Do you believe there is other intelligent life in distant galaxies? If no, why not? If yes, do you believe this is something to be feared and avoided or actively sought out?
I think the best way to look at this question is as a probability problem. Current mathamatical models suggest that there is a 1 in 10,000 chance that any given planet could support life, with a 10% decrease in probability for each evolutionary step achieved, so 1 in 100,000 for cell with a nucleus, 1 in 1,000,000 for the ability to form multi-cellular organisms, 1 in 10,000,000 for mobility, 1 in 100,000,000 for eye-spots, and so on.
To put these numbers in perspective, your chances of winning mega-millions are about 1 in 135,145,920 (slightly worse than the chances of finding a planet with eye-spotted organisms). And it's a similar sort of problem. You have 6 balls each with the ability to produce a random digit between 1 and 9, and a card, where you have a desired outcome. Consider the "desired outcome" is life, and each of the six desired digits is a particular variable needed for life.
Before we go any further, you have to understand the process by which planets are formed. Generally, when a star is being formed, a large amount of particles gather in one area. There is a sun, and a sort of "disk" around the proto-star, which later will coalesce into planets, moons, etc, over time, as gravity draws these particles together. So, a star the same size as our sun has a wad of planetary mass about equal in size to all of our planets, as a collected wad. We have nine planets. Some are too far away to bear life, others are too close, but these are accounted for in our variables. We can be modest, and say that 5-7 is probably about average. So than means a medium sized star has about 5-7 lottery tickets in the game. Smaller stars will have fewer. Larger stars will have more.
Now, let us consider how many stars there are: a fucking uncountable number. Many, many millions more than the 70 sextillion originally viewable by the strongest telescope from Earth.
Do you ever know how big a sextillion is? No. You don't.
With ever increasing numbers, the highly improbable becomes the inevitable. There is *inevitably* life somewhere other than on Earth. The chances of winning mega-millions is certainly low, but as we know from our meager terrestrial experience, it does happen.
Now, of course, this is assuming no intelligence guiding the workings of the universe. Human-centric thinkers will certainly argue that God created the entire vast, infinite universe just for us. Personally, I'd think the creator would have been working with a smaller budget if She just had us in mind. We can't even see half of the incredible wonders and the beauty that exist in the far reaches of space.
If we consider our evolution as a species: we started as tribes. We thought our tribe was better than the other tribe. Then we got together and decided we weren't so different. Tribes joined tribes to make cities, and then countries. Then, the Empire.
At that time, we thought the sea went on forever. We threw our trash there because we didn't know any better. When we came to the Americas, we weren't entirely convinced that they'd have people on them. When we found people, we treated them like animals. Then we started to realize that all kinds of people are basically the same, on a fundamental level, and we all should have basically equal rights. Humanity is just *now* at the point that we can see ourselves as a species, rather than a person, a family, a tribe, a country, or even an empire.
Humanity is just now sending out its little dingy boats into orbit around our tiny planet, looking out into the vast sea of space, wondering if there are people out there, too, or if space is a good place to throw our trash. When, not if, we run into intelligent life out there, how we treat them will be a defining moment for us.
Prediction: We will have philosophical arguments about whether the blue creature with three eyes really has "human-like" intelligence, or whether it is just a dumb animal, because it communicates through pheremones, rather than in words. We will mince words about whether their feelings are actually feelings, and if they really have souls like we do. We will use them, if we can. We will war with them, if we can't. Because that is Who We Are, and it is what we do.
In my opinion: we are not prepared.