Today we’re witnessing a bit of a \"golden age\" in terms of active work towards answers. Much of that work stems from the overlapping revolutions in exoplanetary science and solar system exploration, and our ongoing revelations about the sheer diversity and tenacity of life here on Earth. It was in almost all respects far simpler and more reasonable to assume that the wealth of life on Earth was simply repeated elsewhere. Of course, none of us can know for sure which way this will all go. What we shouldn’t do is allow the unpredictable nature of this particular pendulum, swinging between possibilities, to dissuade us from trying.