Metaculus Help: Spread the word

If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

Will Europa be the first place humanity will discover extraterrestrial life, if it is discovered by 2045?

Every astrobiologist and their brother is excited about the possibility of life on Jupiter's moon, Europa. And for good reason. It's likely got more liquid water than our fair Earth does. Thanks to Jupiter's gravitation tugging, there's almost certainly lots of volcanic activities beneath those seas to create an environment similar to the one we suspect gave rise to life on this planet.

In addition to fantasizing extensively about discovering life on Europa, our species has been busy preparing recon missions to sample tasty plumes of water+organics fulminating off the surface. Maybe we'll get lucky and find convincing proof of biological activity on Europa with the Clipper mission.

Or maybe not.

Europa is far away. It's bathed in horrific radiation. It's cold. Its environment would be mean to our drills. And there might not even be life there.

Meanwhile, other (slightly) more hospitable places – Mars, hint, hint – may also house life. Or maybe boosters of Titan or Enceladus will convince us to go to those worlds first, and we'll find the first alien life there. Or maybe life won't be found at all in the solar system. Or maybe SETI will come through. Or our new mega powerful telescopes will reveal life on extra solar worlds. Or maybe aliens have already found us!

What's your take? Question resolves positive if humanity by 2045 discovers convincing evidence of life on Europa and does so before detecting extra terrestrial life anywhere else in the universe. Resolves negative if by 2045 extraterrestrial life is found convincingly elsewhere prior to on Europa. Resolves ambiguous if no extraterrestrial life is found by 2045. (Note: extraterrestrial life must be (a) living currently and (b) highly unlikely to be a result of contamination by Earth spacecraft. This leaves open the possibility of life transported from Earth via other non-human-engineered means.)


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.

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.

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

Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.