Every year or two, there seems be some discovery announced that lets the mainstream media breathlessly speculate that “the discovery of alien life in the universe is just around the corner.” And, just as predictably, quantifiable evidence shows up in some scientific journal, with much less fanfare, utterly debunking those conclusions. What is it about the idea of extraterrestrial life that is so provocative to so many people? What do the objective facts tell us about the likelihood of ever encountering even the most primitive extraterrestrial life forms? We’ll sort fact from fiction and provide a rational assessment of this controversial area.
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