Is life on Mars possible?

Another thread stated that life on Mars is impossible. I'm wondering if anyone else holds this belief and why.

If you beleive life on Mars to be impossible, state why.

Despite the continued misrepresenation by certain other posters of the position I think we jointly share, I think life on Mars, past or present, is possible. The problem continues to be lack of evidence, and more generally, an inability to quantify the odds of life appearing because we have only one data set (earth) to extrapolate from.

There clearly is water on Mars, and at one time there was probably a lot of it. On earth, water means life. But, that's on earth. We can't say water means life on every planet where water appears, because...well, because we haven't been able to determine this. Thus water by itself, in the absence of more data, can't serve as an indicator of life.

I'm hoping to hear from people who believe life on Mars is not possible.

If we do hear from someone, let's PLEASE not beat them up. :)

But I want to. :twisted:

Im sure you do Rocks after all when you are an atheist you consider yourself (or mankind) the supreme being in the known universe. Who better to beat up people than god himself? :D

Sorry, Richard, I do not consider humans beings to be god or the supreme being in the universe. I consider humans to be just another species whose particular adaptive strategy is complex brain, language, and cultural constructs. I expect that like virtually all species that have ever lived, we will go extinct, and probably sooner than most.

OK, guys, the topic of this thread is whether or not life is possible on Mars; not religion vs. science.

Is there anyone who believes that life on Mars isn't possible and why?

I'll play devil's advocate....

Life on Mars is impossible. The period of planetary wetness was too short to allow for the evolution of anything but the most rudimentary of life-building compounds.

And while some life components may have formed, the early dissipation of atmosphere and water quickly eradicated the chances for evolution. In addition, a very violent bombardment of meteors - almost equal to that suffered by our moon - combined with an extreme period of vulcanism, probably combined to create a Venus-like greenhouse effect that baked the organics down to mulch.

Life had perhaps a wet 500,000 years to form on Mars. Nature contrived against it.


1) We are not really sure about the time that Mars had a denser atmosphere.

2) We are not sure how long life takes to establish.

3) We don't know how dense the atmosphere needs to be for life to flourish.

4) Even now, the atmosphere is much denser at lower elevations.

Most of us aren't holding out much hope for much more than microbiology anyway.

We can't use Earth based parameters for establishment of life.

I'd have to conclude that life on Mars IS possible. Not asured, but possible.

of coarse life is possible on mars
look at the extremes and plus the temepeture range them.
mars has moisture(dry) but under the ground.
on earth we have found extremse....and on mars is just an extreme enviorment.
anyone saying that will be known in the future and the rest as visionaries. so those nay sayers better not steralize mars.

My opinion:

Microscopic life in the past. Very very possible.

Very *early* type multicellular organisms in the past? I'm thinking about evolution here, of course it also happened on Mars. But think in terms of Martian evolution on Mars. It would be the same but different. Mars was much more hospitable in the past. So Maybe.

Something so perserverant that survived to this day. Wow, wouldn't that be COOL!!
I will give that Lichen is one tough plant here. And the berries -maybe but only as a life form we do not understand. Which, well, um, you know, this is Mars and it is bound to be different.

Birds, Lizards, and (now what??) Mollusks Alive and Well!
Step right up and get your tickets here folks!!
LMAO!! This forum is cool cause we get science and comedy all in the same place.

I believe it is here in the photos easy to see. check the temporary site page at-


Your page shows pictures of sand and rocks. And, you state that they are wormlike etc. (Though, there isn't anything that I can say is wormlike)

I'm confused what makes you think it is biology. I don't see anything to indicate biology.

It appears to be simply "made up." Do you have anything else to support your claim that it is biology?

See for an interesting article on halophiles.

It is thought that all life on earth today has extremophiles as a common ancestor.

But, the question remains, how did life get started in the first place? Was it easy or hard? We don't know. Thus, while it might be possible for extremophiles to live on Mars, there is no way to know whether they evolved in the first place.

The problem is that even the simplest life is incredibly complex in comparison to nonlife. Right now we have no way of quantifying the odds on life arising, or even whether it was a matter of pure chance. It might have been pure chance, or there might be some self-organizing principle of nature that causes lifelike things to "click" together in the right way to eventually evolve to objects that can reproduce themselves. No one knows.


Spongy: Waterlogged When Soaked.

Life on Mars is improbable, but not impossible.

Microbial life in the distant past would not surprise me at all. Local (Venus/Earth/Mars) panspermia seems likely. Extant microbial life not likely (atmosphere near equilibrium, near vacuum at surface, scant to non-existent geothermal resources, planet essentially frozen and likely colder in previous eras,) but not impossible either.

Metazoa? No evidence. Doubtful, but we know so little at this point and can still hope. As stated before, very dismayed at the enthusiasm for fossils of tellurian organisms on Mars - crinoids, sponge gemmules,(remember those postings from January?) gastropods, crustaceans, chordates, birds, etc ...

Cryolife? I don't really believe it, but it's a nice fantasy. Will have to wait for a "Mars Polar Rover" mission.


I'd agree.

Except, the atmosphere is considerably denser down in the canyons. For that reason, I'm not sure the lack of atmosphere is as big of an obstacle as we think.

Sure, it's still much thinner than it is here. But, perhaps some life doesn't need as much atmosphere as we think.

Greg, I hadn't heard that the atmosphere is considerably denser down in the canyons. Do you have a link to this? Thanks.


Spongy: Waterlogged When Soaked.


I know of no links or studies about atmospheric densities at lower altitudes. However, we know that Mars' canyons are considerably deeper than those on earth.

we all know that atmosphere will be denser at lower altitudes. Denser atmosphere almost automatically means warmer, wetter environment.

Now, it is crrrently not likely to be dense enough to maintain water in liquid form. But, if life ever did exist on Mars, don't you think it was where it was warmer, wetter and more "atmospheric"?