WoD – Life, the Universe, and Everything

Saw this story the other day.  My reaction is similar to that of a second grader on a playground…  No Duh!  (Do they still say that, by the way?!)

Why must this supposed discovery be deemed so “controversial”?  I am actually kind of amazed anyone thinks we are the only planet, sun, solar system or galaxy that has life of some kind on it.  I’m not saying it’s the Chalmun’s Cantina Bar from the first Star Wars movie out in space (yes, I Googled that), but to think that we are the only planet and sun out of a gajillion planets and suns to support some kind of life form seems to me to be very… self-centric.

In fact, it makes me think about how way back all the people in Europe thought the world was flat and only they existed.  How silly, in retrospect, right?  Or that the sun, solar system and stars all revolved around the Earth.  How… backwards.  So while it may be only now that we are getting little snippets of proof, when we zoom out a bit, I am sure that one day humanity will look back on the past few hundreds of years and wonder how we could have been so naive.  Unless in the next few years we’re all smashed to smithereens by a giant meteor, before anyone can actually prove this “controversial” life theory first.

By the way, this has nothing to do with religion and whether there is or isn’t a God — he/she/it still may exist and have created life, the universe, and everything.  But all I’m saying is, perhaps we’re not alone.  And perhaps the universe doesn’t revolve around the Earth, after all…

 

Strange life signs found on meteorites-NASA scientist

Sun, Mar 6 2011

* Controversial report suggests extraterrestrial life

* Signs of microscopic fossils seen in space rocks

* Bacteria similar to Earth’s blue-green algae

By Deborah Zabarenko

WASHINGTON, March 6 (Reuters) – A NASA scientist reports detecting tiny fossilized bacteria on three meteorites, and maintains these microscopic life forms are not native to Earth.  If confirmed, this research would suggest life in the universe is widespread and life on Earth may have come from elsewhere in the solar system, riding to our planet on space rocks like comets, moons and other astral bodies.

The study, published online late Friday in The Journal of Cosmology, is considered so controversial it is accompanied by a statement from the journal’s editor seeking other scientific comment, which is to be published starting on Monday.  The central claim of the study by astrobiologist Richard Hoover is that there is evidence of microfossils similar to cyanobacteria — blue-green algae, also known as pond scum — on the freshly fractured inner surfaces of three meteorites.

These microscopic structures had lots of carbon, a marker for Earth-type life, and almost no nitrogen, Hoover said in a telephone interview on Sunday.  Nitrogen can also be a sign of Earthly life, but the lack of it only means that whatever nitrogen was in these structures has decomposed out into a gaseous form long ago, Hoover said.

“We have known for a long time that there were very interesting biomarkers in carbonaceous meteorites and the detection of structures that are very similar … to known terrestrial cyanobacteria is interesting in that it indicates that life is not restricted to the planet Earth,” Hoover said.  Hoover, based at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, has specialized in the study of microscopic lifeforms that survive extreme environments such as glaciers, permafrost and geysers.

He is not the first to claim discovery of microscopic life from other worlds.  In 1996, NASA scientists presented research indicating a 4-billion-year-old meteorite found in Antarctica carried evidence of fossilized microbial life from Mars.  The initial discovery of the so-called Mars meteorite was greeted with acclaim and the rock unveiled at a standing room-only briefing at NASA headquarters in Washington.  Since then, however, criticism has surrounded that discovery and conclusive proof has been elusive.  Hoover’s research may well meet the same fate. In a statement published with the online paper, the Journal of Cosmology’s editor in chief, Rudy Schild, said in a statement:

“Dr. Richard Hoover is a highly respected scientist and astrobiologist with a prestigious record of accomplishment at NASA. Given the controversial nature of his discovery, we have invited 100 experts and have issued a general invitation to over 5,000 scientists from the scientific community to review the paper and to offer their critical analysis.” (Editing by Todd Eastham)

 

Monday:

FARMISHT (fahrMIHSHT)

Mixed up, confused

His (my?) ideas are so farmisht that no one can understand him.

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1 Response to “WoD – Life, the Universe, and Everything”



  1. 1 WoD – We are not alone… « The Yiddish WoD Trackback on December 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm

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