Scientist welcomes idea of alien life

By Jennifer Graham

Author and scientist Jeff Bennett has never seen physical proof that life on other planets exists but said he considers the science behind potential extraterrestrial life forms “inherently cool.”

“There are so many philosophical implications with it,” Bennett said. “It isn’t just a question of whether or not they are there.”

Bennett, author of “Beyond UFOs: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future,” is holding a talk tonight at 7:30 in room 155 of the Chemistry-Physics Building. The Society of Physics Students is hosting the speech.

“I’ll mainly be talking about the science behind life on other planets,” Bennett said.

Bennett said he has explored the idea of extraterrestrial life forms through his work as an astronomer.

As for whether or not life exists on other plants, Bennett said he has not seen proof.

“Nothing has led me to believe that there is life, but it isn’t unreasonable at all,” he said. “If we are here, then why couldn’t something similar have happened on other planets?”

Sophomore nursing major Crystal Canary said she is not sure what to believe in regard to life on other planets.

“There could be (life on other planets), but I don’t really believe there is, because if they exist, why haven’t we found them?” Canary said.

Bennett believes exploring and possibly discovering life elsewhere in the universe could completely change humans’ set way of thinking.

“Today, we are the center of the biological universe, but if we see that others are out there, it could change the way we think about ourselves,” Bennett said. “The possibility of life beyond our world gives students a chance to explore something different instead of always thinking about mundane things, like, ‘What am I going to do at my job?’ ”

Assistant physics professor Chris Crawford said students attending the speech will get the chance to learn more about a topic they might not otherwise research.

“There are a lot of unknown questions we’ve never been able to answer,” Crawford said, “and people are interested in those answers.”