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NASA Still Considering a New Report of Life from Space

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A NASA scientist, Richard Hoover, an astrobiologist at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, claims to have found tiny fossils inside meteorites recovered from the Spanish Ebro Delta waterway. He found the remains of the micro-organisms during an internal inspection of three of the oldest meteorites to have yet been discovered. Hoover claims that the microbes could not be of earthly origin, because if they were there would be traces or evidence of nitrogen in and around the objects from space. A meteorite is a meteor that has slammed into earth for a final rest.

I concede some skepticism. The theory of “panspermia,”which suggests that life on our Earth originated elsewhere, has never been my cup of tea. Life had to develop somewhere, so, why not here? I see it as the suggestion of a sort of astronomical inferiority complex. But I also concede some interest in the idea that life in all its forms transmits through space; not with a single starting point, but with some unknown evolution, distributing itself through the universe. This idea is within the sphere of interest of astrobiology, and NASA astrobiologists continue to assess the possibility.

Hoover asserts that the fossils are the remains of extraterrestrial life forms that grew on the parent bodies of the meteorites when liquid water was present, long before the meteorites entered the Earth’s atmosphere. A finding of bacteria, if indeed from deep space, is a radical notion. Bacteria are not life forms that thrive in isolation. Bacteria as a rule live in the guts of animals and humans, or on the roots of certain plants, and, in our experience, convert nitrogen to something more usable. The bacteria we know are among those sustaining mechanisms that break down waste organic material, dispose of it, and make for a viable environment. Bacteria are extremely flexible, owing perhaps to their millions of years of development, and have a capacity for rapid growth, reproduction, and a very long age span. The oldest known bacteria fossils are about three and a half billion years old.

David McKay, another NASA researcher, claimed Martian life inside a meteorite found in Antarctica in 1984. Scientists tell us that five trillion Martian rocks have over time fallen to Earth. They estimate that tons of Martian material must have come to land on Earth, although only a few Martian meteorites have been found.

Rudy Schild, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics and editor of the Journal of Cosmology, which carried Hoover’s report, said: “The implications are that life is everywhere, and that life on Earth may have come from other planets.” Dr. Hoover says, “I believe these findings indicate that life is not restricted to Earth, but is broadly distributed, even outside our solar system.”

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • John Lake

    Rudy Schild, at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, editor of the Journal of Cosmology, may be working with Dr. Hoover to promote their Journal. It isn’t awfully surprising that the nitrogen should have dried up over several billion years. But I’m no scientist; time will tell.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Hoover seems to be arguing for this being fossilized extraterrestrial life based on little more than that the structures look like microfossils.

    They might be, or they might not. My main concern is that the meteorite they were found in is made of soft, crumbly rock, of the sort that microbes can easily get inside.

    With that in mind, it’s virtually impossible to prove that these things, assuming they once were alive, aren’t of terrestrial origin.

  • John Lake

    Doc,
    Micro-fossil might have a broad degree of definition, but as to proof one way or the other, you may be right.

  • http://viclana.blogspot.com/ Victor Lana

    I enjoyed this one, John. While people keep thinking that proof of extra terrestial life is going to come in a spaceship, it just may be that it will be something like this. It’s fascinating to think about. Thanks!

  • John Lake

    Thank you, Victor. Have a great day!

  • suzan

    i have seen about 20 stars open up and some sort of little object descend from them… how would on investegate such a thing…. i have some other knowledge about the situation… but dont know who to contact…i also seen apart of the sky on top of the moon to the left heading south open up i seen what i would describe as life in the relm of where the stars and moon lye.

  • John Lake

    Van Gogh was a great artist. Recall that in the last few days, the moon was the largest appearing and closest to Earth it has been in years. It would be wonderful if you could paint, or perhaps prepare some poetic lines to express what you have seen.
    On a (slightly) more serious note, though art and poetry be serious, both, you might investigate my article here at BlogCritics, that was originally titled, simply, Dead Birds.
    The article opens, “It must be either a massive fraud, like so many crop circles, or perhaps a case of “We are not alone!” It is difficult not to consider some otherworldly explanation for the various instances of blackbirds falling from the sky…”
    Here is a link on which to click!
    Birds