sciencehabit writes "Given the generally accepted idea of how Earth got its big moon — through a dramatic collision with a Mars-sized body that knocked a huge chunk of Earth loose — astronomers estimate that only 1% of all Earth-like planets in the universe might actually have such a hefty companion. That would mean planets harboring complex life might be relatively rare. But researchers have now carried out large numbers of detailed numerical simulations of 'moon-less Earths,' which show that the consequences are less dire than is generally assumed. According to the simulations, these planets would have ample time for advanced land life to evolve. As a result, the number of Earth-like extrasolar planets suitable for harboring advanced life could be 10 times higher than has been assumed until now."
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
particularly vivid fantasy)