DID YOU KNOW? Alien Life May Be Rare Across The Universe - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

DID YOU KNOW? Alien Life May Be Rare Across The Universe

Posted: Updated:

YAHOO.COM - When it comes to life across the cosmos, the universe might just be an "awful waste of space" after all.

A new theory presented at a conference this week would confirm the worry of Ellie Arroway, Jodie Foster's character in the film "Contact," that life might not exist on other worlds.

Some scientists think that just because exoplanets could have habitable environments, that does not mean that life evolved there.

"The pervasive nature of life on Earth is leading us to make this assumption," Charles Cockell, the director of the U.K. Center for Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh, said in a statement."On our planet, carbon leaches into most habitat space and provides energy for microorganisms to live. There are only a few vacant habitats that may persist for any length of time on Earth, but we cannot assume that this is the case on other planets."

Cockell's hypothesis states that, although habitable alien planets might abound in solar systems around the universe, it does not mean these locales harbor extraterrestrial life.

"It is dangerous to assume life is common across the universe. It encourages people to think that not finding signs of life is a 'failure,' when in fact it would tell us a lot about the origins of life," added Cockell.

It is also possible that scientists will not be able to detect alien signs of life, even if it exists, Cockell said. Life might be markedly dissimilar from planet to planet, making it unlikely that astronomers on Earth will see recognizable signatures of life. But not all hope is lost.

"Professor Cockell explains that in coming decades, increasingly powerful telescopes and developments in spectroscopy may allow us to look for the signals of life on planets beyond our solar system," officials from the Royal Society, the United Kingdom's national academy of science, said in a statement."However, regardless of this, our view is still going to be heavily influenced by our knowledge of life on Earth."

Cockell presented his theory at a conference sponsored by the Royal Society.

  • National NewsMore>>

  • Investigators: Pentagon broke the law in swap for Sgt. Bergdahl

    Investigators: Pentagon broke the law in swap for Sgt. Bergdahl

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:08:21 GMT
    KHQ.COM- Congressional investigators say the Pentagon broke the law when it swapped five Taliban leaders for Idaho native Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says the Defense Department's failure to notify the relevant congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of the exchange broke the law.More >>
    KHQ.COM- Congressional investigators say the Pentagon broke the law when it swapped five Taliban leaders for Idaho native Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says the Defense Department's failure to notify the relevant congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of the exchange broke the law.More >>
  • Doctor: No health risk from 2 US Ebola patients

    Doctor: No health risk from 2 US Ebola patients

    Thursday, August 21 2014 1:55 PM EDT2014-08-21 17:55:21 GMT
    ATLANTA - A doctor at the hospital that treated two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa says their discharge poses no public health risk.More >>
    ATLANTA - A doctor at the hospital that treated two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa says their discharge poses no public health risk. Officials announced the release of Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol on Thursday. Brantly left Emory University Hospital on Thursday. Writebol left Tuesday. Family and officials say they're free of the virus. More >>
  • Wife: Robin Williams had early stages of Parkinson's Disease at time of death

    Wife: Robin Williams had early stages of Parkinson's Disease at time of death

    Thursday, August 14 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-08-14 19:26:01 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Actor and comedian Robin Williams was sober but struggling with the early stages of Parkinson's Disease at the time of his death, according to his wife. Williams' wife released the following statement Thursday:More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Actor and comedian Robin Williams was sober but struggling with the early stages of Parkinson's Disease at the time of his death, according to his wife. Williams' wife released the following statement Thursday:More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.