Posted 05 July 2014 - 02:26 PM
Edited by epoxi, 05 July 2014 - 02:31 PM.
While I admit the probability of meeting extraterrestrial lifeforms or travelling to one of these planets in our lifetime is virtually impossible, I can understand why extraterrestrial planets can be exciting for many people.
As Neil Degrasse Tyson said: if the intelligence difference between us and apes is a tiny mutation of our DNA, imagine what other advanced life forms exist if we add just a few more mutations.
Even if 0.001% of solar systems were habitable, there are of the order of 100,000,000,000 stars in every galaxy and the galaxies themselves are innumerable, other life forms may have been civilised for billions of years before we even existed. Starting to build these probabilities of finding habitable planets can be exciting itself, as every habitable planet we find increases the chances of other life being out there.
For all we know, there be could countless life-forms out there colonising space right now...maybe people are even aware of us (though this is unlikely given we as industrialised humans won't even be observable to most other nearby planets for a few thousand years at least, but of course our understanding of the universe could be so basic that we are only at a stage where we think we are physically constrained to the speed of light).