Are we alone in the universe? Russian scientists don’t think so.
According to The Guardian, one group of Russian scientists thinks humanity will make first contact within the next couple of decades.
"The genesis of life is as inevitable as the formation of atoms ... Life exists on other planets and we will find it within 20 years," said Andrei Finkelstein, director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Applied Astronomy Institute, according to the Interfax news agency.
While speaking at a world forum about the search for life on other planets, Finkelstein said 10% of the planets circling suns in the galaxy are similar to Earth.
He also said that if water can be found on other planets then life can be found there as well. He thinks that aliens would be very much like humans with two arms, two legs and a head. He doesn’t have any comment about how many eyes we might be dealing with.
"They may have different color skin, but even we have that," he said.
Finkelstein’s institute runs a program that was launched in the 1960’s at the height of the cold war paranoia/space race to look for and send out signals to outer space.
"The whole time we have been searching for extraterrestrial civilizations, we have mainly been waiting for messages from space and not the other way," he said.
In March a NASA scientist caused controversy when he claimed that he found remnants of alien bugs in some meteorites that came to earth.
The man in question, Richard Hoover, is an astrobiologist at the US space agency's Marshall space flight center in Alabama. He claimed that filaments and other structures in rare meteorites appeared to be tiny fossils of alien organisms that resemble algae.
In the Journal of Cosmology, Hoover stated that the absence of nitrogen in the samples showed that they are "the remains of extraterrestrial life forms that grew on the parent bodies of the meteorites when liquid water was present, long before the meteorites entered the Earth's atmosphere."
It is not known what hard evidence the Russian scientists have to support their claims they we will make contact with aliens. For now most people will likely brush it off as wishful thinking. If we do make contact with new life forms, let’s hope it doesn’t go down the way Stephen Hawking thinks it will. Let’s hope they come to shake Hawking’s hand and not to rip his face off.