Will we find life on Mars?

Your submission is now in Draft mode. Once it's ready, please submit your draft for review by our team of Community Moderators. Thank you!

Question

From Wikipedia,

The possibility of life on Mars is a subject of huge interest in astrobiology due to its proximity and similarities to Earth. To date, little proof has been found of past or present life on Mars. Cumulative evidence suggests that during the ancient Noachian time period, the surface environment of Mars had liquid water and may have been habitable for microorganisms.

Life on Mars would not necessarily be indicative of a separate evolutionary lineage. The panspermia hypothesis proposes that life may have spread from Earth to Mars, or vice versa.

If life does exist on Mars, it is likely to be small and simple, since the surface of Mars is barren, and no large multicellular life has been seen so far by any of the Mars rovers. The meteorite fragment Allan Hills 84001 was examined in 1996 and was reported to have structures resembling microscopic fossils of bacteria. Wikipedia notes, "scientific consensus is that 'morphology alone cannot be used unambiguously as a tool for primitive life detection.' Interpretation of morphology is notoriously subjective, and its use alone has led to numerous errors of interpretation."

Will we find life on Mars by 2050?

This question resolves positively in the event that prominent, highly respected scientific organizations announce that humans have discovered unambiguous evidence of current or past life on Mars, independent of life that was carried from Earth to Mars via human-designed missions. If by 2050, this has not happened, the question resolves negatively.

Make a Prediction

Prediction

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Current points depend on your prediction, the community's prediction, and the result. Your total earned points are averaged over the lifetime of the question, so predict early to get as many points as possible! See the FAQ.

Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site