Stellarator wrote:Source of the post HKATER wrote:
I don't subscribe to global warming, ecological distaster, pending doom as a factor.
In light of my exposition in the above paragraph, these would literally be the ONLY reasons humanity would want to escape the solar-system altogether.
I don't think so. The worlds out there, whether with life or not, will be environmentally hostile to humans and fixing whatever problem we have on Earth is extremely more likely easier. Some argue that the hostile environments can be fixed by terraforming or genetic engineering, but again, if those technologies exist, it will be much easier to use them on Earth to fix the problem here instead.
As for the chances of life on other planets, I think it's rare in the sense that if you pick planets by random, the vast majority will be lifeless. Even if you could visit one new random planet per year, I suspect that you still need some luck to encounter life in your lifetime. On the other hand, there are so many planets out there that it would be very surprising that Earth is the only one with life in the Milky Way. As for intelligent life, it can be extremely rare considering how much time it took on Earth to come about and then how quickly it evolved, which indicates that the evolutionary path to intelligence is not very stepwise and certain. And interstellar faring life is possibly so rare that it doesn't exist apart for the possibility on Earth. Even intelligent life could exist in multiple places in the Milky Way and nothing would become interstellar. That intelligent life could be oceanic, and space travel for them would be to explore the surface, and for them leaving the atmosphere would be as hard as leaving the solar system for us.