Why Life On Other Planets Will Resemble Ours

ONEZERO.MEDIUM.COM | by Steve LeVine | Jan 28, 2020

Hard science offers a remarkably detailed portrait of how extraterrestrials may live — and clues on where our own civilization is headed

Scientists, now routinely detecting potentially habitable planets in space, are the closest yet to determining the truth about aliens. But there is another question that almost none talk about: If other beings do populate the universe, what are they doing out there?

Are the possible inhabitants of Teegarden b, some 12 light-years from Earth’s solar system, driven to explore and migrate? Do they have a great power rivalry with the citizens of Teegarden c? What about the potential folks on the “super Earth” exoplanet K2–72 e? Are they inclined to hate and love according to tribe?

Such questions may appear to be only the stuff of science fiction. But it turns out that the hard laws of physics, biology, and geophysics apply on other habitable planets just as they do on Earth. And they suggest a remarkable level of detail about how alien societies might operate, says the astrophysicist Frank Drake, detail that among other things could help resolve some of humankind’s most charged debates, from how to confront a changing climate to how to treat beings from other places.

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