Do Americans Actually Believe Life Exists in a Galaxy Far, Far Away?

Study Coincides with National Geographic Channel's World Premiere Special

'Extraterrestrial' - New Survey Shows Most Americans DO Believe in

Life on Other Planets



26 May, 2005, 01:00 ET from National Geographic Channel

    WASHINGTON, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Following the record-breaking opening
 of the final Star Wars film, what do Americans really believe about life in
 galaxies far, far away?  Does intelligent life exist anywhere besides Earth?
 Are regular churchgoers less likely to believe life has evolved on other
 planets?  Do more Democrats or Republicans believe in extraterrestrials?
 And if alien life makes contact, what should we do?
     These questions and more are answered in a new national survey released
 today.  Almost two-thirds of Americans do believe that life exists on other
 planets, and of that group, 90% say if we receive a message from another
 planet we should reply.
     The nationally representative telephone survey of 1,000 Americans -- 523
 women and 477 men aged 18+ -- was conducted between April 20 and May 2, 2005
 by the University of Connecticut's Center For Survey Research and Analysis
 (CSRA) in association with the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial
 Intelligence) and National Geographic Channel (NGC).  Commissioned by NGC, the
 survey is being released in advance of the world premiere special
 "Extraterrestrial," airing Monday, May 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.  And during the
 show, viewers will also be able to text message their opinions about life on
 other planets.  Results of the nationwide mobile poll will be revealed live on
 air at the end of "Extraterrestrial."
     "It is quite likely that there is life elsewhere in our galaxy, and
 there's a real possibility that we will find evidence of intelligent
 extraterrestrial life by the year 2025," said Dr. Seth Shostak, a senior
 astronomer with the SETI Institute, and an expert featured in
 "Extraterrestrial." "In light of all the interest in alien life in movie
 theaters this past week, it is interesting that the majority of Americans
 truly believe extraterrestrial life exists on other planets."
     Highlights of the national survey include:
 
     Does life exist on other planets?
 
     * 60% of Americans believe life exists on other planets
 
     * More men than women believe life exists on other planets, 69% vs. 51%
 
     * 72% of those who believe life exists on other planets would be "excited
       and hopeful" upon learning that life had been found on other planets.
 
     * Women are twice as likely as men to feel "nervous and afraid" if we
       learn life exists -- 27% vs. 13%
 
     * Men are more likely to feel excited and hopeful if we find life on other
       planets -- 78% vs. 65%
 
     What role does religion play in the belief in ET?
 
     * People who are regular churchgoers are less-likely to believe in life on
       other planets compared to non-churchgoers, 46% vs. 70%
 
     What role does education play in your belief in ET?
 
     * 63% of college graduates believe in life in outer space
 
     Democrats vs. Republicans
 
     * No filibuster here -- given the margin of error, Democrats and
       Republicans are equally likely to believe in life on other planets
 
     For those that do believe that life exists on other planets, what would ET
     be like?
 
     * 7 out of 10 Americans think the intelligent life forms on other planets
       would be similar to humans
 
     * 8 out of 10 Americans think it is likely that the intelligent life forms
       on other planets are more advanced than us
 
     * 7 out of 10 Americans think it is likely that these life forms have the
       technology to travel through space
 
     * 7 out of 10 Americans think that these life forms have the technology to
       communicate across deep space
 
     Should we respond if ET makes contact?
 
     * 90% of Americans who believe life exists think we should communicate
       back if we heard communications coming from another planet
 
     * Of those who do not  believe in life on other planets, if we should hear
       something, 2/3 think we should respond
 
     Complete survey results can be found on
 http://www.nationalgeographic.com/channel/extraterrestrial
 and http://www.seti.org.  The national survey has a +/- 3.2 percent chance of
 error.
     "Extraterrestrial," premiering on NGC Monday, May 30 from 9:00-11:00 p.m.
 ET/PT (encore Thursday, June 2 from 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), is a
 groundbreaking new show that creates two worlds which scientists believe could
 exist in our own Milky Way galaxy, putting evolution into motion to
 investigate what life forms could survive there. Utilizing a combination of
 computer generated imaging (CGI) and 3-D effects, "Extraterrestrial" takes
 viewers on a dazzling galactic journey to come face-to-face with these
 fantastic alien life forms.
     "Extraterrestrial" reflects the contributions of leading scientists from
 NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), prestigious
 universities and organizations like the Ecospheres Project and the SETI
 Institute. The experts anticipate discoveries to be made in the near future,
 when super-powerful new telescopes will begin examining nearby star systems of
 the Milky Way for signs of life.
     Based at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the
 National Geographic Channel is a joint venture between National Geographic
 Television & Film (NGT&F) and Fox Cable Networks. National Geographic Channel
 debuted to an initial 10 million homes in January 2001, and has been one of
 the fastest growing networks in history. The Channel has carriage with all of
 the nation's major cable and satellite television providers, making it
 currently available to more than 53 million homes. For more information,
 please visit http://www.nationalgeographic.com/channel.
     The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain
 the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.  For more
 information, please visit http://www.seti.org/jointeamseti/.
 
 

SOURCE National Geographic Channel
    WASHINGTON, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Following the record-breaking opening
 of the final Star Wars film, what do Americans really believe about life in
 galaxies far, far away?  Does intelligent life exist anywhere besides Earth?
 Are regular churchgoers less likely to believe life has evolved on other
 planets?  Do more Democrats or Republicans believe in extraterrestrials?
 And if alien life makes contact, what should we do?
     These questions and more are answered in a new national survey released
 today.  Almost two-thirds of Americans do believe that life exists on other
 planets, and of that group, 90% say if we receive a message from another
 planet we should reply.
     The nationally representative telephone survey of 1,000 Americans -- 523
 women and 477 men aged 18+ -- was conducted between April 20 and May 2, 2005
 by the University of Connecticut's Center For Survey Research and Analysis
 (CSRA) in association with the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial
 Intelligence) and National Geographic Channel (NGC).  Commissioned by NGC, the
 survey is being released in advance of the world premiere special
 "Extraterrestrial," airing Monday, May 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.  And during the
 show, viewers will also be able to text message their opinions about life on
 other planets.  Results of the nationwide mobile poll will be revealed live on
 air at the end of "Extraterrestrial."
     "It is quite likely that there is life elsewhere in our galaxy, and
 there's a real possibility that we will find evidence of intelligent
 extraterrestrial life by the year 2025," said Dr. Seth Shostak, a senior
 astronomer with the SETI Institute, and an expert featured in
 "Extraterrestrial." "In light of all the interest in alien life in movie
 theaters this past week, it is interesting that the majority of Americans
 truly believe extraterrestrial life exists on other planets."
     Highlights of the national survey include:
 
     Does life exist on other planets?
 
     * 60% of Americans believe life exists on other planets
 
     * More men than women believe life exists on other planets, 69% vs. 51%
 
     * 72% of those who believe life exists on other planets would be "excited
       and hopeful" upon learning that life had been found on other planets.
 
     * Women are twice as likely as men to feel "nervous and afraid" if we
       learn life exists -- 27% vs. 13%
 
     * Men are more likely to feel excited and hopeful if we find life on other
       planets -- 78% vs. 65%
 
     What role does religion play in the belief in ET?
 
     * People who are regular churchgoers are less-likely to believe in life on
       other planets compared to non-churchgoers, 46% vs. 70%
 
     What role does education play in your belief in ET?
 
     * 63% of college graduates believe in life in outer space
 
     Democrats vs. Republicans
 
     * No filibuster here -- given the margin of error, Democrats and
       Republicans are equally likely to believe in life on other planets
 
     For those that do believe that life exists on other planets, what would ET
     be like?
 
     * 7 out of 10 Americans think the intelligent life forms on other planets
       would be similar to humans
 
     * 8 out of 10 Americans think it is likely that the intelligent life forms
       on other planets are more advanced than us
 
     * 7 out of 10 Americans think it is likely that these life forms have the
       technology to travel through space
 
     * 7 out of 10 Americans think that these life forms have the technology to
       communicate across deep space
 
     Should we respond if ET makes contact?
 
     * 90% of Americans who believe life exists think we should communicate
       back if we heard communications coming from another planet
 
     * Of those who do not  believe in life on other planets, if we should hear
       something, 2/3 think we should respond
 
     Complete survey results can be found on
 http://www.nationalgeographic.com/channel/extraterrestrial
 and http://www.seti.org.  The national survey has a +/- 3.2 percent chance of
 error.
     "Extraterrestrial," premiering on NGC Monday, May 30 from 9:00-11:00 p.m.
 ET/PT (encore Thursday, June 2 from 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), is a
 groundbreaking new show that creates two worlds which scientists believe could
 exist in our own Milky Way galaxy, putting evolution into motion to
 investigate what life forms could survive there. Utilizing a combination of
 computer generated imaging (CGI) and 3-D effects, "Extraterrestrial" takes
 viewers on a dazzling galactic journey to come face-to-face with these
 fantastic alien life forms.
     "Extraterrestrial" reflects the contributions of leading scientists from
 NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), prestigious
 universities and organizations like the Ecospheres Project and the SETI
 Institute. The experts anticipate discoveries to be made in the near future,
 when super-powerful new telescopes will begin examining nearby star systems of
 the Milky Way for signs of life.
     Based at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the
 National Geographic Channel is a joint venture between National Geographic
 Television & Film (NGT&F) and Fox Cable Networks. National Geographic Channel
 debuted to an initial 10 million homes in January 2001, and has been one of
 the fastest growing networks in history. The Channel has carriage with all of
 the nation's major cable and satellite television providers, making it
 currently available to more than 53 million homes. For more information,
 please visit http://www.nationalgeographic.com/channel.
     The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain
 the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.  For more
 information, please visit http://www.seti.org/jointeamseti/.
 
 SOURCE  National Geographic Channel