Why is it so important to scientists to discover extra-terrestrial life forms? They know the odds are astronomically small.
Well, they are hoping against hope, certainly. But I think that it is because they intuitively know that the leap in knowledge about Life and the Cosmos that such as discovery would bring would dwarf much of what we already know. It would precipitate a revolution in human thinking to have a chance to compare one tree of Life against another totally unrelated tree, whose genesis is totally separate from ours.
This tells us something very important about the anatomy of knowledge.
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