A team of Uk scientists believe that they’ve revealed organisms in earth’s atmosphere that originate from outer space.
As demanding as that may be to believe, Professor Milton Wainwright, the team’s chief, insists that this is unquestionably the case.
The team, from the University of Sheffield, found the little organisms (misleadingly known as ‘bugs’ by a lot of overeager journalists) living on a research balloon that was sent 16.7 miles into our environment throughout last month’s Perseids meteor shower.
In keeping with Professor Wainwright, the tiny creatures couldn’t have been passed into the stratosphere with the balloon. He said, “A lot of people will assume that those biological particles have to have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth, but it is normally accepted that a particle of the volume found cannot be lifted from Earth to heights of, for example, 27km. Really the only identified exemption is by a violent volcanic explosion, none of which occurred within 3 years of their sampling trip.”
Wainwright maintains that only salient conclusion is that the organisms originated from space. He went on to say that “life just isn’t restricted to this planet and it almost definitely didn’t originate here”
However, not everyone seems to be so convinced. Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer with the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) project stated, “I’m very skeptical. This claim may be made beforehand, and dismissed as terrestrial contamination.” The team responds to that by saying that they were thorough when they prepared the balloon before the experiments begun.
Though, they would acknowledge that there might be an unknown reason for those organisms to achieve such altitudes. It must also be well-known that microbal organisms discovered in the 1980’s and 1990’s and named ‘extremophiles’ shocked the scientific community by living in environments that might instantly kill the majority of life on earth.
These creatures have always been observed living deep under Antarctic ice and even 1900 feet below the sea floor. In March of that year, Ronnie Glud, a biogeochemist in the Southern Danish Uni in Odense, Denmark was quoted as saying “Inside the most secluded, inhospitable areas, you are able to even have higher motion than their surroundings,” and that “Yow will discover microbes everywhere – they’re exceptionally malleable to surroundings, and stay alive wherever they’re,” so it seems more plausible that any the team is in error, or that this is solely another case of microscopic life showing up in an strange place.
Additionally, it is not the first time this particular team has come under fire for making such statements, either. Back in January of this year, astrobiologist Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe reported that ‘fossils’ found in a Sri Lankan meteorite were proof of extraterrestrial life, an assertion that was extensively criticized by scientific community.
Other scientists have complained that there frankly is not enough indication to make such a claim, as a theory this significant would need a huge body of evidence to confirm its validity.
What that claims to the reporter is that microorganisms can survive almost anywhere which it simply is not good science to jump to wild conclusions like aliens when a more plausible explanation is most likely present. Science should not be subject to such wild leaps of fancy. Imagination is a superb aid to science, it also isn’t a science in and of itself. Sadly, Dr. Wainwright and his group look to be seeing what they want to see.