Do scientists have found evidence of alien life?
Due the numbers of readers that is asking me about this news, I’ve decided to bring more attention on this.
You all know the story, dr. Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist, claims to have found fossil evidence of bacterial life in an extremely rare class of meteorite.
If you want to read his research is this: ‘Fossil of Cyanobacteria in C11 Carbonaceous Meteorites: Implication of life on comets, Europa, and Enceladus’.
The news spread immediately on the Internet, becoming incredibly popular. But soon some doubts have followed.
Ian O’Neill have wrote:
This research is certainly exciting, but my first reaction was skepticism even before I’d looked at the paper. Why has this research been published in the Journal of Cosmology? Why isn’t the news plastered across the front page of NASA’s website? Surely something that claims to be of this groundbreaking, historic significance should be published in a major science journal (not a troubled online journal that has announced it is going out of business this year)? Did the most reputable journal of all, Science, turn this research away? If so, why?
Phil Plait in is article said:
Probably the biggest bump in the road for showing these things are life-forms is to show they are not the result of Earthly bacteria getting inside the meteorite after it hit. This is very tough to do, though Hoover says this in his paper:
Many of the filaments shown in the figures are clearly embedded in the meteorite rock matrix. Consequently, it is concluded that the Orgueil filaments cannot logically be interpreted as representing filamentous cyanobacteria that invaded the meteorite after its arrival. They are therefore interpreted as the indigenous remains of microfossils that were present in the meteorite rock matrix when the meteorite entered the Earth’s atmosphere.
Clearly, Hoover thinks terrestrial contamination is unlikely. However, contamination, no matter how unlikely, is a more mundane explanation than extraterrestrial life, and Occam’s Razor will always shave very closely here. We have to be very, very clear that contamination was impossible before seriously entertaining the idea that these structures are space-borne life.
Pz Mayers, who is very critical to Hoover’s findings, said:
There is one other kind of datum in the article: they also analyzed the mineral content of the ‘bacteria’, and report detailed breakdowns of the constitution of the blobs: there’s lots of carbon, magnesium, silicon, and sulfur in there, and virtually no nitrogen. The profiles don’t look anything like what you’d expect from organic life on Earth, but then, these are supposedly fossilized specimens from chondrites that congealed out of the gases of the solar nebula billions of years ago. Why would you expect any kind of correspondence?
He also reply so to the question: Did Scientist discover bacteria in meteorites?
No, no, no. No no no no no no no no.
Rosie Redfield in her comment to Hoover’s findings said in the first lines:
Move along folks, there’s nothing to see here.
And in the latter:
As evidence for life this is pathetic […]
I have summarized here some of the criticisms, so, what con I add?
I understand why this story has become so popular, most of the people believe that alien life exists somewhere in Universe, (anyway I hope you don’t belive in small green little creatures with antennas that go around on flying saucers), and when they hear someone, a scientist, that says he has found the evidence that aliens exist, they are naturally pushed to believe to him, without questioning.
We need skepticism, more skepticism when we hear stories like this.
The truth is, still, out there.