Immediate response: Not true! We humans more or less invented the whole idea of aliens. Without us, they probably wouldn’t exist even as a story.
Just think: There would be no market for ET tales, films, and trade goods except for us humans. Don’t believe me? Try to get clams or termites interested in ET and see what happens…
But never mind. This is New Scientist we are talking about, an endless resource for pop naturalist culture:
LET’S get one thing out of the way: aliens are almost definitely out there. On average, every star in the Milky Way has a planet orbiting it. Fully one-fifth of those stars have a planet that could be temperate and conducive to life as we imagine it. That’s 50 billion potentially habitable planets just in our own galaxy – which is one of billions in the universe.Leah Crane, “Alien life could be weirder than our Earthling brains can ever imagine” at New Scientist
Doubt begone! Especially that sort of pernicious doubt that demands evidence. We have done arithmetic so we know they are out there…
“If you’re going to say that there’s no chance we’re going to find any life elsewhere, you must think there’s something really miraculous about Earth,” says Seth Shostak at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. “And that’s a suspicious point of view, that we’re just miraculously better than all the other planets.”Leah Crane, “Alien life could be weirder than our Earthling brains can ever imagine” at New Scientist (paywall follows shortly hereafter)
Now that Shostak mentions it, we know that Earth is admirably fine-tuned for life and we do not know that there is life on any other planet.
Of course, convincing evidence could lie on the other side of New Scientist’s paywall. Or somewhere. Then again maybe not.
See also: How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there?
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