posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 10:39 AM
I am confident that there exists a multitude of life throughout our universe. Whilst it is true that we have yet to find evidence of life within our
own solar system, it is also true that only one planet in our solar system meets the requirements for life, at least as we currently understand it.
This understanding of life - that animals require oxygen, food and water, for example - seems to be fairly accurate, given that we have yet to find
evidence of creatures that fall radically outside these basic requirements. We have yet to discover an animal that breathes methane, for example. This
being said, I would not be surprised in the slightest to learn that such animals did in fact exist on a planet with a methane-rich atmosphere. Whilst
we certainly see no evidence for radically different forms of life within our solar system, we must also take factors such as the distance of planets
from the sun, the environmental extremes that most planets in our solar system undergo and the different masses and subsequent gravity differences
experienced on most planets. Perhaps if a planet in another solar system received an adequate amount of heat and conditions were not radically
extreme, specific environmental adaptations would occur to suit the specifics of that planet.
We already know, from our studies of life on Earth, that life will almost always find a way to exist, given conditions that are even remotely
nurturing. We observe ourselves and the animals around us and declare that "animals require oxygen to live". Yet plants do not. Who knows what other
adaptations might occur on planets with a variety of atmospheres and environments?
I think, however, that it is true that certain traits will almost always be present to some extent. For example, it makes sense for animals to have
their eyes in their head, so that there is minimal lag time for processing visual information. It would be interesting to see what characteristics, if
any, prove to be universal due to their inherent application in promoting survival.
The desire to discover and examine new forms of life is natural to humans and will, I believe, only increase as we develop ever more efficient methods
of space travel. I personally feel that when humans begin to travel through space in earnest, we will quickly develop an appreciation for its enormity
and grandeur. If we repeatedly discover barren, liefeless world after world, we stand to become rather lonely in the vast, unimaginable emptiness of
space. Imagine the ramifications of discovering even a simple form of life on another planet. After all, who knows what may be out there? Is that not
what drives us to go and see for ourselves?
[edit on 31/8/05 by Jeremiah25]