Of all the ridiculous claims made in the popular science press, one of the biggest is that we have discovered the possibility of alien life on some remote exoplanet.

The story usually goes like this: Astronomers find a star located many light-years away that hosts multiple planets. One of those planets is located in the "Goldilocks Zone," the habitable region around a star. Upon closer examination, that planet appears to have gases in its atmosphere that might indicate life. The authors conclude that given the sheer number of these types of exoplanets, life could be everywhere in the universe.

Oh, that's just too good to resist. So, studies like that tend to lead to...