For the first time, astronomers have detected the presence of complex organic molecules, the building blocks of life, in a protoplanetary disk surrounding a young star, suggesting that the conditions that spawned our Earth and Sun are not unique in the universe. In fact, it probably means that the building blocks of life are very widely spread. This, combined with the recent discovery that planets are commonplace, raises the likelihood that life may be abundant. Just how abundant cannot be known, but it is now all but certain that there is life out there. But is it intelligent? If intelligent life was commonplace, then we would have seen more obvious signs, probably in the radio background noise.
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