Reasons to Believe

Life on Other Planets

  • Water on Mars Too Salty for Life

    The intense salty taste followed by spewed water in the sink is a telltale sign that the system isn’t properly washing the column with the liquid from the brine tank.

    Salty water is not good to … more

  • Digging on Mars with Phoenix

    This NASA mission left Earth about 9 months ago and successfully landed a spacecraft near Mars’ north polar cap on June 25, 2008. Using a scoop on the end of a 7-foot arm, Phoenix has and will … more

  • No, No, Nanobacteria

    Size also matters to biochemists. Conventional wisdom places the lower bound on life at about 1 micron (give or take a few hundred nanometers). In 1999, the National Academy of Sciences sponsored a … more

  • Rare Earth Confirmed

    A couple of months ago I discussed an upgrade to the Arecibo Radio Telescope that would make it more effective for searching for intelligent life in outer space (SETI). That article included … more

  • Life on Titan?

    Members of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn’s moons have published the first of their findings from the second close flyby by the planetary probe of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. They … more

  • Doubts About Some Water on Mars

    In the December 8, 2006 issue of Science, a report was published suggesting that water had flowed on the surface of Mars in recent decades. A reexamination of the data led to the publishing of a new … more

  • Too Salty for Life

    Consequently, the search for life outside of Earth has embraced the mantra, “follow the water”. But, as noted in a recent summary posted here, much of the evidence for water on Mars can … more

  • Anybody Out There?

    At the age of seven, I heard about the crash of a flying saucer recovered on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. While my dad thought the whole thing was a bunch of foolishness, my friends and I had … more

  • Multiverse Musings - Are We Simulations?

    In past Multiverse Musings TNRTBs, I have described not just one, but two bizarre implications of the multiverse. This TNRTB addresses a third.

    Due to its box-office acclaim, most people are familiar … more

  • Designed to Live, Designed to Die

    "Why don't we see new species emerging now?" Charles Darwin faced this question nearly 150 years ago when he proposed the theory of evolution. His answer–all Earth's habitats are full.

    Whether … more

  • Is Life Possible on a Moon?

    A team of American astronomers recently announced the discovery of the first known planet outside our solar system to spend its entire orbit within the “habitable zone.”1When astronomers … more

  • Does the Probability for ETI = 1?

    Earlier this fall (September 25) I had a three-minute debate on Mancow’s Morning Madhouse, a nationally syndicated radio show, on the topic “Is there scientific evidence for intelligent … more

  • Is It All a Mirage?

    Observers of Mars in past centuries were filled with hope that Mars was certainly inhabited by intelligent creatures that were responsible for major canal systems carrying water across the planet. … more

  • Planet Migration Tests Solar System Design

    Astronomers have discovered over 250 planets outside of our solar system residing in over 200 different planetary systems. However, all of these extrasolar planets exhibit characteristics that would … more

  • When Life From Mars Isn't

    When the Mars meteorite ALH-84001 discovered in 1984 in the Antarctic, was announced in 1996 it got a lot of media attention. Even President Clinton commented. At the time it was very exciting for … more

  • Searching for Earths

    I once saw a toy that served as a visual example of the saying "one in a million". It consisted of a clear plastic ball about 4 inches in diameter filled with literally a million little plastic cubes. … more

  • Planet Rotation Design

    If the planet rotates too slowly, the temperature differences between day and night will become too extreme. If the planet rotates too quickly, the jet streams will become too laminar and too stable, … more