One of the great points of speculation in both science and science fiction is the question of “are we alone in the universe.” I’d say not, simply judging by the sheer number of planets and stars in space. It’s a numbers game. Even if life arose in as few as one out of million cases, there would be millions of inhabited star systems.
So it was with great interest that I read an article about the possibility of life on Mars this week. It seems that there may be enough oxygen on the surface of Mars, or in the close subsurface, to support Earth-analogue lifeforms.
Now, we’re not talking about intelligent life, or majestic kingdoms of humanoids. What may be possible in brine pockets would be some type of primitive sponges, or bacteria. If such animals were found, this would be big news.
Finding life on Mars would demonstrate conclusively that life in the universe is a constant, that it can arise in the most unlikely and inhospitable conditions, and such a discovery would say conclusively that we are not alone.
I think there’s a 99.9 percent chance that the universe isn’t sterile. I leave the .1 in there because I can’t prove that I’m right. Not yet, not now.
It would be nice to have this fundamental question answered within my lifespan. I’m optimistic that it will be.