I am working on a longer post about music but I could not resist (did not want to really) passing on a quote from the 5/2/15 Science News. So generally some say life is such a difficult and extraordinarily complex process that it is unique in the universe while others, like me, say if it happened once, given the unbounded number of possibilities extant, it happens more than once. But data, what about data? Karin Oberg of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics says that “One of the existential questions is how unique our solar system is”. Now we know that planets are common, “the next step ‘is to figure out how unique our chemistry is”. To that end she and her colleagues have found cyanides, precursors for organic chemistry and life, in similar abundance to our solar system around another star. Other recent stories have focused on research as to how cyanides helped to jump start the RNA-DNA replication essential to life, such as here: http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2015/03/researchers-may-have-solved-origin-life-conundrum.
My hat is off to Dr. Oberg who has the data to show our solar system is not so unique and that other places have a chemistry conducive to life.
All life is local. I will add that in my view, once life appears, some sort of intelligence follows. Travel on.