Space moon

Columnist Connor Bahr argues life exists beyond Earth due to the size of the universe. However, Bahr does not think aliens have visited Earth, contrary to popular belief.

From the moment we are strong enough to support our own heads, we stare up at the stars with wonder. At first, we may simply wonder who put the lights in the sky, or where they were, or why we couldn’t reach them. However, as we grow, these questions get answered and newer, more complicated questions arise. The first of these is often: “Are we alone?”

Aliens have been the subject of fascination since humans could conceptualize other worlds. They are staples of pop culture, myth and legend. In this column, I am going to explain to you why there is no doubt in my mind that aliens exist.

To begin, let us consider the vastness of the universe. In our solar system, there are nine planets (yes, I am stubborn about Pluto). Our solar system is simply a star within the galaxy, but within our galaxy, there are an estimated 100 billion stars! The large majority of these stars will have at least a planet, if not multiple planets. However, The Milky Way is only a tiny part of the universe. There are an estimated 100 billion galaxies as well, each being able to hold hundreds of billions of stars, each of which could harbor multiple planets. 

The point is there is a near-infinite amount of space that life could evolve on besides Earth. There are also near-infinite ways that life could evolve. People talk about the “goldilocks zone” when it comes to finding planets that may harbor life. That is true if you only think about life as being carbon-based. 

For example, Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, has an atmosphere that is composed almost solely of methane. Why couldn’t something evolve to process methane? There are even questions of what life-forms could be made out of. Would something that can move on its own be considered living if it was made solely of rock? 

Because of the philosophical nature of the definition of life and the vastness of the universe, there is not a single doubt in my mind there is other life out in the universe. Perhaps they are intelligent, technologically advanced and curious just like us. Perhaps they are scanning the stars right now, pondering the same questions we do. Perhaps we will meet them someday.

Which brings me to my final point. Have aliens visited Earth? The answer to this question is certainly less sure in my mind than the previous one. Yet, I believe they have not. While the accounts of abductions and saucers are fascinating, the definitive proof is simply not there. I also don’t believe that the government would hide aliens from the general public. I feel that the pull of fame for being the first government or president to meet with aliens would be something you wouldn’t want to keep hidden.

However slim the chance, I always hold out hope that the answers to these questions will be revealed within my lifetime. However, the truth is inevitable, and humans will eventually know whether they are truly alone.

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(1) comment

Steve Gregg

We are probably not alone in the universe but our extraterrestrial company is probably mostly microbes with perhaps some worms. While Earth is considered hospitable to life, it’s odd that every single living thing, flora and fauna, are related by DNA. Carrots and wolverines and humans and buzzing bees all have common DNA, which means that life evolved once and then diversified. Just once. The chance that some distant planet had all the right conditions for life and then actually produces it is pretty small, astronomically small. Give that, the chance that such life would be within traveling distance of Earth is even smaller.

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