Well I am looking at it from a statistical point of view. If something appears probable, that is generally good enough to start looking for proof or at least try an experiment or two, or maybe spend some time thinking about the problem to see if any light can be shed on the subject.

This thing you guys do of tossing out any idea or different point of view because there is not solid proof seems to be a hangover from your fear of theological argument, which I am not advocating. (Re: your reference to a belief system).

That is not how research works. You have to open your mind to other explanations of phenomena, try to come up with ways of testing those viewpoints, and then perform the tests. This may be the work of years or even of generations before we know for sure.

The problem of extra terrestrial life is a real consideration. NASA has done extensive thought work on what to look for and how to prevent contamination within our own solar system. We are pretty sure that if life is found in our solar system, it will be most primitive. Looking outside of our system opens up more possibilities. Right now most of the work I have seen is in identifying stars with planetary systems, discussing how common these may be, and trying to calculate the probabilities of a planet similar to the earth being formed. It may be shear chance, or there may be mechanisms that tend to make metal bearing planets form close enough to the star to be useable in a liquid water temperature range. After all, our four inner planets are all metal bearing, and the other planets (excluding that over grown asteroid Pluto) are gas giants with metal bearing moons. We had four shots at the right distance, one hit (earth), one was very close (mars). And one may eventually be terra-formed (Venus) enough to be of some use if just for energy production and mining in two hundred to three hundred years.

I personally think that such musings are worthwhile brainwork although not much is provable in your sense. Experiments are being done on carbon forms and organic molecules that could form in space under ultraviolet and other radiation when the carbon is frozen in ice. The results are "curious" as Spock would say.

To flat out say there is no proof of life in other star systems and then to dismiss the idea shows a strange belief system that doesn't resemble what I have known of scientific enquiry.
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Sparky