So… is there life on Mars? I don’t know, but after everything I’ve read and seen and learned about the Red Planet, I feel like making up some numbers.
I’m going to say there’s a 10% chance that life exists on Mars today. Mind you, this is not intelligent life. It’s not even complex, multi-cellular life. No, I’m just saying there’s a 10% chance that some kind of microorganism is there, eking out an existence near the Martian R.S.L.s or in the permafrost near the Martian poles. And maybe we’ve already detected the first signs of these microorganisms’ activity.
But the odds of that are pretty low, in my opinion. I think there’s a much better chance—let’s say a 50% chance—that Mars supported life at some point in the past, and that we’ll find the fossilized remains of ancient Martian organisms preserved in rock. We’re probably still only talking about microorganisms (or rather microfossils), but given that Mars hasn’t been geologically active in a long time, those fossils should be extremely well preserved.
Lastly, I think there’s a 90% chance that, regardless of whether or not Mars supported life in the past or present, it will support life in the future. Human life, to be specific (as well as plant life and maybe some edible bugs). Maybe it’ll be nothing more than a small research station, or maybe it will be a full-fledged colony. But I’m 90% sure we’ll get there. I say this because a lot of very smart people (and a handful of very rich people) seem to be pretty determined to make it happen.
Anyway, these are my best guesses about the odds of finding life on (or bringing life to) Mars. Do you agree with my rough estimates? Do you think I’m way off? Let me know in the comments!