The Search for Extraterrestrial Life

What might extraterrestrial life look like? The diversity found on Earth could guide our search.

It’s Halloween, when we are on high alert for the unknown that prowls in the shadows. I still shiver when I think of a Halloween night, many harvest moons ago, when a ragged, blue-wigged stranger showed up to trick-or-treat. The creature communicated by grunts and stomps, terrified my sister Gail and me…and turned out to be our mother.

What other creatures lurk in the vastness of space, unfamiliar and perhaps terrifying (or not), but still part of our family which we call life? 

“Are we alone?”, arguably one of humankind’s oldest questions. As they looked at the heavens, the ancients imagined other worlds populated by gods and mortals. Friends or foe? Like us or unimaginable creatures? 

In 2019 we still ask this same question, but for the first time in human history, we can approach this scientifically. We know so much more about the diversity and inner workings of the tens of millions of species of creatures with whom we share planet Earth. To compleme

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