Will proof of life of extraterrestrial origin be found by 2100?
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1.2K
1.3K
2099
34%
chance

This question resolves YES if conclusive evidence is found of any biological life having originated from any other planet. For instance, if dinosaurs or tardigrades are conclusively discovered to have originated from Mars, this question resolves YES. If alien bacterial life is found on other planets conclusively proven not to have originated from Earth, this resolves YES.

If by 2100, none of these criteria have been fulfilled, this resolves NO.

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Does evidence of extinct life on Mars count?

If there is possibility that microbes originated on Earth but carried to Mars by ancient meteorite before evolving there, do we have to wait for good evidence one way or the other before it resolves the question? If so how good does the evidence have to be?

(Proof is only for mathematics, science deals in evidence. Extraordinary claims do require very good evidence.)

@ChristopherRandles It would not then have originated from Mars, but Earth. If expert consensus is uncertain, the closing date will be extended should I still be around and capable of doing so.

bought Ṁ40 of YES

"Huge breakthrough in the search for aliens: NASA discovers 85 Earth-like exoplanets that could have the right conditions to support life"
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-12996441/Huge-breakthrough-search-aliens-NASA-discovers-85-Earth-like-exoplanets-right-conditions-support-life.html

bought Ṁ40 of YES

"Huge breakthrough in the search for aliens: NASA discovers 85 Earth-like exoplanets that could have the right conditions to support life"
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-12996441/Huge-breakthrough-search-aliens-NASA-discovers-85-Earth-like-exoplanets-right-conditions-support-life.html

predicts YES

Question: if we discover a non-living extraterrestrial intelligence and/or an artificial life form would that count as a 'yes.'

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20231025-if-alien-life-is-artificially-intelligent-it-may-be-stranger-than-we-can-imagine

predicts YES

Arb:

bought Ṁ10 of YES

Microorganisms count, I assume?

So I bet 'yes,' I can't lose until 2100; I bet 'no,' I could win anytime before then.

So if I think alien life is unlikely - a contrarian point of view - I should go big on 'yes' and put in a limit order, no?

predicts NO

I suggest you rephrase the title to "...on earth" to better reflect the discussion and intended meaning.

predicts YES

@Toby96 why?

predicts NO

@FranklinBaldo Rereading the comment thread below it looks like I may have misread. My bad.

This is a higher probability than I expected, tbh. Wow, 43%?

@username I think with markets like this, the smart money often is scared away by the 2100 resolution date, leaving the price to be determined by those who don't optimise for profits that much.

You see this a lot in UFO-related markets. They're way higher than they should be because of the sorts of people betting, whenever the long resolution date is enough to deter the more seasoned betters.

Perhaps consider a market with a shorter timeframe? 2030, 2035, or something like that? Much less likely, but you may get more people betting.

predicts NO

@chrisjbillington I like how these kind of markets allow me to spend most of my loans without having to think too much about it.
And I am indeed not profit maximizing (would take too much time), so at least some kind of behaviors help in the other direction.

Donald Trump.

if it looks like panspermia but we can’t tell which planet seeded the other, this resolves No?

@JonathanRay Conclusive evidence is required, so it resolves no.

bought Ṁ10 of YES

For clarity: if extraterrestrial life is found and it is separate from Earth biology entirely (nothing on Earth is related to it, no evidence of anything on Earth coming from extraterrestrial stock) does this still resolve YES? From the title I’d say yes, but from the body it seems you’re looking specifically for Earth life being of extraterrestrial origin.

@Noit Yes.

@LokWenBin what counts as "biological"? Carbon-based?

@ScottLawrence Not necessarily carbon based. Good question. I'll get back to this one.

@LokWenBin here's a concrete, extreme example: life in the interior of a neutron star. Nevermind plausibility! It would not be composed of atoms or even nuclei. At best the fundamental particles involved would be neutrons, protons, maybe hadrons with strange content.

Less extreme: on the surface of a neutron star, or in any other strong gravity (or magnetic field) situation. Now there are recognizable atoms, but with different chemical properties due to (at least) the distortion of electron orbitals.

@ScottLawrence Absolutely, dependent on the life being capable of responding to stimuli and not being man-made (or any other species-made, though it would be conclusive proof of the existence of another intelligent species). This would resolve yes. Though the likelihood of that existing whatsoever perhaps deserves another market.

bought Ṁ0 of YES

@LokWenBin lovely. Thanks for the clarification!