Sasha speaks of the Sun.
Here is my theory. If you believe, as Raymond Kurzweil does that spirit is independent of hardware, then intelligence is something that can be manifest in any computing substrate. So take the million monkeys typing theory to its logical conclusion. What patterns are created by the trillion trillion nuclear reactions going on inside the sun for billions of years? Everything!
Stars communicate with each other. They are the most intelligent life in the universe. Since travel beyond the speed of light is impossible, stars have everything they need within themselves. They have billions of years to do what they do, and so they do. But the most important thing to know is that they are incredibly fast computers.
Somebody simply has to show that they exhibit emergent behavior via the cellular automata exhibited by the rules of nuclear fusion of helium. Then it's over.