Do you find the possibility of life beyond earth comforting, or alarming?

Scientists have announced that the universe contains more stars than they had thought … and that life can exist in more environments than they had thought possible. Today’s Question: Do you find the possibility of life beyond earth comforting, or alarming?

  • John O.

    We already have aliens among us. They frolic in the halls of Congress.

  • CC&H

    Can’t wait to hear Steve the Cynic’s response to this one!

  • Steve from up North

    I find it more of a certainty rather than a possibility. After all, what are the chances that this ball of rock is the only place that supports life?

    The real question should be does the life out there care that we are here?

  • Cristina Leifson

    I find it totally comforting. Just thinking that we might be the only planet in the universe with life, and humanity the only species in the universe to understand that makes me feel rather lonely.

  • Philip

    I find it annoying, because they’ve been driving around us during rush hour for years. I say this because there is no way some of the driving habits I saw this morning could have been picked up on this planet!

  • James

    I wish I could put WTF Face Emoticonon this one.

    Some bacteria that can eat arsenic are is hardly a reason to get all worked up.

    However, if we assume a conquering alien force shows up to enslave us at least they won’t deplete our food supply

    Also space is infinite therefore it would be logical that life on other planets does exist— dah.

    Does that give me warm and fuzzies? I will tell you after they land.

    DTOM

  • Steve the Cynic

    I’m greatly comforted by the thought that, after we’ve destroyed ourselves, whether through an ecological catastrophe, or nuclear holocaust, or whatever, there will still be life somewhere. Maybe they’ll find the ruins of our planet and learn from our cautionary tale.

  • Larry

    This is neither comforting nor alarming. It is scientifically interesting that we are finding out more about our universe. As we find out more, we are going to find more places with conditions that may lead to life evolving.

  • Kevin VC

    I am not worried.

    But I would love to shut up a lot of skeptics who hate the idea. To many are skeptics due to the ego factor that humans and life on earth is all there is and the best there is….

    (I am not sure there is intelligent life on earth because of that…)

    And may believers with odd notions and point to what eventually shows itself. To many jump at the idea something IS a UFO or get caught in some odd fantasy world idea that has no bearing on reality.

    (Again wonder if there is intelligent life on earth…)

    But life in the form of bacteria has got to be abundant all over. And it does not require the stiff standards of life conditions on earth. Also the fact that ‘life’ does not have to be carbon based or even defined terrestrial life…

    I recall the equation from COSMOS that seemed to estimate maybe 10 intelligent interstellar races in a galaxy like our milky way.

    Well more information has been entered since then and the ’10′ has grown as we discover more options and systems ……

    If they are aware of us already, I am not generally concerned if they have been here (They would have done something by now).

    If they are far away, again not generally concerned (if a threat it would take a while likely)

    I just accept it as ‘possible’ and wait for the details and facts to roll out. Ignoring the idea is wrong and making something more out of it then known is also wrong.

    But which is worse? Ignorance is always worse.

  • Dan

    The only certainty that I can sink my teeth into is that we are tremendously blessed and fortunate to be here at all. The simple fact that we can actually ponder the idea of life beyond earth should give us all some comfort in the hope that we will not destroy ourselves.

  • Joel Mpls

    Comforting – because when I think of life on other planets, the green temptress from Star Trek comes to mind…. Oh, I mean alarming.

  • Neil

    I find it neither comforting or alarming. I do find it compelling.

    Profound scientific discoveries have been instilling emotional reactions for generations. But it is only a matter of time to acclimate to any new revelation, and eventually accept it as normal. As an example I doubt that anyone is still alarmed or discomforted by the discovery that the sun, not the Earth, is the center of the solar system.

  • Dave in Duluth

    I think it’s highly ignorant of us to think we’re the only life out there. The universe is so mind bendingly infinite in size, if ever such a thing could even be measured, and we are but one very tiny planet floating in that vastness. There quite possibly things out there that we could never have wished to imagine, such as the recent discovery that this question is based on. So indeed, I to find it to be generally neither comforting, nor alarming, as how could it not be true.

    It goes back to when the earth was flat and at the center of the universe, this is just the next step in that evolution of knowledge.

  • Joanne S

    I find it very hopeful. I have always assumed there is life beyond our little solar system. I have held on to the hope that this life is more intelligent than us and someday may come to our rescue. It would be great if we could learn to live as a unified planet on our own, but a little help wouldn’t hurt!

  • Audrey

    It is extremely comforting. As a race we are so blessed to have this planet, but as a race we are really, really ignorant. We are systematically destroying the jewel we call Earth. If we were it across the universe, that would indeed be a sad day for the universe.

    Of course there is other life out there and in so many forms we as humans can not fully fathom it. I just hope that we can come together as humans, look beyond political borders and find real ways to share our resources without depleting them and killing off the rest of the planet in the pursuit of our selfish ways.

  • bsimon

    neither; I find it fascinating

  • stu klipper

    I pretty much hold the Drake Equation* as something akin to sacred text, hence the prospect Life other than on this orb strikes a chord that rings deeply and brightly in my soul.

    For me though the high-probability prospect that Life wherever it has bloomed will ever know of, or make contact with, any other Life elsewhere, bears the signature of the most profound of all forms of existential loneliness.

    *

    “… an equation used to estimate the number of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy…”

  • Stu klipper

    RE-SUBMITTED — I HAD TO CORRECT A CRITICAL OMISSION.

    I pretty much hold the Drake Equation* as something akin to sacred text, hence the prospect Life other than on this orb strikes a chord that rings deeply and brightly in my soul.

    For me though the high negative-probability prospect that Life wherever it has bloomed will ever know of, or make contact with, any other Life elsewhere, bears the signature of the most profound of all forms of existential loneliness.

    *

    “… an equation used to estimate the number of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy…

  • Reuben Kamiar Koutal

    Once I reconcile the two opposing Questions of possibility of Life or impossibility of Life here, I’ll attend to Question whether Life beyond is alarming or otherwise.

  • Tim

    You mean we’re not special? Bummer.

  • Jesse

    I think it’s comforting and feels natural. We ourselves are proof of life in the universe!

  • Greg

    I’ll hold judgement until after I’ve met them.

  • L. T.

    If there are aliens from outer space and they come to our planet, hope they intend to destroy us. Otherwise, Mr. Alien, don’t walk, run back to your UFO and go home. For the sake of your own civilization, it’s best you’ve never met the human race.

  • Brad

    Comforting. We’ll make GREAT pets!

  • Rob

    comforting. The discovery of alien life would bolster the idea of creation, over the idea of the great cosmic accident. There would be no reason to be afraid. The aliens could not hurt us or our planet any more than we as a species already are.

  • David Poretti

    Statistically, it is quite improbable that Earth is the only life supporting planet – there are simply too many stars with orbiting boulders not to have life “out there”. It may not be humanoid, or it may, but I am confident that there is life beyond earth.

    To seriously think that we are the only life-supporting planet would be akin to thinking that Lake Nokomis was the only lake in the world with fish – and the height of ego.

  • Patrick

    It is a melancholy thought. We could be exploring faraway systems of life, as Carl Sagan mentioned. But we were seduced by the desire to compete with one another. Two hundred fifty million dead from war this last century. How unintelligent!