I know that there has been found evidence pointing to simple life on Mars, but has any of the projects like SETI found anything that could point to intelligent alien life out there?

By alien life, I mean from another planet than Earth. By intelligent, I don't necessarily mean something we can communicate with.

I'm looking for is what evidence there is of life outside earth


2 Answers 2


If there were and any proof of intelligent life from SETI, it would be right on their page, and all over world-news. It just hasn't happened yet. That may be due to the fact that we just haven't looked in the right place, or in the right ways yet, or because we lack the ability to detect them, or because they are not there. We just don't know.

As for microbial life on Mars, there isn't any conclusive evidence for that yet, though there are some interesting signs, including the possibility of liquid water. There are other interesting signs that are mentioned on the Wikipedia page that you linked to, and scientists around the world are looking to investigate them, though Mars is difficult to study. As of the time of this writing though, we can not conclusively say that there is any life on Mars.

As we like to say around here though, absence of evidence is no evidence of absence.

  • 4
    Absence of evidence may well be evidence of absence if the hypothesis conjectures that evidence should exist.
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 19, 2014 at 13:42
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    @Oddthinking - How do you distinguish between it being evidence of absence and it being evidence of a flawed hypothesis?
    – Bobson
    Jun 19, 2014 at 14:56
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    @Bobson: By having a scientific hypothesis that makes predictions, and then testing for those predictions. If there are no predictions, it isn't a scientific hypothesis.
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 19, 2014 at 16:48
  • @Bobson Life is a fuzzy term that is only rigidly defined for distinct purposes, in this case for a given hypothesis. If we are to consider the space of all possible hypotheses, then the question becomes unfalsifiable. Feb 13, 2020 at 15:04
  • @Bobson Thus for the purpose of this site, "life" in the question must be interpreted as "life as we understand it", in which case rejecting the hypothesis means you have disproved life in the way it should be interpreted for this question. Feb 13, 2020 at 15:06

Top 10: Controversial pieces of evidence for extraterrestrial life (New Scientist, 2006)

1. 1976, The Viking Mars landers detect chemical signatures indicative of life

2. 1977, The unexplained extraterrestrial "Wow!" signal is detected by an Ohio State University radio telescope

3. 1996, Martian "fossils" are discovered in meteorite ALH80041 from Antarctica

4. 2001, A more rigorous estimate of the "Drake equation" suggests that our galaxy may contain hundreds of thousands of life-bearing planets

5. 2001, The red tinge of Jupiter's moon Europa proposed to be due to frozen bits of bacteria, which also helps explain the mysterious infrared signal it gives off

6. 2002, Russian scientists argue that a mysterious radiation-proof microbe may have evolved on Mars

7. 2002, Chemical hints of life are found in old data from Venus probes and landers. Could microbes exist in Venusian clouds?

8. 2003, Sulphur traces on Jupiter's moon Europa may be the waste products of underground bacterial colonies

9. 2004, Methane in the Martian atmosphere hints at microbial metabolism

10. 2004, A mysterious radio signal is received by the SETI project on three occasions - from the same region of space

click on the Link for more details.

  • 2
    +1 Great answer! This is the best we've got if you're looking for evidence. Apr 16, 2011 at 14:51
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    It would be interesting to include alternative explanations for these happenings.
    – amit kumar
    Mar 29, 2012 at 16:52
  • Didn't the wow signal lead to the discovery of pulsars or am I thinking of something else?
    – GordonM
    Jun 11, 2015 at 12:24
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    Update 2016/1/13: New claim about the Wow signal NOT being 'evidence', citing this study (PDF)
    – user22865
    Jan 13, 2016 at 15:18
  • Might be worth mentioning that all but the points 2 and 10 are possible signs of life, but they are not signs of intelligent life. Point 2 and 10 are radio pulses which were not clearly identified, but there is not nearly enough data available to rule out natural causes.
    – Philipp
    Feb 14, 2020 at 12:44

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