Skye Nathaniel Schiefer Posted almost 4 years ago LIVE chat with Lucianne Walkowicz on extrasolar planets and how that affects life on Earth, September 15, 1-3pm EDT. The search for extrasolar Earth-like planets carries two main implications: 1) The prospect of human migration and 2) the possibility of intelligent, extraterrestrial life. With regard to the former, the main takeaway so far seems to be the rarity and preciousness of our world and the vast distances separating us from other habitable planets; so we had better take care of this one. For the time being, we have a moral obligation to assume that we, as a a self-aware embodiment of the universe, are alone in our responsibility to further its development. If we do discover that we are not the only intelligent life forms in the universe (and I believe that we eventually will), it will inform our perception of the universe's continual self-organization and reaffirm our sense of being a stepping stone along that path. The search for planets and life forms similar to our own and ourselves should renew our moral obligation to survive and to design our own future. We get to decide what the universe-as-us will become next. We need to take that role seriously and to learn as much as we can about other worlds and possibly life forms that are helping to carry this responsibility.