Apparently, 85% of the extrasolar planets discovered so far are either "super-Earths" (rocky terrestrial worlds up to 2x Earth's diameter) or "mini-Neptunes" (thick gas envelope over a rocky core, total size 2-4x Earth's diameter). Now obviously the apparent preponderance of these types could be due to a sample bias in terms of the detection methods employed--most of these worlds are close to their suns and thus easier to spot, so there may be more "normal" planets, from a solar/terrestrocentric perspective, further out…But that's not how it looks right now.
I want to know what this means for life...Are "Deathworld"-style multiple-Earth-mass planets the norm for terrestrial worlds? Are we actually the "lightweights" of the galaxy/universe? (If so, that's another great plot device justifying powered armor for spacefaring humans, and frankly that's all I really care about!) Are we more likely to find life on the mini-Neptunes simply due to their relative cosmic abundance, and if so, what type of life will it be? How likely is intelligence to emerge under these conditions, and how does such an environment shape psychology and culture? Will we be outnumbered by high-pressure "Neptunians" on a universal scale, and what does that mean for exopolitics...?
Time to lift some weights. I'm going soft in this low gravity.....