Though there is no proof of any life beyond Earth, circumstantial evidence is mounting. Results from NASA’s Kepler space telescope and other hunts for planets beyond the solar system have shown that at least 70 percent of the 200 billion to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way have planets, many well-positioned for liquid water, which is believed to be necessary for life.
More recent results from the ongoing Curiosity rover mission on Mars proved there are habitats beyond Earth suitable for microbial life.
“In our own galaxy there are tens of billions of other planets that are the kind you might want to build condos on,” Shostak said. “And if that isn’t adequate for your requirements, let me point out there are 150 other galaxies we can see with our telescopes, each with a similar complement of Earth-like worlds.
“What that means is that the numbers are so astounding that if this is the only planet in which not only life, but intelligent life, has arisen, then we are extraordinarily exceptional. It’s like buying trillions of lottery tickets and none of them is a winner. That would be very, very unusual,” Shostak said.
“The history of astronomy shows that every time we thought we were special we were wrong,” he added.