There was a book a while back, "Rare Earth", that touched on a lot of these issues. One of the possible conclusions is we may actually be the first intelligent species to hit space flight in our galaxy. At some point there has to be a first after all.
I hope we are the first. Otherwise we Terrans would end up being second class citizens of the galaxy.
irregardless of what others want?
Um... yes. Wait, no! Damn, I suck at answering questions posed with made-up words.
At some point, all words are made up. Irregardless is a perfectly cromulent word.