Today I’d like to share a very old video I found on YouTube. It’s a series of man (and woman) on the street interviews where people are asked if they think we’ll find life on other planets.
According to the video description, this was filmed in 1962. It’s interesting to me to hear people talk about the possibility of finding “vegetable” and/or “animal” life on Venus. At that time, the Soviet Union’s Venera 1 spacecraft would have already visited Venus; however, due to a technical glitch, Venera 1 failed to transmit any data about Venus back to Earth. So surface conditions on Venus were still unknown to us Earthlings.
But setting aside the Venus stuff in particular, in general people’s opinions about space exploration and extraterrestrial life have not changed much since 1962. Some people are enthusiastically optimistic, others think it’s all nonsense, and a lot of people don’t seem to care one way or the other.
Then, of course, you get the one guy who swears he’s seen a U.F.O. And then, of course, you get the guy who’s “working off the theory of the Bible,” where it says God only created life on one planet (F.Y.I., I’ve read the Bible too, and I don’t remember it ever saying that). So again, not much has changed since 1962.
But my favorite is the woman at 1:40 who says she doesn’t expect we’ll find any life on Venus, but then goes on to say we’ll still find “something worth knowing.” I’d say she was right on both counts!
Personally, I do think there’s life on other planets, and also on other moons (I’m looking at you, Europa). But regardless of whether or not we find alien life out there, we should absolutely keep searching and keep exploring. I suspect we will continue to learn all sorts of things that are worth knowing!
Next time on Planet Pailly, we’ll learn how to dance like binary stars.