For life and intelligence for that matter to arise requires that no much violence is going on. It requires that nature gets dammed up somehow.
The bigger the bang, the more rare such an event. The biggest bang appears to be the so called 'big bang' cosmology which Astrophysicists today knows occured 13.7 billion years ago(due to the Hubble space telescope). In this sense(bigger bangs happen less often), nature has been dammed up enough for life and intelligence to arise!
The picture above is of the cosmic background radiation. This is as far back in time as astronomers can see(without Gravity meters -something astronomers are working on; in like 1987 or 89, they showed that the energy radiating from two rotating pulsars must be going into the form of gravity waves; since then, they've been working on gravity meters most intenselly; first results should be within ten years). If there was a big bang, then it started out with a good amount of heat; and, as it expanded, it would have cooled down. Astrophysicists calculated this out to be like three degrees above absolute zero(in the form of microwave photons). In 1989 if I remember correctly, they got the first picture of this radiation pictured above.
There's lots more to say about this image, the satellite and the Big bang; but, I've said enough about it to warrant putting it up here on my blog!