re: If we can't find it then we should make it...
I fully agree that searching just isn't worth it considering the space amoeba these fools are trying to pass off as life after spending billions just to fly somewhere as close as Mars or Titan.
But instead of making boring plants and bacteria, surely we have a sufficient handle on DNA now to make proper aliens? We could start off by messing with some test tube babies - growing antenna and the like, or maybe some extra limbs. Then we can start on colour and shapes.
If we piled all that money into fucking with embryos surely we could have something half decent before the decade is out?
Then all we need to do is pack a bunch of weird shit we've made into one of those multi-billion dollar probes, maybe throw in some of those glowing pigs, and send it all off to whatever planet seems promising.
The best part is because everything would have to be hush hush to avoid the whining of nancy do-gooders, we wouldn't even have to tell anyone what we've done. Then the probe reaches planet-X complete with camera and all kinds of weird stuff to photograph - and hey presto, result. It would be a great joke to play on the creationists if nothing else.
Also it saves on the embarrassment of sending a camera on a trillion dollar mission to photograph aliens that aren't visible on a light spectrum viewable by humans (or cameras).