Is there life beyond Earth? I would say yes, I think it’s very likely that there is life beyond earth or there was at some point in time. This doesn’t have to be extraterrestrial beings either this can include water, or plants, any form of life. Mars is our strongest contender and proof at the moment. Mars has shown multiple signs of once having life, more specifically, nature. And of course some may say that other planets are unable to support life because they don’t meet conditions needed for life. But, even if only one planet, I think there is substantial evidence for life beyond Earth.
I think when we hear of life beyond Earth our mind goes straight to aliens or intelligent life on different, or unknown planets. But, life beyond Earth entails something a lot more simple. Life is defined as “the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.”. Life beyond Earth can entail things like the previous or current existence of water, or plants, or even insects as small as brine. So this broadens the discussion a lot more.
As for our current progress on the search for extraterrestrial life Mars has been a strong contender for a while. Mars has a few key aspects that may suggest there once was life there. As of now we have found “dried-up riverbeds and evidence of ancient glacial events”. We’ve also found “solid sub-surface ice, snow, and even frozen surface water on Mars in real-time.”. The curiosity rover has also made strides for signs of life on mars. For instance, clay. On the surface, not great. But, this is actually huge. “Clay is a good signpost towards evidence of life because it’s usually created when rocky minerals weather away and rot after contact with water — a key ingredient for life. It is also an excellent material for storing microbial fossils.”. “Clay is a good signpost towards evidence of life because it’s usually created when rocky minerals weather away and rot after contact with water — a key ingredient for life. It is also an excellent material for storing microbial fossils.”. Though Mars appears cold and dry now, this was likely not always the case. NASA has theorized that Mars may have once held active volcanoes, and flash floods. So though maybe not the best place for humans if there was water there, life was there.
Now some may say that other planets are unable to support life because they don’t meet conditions needed for life. That Venus for instance could likely never hold life because of all the greenhouse gases. Earth is the only planet that can sustain life. And this may be true but even if not human life, if somewhere like Mars even once held life we have a new world of possibilities with modern technology. Just because we haven’t made such strides yet doesn’t mean we can’t in the future.
I do believe that there is life beyond Earth, just maybe in a different way than we may think. Mars has shown us incredible things and possibly past signs of life. If Mars even once held life we have made a huge stride. Still the search is not over and there is still so much to uncover.