Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," scanning the skies and baking fresh pies! No lies.
A few years ago, my daughter The Heir came home and told me that her science teacher stood in front of the class and categorically ruled out any chance of biological life on any other planet in the universe.
Granted, this was a biology teacher, but get real! Heir wasn't attending some crazy private religious school. Seems to me that your average high school biology teacher ought to have a basic grasp of the size of the universe and the statistics that go with it.
You read it here first, friends. We are not alone in the universe. I'm grabbing a number out of a hat when I say there are probably more than 10 million planets with fully diverse ecosystems, including sentient beings. Universe is a big place, yo. Whole lotta stars out there.
I'm a little late getting to this, but last week an astronomy journal published news of the discovery of a planet revolving around a star just a few trillion miles from here. The planet has ideal conditions for liquid water, which is, of course, a prerequisite for life. One of the scientists called the planet a "Goldilocks planet" because it isn't too hot or too cold. It's just right.
Within a hundred years we'll have identified a bevvy of Goldilocks planets. They're out there in droves.
Of course, what we do with this map of great planets will say a lot about us and our deities. Have we made any progress on our penchant for conquest, or will we send a Columbus in a spacesuit to check out Goldilocks IV and take note of what can be pillaged or "settled?" Or will we behave like intelligent life ... leave the planet alone, entirely alone, just like we would want to be free of aliens who would drink our water and suck our brains out through our noses?
I won't be around for the "take me to your leader" phase of Earth history, but I tell you this: It's coming. Whole lotta planets out there. Let's show them some respect, eh?