Full credit to Ron, he played this one with a very straight bat. There is no longer any doubt that there are likely to be many many places in the Universe where life could exist - the extremes under which life can quite happily frolic on our own wee planet demonstrate that the survivable zone is so wide that even in our own solar system there are several areas where life can survive. It is a different question whether those areas would be suitable for life to arise in the first place, and then evolve, but it seems that Goldilocks is a lot less fastidious than we used to think. So much for "fine tuning".
A lot hinges on the infamous Drake Equation (of which I am not a big fan), which is supposed to help us estimate how many civilisations our galaxy might contain, but produces answers so wildly dependent on guesses pre-loaded at the get-go that you might as well just look up and pick a number, any number. Cosmologist Paul Davies reckons that intelligent life is part of a self-organising complexifying principle in the universe; Ron contrasted this with a "random" view of evolution; I didn't quite get the drift of this - no-one thinks evolution is *random* - natural selection imposes a direction, but that direction is local and small-scale. It's only when we look back over large periods of time that we see the journey.
|Has u aksepted Jebus into ur heart?|
Anyway, we'll keep waiting for ET to get our number, and when/if he/she/it does, we'll just have to deal with it. Unless they are cosmic Jehovah's Witnesses or some such. Imagine that knock on the door...