Back in 2007, I wrote this blog entry about the three things I wanted to see happen in my lifetime:
1: humans on Mars
2: life discovered on another planet
3: proof that neanderthals have descendants living on our planet right now.
Last year came evidence that one of the three has happened: proof that neanderthals walk among us.
This year seems to bring the second item: evidence that life exists on another planet. In this case, what appear to be fossils of microorganisms have been discovered in meteorites that have landed on earth. While meteorites are not planets, they are often bits of planets that have been blown into space by some kind of explosion or impact.
If these early results prove true, it would be both a major find and one that is not at all remarkable. Major, because it would finally prove what most people have thought all along: that there has to be life elsewhere in the universe. But the results would also provide a "duh!" moment because the odds of life elsewhere are just too monumentally large in favor. Of course, these microorganisms most likely could not have built spacecraft and come to visit earth. That would need multi-celled animals that have evolved intelligence; but that is also likely given the number of habitable worlds in the galaxy and universe.
Now, if we could just get people off their butts and onward toward Mars, the last item on my list might finally come to pass!