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Extraterrestrial Life

We’ve all seen extraterrestrial life portrayed through the media. Movies like “E.T.” and “Alien vs Predator” have attempted to narrow down the abstract idea of extraterrestrials into a more detailed, visual depiction of what we should expect from our “out of town” friends. But the question is still on the table – are we really alone in this vast universe?

If you ask me, the idea that life outside our planet exists somewhere in the universe is a mathematical certainty. Consider the number of galaxies which resemble ours. If other life forms required conditions similar to the ones we do, there are plenty of places in the universe that could support them. Now consider the alternative – a realm of life which is entirely from the traditional view we have adopted. Organisms which require no water, no oxygen, heck, they’re not even carbon-based. Simple beings which, though they may be primitive, have found a way to adapt to their environment, reproduce, etc. Probability is overwhelmingly in favor of the countless ways we can find life.

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 2 comments

  1. The Drake Equation. ‘Nuff said. 😉

  2. I sometimes wonder if we could go to any part of the world and find a couple of liters of water (in liquid or frozen form) that have no life or trace of life in it. I mean, surely there must be at least paramecium or other microscopic life, right? Even the Ozarka water that we drink should have living organisms swimming about, though to a less extent. Hence, the notion of wherever there is water, there is a high likelihood that there is life. Water is life. So, if we explore the solar system, there are places that currently have ice and water, and- as is the case in Mars, proof that there used to be oceans. So, my question to you is, do you believe there is life outside our planet, Rishi? For example, anything that might range from unicellular microscopic organisms to vertebrate “animals” with organ systems, do you believe it is possible to have evolved elsewhere?
    Many religions are of the mind that God created the universe, our galaxy, our solar system, our planet and all life in it, all matter and anti-matter, dark matter and maybe even dark energy, why not? They are of the mind that life, in particular, only exists here on earth. Personally, I do not believe that; not that God doesn’t exist but rather, that life is limited only to our world. I believe it is highly arrogant and selfish to think we are alone in this vast universe. If atoms can come together in a super complex way to give rise to life here, isn’t it possible that they can come together in a super complex way to form life like say, in a solar system of the Andromeda galaxy? Of course, it is possible. We are nothing in the universe; less than a speck of sand, if all the sand on the earth was put together. If I may be so bold, there could even be life so different to ours that they might not even need the atomic arrangement of life here on earth.
    If we stay, however, in the realm of what is known rather than speculation we can discuss that there is water and ice in Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. The moon is of much interest to astronomers because it is also volcanic, and algae and other similar organisms thrive in warm water. Europa is one of the most ideal places in the solar system in our search for extraterrestrial life. For the moment, we are limited to focus on Mars, the “red planet”, where ice has also been confirmed. Liquid water is not possible in Mars due to the low atmospheric pressure, but the polar ice caps are immense and if they were to melt, they would once again cover most of mars under water. Furthermore, according to the Phoenix Lander this 2008, Martian soil contains sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride, all ingredients that make life possible. Isn’t that remarkable?! You guys surely remember the sodium-potassium pump and action potentials, so yeah, this is truly fascinating stuff, at least to me. Moving on, according to scientists or NASA nerds, it has been confirmed, as I mentioned, that Mars used to have vast oceans and seasonal cycles reminiscent of Earth. Heck, there are even “objects” that appear to be fossils of trilobites in the ancient and waterless ocean floors. I’m talking about official NASA photographs. Of course, more studies must be done. So, is there life out there? You betcha there is, and religion is trembling.

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