibly be called a fact (that the rest of the universe is forever beyond our reach) and a less that clear understanding of the big bang and the expansion of the universe...is almost...but not quite as ridiculous...as dismissing free will via the same hypocritical expectations of one currently impossible set of proof to live upto...and yet be confident in negative claims justified by hardly-understood theories followed by incredible ignorance. It shows an astounding ignorance of the history of science and what Popper calls "conjectures and refutations" or M. Williams "properties of falsifiable predictions". Just making an absolute negative claim itself betrays the double standards. This is a position that cannot possibly be respected or taken seriously.