The romantic side of mankind yearns for companionship. The thought that we are alone seems, with our modern sophisticated approach to metaphysics, almost heretical. When exploring the cosmos went under the unpretentious term ‘astronomy,’ it received a small portion of the national funding for scientific research. All this changed with Sputnik and the realization that in situ exploration of the planets was at hand. The search for extraterrestrial life could begin in earnest. Nevertheless, well-informed people disagree on what is important. We do not readily reach a consensus on either our values or our priorities.
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