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New Poll: 60% of Americans Believe There is Life on Other Planets

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posted on May, 31 2005 @ 10:31 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 26 /PRNewswire/ --

Following the record-breaking opening of the final Star Wars film, what do Americans really believe about life in galaxies far, far away? Does intelligent life exist anywhere besides Earth? Are regular churchgoers less likely to believe life has evolved on other planets? Do more Democrats or Republicans believe in extraterrestrials? And if alien life makes contact, what should we do?

These questions and more are answered in a new national survey released today. Almost two-thirds of Americans do believe that life exists on other planets, and of that group, 90% say if we receive a message from another planet we should reply.

The nationally representative telephone survey of 1,000 Americans -- 523 women and 477 men aged 18+ -- was conducted between April 20 and May 2, 2005 by the University of Connecticut's Center For Survey Research and Analysis (CSRA) in association with the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and National Geographic Channel (NGC).

Full Article



Full survey results

Question 1 was asked of all respondents:

1. Do you believe that there is life on other planets in the universe besides earth?

60% Yes
32% No
8% Don't Know

Questions 2-15 were asked of those respondents who believe in life on other planets (60% of total):

2. When do you think we will confirm, without a doubt, that there is life on other planets: in the next few years, in the next few decades, in another century or more, or never?

7% Next Few Years
38% Next Few Decades
34% Century or More
14% Never
8% Don't Know

3. If we were to discover, for certain, that there was life on other planets, which of the following best describes how you would most feel: afraid and nervous OR excited and hopeful?

20% Afraid and Nervous
72% Excited and Hopeful
8% Don't Know

4. Thinking of the entire universe, do you think there is life on millions of planets, thousands of planets, hundreds of planets, or only a few planets?

15% Millions of Planets
12% Thousands of Planets
16% Hundreds of Planets
45% Only a Few Planets
11% Don't Know

5. Do you think life would only develop on planets with similar characteristics to earth, or do you think a planet can be very different from earth and still develop life?

18% Can Develop Only on Planets Similar to Earth
77% Can Develop on Planets Very Different From Earth
5% Don't Know

6. Do you think life can develop on a planet if there is no liquid water and no sunlight?

45% Yes
47% No
8% Don't Know

7. In your opinion, how likely is it that some of these life forms on other planets would be similar to single cell or few cell organisms like microbes or bacteria? Would you say it is very likely, somewhat likely or not likely at all?

45% Very Likely
42% Somewhat Likely
8% Not Likely at All
5% Don't Know

8. In your opinion, how likely is it that some life forms on other planets would be similar to plants like trees and flowers?

25% Very Likely
54% Somewhat Likely
17% Not Likely at All
4% Don't Know

9. In your opinion, how likely is it that some life forms on other planets would be similar to animals, like birds, lizards or mammals?

21% Very Likely
48% Somewhat Likely
25% Not likely at All
5% Don't Know

10. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are intelligent life forms on other planets that are similar to humans?

30% Very Likely
46% Somewhat likely
21% Not likely
3% Don't Know

11. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are intelligent life forms on other planets that are more advanced than us?

39% Very likely
41% Somewhat Likely
16% Not Likely at All
3% Don't Know

12. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are life forms on other planets that have the technology to travel through space to visit different solar systems?

34% Very likely
38% Somewhat Likely
24% Not Likely
4% Don't Know

13. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are life forms on other planets that have the technology to communicate across deep space?

29% Very likely
44% Somewhat Likely
22% Not Likely at All
4% Don't Know

14. Suppose we heard communications coming from another planet. Do you think we should communicate back with them?

90% Yes
7% No
3% Don't Know

15. If beings from another planet sent a message to us through deep space, do you think we would be able to figure out what they were saying?

50% Yes
38% No
11% Don't Know

These results are from a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,000 Americans aged 18+, conducted by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis (CSRA) at the University of Connecticut
Source



It is interesting to see that more and more people are coming to terms with how phenomenally massive the universe is and how it relates to how unlikely it is that we are alone. I would like to see the same survey again, with a larger number of respondents and further the survey to see if there is any bias based on doctrine, ethnicity, location...

What would be your responses to this survey?


[edit on 31/5/2005 by Seth76]




posted on May, 31 2005 @ 11:49 AM
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1. Do you believe that there is life on other planets in the universe besides earth?

Yes

2. When do you think we will confirm, without a doubt, that there is life on other planets: in the next few years, in the next few decades, in another century or more, or never?

Next few decades

3. If we were to discover, for certain, that there was life on other planets, which of the following best describes how you would most feel: afraid and nervous OR excited and hopeful?

Excited and hopeful

4. Thinking of the entire universe, do you think there is life on millions of planets, thousands of planets, hundreds of planets, or only a few planets?

Only a few planets.

5. Do you think life would only develop on planets with similar characteristics to earth, or do you think a planet can be very different from earth and still develop life?

Can develop on planets very different from Earth.

6. Do you think life can develop on a planet if there is no liquid water and no sunlight?

Yes

7. In your opinion, how likely is it that some of these life forms on other planets would be similar to single cell or few cell organisms like microbes or bacteria? Would you say it is very likely, somewhat likely or not likely at all?

Very likely

8. In your opinion, how likely is it that some life forms on other planets would be similar to plants like trees and flowers?

Somewhat likely

9. In your opinion, how likely is it that some life forms on other planets would be similar to animals, like birds, lizards or mammals?

Somewhat likely

10. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are intelligent life forms on other planets that are similar to humans?

Somewhat likely

11. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are intelligent life forms on other planets that are more advanced than us?

Very likely

12. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are life forms on other planets that have the technology to travel through space to visit different solar systems?

Very likely

13. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are life forms on other planets that have the technology to communicate across deep space?

Very likely

14. Suppose we heard communications coming from another planet. Do you think we should communicate back with them?

Yes

15. If beings from another planet sent a message to us through deep space, do you think we would be able to figure out what they were saying?

No



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by ASSASSIN651
1. Do you believe that there is life on other planets in the universe besides earth?

Yes

2. When do you think we will confirm, without a doubt, that there is life on other planets: in the next few years, in the next few decades, in another century or more, or never?

Next few decades

3. If we were to discover, for certain, that there was life on other planets, which of the following best describes how you would most feel: afraid and nervous OR excited and hopeful?

Excited and hopeful

4. Thinking of the entire universe, do you think there is life on millions of planets, thousands of planets, hundreds of planets, or only a few planets?

Only a few planets.

5. Do you think life would only develop on planets with similar characteristics to earth, or do you think a planet can be very different from earth and still develop life?

Can develop on planets very different from Earth.

6. Do you think life can develop on a planet if there is no liquid water and no sunlight?

Yes

7. In your opinion, how likely is it that some of these life forms on other planets would be similar to single cell or few cell organisms like microbes or bacteria? Would you say it is very likely, somewhat likely or not likely at all?

Very likely

8. In your opinion, how likely is it that some life forms on other planets would be similar to plants like trees and flowers?

Somewhat likely

9. In your opinion, how likely is it that some life forms on other planets would be similar to animals, like birds, lizards or mammals?



Somewhat likely

10. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are intelligent life forms on other planets that are similar to humans?

Somewhat likely

11. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are intelligent life forms on other planets that are more advanced than us?

Very likely

12. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are life forms on other planets that have the technology to travel through space to visit different solar systems?

Very likely

13. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are life forms on other planets that have the technology to communicate across deep space?

Very likely

14. Suppose we heard communications coming from another planet. Do you think we should communicate back with them?

Yes

15. If beings from another planet sent a message to us through deep space, do you think we would be able to figure out what they were saying?

No


1. Yes, it would be highly unlikely (mathematically at least) that we are the only forms of life in this universe.

2. In the next few decades, if not then, then within the next century.

3. Excited and hopeful for sure.

4. Millions of planets with how massive the universe is.

5. I believe that it can develop on planets very different from earth, and what we believe to know as needs for all life, could be very wrong.

6. Of course.

7. I think it's very likely that these most forms of life on other planets would probably be single-celled, but that there would also be other forms of intelligent life.

8. Somewhat likely.

9. Somewhat likely.

10. Somewhat likely.

11. I think that some do, but it isn't the vast majority.

12. Same as 11.

13. Very likely, can't we already do that?

14. Of course.

15. Yes, but not right away.

I have a question for you ASSASSIN651, how come you say that it is somewhat likely that other intelligent life, but very likely that they could have the technology to travel to other solar systems. It seems to me that they would have to be an intelligent life form to know how to travel across galaxies.

Omniscient.



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 04:07 PM
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I might as well add my own answers and comments to these questions. It's just for fun anyway. I enjoy reading everyone else's comments, so here is mine.

1. Do you believe that there is life on other planets in the universe besides earth?

There most defiantly is life in the stars.

The probability of no life in the universe is infinitesimal when you take into account that there are around 100 billion stars in our galaxy, each of these stars have a possibility of having planets and supporting life. Of the 100 billion stars in our galaxy, roughly 30 billion of them are "sun like" stars, meaning that they resemble our own sun. It is my thought that alien life being "alien," the life might not need to develop under the same set of circumstances that life on earth did. Each sun and the solar systems that have been proven to revolve around some of these stars might have its own "hot spot" for life. I say that a planet revolving closely to a star smaller than our sun, say a brown dwarf star could have life if the conditions are right.

Questions 2-15 were asked of those respondents who believe in life on other planets (60% of total):

2. When do you think we will confirm, without a doubt, that there is life on other planets: in the next few years, in the next few decades, in another century or more, or never?

We already have.
See previous question, we have already confirmed mathematically, without a doubt, that there IS life in the universe. We know there is life up there, it's now a question of how much of that life is intelligent or capable of showing signs of it to us with the tools that we have.

I guess that answer technically wasn't given, so I should really say within the next few decades. Everyone might not be ready for the facts , but the facts cannot be denied. Great Discoveries have allowed mankind to set higher the expectations of existence. Not everyone was ready for the great seminal discoveries of the past.

3. If we were to discover, for certain, that there was life on other planets, which of the following best describes how you would most feel: afraid and nervous OR excited and hopeful?

Excited and Hopeful

I would defiantly also be wary, mostly dependant upon the "discovery."

4. Thinking of the entire universe, do you think there is life on millions of planets, thousands of planets, hundreds of planets, or only a few planets?

Millions (upon Millions) of Planets

Did I mention that there are probably 100's of millions of galaxies each with there own set of billions of stars? Let's just say pour galaxy is the known for amount of stars in a galaxy because we don't know for sure. 100 billion stars times 100 million galaxies is equal to 10 to the 19th power or:
Or 10 trillions of trillions, or:
10,000,000,000,000,000,000

So, if there are a million life forms on other planets in our universe it would be 10 to the negative 13th percent of the stars in the known universe having life, or:
0.00000000000001%

I must ask, what is a reasonable percentage of the stars in the universe having life? I would like to think that it's a fair bit larger than "Millions."

5. Do you think life would only develop on planets with similar characteristics to earth, or do you think a planet can be very different from earth and still develop life?

Can Develop on Planets Very Different From Earth

I think it's funny as heck that this survey question's result contradicts the previous answer! If there are a minuscule number of planets with life, then life wouldn't diverge into inhospitable territory. Life would tend to stick to the norm.

Who knows for sure? We can find life on earth in some pretty inhospitable conditions, so this could be the norm everywhere.

6. Do you think life can develop on a planet if there is no liquid water and no sunlight?

No

Maybe with no liquid water, or no sunlight. Life requires energy, and life needs a medium for that energy to transfer to the organism. Not impossible, but improbable IMHO.

Another survey contradiction like #7

7. In your opinion, how likely is it that some of these life forms on other planets would be similar to single cell or few cell organisms like microbes or bacteria? Would you say it is very likely, somewhat likely or not likely at all?

Somewhat Likely

Maybe life on earth is the "norm", who knows for sure?

Another contradiction in the survey results like #7, interesting!


8. In your opinion, how likely is it that some life forms on other planets would be similar to plants like trees and flowers?

Very Likely

More specifically, photosynthesis is a wonderful way of procuring energy. Look at all the weeds growing in your yard!
I've imagined creatures that go through a pupa stage where they are like plants and than molt into an animal state.

... A Fire upon the Deep - by Vernor Vinge

Another contradiction in the survey results like #7, what are people thinking!?


9. In your opinion, how likely is it that some life forms on other planets would be similar to animals, like birds, lizards or mammals?

Very Likely

Not that it's the norm for the universe; it just seems plausible that somewhere life could resemble life here on earth.

10. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are intelligent life forms on other planets that are similar to humans?

Somewhat likely

Again, we could be the norm. Who knows? I doubt we are the norm, but it is a big universe and much life out there.

11. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are intelligent life forms on other planets that are more advanced than us?

Very likely

The universe is a big place. Surely some of them have survived thier own devices.

12. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are life forms on other planets that have the technology to travel through space to visit different solar systems?

Very likely

Same reason for this as #11. We are only touching the surface of what technology is capable of.

13. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are life forms on other planets that have the technology to communicate across deep space?

Very likely

I'm with you on this Omniscient, can't we do this right now? Aren't we sending radio signals into deep space right now?

14. Suppose we heard communications coming from another planet. Do you think we should communicate back with them?

Yes

But who decides what we are going to say?

15. If beings from another planet sent a message to us through deep space, do you think we would be able to figure out what they were saying?

Yes

It might take some time, but we would eventually understand the signal.

(Aw no! Not another re-run!)



[edit on 31/5/2005 by Seth76]



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 04:25 PM
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1. Do you believe that there is life on other planets in the universe besides earth?

Yes

2. When do you think we will confirm, without a doubt, that there is life on other planets: in the next few years, in the next few decades, in another century or more, or never?

Next 100 years

3. If we were to discover, for certain, that there was life on other planets, which of the following best describes how you would most feel: afraid and nervous OR excited and hopeful?

Excited and hopeful

4. Thinking of the entire universe, do you think there is life on millions of planets, thousands of planets, hundreds of planets, or only a few planets?

millions of planets (there are 30 billion trillion stars in the visible universe)

5. Do you think life would only develop on planets with similar characteristics to earth, or do you think a planet can be very different from earth and still develop life?

Can develop on planets very different from Earth.

6. Do you think life can develop on a planet if there is no liquid water and no sunlight?

Yes

7. In your opinion, how likely is it that some of these life forms on other planets would be similar to single cell or few cell organisms like microbes or bacteria? Would you say it is very likely, somewhat likely or not likely at all?

microbes and bacteria are the same and are both single cell
(who came out with that question?)


8. In your opinion, how likely is it that some life forms on other planets would be similar to plants like trees and flowers?

Somewhat likely

9. In your opinion, how likely is it that some life forms on other planets would be similar to animals, like birds, lizards or mammals?

A little likely

10. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are intelligent life forms on other planets that are similar to humans?

Somewhat likely

11. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are intelligent life forms on other planets that are more advanced than us?

Certain

12. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are life forms on other planets that have the technology to travel through space to visit different solar systems?

Certain

13. In your opinion, how likely is it that there are life forms on other planets that have the technology to communicate across deep space?

Certain

14. Suppose we heard communications coming from another planet. Do you think we should communicate back with them?

Yes,if we can (unlikely)

15. If beings from another planet sent a message to us through deep space, do you think we would be able to figure out what they were saying?

Yes



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 05:45 PM
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Smarter than I expected them to be. Nice.


1. Yes
2. Next few decades (don't need to find it)
3. Excited and Hopeful (or else I'd be freaking out about Yahweh
)
4. Few
5. Very Different
6. No - sunlight = not freakin cold
7. Very likely
8. Somewhat
9. Somewhat
10. Not Likely
11. Somewhat Likely
12. Not Likely
13. 13. Not likely (technically, we all do - just poorly)
14. YES. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
15. Yes. They'd be smart about the message

Questions 10, 11, 12, and 13 would be very different if you think we've been visited.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:32 AM
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Nice to see signs of intelligent life on this planet. I am not going to answer all the questions directly since I have made a point of explaining my feelings a number of times: Life exists all across a spectrum from what we can understand to that which we cannot. I am not surprised that many people have a weakness in the math side of the question, that is pretty common.

There is little difference between 'a few planets with life' and 'one planet with life' but at least it is a step in the right direction. It is more like Billions of Galaxies x Billions of Stars, and that is just today. So far the Universe shows no signs of ending, or perhaps more correctly, of whatever the next higher step in organization exists.

Someday I think we will discover that there are indeed billions of some form of stellar organization that once again expands the universe many fold.

What I hope, and this could happen at any time, is that another Race that knows nothing about us will visit this planet. Another event like the Battle of LA and we will move into a whole new perspective.

And it seems to me that the people are pretty much ready to accept it. Numbers such as described in the poll results will help to counter fear and make it easier for everyone to come to grips with the new reality.


A.T
(-)



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 12:11 PM
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The fact that studies like this are being done... makes me hopefull that they are really just testing public opinion in advance for the 'big staged landing' or accident (ufo crashes in to NY) that will occure just after full disclosure.

I guess this could also be because of War of the Worlds.

Which is what I'm starting to think is the PY promotion ufos over vegas thing is (war of the worlds hoax) ... Vegas.. why vegas? Because magic shows are common in vegas and they'll be able to say "c'mon you didn't think this was real IN VEGAS did you?" something like that.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 02:36 PM
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I think the pertinent question is, Is there other life on this Planet?

Intelligent, and invisible. Quite the combination.

No one seems to understand the implications. Their would not be new arrivals on Earth, in terms of visitors, only new guises.

And there is a taboo against believing what we can't prove... So hmmm...



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 12:56 AM
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^^

Did I kill people's fun?

Man, I hate to be a killjoy, but people, get realistic.

There have always been unexplained forces, and the sooner we accept how blind we are to most of them (and how they remain invisible), we will never get any closer to seeing them for what they are, rather than what they purport to be.

So think about it, what kind of humans would co-operate with non-physical entities?

The lie started with Zoroastrianism, and translated into Satan. So where does the truth lie? And when does the truth lie?

[edit on 2-6-2005 by akilles]




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