But, I gotta say, despite the characteristic skeptical take, the Rationally Speaking podcast on intelligent alien life is still quite interesting, and deserves a listen by all self-respecting nerds and nerdgassers.
One issue that struck me as rather conspicuously absent from the discussion, especially given that both Massimo and Julia acknowledged that one has to be very careful of anthropomorphic biases in any SETI speculation: it seemed to me that the assumptions underlying most of M&J's thinking would imply a rather narrow definition of life (and, by extension, intelligent life). To her credit, Julia brought up extremophiles as one broadening of these assumptions; I think nonetheless that we should be careful in crediting ourselves for knowing completely what it means for something to be alive (even here on Earth), much less in believing that, say, life must be carbon-based, must require liquid water, and so on.
[Added] See APOD for 2013-03-06. (h/t: TC)