— Paul Davies, from his op-ed “The Aliens Among Us” in last Thursday’s New York Times.

The theoretical physicist/cosmologist/astrobiologist who appeared in “Einstein’s God” posits that we should look “under our noses” — right here on Earth — for extraterrestrial life as well as scanning the universe. If you’re at all intrigued by the thought of extraterrestrial life, this article will get the synapses firing.

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I ran across/read that same article while skimming the "New York Times" online the other day. It made me think of an old hero of mine, namely Carl Sagan. If you haven't already seen it there's a terrific youtube video someone put together for him soon after he died, that might actually make a nice blog entry here (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... ). When he speaks about the universe consisting of billions of trillions of stars it's pretty difficult to believe we're alone. I wish we had more scientists around like Carl, with both a solid understanding of his field and a ready willingness to communicate what he understood, doing so in ways that might make his words clearly understood by a lay audience. He also had a way with words that I found deeply inspiring, especially when applied to the topic of science. I miss him.