It has just been announced that the space telescope 'Kepler', which has been scanning the skies for planets that are orbiting stars since it was launched in January last year, has already detected more than 100 Earth-like planets in just the last few weeks. Now since this is not April 1st, I assume we can assume this is scientific 'cenrtainty': so far as anything is ever certain in science. This should give a boost to sci-fi authors. Even more incredible is that, according to this Daily Mail report, scientists now believe that there are likely to be around 100 million planets in the Milky Way which harbour exactly the right conditions for life - And they expect to be able to identify around 60 of these habitable Earth-like planets within the next two years! Richard Branson is no doubt already dreaming about the day he will be able to offer a passenger service to some of them. I wonder if these worlds are as 'taxing' as ours?
So, maybe we are not quite as unique as we thought. Actually, since the human race is best at destroying itself and its habitable world, it might be better for the universe if we are unique.