Has NASA Found Extra-Terrestrial Life?

November 30th, 2010

The answer is most likely no. Yet, the internet is a-buzz with contemplation about the subject of this coming Thursday’s press conference.

Kottke.org has a great breakdown of the team making the announcement, which does give us some clues. In fact, looking at the website of Felisa Wolfe-Simon, the hints are right on the surface:

“As a NASA fellow, she now has the support and time to continue in hot pursuit of all things arsenic-based in collaboration with the ASU NAI team and the U.S. Geological Survey. Her current data are so exciting she can’t discuss them, even here! A few more experiments and she should have all the data she needs to demonstrate her hypothesis may well be verified…stay tuned. But really, in the end, its not just about arsenic. It is about looking at what is and thinking about what might be and, importantly, how to find it. When the dust settles, we will then see how we can and shouldFollow the Elements” to lead us to what we might think of as new and novel “biology”- seemingly alien and yet potentially all around us! Iron, arsenic, copper, bismuth… its a whole periodic table out there. And yes, you too may be “off your trolley ” enough to jump in! But high risk, high gain….and the future of science! These data will speak louder than any speculation… again, stay tuned…”

What we probably have to look forward to is an announcement about data from her Mono Lake research that combined with the research of others on the panel will suggest possibilities for arsenic-based life here on earth and on other planets in the solar system. Felisa has been working on the idea of a “shadow biosphere” for a few years now, and just might have the evidence to support it finally.

So, no, not the finding of life, but evidence that we should be looking at things a different way in order to close in on it. That’s my guess.

Update: Oh, and The Bad Astronomer, Phil Plait, has a great post telling you all to chill out about it already… maybe in a few more words than I’ve used here to paraphrase him.

One Response to “Has NASA Found Extra-Terrestrial Life?”

  1. Frank on December 1, 2010 5:24 am

    The internet buzz arround this press release, strongly reminds me of the book “deception point” by Dan Brown 😉

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind