Researchers have speculated whether there is life elsewhere apart from Earth for many years. There are two different scientific thoughts that explain the existence of life in the Universe.
The first school of thought is the Rare Earth Hypothesis. It suggests that the possibility of life existing in other parts of the Universe is very low (Toshevic 51). The other school of thought is known as the Mediocrity Principle. It suggests that life exists elsewhere other than Earth (Toshevic 52). It views Earth as an ordinary place that is similar to other places that probably have life existing in them.
I think the mediocrity principle is right with its claim that life exists somewhere else. The Universe is very large and to assume that Earth is the only place that has life is misleading. The Universe contains millions of planets that have not been explored fully. Scientists have only been able to explore a few planets among millions.
Concluding that Earth is the only place in the Universe that supports life is erroneous. It would be very unlikely that among the millions of planets that exist, only Earth possesses necessary resources to support life. There is no scientific explanation to explain the probability that only Earth can support life among billions of planets.
Scientists have conducted several research studies that have insinuated the existence of life on other planets. For example, they found sustainable evidence after analyzing soil from Mars that pointed towards sustainability of life on the planet (Dick 45). The possibility of existence of life on Mars was unheard of before the discovery. I think that some scientists claim that life does not exist elsewhere on the planet because of in-sufficient research.
The Rare Earth Hypothesis is wrong because it equates other planets to Earth. However, scientific research has shown that other planets are different and may have life in them (Dick 46). In addition, the hypothesis is based on the argument that few planets that have been discovered so far. It disregards the millions of other planets not discovered. The Milky Way galaxy contains between 200 and 400 billion stars (Dick 48).
The presence of these stars points towards the probability of existence of another place that supports life. The hypothesis should not make such a conclusive judgment because only a few areas of the Universe have been explored so far. The hypothesis is right in its claim that simple life may be more common than currently thought.
This is true because microbial life has been shown to thrive in the most unlikely places such as in hot springs. However, the claim that complex life might be rare has no scientific basis because sufficient research has not been conducted to validate the claims.
Recent research by NASA has supported the claims made by the mediocrity principle. Recently, NASA discovered that many stars in the universe are orbited by Earth-like planets.
The study discovered more than 1,200 planets that orbit around certain stars on the Universe (Toshevic 66). The stars are at a safe distance from the sun and in habitable zones. The findings also revealed that the presence of a dense atmosphere on Titan could be an indication of life. I think that life exists in other parts of the universe apart from Earth based on research studies conducted by scientists.
Dick, Steven. Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-century Extraterrestrial Life Debate. London: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Print.
Toshevic, Michael. Observations of Intelligent Life on Other Planets: Extraterrestrial Life in our Galaxy. New York: iUniverse, 2011. Print.