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NASA says alien life will be found in a couple decades; so?

NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, announced during a panel discussion yesterday in Washington that it finds it highly unlikely that we're alone in the universe and that further, it expects that life will be found on another planet within the next two decades. The Hubble, Spritzer, and Kepler space telescopes will see to that.

Maybe be, maybe no. Further, what type of life might be found is a good question to ask. Will it be sentient, bacterial, or something else, perhaps even something we might not expect? Will it be good or bad, if self aware? To that last question, it is certainly more than fair to apply the same moral standards to other thinking lives as we do (or ought to do anyway) with ours. There's no special reason to believe that alien life would be benevolent, or even intellectually superior to life on Earth. Despite our favorite science fictions, it could well be vile and depraved.

How will the telescopes find life? Probably through detecting microscopic traces of something, not unlike how many planets have been discovered through 'wobbles' making their across distant stars which would indicate an object passing between our scopes and a sun. But even more, will we be able to make contact with these creatures (and we use the term creatures only to indicate there are created beings and not to pass a moral judgment on them) if we find them? What real value will the discovery of other life in other solar systems or galaxies, not to speak of other universes, have?

Not that much that we can imagine. Should the new found (to us) life be sentient and self aware, it will almost surely face the same problems we do. Should it be less than that then we don't actually have much to brag or wonder over, do we? And as we'll very likely never ever make contact, it won't make a dime's worth of difference to us just the same.

We do wonder if it's all worth the effort, except as an academic curiosity. As such, the whole issue has little meaning and will have little effect of humanity. We are coming to the belief that our tax dollars would be spent better, and more wisely, on us rather than some remote speck in the distance.

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