Tag Archives: Life on Other Planets

Shouldn’t we be looking for life on planets that formed over 10 billion years ago as they’ve had more time for life to form?

Planets that formed over 10 billion years ago are about 5 billion light years from us, meaning that if we could somehow study planets that far away (we can’t) the light reaching us from there would have taken 5 billion years to reach us. Therefore, we’d be seeing what the planet looked like 5 billion years ago, not what it looks like now. Below is what we are able to see of the most distant galaxy that we have seen to date. It’s about 13 billion light years and we are just seeing the early stages of development because it took light 13 billion years to reach us.

As you can see from the image, Hubble can barely make out the galaxy, what to speak of any planets that might be orbiting the billions of stars inside that galaxy. The best we can do is study planets in our vicinity of the Milky Way.

What’s the use of the universe if Earth is the only habitable planet?

First, we don’t know Earth is the only habitable planet. However, until we have some proof, we have no way of knowing for sure. That’s why we’re searching so hard for extraterrestrial organisms.

Second, who says the universe has to have a use? It just is. Similarly, you could say what’s the use of living if you die in the end. That kind of view doesn’t do anyone any good. Just go with it and enjoy the exploration and discovery life offers us, like whether or not life exists elsewhere in the Universe.

How can we believe in God, but not in alien/extraterrestrial life or vice versa? This seems like a paradox to me.

I don’t see either as being dependent on the other. In other words, you can believe in God and not in extraterrestrial life. Many religious people do in fact hold that view. On the other hand, you can believe in extraterrestrial life and not believe in God. I know many people who hold that view.

So I don’t see a paradox at all. According to the Google dictionary, a paradox is “a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.” I fail to see a contradiction that two different people can hold either view. It’s all theory.

In reality, we do not know for sure that life exists anywhere other than Earth because we have never found any evidence of life, although we continue the search. We have yet to find even a fossil of a microbe from space. However, the laws of mathematical probability suggest that with billions of planets in this galaxy and billions of other galaxies, it is likely that there is at least microbial life somewhere, if not something more advanced. We just haven’t the proof yet.

Similarly, except for subjective experiences, there is no proof that God exists either, although people believe that God exists. Maybe both exist. Maybe neither exists. I suppose it’s a question of faith in either view.

Why is there a stigma around attempting to discover extraterrestrial life?

There is no stigma. All of science is dedicated to discover extraterrestrial life. We would be completely excited to find even a fossil of a microbe from space because it would be the ultimate affirmation that life can evolve from matter on another world other than Earth. Our best hope at present is to find some kind of life on one of the moons of Jupiter or Saturn, or perhaps some fossils on Mars as of yet undiscovered. We are even spending billions of dollars with the SETI program to listen for radio waves from space!

However, much to the surprise and dismay of scientists, we have yet to discover anything at all.

How did life on Earth begin? How was it formed?

We don’t know. Some people think we know, but a real scientist will agree with my first sentence.

The theory, still unproven, is that life evolves from dead matter. We’re still searching for life on other planets to prove this wet-dream of scientists, but still we have no proof of concept – just a concept – to the chagrin of science. We are frankly disappointed we haven’t found life elsewhere than Earth.

Evolution starts with creation of stars that create elements like the ones we have on Earth. We think when conditions are right that the chemicals develop amino acids (this is proven), which are the basic building blocks of life.

From there, eventually by combination and permutation it develops into something that could be called life.

Again it’s not proven but widely accepted. We don’t know for sure, hence my first sentence.

Why do scientists think there might be life on earth like planets when aliens might survive hot temperatures with no water?

Good point. Great question. We just look for the most “likely” places life might develop. Interestingly, though, there are lifeforms like the ones you describe here on Planet Earth!

You can find these lifeforms in Chile, specifically the Atacama desert. This place is burning hot and has had no significant rainfall in at least 250 years.

According to express.co.uk “While in the central valleys [of the Atacama desert], researchers found 70 species of microorganisms and further inland, the team made another shocking discovery.” What they found, 1 meter deep, was actual living bacteria.

Life does exist in extreme conditions sometimes on Earth. Why not elsewhere, like Mars for instance?

So far, however, we haven’t found any life or former evidence of life, anywhere except here on Earth.

It leads us to believe that if life is out there somewhere, the most likely place to find it would be in conditions that are similar to various climates and places on Earth.

Do you believe that there is life beyond our Earth? Do you think we will encounter it in this lifetime?

You have two questions. Do I believe there is life beyond Earth.

Yes.

Do I think we will encounter it within “this” lifetime.

Who are you talking about, me or you? I’m 64 years old.

Not within my lifetime, anyway. Maybe within yours, but I doubt it. It is more likely a few hundred years from now if any life exists at all in our solar system besides here on Earth.

Any extraterrestrial life that we do encounter within our lifetimes will either be single cell bacteria or simple multi-celled micro-organisms. We would discover those life forms on the moons of Jupiter or Saturn like Titan or Europa. To get there we will have to send a probe and remotely borrow a mile or two through solid ice. Then they would have to release a robotic submarine snoop around. That submarine would then have to have a way to transmit findings of life, if any, back to an orbiting receiver, which would relay that back to Earth. Just getting all that hardware way out there for that endeavor would take more funding then anyone will want to consider, if it even if such hardware existed.

We are not likely to have that technology within our lifetimes. Two, three hundred years, maybe.