Common Sense Comes to Town!

Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. (Descartes)

Extra-Terrestrial Life: Check (?)

Posted on | March 6, 2011 | No Comments

In my late 2010 post listing my predictions for 2011, I claimed with certainty that new intelligent life forms would not be discovered elsewhere in the universe this year. However, it seems that a NASA scientist just established with a high degree of certainty that bacterial extra-terrestrial life forms exist. If this turns out to be true, it will considerably challenge our understanding of life as a whole, whether on this planet or in the universe.

Obviously this is not the first time that such discoveries are proclaimed, only to be proved false later on. NASA itself issued a statement warning the scientific community about this possibility. This is why the full paper, published Friday by the Journal of Cosmology, is available in its entirety on the web, and has exceptionally been released for criticism to over 5000 scientists, whose comments will be published starting Monday on the organization’s web site.  

I urge you to read the article, which includes many impressive images of fossilized bacteria. The quasi maniacal level of thoroughness used to prevent the contamination of samples is astonishing, just as are the conclusions, which reveal how these bacteria differ from earthly bacteria (through lower levels in Nitrogen, notably). The details in the pictures are surprising, and illustrates that these bacteria are not isolated but thrived everywhere on the analysed meteorite fragment.

 The article ends with a few hypotheses on the implication of this strong bacterial presence on life elsewhere in our solar system, chiefly on Europa, Jupiter’s moon. If these hypotheses are more speculative than the rest of the text, the proof of the existence of living beings outside our planet is convincing. It will be interesting to see what kind of criticism this raises this week, either inside or outside the scientific community.


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  • Photographie par Patrick Meunier

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