The latest reports of c10bn super-earths in this galaxy alone seem to me to lend some further suggestive support to E[HELP]. But the fact that they are around Red Dwarfs which "are known to be subject to stellar eruptions or flares, which may bathe the planet in X-rays or ultraviolet radiation" means that they are themselves unlikely in my view to the HELPs.
John Polkinghorne and I have had an interesting enquiry about appropriate Christian attitudes of hospitality if we do make contact with other intelligent persons. We have no theological problem with the idea of intelligent life on other planets . John has written elsewhere that if there are “Little Green Men” then God might well have taken Green flesh.
My own guess is that we are probably the first evolved persons in the galaxy and that the mean time between evolution of persons may be of the order of 10^5-10^7 years. On this timescale many things can happen including of course extinctions and colonisations. The chances of two species of persons meeting when they are at roughly comparable stages of scientific development (say within 10^2 years) seems very remote.
Our most important duty would be to love these other persons in the most appropriate way, respectfully sharing the best of our cultural heritage and most importantly the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Roger Scruton has a very good essay debunking some of the neuro-X nonsense. It's fascinating that the aggressive atheists are now arguing against the existence of free will. First Dawkins and co pretend that the ultimate purpose of life is genetic success, and have many fewer descendants than religious people do. Now their whole ethos is based on the idea that individual freedom is the "highest good" but they argue that it is non-existent. So they debunk their own fundamental tenets without apparently realising it. How sad.