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What Do You Think About These 8 Scientific Questions?

Yes, we know that’s not how science works. No, that’s not going to stop us asking you anyway.

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Vote first, and then scroll down to see what the current scientific thinking is on each question.

Most of these questions don't have a right or wrong answer – yet.

  1. Do you think the Brontosaurus was a real dinosaur?

    Othniel C. Marsh
    Yes, because it’s my favourite.
    Yes, because I’ve reviewed the scientific evidence available and think it presents a compelling case.
    No, I’m not convinced.

What Do You Think About These 8 Scientific Questions?

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Do you think the Brontosaurus was a real dinosaur?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Yes, because it’s my favourite.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Yes, because I’ve reviewed the scientific evidence available and think it presents a compelling case.
  3.  
    vote votes
    No, I’m not convinced.

The science says...

As any pedant will tell you, Brontosaurus is actually just the same as Apatosaurus, right? Well, a couple of years ago two scientists published a new study suggesting that it might in fact be a distinct genus (that's one up from species) after all.

  1. Do you think Pluto should be a planet?

    NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute
    Yes, because I feel sorry for it.
    Yes, because I disagree with the International Astronomical Union’s definition of a planet.
    It’s a dwarf planet and that’s a perfectly acceptable type of planet to be.
    No, and everyone who thinks it should be needs to get over it.

What Do You Think About These 8 Scientific Questions?

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Do you think Pluto should be a planet?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Yes, because I feel sorry for it.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Yes, because I disagree with the International Astronomical Union’s definition of a planet.
  3.  
    vote votes
    It’s a dwarf planet and that’s a perfectly acceptable type of planet to be.
  4.  
    vote votes
    No, and everyone who thinks it should be needs to get over it.

The science says...

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted that the definition of a planet would be: "A celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit." Pluto orbits the sun and is round, but it hasn't cleared its neighbourhood of objects, so the IAU ruling meant it was demoted to dwarf planet status.

  1. Do you think (a version of) string theory is right?

    en.wikipedia.org
    Yes! It’s only a matter of time until we get some evidence.
    Lol, absolutely not.
    I am keeping an open mind about it.

What Do You Think About These 8 Scientific Questions?

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Do you think (a version of) string theory is right?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Yes! It’s only a matter of time until we get some evidence.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Lol, absolutely not.
  3.  
    vote votes
    I am keeping an open mind about it.

The science says...

String theory is a way of mathematically uniting gravity with quantum mechanics. It's the most well-known contender for the "Theory of Everything" that physicists have long searched for. But there's no evidence (so far) that it's true, and critics say a big failing is that it does not make testable predictions – making it impossible to prove either way.

  1. Do you think we're alone in the universe?

    ESO/M. Kornmesser
    Yes, we're totally alone.
    No, the universe is so big that there must be other intelligent life somewhere right now.
    I think that, at some point in the history of the universe, another intelligent life form has existed, but not necessarily right now.

What Do You Think About These 8 Scientific Questions?

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Do you think we're alone in the universe?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Yes, we're totally alone.
  2.  
    vote votes
    No, the universe is so big that there must be other intelligent life somewhere right now.
  3.  
    vote votes
    I think that, at some point in the history of the universe, another intelligent life form has existed, but not necessarily right now.

The science says...

We've seen thousands of planets outside our solar system, and know there are many, many more we've not yet discovered. Even if only a extremely small fraction of those develop life, the odds are stacked in the favour of aliens having at least existed at some point in the past – one astrophysicist even argues it "borders on the irrational" to doubt it.

  1. Do you think, in your lifetime, humans will make contact with aliens?

    Paramount Pictures
    Yes, and it will go brilliantly.
    Yes, and it will go horribly wrong.
    No, I think it's unlikely given the size of the universe.
    No, if they're intelligent enough they'll know to stay away from us.
    I think we already have.

What Do You Think About These 8 Scientific Questions?

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Do you think, in your lifetime, humans will make contact with aliens?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Yes, and it will go brilliantly.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Yes, and it will go horribly wrong.
  3.  
    vote votes
    No, I think it's unlikely given the size of the universe.
  4.  
    vote votes
    No, if they're intelligent enough they'll know to stay away from us.
  5.  
    vote votes
    I think we already have.

The science says...

Saying aliens probably exist or have existed is one thing, but being able to find and speak to them is a whole other issue. Right now it feels like all we're doing shouting into the void and crossing our fingers for a response – although some think that even by doing that we could just be asking for trouble.

  1. Is there a ninth planet hiding in the solar system?

    (For the avoidance of doubt, we're talking about a ninth planet that is not Pluto.)
    Tomruen / nagualdesign / ESO

    (For the avoidance of doubt, we're talking about a ninth planet that is not Pluto.)

    Yes, the evidence all points that way.
    No, I'm not convinced a ninth planet exists.

What Do You Think About These 8 Scientific Questions?

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Is there a ninth planet hiding in the solar system?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Yes, the evidence all points that way.
  2.  
    vote votes
    No, I'm not convinced a ninth planet exists.

The science says...

There have been rumblings for a while about a ninth planet in the outer reaches of the solar system, but last year new evidence led to a bunch of fresh headlines speculating that is really does exist. It would explain why the entire solar system, except for the sun, is slightly tilted – but the jury won't be in until someone actually spies it with a telescope.

  1. What do you think came before the Big Bang?

    Getty / agsandrew
    The Big Bang created space-time, so there was no time before it, and this question doesn't make sense.
    There's a multiverse that keeps producing new baby universes, and ours is one of those.
    Our universe came out of a black hole in an older universe.
    I have another theory that I will expand on in the comments section.

What Do You Think About These 8 Scientific Questions?

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What do you think came before the Big Bang?
  1.  
    vote votes
    The Big Bang created space-time, so there was no time before it, and this question doesn't make sense.
  2.  
    vote votes
    There's a multiverse that keeps producing new baby universes, and ours is one of those.
  3.  
    vote votes
    Our universe came out of a black hole in an older universe.
  4.  
    vote votes
    I have another theory that I will expand on in the comments section.

The science says...

The trouble with working out what happened at the big bang is that our laws of physics break down in the very early universe. Some physicists think that there was no time at all before the big bang – here's a lecture by Stephen Hawking, if you'd like to know more about that idea – but others disagree with that idea.

  1. Do you think, in your lifetime, that humanity will create a robot with artificial intelligence that is more intelligent than we are?

    Jared C. Benedict / Creative Commons / en.wikipedia.org
    Yes, it’s inevitable.
    No, we’re smart enough to know that’s a bad idea.
    No, I don’t think that’s possible.

What Do You Think About These 8 Scientific Questions?

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Do you think, in your lifetime, that humanity will create a robot with artificial intelligence that is more intelligent than we are?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Yes, it’s inevitable.
  2.  
    vote votes
    No, we’re smart enough to know that’s a bad idea.
  3.  
    vote votes
    No, I don’t think that’s possible.

The science says...

Last year a computer beat a human at Go for the first time. There's a long way to go from that to a robot uprising, but a report by the European parliament has warned that robots could take over several aspects of our lives, and we need to take steps to manage these risks. I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

Contact Kelly Oakes at kelly.oakes@buzzfeed.com.

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