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daytonamisticrip's avatar

Do you believe in life on other planets?

Asked by daytonamisticrip (4859points) July 31st, 2010

Can other worlds sustain life? Do you believe that there is life on other worlds? If so are they big,small,or both?

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46 Answers

cockswain's avatar

I would say I’m near certain there must be, but since I don’t know for sure I can’t say yes. It seems if life occurred here, it could happen somewhere else.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

To paraphrase Carl Sagan, it’s an awfully big universe not to have life somewhere else out there.

What form that life takes is completely unpredictable. Just because evolution led to conscious self-aware beings on this planet does not mean it would do the same elsewhere.

Austinlad's avatar

Probably not in this solar system but I’m sure in another far, far away. They’re finding more of these all the time. I truly believe that.

KatawaGrey's avatar

We have a very specific definition of what qualifies as “life” that happens to very neatly apply to us. For all we know, there is life on other planets that does not fit so neatly into our definition.

@hawaii_jake: What non-conscious, non-self aware beings? Plants and micro-organisms are neither conscious nor self-aware.

Coloma's avatar

I certainly hope so!

I can’t think of anything more amazing to witness/find out before my end of days!

antimatter's avatar

Like Spock would say, there is always possibilities, I would say it will not be logical if the cosmos is so big and there is only one planet with life on it.

Your_Majesty's avatar

So far our scientists haven’t found any evidence that prove other creature exist in other dimension/planet/galaxy. We just can make hypothesis about this matter. Me? I heard there’s a theory said there were some sort of primitive organism in mars in ‘early planet formation’ then they’re all dead for the drastic changes that won’t allow such life form to exist. So,yes I believe that long long time ago there were other creature in other planet.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@KatawaGrey : I don’t understand your question of what I wrote. What I believe I was trying to say was evolution doesn’t have to lead to beings like humans. Have I completely misspoke? What am I missing?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@hawaii_jake: The question is about life on other planets and life as we define it does not have to be conscious or self-aware.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@KatawaGrey : I completely agree with you, so I’m puzzled. You wrote, “What non-conscious, non-self aware beings?” as a reference to my comment. I didn’t write about non-conscious, non-self aware beings, but I was implying that life on another planet may very well lead to such an end. I can easily imagine a world dominated by micro-organisms and/or plant life of some interesting variety.

cockswain's avatar

I guess I’d be way less excited about non-conscious, non-self-aware life if we encountered it before conscious life, but it would still be way cool. Like, wouldn’t you like to be able to communicate with it somehow?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@hawaii_jake: I was confused by this statement of yours: “Just because evolution led to conscious self-aware beings on this planet does not mean it would do the same elsewhere.” It seemed to me that you were implying the only life the question was about was conscious, self-aware life. My mistake. :)

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I neither believe nor disbelieve. There’s no evidence been found yet, but Dr. Sagan’s idea makes sense to me.

Sarcasm's avatar

I think it’s arrogant to believe that given billions and billions of planets out there, we’re the only planet on which life flourishes.
Also, given that the universe is 14b years old, I think it’s much more arrogant to assume that we’re the only planet on which life has ever flourished.

But, given that I haven’t ever traveled to another planet with life on it, I can’t really confirm that there absolutely is life, nor where it is.

Jabe73's avatar

I believe in ufos so my answer is obvious here. There is probally alot of life even in our own neck of the galaxy, let alone the entire galaxy. Add billions of other galaxies on top of that. I believe the likelyhood of life existing closer to the center of each galaxy however would be down.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I think it’s highly likely that other life exists in the universe. If people can try to truly grasp how large the universe actually is, it almost seems impossible that we’re completely alone. So I believe that somewhere out there, there’s life.

Ludy's avatar

I am not sure but, I believe that there is so much we don’t know about our universe that we cant for sure deny th possibility :)

ucme's avatar

Apparently there are a few klingons living in the cracks of Uranus XD

Zyx's avatar

There is way more life in the universe than most people think. Probably bugsize creatures on other planets in our solar system, entirely different bases for evolution (no dna) some other place far away. It’s not really a matter of believing anymore since evolution is more a compound law of nature than it is an historical fact. Time causes systems to evolve and the universe is filled with energy. There are suns that are a million times bigger than our sun with probably a million planets orbiting them. We haven’t even found the edge of the universe yet.

Intelligence, though probably also inevitable, is far more rare. This is because it requires a mild yet unforgiving environment to teach the lifeform every trick in the book. I used to wonder why dinosaurs hadn’t developed a higher intelligence when they were so much bigger but they were probably evolving their brains right alongside our ratlike ancestors. This probably means that intelligent life requires approximately 4 billion years of evolution. THAT is a long time, even for planets.

If we are going to find intelligent life we are going to find it in the ether, not on a planet.

gailcalled's avatar

Here are ten previous questions on fluther that discuss this. If you move to p. 2, you will find eight more.

stardust's avatar

@Sarcasm sums up my thoughts. Thanks for that :)

aprilsimnel's avatar

I wouldn’t be shocked. That’s all I can say.

Frenchfry's avatar

Well I feel we can’t be the only ones.They live so far away that well . We would not probably ever see them.

Scooby's avatar

I’m usually on another planet anyways SOO yeah!! :-/

NormanL's avatar

If there is a life after death, I believe it will be on another planet in another galaxy.

lillycoyote's avatar

Personally, I think that the probability is very high that there is life, of some sort, probably intelligent life of some sort, elsewhere in the universe. It’s a mighty big universe, after all :-) and we really know, if we were to be honest, relatively little about it. We can “see” only a small portion of it and have explored only an infinitesimal part of it.

Afos22's avatar

Yes, without a doubt, there is other life out there. And, it may be as close as Jupiter’s Europa, under the water ice.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Afos22 I’m not a scientist, but obviously, on any planet where you find water ice, you are going to find intelligent life. :-) They’d be idiots to try to make it through a summer without the stuff. How would they manage?

FutureMemory's avatar

I think there is intelligent life on other planets. What I do not think is that we’ll ever come in contact with non-terrestrial intelligent life – the universe is just too big.

Afos22's avatar

@lillycoyote ha pun, but not necessarily intelligent life.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Afos22 You then, apparently, do not know what a great sign intelligence it is if you can track down and procure a very cold, very refreshing cherry or lemon water ice on a very hot day.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

Definitely. I think they are big and small and all colors of the rainbow. There are just to many stars with too many planets for their not to be anyone or anything else out there.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Yes I do. I can’t believe that Earth is the only planet in the whole of space that has some form of life on it.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I agree with most people. It’d be a waste of space if we were the only one with life in any way, shape, or form.

perspicacious's avatar

I think it somewhat moronic to dismiss the possibility.

CMaz's avatar

Think of your body as the universe. Every atom, vessel, molecule, synapse. The massive complexity that is needed for you to have ONE heart. Or brain or testicle.

mattbrowne's avatar

On other planets in other galaxies, yes. Simple life on other planets in our galaxy, maybe.

cockswain's avatar

Why not as likely in our galaxy? I’m assuming you know something.

Afos22's avatar

@mattbrowne The Milky Way galaxy is over 100,000 light years in diameter. There is absolutely no way to know about all the life in our galaxy. So, it seems ridiculous to rule out anything other than “Simple life on other planets in our galaxy”. There are most likely other sentient beings in the Milky Way, besides humans.

Jabe73's avatar

@Afos22 I actually agree with you here. I think the existence of life would most likely be closer to the edges of each galaxy, probally too much radiation from the larger amount of stars the closer you get to the center of any galaxy.

Ironically we are not that advanced at all as far as technical knowledge goes so we don’t know everything. We aren’t even the smallest of a fraction close to this. There were many civilizations not too long ago that believed they were the only people on earth as well. The vast distances between the stars (even the closest ones to the sun) are still very great so it is a difficult concept to prove (at least for us). Maybe the day will come when alien life will be verified.

cockswain's avatar

@Jabe73 and @Afos22 based on @mattbrowne ‘s reputation, I’m assuming he has some knowledge that caused him to say this. I’m sure he’ll respond back.

mattbrowne's avatar

Some time ago I read this book which is really excellent:

“Paleontologist Peter Ward and astronomer Donald Brownlee think all of us should feel lucky. Their rare Earth hypothesis predicts that while simple, microbial life will be very widespread in the universe, complex animal or plant life will be extremely rare. Ward and Brownlee attribute Earth’s evolutionary achievements to the following critical factors: our optimal distance from the sun, the positive effects of the moon’s gravity on our climate, plate tectonics and continental drift, the right types of metals and elements, ample liquid water, maintenance of the correct amount of internal heat to keep surface temperatures within a habitable range, and a gaseous planet the size of Jupiter to shield Earth from catastrophic meteoric bombardment.”

Ludy's avatar

that sounds like if someone designed earth then ha? :)

mattbrowne's avatar

@Ludy – Well, maybe someone designed the natural laws. Chemical evolution and certain widespread galactic mechanisms seem to allow the formation of terrestrial planets like Earth. We can expect many of them in our galaxy, but a certain stability is required for complex life to form. The history of life on Earth is dominated by eons of microorganisms.

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