George Smoot, a teacher of string theory and a very entertaining Nobel prize winner, has a cool theory that intelligent life existed a picosecond after the Big Bang. ;-)
So far, the details of his calculations don't quite work which is really the only reason why The Reference Frame is skeptical about his theory so far. ;-)
I feel that whenever not-yet-settled theories are discussed, estimates of the likelihood that they're valid should be mentioned and refined because there is a lot of confusion among the journalists what theories are likely and what theories are just highly unlikely speculations.
It may be a good idea to post a list with some of these probabilities for many theories to be valid.