The Guardian

Aliens may not exist – but that’s good news for our survival | Jim Al-Khalili

A new study suggests that we could well be on our own in the universe. Yet loneliness might have its advantages
Jupiter’s moon Europa. Scientists are searching for microbial life under the ice of Jupiter and Saturn’s moons. Photograph: Nasa/Reuters

In 1950 Enrico Fermi, an Italian-born American Nobel prize-winning physicist, posed a very simple question with profound implications for one of the most important scientific puzzles: whether or not life exists beyond Earth. The story goes that during a lunchtime chat with colleagues at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the issue of flying saucers came up. The conversation was lighthearted, and it doesn’t appear that any of the scientists at that particular gathering believed in aliens. But

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