Do you think there is life on other planets?

Less than 18 months after its launch, NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has identified hundreds of possible planets outside our solar system. Today’s Question: Do you think there is life on other planets?

  • jason

    to think there is no other life on other planets is like a time when humans thought the earth was flat.

  • Khatti

    The short answer is yes.

    But this question is a bit broad. Life on another planet could be nothing more than pools of bacteria. The thing that interests us, whether there is another intelligent species walking–or slithering–around out there, probably comes with a few more caveats. I still think those intelligent slitherers are out there, they’re just not as common as the pools of bacteria.

  • Brian

    Yes, there is life, however, we will never know of them, and they will never know us. The possibility that our life and their life will ever know of each other are remote to nil. Life on our planet for billions of years and only a hundred of those where we could conceive the possibility of life on other planets and only a couple decades of telescopes and probes strong enough to be able to look. The possibility of us overlapping are just not believable.

  • Sue de Nim

    The existence of extra-terrestrial life is a scientific question, not a matter of opinion, so the question posed above is wrongly phrased. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about it. Since there is no conclusive evidence (at least not publicly available), the most we can do is discuss likelihoods. Is it likely that there is life on other planets? I think so. Is there such life? I don’t know.

  • The existence of extra-terrestrial life is a scientific evidence, but in the absence of positive evidence one can speculate whether or not we will eventually find it.

    Based on the evidence on the one planet where we know life existed and exists, Earth, I think life at least the level of microbes is going to be extremely common in the universe. Just consider that we can find life everywhere here–from the bottom of the sea to the hot springs of Yellowstone.

    Now, intelligent life is a completely different, and harder question to answer entirely. The fermi paradox, which wonders why we haven’t seen any signs of aliens, is a real problem in science fiction circles. I don’t have a good answer to that.

  • The conventional thinking on planets alone has changed dramatically. We now think there are many, many more planets than we used to, some with really strange behaviors.

    With that much diversity of environment, I have to say yes. It is more difficult to conceive we are alone in our galaxy, or galaxies beyond.

  • jim

    There is surely some kind of life on other planets. it is not visiting us in spaceships. it is not bilaterally symmetrical, bipedal, multi-cellular life with anterior cephalization and 2 eyes and a mouth like us, as shown in sifi movies. It is probably be simple life forms as natural selection would shape where ever it lives in the universe.

  • JBlilie

    Well, there are billions of galaxies and billions of stars in each galaxy and probably and average of many planets (1 AVG a lot of opportunities!

    So I would guess (that’s all anyone has, is guessing) that it’s pretty likely that there is life out there beyond the earth.

    Thinking there’s anything special (from the standpoint of the universe) about this third rock orbiting an obscure star in an outer arm of one galaxy amongst millions is just silly. From our own perspective of course, this place is very special! Because we are here and only here. We imagine the universe in our own image (just like our gods) and therefore we think our place is special.

    Is there intelligent life out there? You can consider the Drake Equation but the factors in it are almost all pure speculation.

    Given the number of planets out there and the fact that intelligent life has evolved at least once (here), I think the balance is in favor of there being intelligent life out there somewhere. But is it close enough to contact us before either of our species dies out? Highly unlikely.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Of course there’s extra-terrestrial intelligent life. How else do you explain the inanity of political discourse in this country. Often when I hear someone ranting, I find myself wondering what planet they’re from.

  • James



  • James S

    Yes. Yes I do. (And no, that is not an opinion – it is a guess based on my own understanding of available evidence.)

    Will we ever contact intelligent extraterrestrial life? Maybe, but I’d be pretty surprised if it happened during my lifetime.

    For all we know, we don’t even have a viable means of detecting the existence of other forms of life.

  • pete

    I am really only interested in finding bacteria. That would be the find of the century. I believe it’s likely that it’s out there. Especially given that we’ve found bacteria that lives in some pretty extreme environment. We have found organisms that use Chemosynthesis to get energy meaning that a sun may not even be necessary.

  • Tom

    Definitely! It’s an infinite universe, somewhere out there in infinity it seems like there has to be life. I just hope whenever we make contact that everybody gets along!

  • bsimon

    is there nobody who will make the argument that we are unique in the universe & life does not exist beyond earth?

  • Curt

    I’m quiet sure that there is life on other planets, but as far as intelligent life? I would actually like to find intelligent life in our own solar system, and I include Earth in that statement.

  • Curt C.

    Life, yes. We’ll probably find some extremophiles on Europa or Enceladus if we ever get around to looking. Intelligent life, though? No idea.

  • DNA

    Of course, myriad forms of life exist in the Universe (the MultiVerse). We must learn to see with new eyes (meditation, miracle mindedness, entheogens, oneirogens, and lucid dreaming will help).

  • Dan

    I think there has been enough credible evidence on Earth of life from other planets. Thousands of yearly UFO sightings cannot be discarded as a psychological phenomenon. Perhaps our need for space probes to proove extraterrestrial life hints at an alien prime directive to not interfere with our society.

  • Sam

    It seems unlikely that anything could happen once and only once in a universe as vast as ours.

  • Eleanor Dvorak

    I think most rational people have to believe there is life on many, many other planets just based on the in the size of the universe and the number of stars, galaxies, planets and other things that exist that we don’t know about (clearly beyond my knowledge base!). To deny the existence of life beyond our beautiful earth seems very narrow minded — and possibly very egotistical.

    I hope that the beings on the other planets treat their home better than we have treated ours.

  • Shelly Dahn

    Sure there’s life in the billions of galaxies which contain billions more stars around which orbit billions of planets.

    But unless the known laws of physics change, we will never encounter it due to the extreme distances that lay between us and the nearly infinite energy that is required to transverse it. (according to Einstein)

    Also the universe is expanding. We are moving away from all other possible life forms at an unbelievable rate of speed.

  • Three different sources in the lineage of the Himalayan {i.e. Giri or mountain branch] Yogis and Swami’s of the 1500 year old Sankara originated order have confirmed the existence of highly developed sentient beings of myriad shapes and physiologies meeting to work on issues, but using their abilities to travel without the material body using advanced mind-body control techniques (i.e “I rejoice in that I die daily in Christ” meaning enter the state of breathless animation without need for heart beat or circulation, living by the word downloading into the meduallary center at the bass of our skulls, giving us access to travel at the speed of thought without relitivistic mass space time issues to transcend):

    1) Paramahansa Yoganada [see Autobiography of a Yogi, one of the top 100 books of the 20th century],

    2) the works of his student Swami Kriyanada [creator of the 17 Ananda Cooperative villages set up on Yogananda’s teachings on plain living and high thinking] and in private communication from

    3) Yogacharya J. Oliver Black , the self made centimillionaire who donated his fortune to establish Song of the Morning Ranch, A Yoga Retreat of Excellence near Vanderbilt Michigan to leave in perpetuity to further the study of Yoganada’s teachings.

    Our Galaxy has a mid-range developmental level in terms of the Map of Consciousness (see Md, 3 PhD’s Dr David Hawkins Truth vs. Falsehood).

    My teacher enjoyed rubbing elbows with othe civilizations near us in our galaxy.

  • CC&H

    Steve The Cynic – I just KNEW you’d come up with something like that! I waited all day to read what you’d write….and you didn’t disappoint. LOVE IT!

  • bill

    Life consists of chemical reactions. What I am typing on this computer comes from neurons firing and electrochemical gradients and sodium and potassium moving across membranes and back again. The same elements on our periodic table are more or less the same throughout the universe. Where conditions permit, something similar although not exactly the same as what has occurred on earth is taking place or has taken place. Life would find a way.

  • Dan Lenarz

    Of course I think there is life on other planets. My concern is what do they eat?

  • Steve the Cynic

    CC&H – Should I feel sorry for you that your life is so dull you wait all day to read what I write? ;}

  • Khatti

    Gullibility-impaired Steven:


  • Kevin

    I recall the meteorite from Mars was proof that life at least EXISTED on mars. Being really the only planet were we have done some exploring and it had life, microbial…

    Not take a look at our size of the galaxy, many fail to comprehend how really really big it is…. many have a hard enough time with JUST the arm we are in, which actually is just a partial arm of the galaxy at the EDGE of it. ….

    Never mind the hundreds of galaxies in our local cluster which is itzy bitzy compared to the cluster of galaxies like the Virgo Super Cluster, and then this is just absolutely minuscule compared to the size of the universe we so far have seen…. and it keeps getting bigger….

    And if you figure even a 1/3 of all those stars populating all those systems have planets, and even if 1/10 were earth like…. that is a INSANELY large number.

    Now think about how old our star is.

    Its young.

    If the entire universes history was compressed to a year in comparison, The last 4 months are where stars like ours could have come into being, and our sun only showed up on the last month.

    And in that month only the last 5 minutes is the evolution of man, and the last few seconds our recorded history.


    I think we are not alone.

  • Kevin



    Some tho wonder if there is intelligent life on Earth.

    Seriously they wonder if Humans are intelligent…

    And that’s humans pondering humans.

    Also note we have found all the chemical needed for life in most every comet we have studied.

    Even if it does not start on a planet it can evidently start by such seedings as well.

    Now have they visited us, thats a different Q.

    If like said the last 4 months stars could have births civilizations at least EQUAL to ours and then have a hell of a lot of time to even slow boat it to any number of stars….. maybe.

    But unless they have insane level of technology they are likely scared of anyone they meet.

    That I will not say I believe in, but am open to the idea at least.

  • DNA

    Most assuredly. We are part of it. Checkout panspermia and psilocybin mushrooms. Time evolve some more.

  • Neil

    Sue de Nim: Best response so far.

    I find either answer to the question to be rather compelling. If there is life elsewhere it would be one of the most astounding discoveries of all time. If there is not, it would be as equally mind-bending to realize that we are truly alone in the whole of the universe.

  • yellow899

    Yes. I definitely think there is life on other planets. Just as Christopher Columbus discovered that earth was not flat. Some great man will come along, and discover that their is life on other planets.