A team of British scientists believe that they have revealed organisms in earth's environment that originate from outer space.
As demanding as that may be to judge, Professor Milton Wainwright, the team's chief, insists that this is certainly the situation.
The team, out of the University of Sheffield, discovered the tiny organisms (misleadingly referred to as 'bugs' by a lot of persistent journalists) living on a probe balloon that was sent 16.7 miles into our atmosphere throughout last month's Perseids meteor shower.
Reported by Professor Wainwright, the microscopic creatures could not have been carried into the stratosphere with the balloon. He said, "Most people will imagine that those biological particles must have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth, but it's normally accepted a particle of the size found cannot be lifted from Earth to heights of, for instance, 27km. The only well-known exception is by a violent volcanic explosion, none of those occurred within three years of the sampling trip."
Wainwright maintains that the only most important end is these organisms originated from space. He went on to say that "life is not restricted to this planet also it almost certainly didn't originate here"
However, not everyone seems to be so persuaded. Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer for the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) project remarked, "I'm very skeptical. This claim has been made before, and dismissed as earthly contamination." The team responds to this by saying that they were thorough when they readied the hot-air balloon before the experiments begun.
However, they'd acknowledge that there could be an unknown reason for those organisms to achieve such altitudes. It should also be renowned that microbal organisms discovered within the 1980's and 1990's and named 'extremophiles' shocked the scientific community by living in environments that might immediately kill the majority of life on earth.
These creatures have been observed living deep under Glacial ice or 1900 feet below the sea floor. In March of this year, Ronnie Glud, a biogeochemist in the Southern Danish University in Odense, Denmark was quoted as saying "In the most isolated, hostile areas, it is possible to even have higher activity than their surroundings," which "Yow will discover microbes everywhere - they are exceptionally compliant to circumstances, and live where they are," so this indicates more plausible that either the team is in error, or that this is solely another case of microscopic life showing up in an unusual place.
In addition, it isn't the first time this unique team has come under fire for making such claims, either. Back in January of this year, astrobiologist Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe reported that 'fossils' found from a Sri Lankan meteorite were evidence of extraterrestrial life, an assertion that is commonly criticized by the scientific community.
Other scientists have complained that there frankly isn't enough indication to generate this type of claim, as a theory this vital would want a large body of evidence to confirm its authority.
What that says to the reporter is that microorganisms can survive almost anywhere which it simply isn't good science to jump to wild conclusions like aliens when a more plausible solution is most likely present. Science shouldn't be subject to such wild leaps of fancy. Imagination is a good aid to science, but it is not a science in and of by itself. Sadly, Dr. Wainwright and his team appear to be seeing what they want to see.
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