Is There Any Other Planet Where Life Exists?
The general opinion in the scientific community is that there is life on other planets somewhere in the Universe. However, astronomers and others may have some problems actually discovering life and showing others that it’s there.
Because the physical evidence from celestial objects such as the Moon and Mars is very limited we don’t have solid scientific ground to start from. Research shows that there are some similarities between Antarctica and Mars. But it’s hard to know how to search and what to search for. Distances between planets and other celestial are so large that getting information from other places in the Universe is nearly impossible.
Some scientists and observers of celestial activity believe there is definitely life on other planets. One of the factors in their argument is that it just makes sense to say “yes, there is” rather than “no, there’s not.” These individuals base their theories on the billions of galaxies that contain billions of celestial bodies that might support life.
In this line of thinking, it is presumptuous (even ridiculous) to believe that human beings on Earth are the only living things in the Universe.
So, there might be life on Mars and it is possible there could be life somewhere else in the Universe. It’s important to think in terms of life as we know it. We have to determine what we mean when we use the term “life.” When we talk about life on Earth we consider three main ingredients: water, energy and organic material in molecular form.
For life on other planets to be like life on Earth (or very similar) the living things would have to have molecular structure containing carbon. This element is accepted as the life-giving element that combines with other elements to create complex life forms. Water, which is made up of hydrogen and oxygen, is as essential to life on Earth as carbon. The structure of living things on our planet depends on water. In fact, human bodies are about 2/3 water!!
What is Life?
Many years ago, a scientist wrote a book that had the title, What is Science? We might use this as a way to think about life on Earth and the possibility of life on other planets. We should ask, What is Life?
We know the basic ingredients of life on our planet. We understand there are some similarities between conditions on Mars and some locations on Earth. But this isn’t enough. When we consider life we also have to consider “probability.” Scientists who study this question have to take probability into consideration. Put it this way: For us to think that all the pieces came together on only one planet in the entire universe is stretching the laws of probability.
We also have to consider differences of opinion, though this is treading on unstable ground. Many people believe that “God” created life on Earth. Others feel that there is a more scientific (and much broader) explanation for life as we know it.