Jump to content

Nasa Scientist Finds Evidence Of Alien Life


par4dcourse
 Share

Recommended Posts

Definitely interesting. It is nice to see some evidence of life elsewhere even if it does stir some controversy. Heck, maybe the controversy could lead us to more findings of extraterrestrial life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds aweful similar to another story I heard of not too long ago. It probably isn't fossilized bacteria, but who knows?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

how interesting.............................. something to think about!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds aweful similar to another story I heard of not too long ago. It probably isn't fossilized bacteria, but who knows?

Here's the article from Journal of Cosmology: http://journalofcosmology.com/Life100.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If this holds up to scrutiny and becomes accepted within scientific circles and then by the public, it could have a profound impact on people. Suddenly, people will be faced with the reality that we are not the center of the universe and that life is not unique to earth. The religious will have to reconcile this new discovery, if it stands up, to their version of creation in Genesis which certainly makes no mention of anything like life anywhere else.

 

But I think even more profoundly, it will affect the way evolution is viewed by the masses. If life can begin some place other than earth, then maybe life did actually begin as a natural process of the growth of our universe. Where the conditions were right, life developed. It's a natural occurrence, not a divine miracle. Now that has the potential to be a bombshell. No, not that. A nuclear explosion once the implications are fully understood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's one skeptical response to it: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/03/05/has-life-been-found-in-a-meteorite/#more-29102

I’ll be honest: my own reaction is one of extreme skepticism. As it should be! All things being equal, I would take news like this with a very large grain of salt, and want a whole lot of outside expert analysis; I’d like to see other biologists examining the original meteorite, too. Interestingly, the editors for the journal in which this paper is published understand how controversial this claim is, so they have asked 100 expert scientists to review the work and critique it. Those reviews have not yet been published, so we’ll see; the editors say the reviews will go online in a few days.

 

Also, I feel I need to mention this as well: in my opinion, The Journal of Cosmology has published articles in the past that can charitably be called "shaky" (like this anti-Big Bang paper). One of their editors, Chandra Wickramasinghe, has made some pretty outrageous claims about NASA and life in space (links to some of his other odd claims can be found at that page as well). However, this does not necessarily mean that Hoover’s work is any more suspect than any other scientific claim! But it does mean I will cast an especially-skeptical eye on claims made in papers published by them. Others agree as well.

 

And I must note that in an error-laden article*, the Journal published a not-very-flattering comment about me, calling me an "astronomer-wannabe" — heh– and claims I led a "torches and pitchforks crowd" about the existence of a planet in the outer solar system. That’s completely false, and in fact I got an email from the researcher leading the search for that planet, calling my article on it "the most balanced discussion" he saw!

 

Hmmm.

 

[updated to add: I've been informed the Journal of Cosmology is going out of business. They wrote a press release that may be of some interest.]

 

So, to conclude: a claim has been made about micro-fossils in a meteorite. The claims are interesting, the pictures intriguing, but we are a long, long way from knowing whether the claim is valid or not! We’ve been down this road before and been disappointed. As with any scientific claim, skepticism is needed, and in the case of extraordinary claims, well, you know the saying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could see...say in a thousand years or so...when our distant decedents actually go into space and colonize other star systems, much as the explorers did at the discovery of the New World by the famous explorers, there will be some version of Christians who will, instead of referring to 'The Garden of Eden' as the source of life...will refer to some mythical 'Earth Home World' or something to that extent.... :scratch:

 

...and soon we build the first BattleStars and create the first Cylons... sorry couldn't resist *grins, ducks, runs*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Fully agreed on that one. Certainly very interesting, but from what I heard the source of it all is not exactly a fount of proper scientific work. Which I find sad, in this case. On this topic it can be said that "I want to believe" :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could see...say in a thousand years or so...when our distant decedents actually go into space and colonize other star systems, much as the explorers did at the discovery of the New World by the famous explorers, there will be some version of Christians who will, instead of referring to 'The Garden of Eden' as the source of life...will refer to some mythical 'Earth Home World' or something to that extent.... :scratch:

 

...and soon we build the first BattleStars and create the first Cylons... sorry couldn't resist *grins, ducks, runs*

 

 

or "Earth that was"

 

:cue guitar:

Take my love, take my land

Take me where I cannot stand

I don't care, I'm still free

You can't take the sky from me

Take me out to the black

Tell them I ain't comin' back

Burn the land and boil the sea

You can't take the sky from me

There's no place I can be

Since I found Serenity

But you can't take the sky from me...

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I first read th headlines a few days ago, I was like "Alright!" Then I saw where the paper was published and deflated... I have read a bit of the site owners ideas. Several years back I was intrigued by his stuff, then after a bit of reading and digging, decided he was a kook. Now, I believe that there could be sustainable life in our solar system and even deep space, but he thinks life can live in nodules inside stars and when the star explodes, it will disperse life far and away.

 

His ideas read like a comic book plot. To me, he is a few steps from the "Man old as coal" guy. As for the Dr. Hoover from Nasa... Well lets just say Nasa needs a lot of people for their work, even if they write crazy papers on space-life or "88 reasons the rapture will occur in 1988" in their spare time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I first read th headlines a few days ago, I was like "Alright!" Then I saw where the paper was published and deflated... I have read a bit of the site owners ideas. Several years back I was intrigued by his stuff, then after a bit of reading and digging, decided he was a kook. Now, I believe that there could be sustainable life in our solar system and even deep space, but he thinks life can live in nodules inside stars and when the star explodes, it will disperse life far and away.

 

His ideas read like a comic book plot. To me, he is a few steps from the "Man old as coal" guy. As for the Dr. Hoover from Nasa... Well lets just say Nasa needs a lot of people for their work, even if they write crazy papers on space-life or "88 reasons the rapture will occur in 1988" in their spare time.

 

Aw hell, I should have know if fox was involved it was crapola, but a guy can dream.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh yeah, there's alien life out there alright. And come 2012, those of you who survive the upheavals will see some for yourself when you get placed in the Kosmic Kindergarten. :HaHa:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that in a few hundred years, our current notion that our planet may contain the only 'life' out there will be considered just as quaint and egocentric as the notion that the sun revolves around the earth.

It's already starting to become that way now. I'm thinking we'll find at least microbial life on Europa. I just find finding life on meteors a bit hard to imagine. How would it survive the solar radiation?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To add my thoughts to this, I read through his paper he presented and the supports for it (it took awhile to digest all the nomenclature, but quite fascinating in the end), I would say that my impression of this was with a great deal of hope. It looks very solid... however, I'm not a scientist in this right. To say that this necessarily suggests panspermism, or exogenesis, as is supported by this is a bit of a stretch. Personally I am much more attracted to geogenisis, that life evolves everywhere in the universe as an inevitability of universe. I would say I see this, if it is validated as legitimate, that life exists elsewhere in the universe (which I believe is the case), does not necessarily confirm that life on this planet was "seeded" from elsewhere, though that is possible as well. To take this if proven as support of one hypothesis like that is premature.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's NASA's response to the alien microbe claim: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110307/sc_afp/usspacebiologyastrobiologynasa_20110307213247;_ylt=Ai65eMY3VTwp_uvAp_Sb11Ks0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFla2gwdjlsBHBvcwMxMTQEc2VjA2FjY29yZGlvbl9zY2llbmNlBHNsawNuYXNhc2F5czM5bm8-

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Top NASA scientists said Monday there was no scientific evidence to support a colleague's claim that fossils of alien microbes born in outer space had been found in meteorites on Earth.

 

The US space agency formally distanced itself from the paper by NASA scientist Richard Hoover, whose findings were published Friday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Cosmology, which is available free online.

 

"That is a claim that Mr Hoover has been making for some years," said Carl Pilcher, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute.

 

"I am not aware of any support from other meteorite researchers for this rather extraordinary claim that this evidence of microbes was present in the meteorite before the meteorite arrived on Earth and and was not the result of contamination after the meteorite arrived on Earth," he told AFP.

 

"The simplest explanation is that there are microbes in the meteorites; they are Earth microbes. In other words, they are contamination."

 

Pilcher said the meteorites that Hoover studied fell to Earth 100 to 200 years ago and have been heavily handled by humans, "so you would expect to find microbes in these meteorites."

 

Paul Hertz, chief scientist of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, also issued a statement saying NASA did not support Hoover's findings.

 

"While we value the free exchange of ideas, data and information as part of scientific and technical inquiry, NASA cannot stand behind or support a scientific claim unless it has been peer-reviewed or thoroughly examined by other qualified experts," Hertz said.

 

"NASA also was unaware of the recent submission of the paper to the Journal of Cosmology or of the paper's subsequent publication."

 

He noted that the paper did not complete the peer-review process after being submitted in 2007 to the International Journal of Astrobiology.

 

According to the study, Hoover sliced open fragments of several types of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, which can contain relatively high levels of water and organic materials, and looked inside with a powerful microscope, Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM).

 

He found bacteria-like creatures, calling them "indigenous fossils" that originated beyond Earth and were not introduced here after the meteorites landed.

 

Hoover "concludes these fossilized bacteria are not Earthly contaminants but are the fossilized remains of living organisms which lived in the parent bodies of these meteors, e.g. comets, moons and other astral bodies," said the study.

 

"The implications are that life is everywhere, and that life on Earth may have come from other planets."

 

The journal's editor-in-chief, Rudy Schild of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, hailed Hoover as a "highly respected scientist and astrobiologist with a prestigious record of accomplishment at NASA."

 

The publication invited experts to weigh in on Hoover's claim, and both sceptics and supporters began publishing their commentaries on the journal's website Monday.

 

"While the evidence clearly indicates that the meteorites was eons ago populated with bacterial life, whether the meteorites are of actual extra-terrestrial origin might debatable," wrote Patrick Godon of Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

 

Michael Engel of the University of Oklahoma wrote: "Given the importance of this finding, it is essential to continue to seek new criteria more robust than visual similarity to clarify the origin(s) of these remarkable structures."

 

The journal did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

 

Pilcher described Hoover as a "NASA employee" who works in a solar physics branch of a NASA lab in the southeastern state of Alabama.

 

"He clearly does some very interesting microscopy. The actual measurements on these meteorites are very nice measurements, but I am not aware of any other qualification that Mr Hoover has in analysis of meteorites or in astrobiology," Pilcher said.

 

A NASA-funded study in December suggested that a previously unknown form of bacterium, found deep in a California lake, could thrive on arsenic, adding a new element to what scientists have long considered the six building blocks of life.

 

That study drew hefty criticism, particularly after NASA touted the announcement as evidence of extraterrestrial life. Scientists are currently attempting to replicate those findings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just because I love to play devil's advocate, I'm going to offer some challenges to this official response from NASA. This does not mean of course that I'm convinced of this scientist's research, but I do see some flaws in what I read here:

 

Here's NASA's response to the alien microbe claim: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110307/sc_afp/usspacebiologyastrobiologynasa_20110307213247;_ylt=Ai65eMY3VTwp_uvAp_Sb11Ks0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFla2gwdjlsBHBvcwMxMTQEc2VjA2FjY29yZGlvbl9zY2llbmNlBHNsawNuYXNhc2F5czM5bm8-

 

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Top NASA scientists said Monday there was no scientific evidence to support a colleague's claim that fossils of alien microbes born in outer space had been found in meteorites on Earth.

A conclusion made how exactly, if what is in his paper is actually the evidence itself? How specifically is what he presented incorrect? Where is the flaw in his presented evidence?

 

 

The US space agency formally distanced itself from the paper by NASA scientist Richard Hoover, whose findings were published Friday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Cosmology, which is available free online.

 

"That is a claim that Mr Hoover has been making for some years," said Carl Pilcher, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute.

 

"I am not aware of any support from other meteorite researchers for this rather extraordinary claim that this evidence of microbes was present in the meteorite before the meteorite arrived on Earth and and was not the result of contamination after the meteorite arrived on Earth," he told AFP.

And this makes him wrong? How many times could this be said of new research that is offered, "I know of no other biologist that says we came from earlier species."

 

"The simplest explanation is that there are microbes in the meteorites; they are Earth microbes. In other words, they are contamination."

 

Pilcher said the meteorites that Hoover studied fell to Earth 100 to 200 years ago and have been heavily handled by humans, "so you would expect to find microbes in these meteorites."

Yet his evidence presented clearly shows how and why they could not be modern contamination. This sounds like an "easy answer" that is not supported by what evidence he presented as to how it could not be modern contamination. Where is their scientific evidence that shows it is?

 

Paul Hertz, chief scientist of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, also issued a statement saying NASA did not support Hoover's findings.

 

"While we value the free exchange of ideas, data and information as part of scientific and technical inquiry, NASA cannot stand behind or support a scientific claim unless it has been peer-reviewed or thoroughly examined by other qualified experts," Hertz said.

Which I believe is the purpose for it being submitted for peer review as is presently going on. Certainly NASA should distance themselves from his conclusions until what is presented stands up to review. What I hear here however is that they reject his findings out of hand, not as a result of peer review.

 

Pilcher described Hoover as a "NASA employee" who works in a solar physics branch of a NASA lab in the southeastern state of Alabama.

 

"He clearly does some very interesting microscopy. The actual measurements on these meteorites are very nice measurements, but I am not aware of any other qualification that Mr Hoover has in analysis of meteorites or in astrobiology," Pilcher said.

 

A NASA-funded study in December suggested that a previously unknown form of bacterium, found deep in a California lake, could thrive on arsenic, adding a new element to what scientists have long considered the six building blocks of life.

 

That study drew hefty criticism, particularly after NASA touted the announcement as evidence of extraterrestrial life. Scientists are currently attempting to replicate those findings.

So what I am hearing in all this is in fact not a conclusion that NASA has made regarding his evidence presented through directly reviewing his research and citing specific flaws in it, but a distancing of their name from it due to the egg they got on the face in other public statements from them. The suggestion that comes from this article however is that Hoover is in error. That I don't see any evidence presented to support that conclusion.

 

Thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't someone claim to have found bacteria in Mars meteorites back in the 90s and that got debunked too?

Yes. I think it's still somewhat unresolved. It could be, but it's considered most likely not. So, debunked might be too strong word.

 

And if I remember right, it was NASA that reported on that discovery back then (I could be wrong), which would explain their reaction today.

 

Lastly, this discovery (true or false, I don't know whichever it is) has not been debunked yet, so "debunked too" is a premature position. NASA only said they don't believe his findings, not that his finding has been proven wrong. Right? Or did I miss something? My understanding is that they only have a negative claim, "it's not true," but no research to prove it. Hoover (that's his name?) has a least tried to prove his standpoint.

 

 

This doesn't mean of course that it is true or that I believe the finding. It's just that "debunked too" suggests that it has been proven wrong, and I can't see that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are what I see as some key points he addresses in his paper and research which appears to invalidate the argument that "the easier explanation" is a modern contamination:

 

While fingerprints, pollen grains, fungi, bacteria, laboratory oils and other contaminants could be encountered on the fusion crust or exposed old cracks and fractured surfaces of meteorites, the hypothesis that the interior surfaces carbonaceous meteorites are seriously contaminated by modern bacteria, fungi, or pollen is simply not consistent with the observational results. For this reason, it is extremely important that studies of biomarkers such as amino acids, nucleobases, complex organic chemicals and microfossils should be rigorously restricted to freshly fractured interior portions of the stones.

 

...

 

Although many modern cyanobacteria are resistant to desiccation, they do not carry out active growth and mat building when they are in a dried state. However, it has been known since 1864 that the Orgueil meteorite is a microregolith breccia, comprised of minute particulates cemented together by water-soluble salts that are readily destroyed by exposure to liquid water. Therefore, it is suggested that none of the Orgueil samples could have ever been submerged in pools of liquid water needed to sustain the growth of large photoautotrophic cyanobacteria and required for the formation of benthic cyanobacterial mats since the meteorite arrived on Earth. 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.

 

...

 

Recently dead cyanobacteria and living cyanobacteria and other modern extremophiles are usually damaged by exposure to the focused FESEM electron beam during EDS analysis of small spots. This beam damage behavior was not observed in the Orgueil filaments or in Devonian, Cambrian, or Archaean fossils investigated.

 

...

 

However, truly ancient biological materials (e.g., Cambrian trilobites from the Wheeler Shale of Utah (505 Mya) and 2.7 Gya filamentous cyanobacteria from Karelia) have nitrogen levels below the limit of detection with the FESEM EDS detector. These results provide definitive evidence that the filaments encountered in the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites are indigenous to the stones and are not the result of microbiota that invaded the stones after they arrived on Earth in 1864 or 1938. Hoover (2007) has discussed the use of Nitrogen levels and biogenic element ratios for distinguishing between modern and fossil microorganisms as a mechanism for recognizing recent biological contaminants in terrestrial rocks and meteorites.

 

...

 

The amino acids of Table IV shown in italics or marked with “-“ or “n.d.” were either not detected or present at only trace levels in the fossils in terrestrial rocks and carbonaceous meteorites. Even though there is no doubt that the amber encased fly and the Hadrosaur teeth are biological in origin, it is seen that these fossils are also missing several of the same amino acids that absent in the carbonaceous meteorites. Only 8 of the 20 life-critical protein amino acids are detectable in water/acid extracts of carbonaceous meteorites. The fact that several of the amino acids missing in meteorites and ancient terrestrial fossils are abundant in living bacteria provides strong evidence that the meteorites are not contaminated by modern biological materials. If modern bio-contaminants were present, all 20 protein amino acids should be detected.

 

...

 

However, in these carbonaceous meteorites, the protein amino acids LEU, THR, SER, VAL, ILEU and PRO, which are abundant in all life on Earth, are either totally absent or detected only at trace levels. As has been pointed out by Engel and Macko (2005) these missing protein amino acids provide clear and convincing evidence that the interior portions of the CI1 and CM2 carbonaceous meteorites are not contaminated by modern cyanobacteria, pollen, fingerprints or other microbial contaminants.

 

 

And so on. Now, he may be incorrect in how is doing science and that's not for me to say. But he has done his homework and to simply say "it's a modern contaminant" without addressing the specifics of his research doesn't exactly qualify in my mind as a scientific conclusion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Yes. I think it's still somewhat unresolved. It could be, but it's considered most likely not. So, debunked might be too strong word.

 

And if I remember right, it was NASA that reported on that discovery back then (I could be wrong), which would explain their reaction today.

 

 

It was one of my Catholic friends who mentioned this to me that it's happened before. She's a big believer in the paranormal and the supernatural and she even believes in Mothman. I linked her to this story and she was unimpressed. Her reaction was "again?" and she mentioned to me this has already happened before and she found it unconvincing even though she's a believer in this stuff herself.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Yes. I think it's still somewhat unresolved. It could be, but it's considered most likely not. So, debunked might be too strong word.

 

And if I remember right, it was NASA that reported on that discovery back then (I could be wrong), which would explain their reaction today.

 

 

It was one of my Catholic friends who mentioned this to me that it's happened before. She's a big believer in the paranormal and the supernatural and she even believes in Mothman. I linked her to this story and she was unimpressed. Her reaction was "again?" and she mentioned to me this has already happened before and she found it unconvincing even though she's a believer in this stuff herself.

So you're saying that because she didn't believe it then it has been debunked? I thought the action of debunking something would entail a lot more than just someone's opinion. :shrug:

 

You said that this one was just like the other one that was debunked too. I still don't see how your opinion, NASA's opinion, or your friend's opinion would be the same as this claim being "debunked."

 

Personally, I'm just 50/50 on this claim. I don't know if he's right or if he's just full of it, so you might be right that it's all just bogus, but that's not the same thing as claiming that it already has been proven bogus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.