Is there life on other planets?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/10/19/is-there-life-on-other-planets.html

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The Mars Society had their conference on the weekend. There was an astro-biology panel talking about looking for life on Mars. One of the questions was “what chance do you think there is life on Mars?”, and answers varied from 75% to under 1%. But consensus was that there wouldn’t be any at the surface, at least at the low altitude locations humans are likely to land at. Of course nobody expected complex life.

The more interesting question to them was whether the life found would be related to Earth life or would be a “second genesis”.

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was there the suggestion that higher altitudes would be more favorable? I would wonder why.

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Typo, I meant to type latitude. Altitude means something very different.

Latitude is a compromise between water availability and temperature. Colder locations have more water, but are colder.

Yhere is also an altitude debate. Leading contenders are often canyons or craters due to the increased atmospheric density.

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There is a 100% chance of life on Mars, brought there on our spacecraft despite our best efforts to limit contamination.

Oh, that’s not what they meant to ask? Oh well.

Edit to add: I’ve stopped responding to requests to answer most surveys and polls, not because I’m uninterested or unwilling to spend the time, but because pollsters don’t appreciate “please define your terms” as a fully general response to all questions posed as a single isolated sentence.

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“…pollsters don’t appreciate “please define your terms” as a fully general response to all questions posed as a single isolated sentence.”
__
Having done that sort of thing in a previous lifetime, poll-takers work strictly from a script. Said script only allows for the answers given, and does not allow for open-ended answers.
IOW, you are asking for information the pollster does not have; and if they attempted to answer your question, it would not only invalidate the results of your poll, the pollster would be fired.

I, personally, no longer trust the results of any poll, unless the questions asked & answer choices are provided. Especially nefarious are ‘push polls’.
It was interesting to discover that Republicans have no problem eating their own.

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Life? Feh. Is there beer on other planets?

Sure, I know one answer:

♫ In heaven, there is no beer
That’s why we drink it here ♫

But if heaven isn’t a planet, the question remains.

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meh –– brett kavanaugh has spoiled beer for me.

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That was funnier than I thought it would be. Especially at 1:30.

I know that. It’s not the fault of the person asking the question, they have no choice. It’s the fault of the whole premise behind the poll, which I just can’t go along with, so I don’t participate.

How the fuck can the sound quality be that good?

I have a solution. Ship a load of old magazines to Mars and we’ll know there’s LIFE on another planet. But would issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS constitute an alien invasion?

“hmm, you all had the same figment?”

I understand your point.
Many of the polls I did were political in nature, and almost exclusively for Republican clients. Some were worse than others re: trying to influence the respondent, and none of us enjoyed those.
Every now & then, we would get a real Opinion Poll… those were actually enjoyable.
I still never liked the limited responses available, though, but that’s just the nature of the beast.
I don’t turn down a chance to take a poll, nowadays; I know how difficult it is to get a response.

I agree with your take on Life On Mars, btw. For the same reason, there is probably Life On the Moon.

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