Further to airing the view that convergent evolution means that life forms on exoplanets would likely be quiet similar to those on Earth, there’s been a recent bump in the number of exoplanets identified:
UCLA astronomers have identified 366 new exoplanets, thanks in large part to an algorithm developed by a UCLA postdoctoral scholar. Among their most noteworthy findings is a planetary system that comprises a star and at least two gas giant planets, each roughly the size of Saturn and located unusually close to one another.University of California – Los Angeles, “UCLA astronomers discover more than 300 possible new exoplanets” at Eurekalert! (November 24, 2021) The paper requires a subscription.
Without a large population of exoplanets, it is hard to draw firm conclusions:
The number of exoplanets that have been identified by astronomers numbers fewer than 5,000 in all, so the identification of hundreds of new ones is a significant advance. Studying such a large new group of bodies could help scientists better understand how planets form and orbits evolve, and it could provide new insights about how unusual our solar system is.University of California – Los Angeles, “UCLA astronomers discover more than 300 possible new exoplanets” at Eurekalert! (November 24, 2021) The paper requires a subscription.
Here’s a prediction: Our solar system will continue to be quite unusual, not that that rules out life on exoplanets.
You may also wish to read: At Mind Matters News: Exoplanets: The same laws of physics means similar life forms. Even on Earth, life forms of widely differing ancestry, arrive at the same solutions to physics problems, leading scientists note. On Simon Conway Morris’s view, life forms that fly on exoplanets will do what birds, bats, and insects do here, they say. Intelligent species may even look roughly like us.