This is long overdue story. We are finally, offically (sort-of) saying that we should not assume life on earth is the sole model for life elsewhere. In other word, unlike Star Trek, life elsewhere is not limited by weekly television show special effects budgets or guest actors’ desires to still be recognizable. Sure, the occasional non-human alien pops up, but Vulcans, Klingons, even Tribbles? They’re not even alien by weird life standards here on earth.
Even Star Wars’ “weird life” is not that weird. What we find in deep ocean valleys, sulfer vents and deep caves, that’s weird, wild stuff. Even the critters crawling on your skin right now are weird. So what would be truly “weird alien life?”
We don’t know and can’t know. We’ve not found any life elsewhere. The answer may be “there is none.” That would be unexpected given how common planets resembling earth are starting to pop up. And water too. It seems like perhaps their could be life echoing life here.
Or maybe not. Many other factors could come into play. Maybe our definition of life, even weird life is still inadaquate. Even though we may have hunches or perhaps even a hypothesis or two – it’s all guessing.
But, whatever is out there, two facts are clear. It’s not Mr. Spock and we’re very unlikely to find any staying inside and watching TV.