DID YOU KNOW? Alien Life May Be Rare Across The Universe - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:00:12 GMT
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>>>
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>>>
  • One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:02:36 GMT
    KHQ.COM - One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am on Tuesday. At this point police do not have a suspect description but are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.>>
    KHQ.COM - One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am on Tuesday. At this point police do not have a suspect description but are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.>>
  • TRENDING: Jennifer Lawrence requests nude pics investigation

    TRENDING: Jennifer Lawrence requests nude pics investigation

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:50:31 GMT
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A publicist for Jennifer Lawrence says the actress has contacted authorities after nude photos of her were apparently stolen and posted online. Intimate images of the Oscar winning actress began appearing online on Sunday and nude images purported to be of other female celebrities were also being circulated online.>>
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A publicist for Jennifer Lawrence says the actress has contacted authorities after nude photos of her were apparently stolen and posted online. Intimate images of the Oscar winning actress began appearing online on Sunday and nude images purported to be of other female celebrities were also being circulated online.
    >>
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Video released by ISIS shows beheading of US journalist

    Video released by ISIS shows beheading of US journalist

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:14 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:14:48 GMT
    BEIRUT (AP) - An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group. >>
    BEIRUT (AP) - An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group. Sotloff, who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, had last been seen in Syrian in August 2013 until he appeared in a video released online last month by the Islamic State group that showed the beheading of fellow American journalist James Foley.>>
  • UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' at Mount Sinai in New York

    UPDATE: Joan Rivers 'Resting Comfortably' at Mount Sinai in New York

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 04:45:02 GMT
    NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, according to police and hospital officials who say she was rushed there from a doctor's office after going into cardiac arrest.Rivers' daughter later issued a statement about her mother's condition.>>
    NEW YORK (AP) - Comedian Joan Rivers is in a New York City hospital, according to police and hospital officials who say she was rushed there from a doctor's office after going into cardiac arrest.Rivers' daughter later issued a statement about her mother's condition.
    >>
  • VA: No proof delays in veteran care caused hospital deaths

    VA: No proof delays in veteran care caused hospital deaths

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-08-27 01:11:37 GMT
    KHQ.COM- The Department of Veterans Affairs says there's no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz.Revelations that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care rocked the agency this past spring, bringing to light scheduling problems and allegations of misconduct at other hospitals as well.NBC News obtained a draft report from the VA's Office of Inspector General Tuesday. The draft report says while investigators found substantial delays in care an...>>
    KHQ.COM- The Department of Veterans Affairs says there's no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at the VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz.Revelations that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care rocked the agency this past spring, bringing to light scheduling problems and allegations of misconduct at other hospitals as well.NBC News obtained a draft report from the VA's Office of Inspector General Tuesday. The draft report says while investigators found substantial delays in care an...>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Capone murder trial underway in Moscow

    Capone murder trial underway in Moscow

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:07 PM EDT2014-09-02 19:07:02 GMT
    MOSCOW, Idaho - The long awaited murder trial of Charles Capone began in Moscow, Idaho on Tuesday. Capone is accused of murdering his estranged ex-wife, Racheal Anderson, 4 years ago. >>
    MOSCOW, Idaho - The long awaited murder trial of Charles Capone began in Moscow, Idaho on Tuesday. Capone is accused of murdering his estranged ex-wife, Racheal Anderson, 4 years ago. Anderson's body has never been found. Detectives say Capone and a friend, David Stone made a pact to kill each other's wives.>>
  • EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mother remembers Gracie Snider

    EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mother remembers Gracie Snider

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-09-02 19:00:41 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Two little girls, best buddies, spent the day playing soccer at a central Washington tournament in May. Gracie Snider and Ayla James were riding back from the game, laughing and talking like friends do.But just a few miles east of Ritzville on i-90 on May 3rd, the vehicle the girls were in hit a semi truck. Gracie didn't make it and Ayla was seriously hurt.>>
    KHQ.COM - Two little girls, best buddies, spent the day playing soccer at a central Washington tournament in May. Gracie Snider and Ayla James were riding back from the game, laughing and talking like friends do.But just a few miles east of Ritzville on i-90 on May 3rd, the vehicle the girls were in hit a semi truck. Gracie didn't make it and Ayla was seriously hurt.
    >>
  • Video released by ISIS shows beheading of US journalist

    Video released by ISIS shows beheading of US journalist

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:14 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:14:48 GMT
    BEIRUT (AP) - An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group. >>
    BEIRUT (AP) - An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group. Sotloff, who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, had last been seen in Syrian in August 2013 until he appeared in a video released online last month by the Islamic State group that showed the beheading of fellow American journalist James Foley.>>