In “Hunting Moons Outside the Solar System?”(Discover July 31, 2012), Adam Hadhazy explains it’s “Because planets aren’t the only places we might find alien life…”:
Detecting small objects that orbit other small objects trillions of miles away is an ambitious undertaking, but our solar system offers many reasons to try. Jupiter and Saturn together host more than 100 moons, and a few of those frigid worlds—Europa, Enceladus, and Titan—are among the most intriguing hunting grounds for alien life in the solar system. If conditions are similar around other stars and planets, there should be trillions of moons in our galaxy, with a small but significant percentage of them suitable for life.
Yes, that numbers fallacy again. We know of one planet and no moon that has life. You can’t do odds that way and make any sense.
One wonders whether, in the end, if we found such a venue, we would end up seeding it with life – that being the only way to get life started, as Francis Crick and Fred Hoyle both considered had happened here.
Thus we would ourselves be the advanced space aliens they believed in.
We still wouldn’t understand the origin of life, but we would have changed the subject pretty successfully.