Home > Astronomy, News > Alien Bacteria *Possibly* Discovered in Meteorite

Alien Bacteria *Possibly* Discovered in Meteorite

It sounds too good to be true, especially since these kinds of claims have been made before.

But a paper published yesterday in the Journal of Cosmology by Dr. Richard Hoover, a NASA scientist who studies meteorites, claims to have discovered fossilized Cyanobacteria in a meteorite. His conclusion is that the fossils are not due to Earthly contamination, and that they are of a non-Earth origin, i.e. alien life.

Images of filaments found in a carbonaceous meteorite, believed to be fossilized bacteria - Dr. Riccardo Guerrero / Journal of Cosmology

The implications of such a discovery are huge. That is why the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cosmology has released a statement regarding this paper, saying that they will publish commentaries of the study by other experts:

Given the controversial nature of his discovery, we have invited 100 experts and have issued a general invitation to over 5000 scientists from the scientific community to review the paper and to offer their critical analysis. Our intention is to publish the commentaries, both pro and con, alongside Dr. Hoover’s paper. In this way, the paper will have received a thorough vetting, and all points of view can be presented. No other paper in the history of science has undergone such a thorough analysis, and no other scientific journal in the history of science has made such a profoundly important paper available to the scientific community, for comment, before it is published. We believe the best way to advance science, is to promote debate and discussion.

Of course we shouldn’t start celebrating the discovery of life from outer space just yet. It is indeed a very interesting discovery, but let’s hold our excitement until after a large number of other experts have had a chance to look over the results.

I’ll write more about this after I actually read the paper myself and hear the opinions of other experts in the field. But as Dr. David Marais, another NASA scientist, told FoxNews,

“It’s an extraordinary claim, and thus I’ll need extraordinary evidence,” Marais said.

Carl Sagan couldn’t have said it better himself,

What counts is not what sounds plausible, not what we would like to believe, not what one or two witnesses claim, but only what is supported by hard evidence rigorously and skeptically examined. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

UPDATE!

I’ve just written a second post about this topic. Not surprisingly, I’m more skeptical about this paper now. Check out my new post here.

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  1. Caleb
    March 7, 2011 at 9:56 am

    this is very exciting news. Even if it is just a bacteria.

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