A team of British scientists believe that they have found organisms in earth’s atmosphere that originate from outer space.
As difficult as that could be to judge, Professor Milton Wainwright, the team’s chief, insists that this is definitely the instance.
The team, out of the University of Sheffield, exposed the tiny organisms (misleadingly known as ‘bugs’ by a lot of demanding journalists) living on a research balloon that had been sent 16.7 miles into our atmosphere during last month’s Perseids meteor shower.
In response to Professor Wainwright, the microscopic creatures couldn’t have been passed into the stratosphere on the balloon. He said, “Most will presume that those biological particles have to have just drifted up into the stratosphere from Earth, but it is usually accepted a particle of the volume found cannot be lifted from Earth to heights of, for example, 27km. The one well-known exemption is by a violent volcanic eruption, none of which occurred within 3 years of their sampling trip.”
Wainwright maintains that only salient end is that the organisms originated from space. He went on to mention that “life just isn’t restricted to the planet and it almost definitely didn’t originally come here”
However, not everyone is so convinced. Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer with the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) project stated, “I’m very skeptical. This claim has been made beforehand, and dismissed as earthly contamination.” The team responds to this by saying they were thorough when they prepared the balloon before the experiments begun.
Yet, they’d acknowledge that there might be an unidentified method for those organisms to achieve such altitudes. It should also be well-known that microbal organisms discovered in the 1980’s and 1990’s and called ‘extremophiles’ surprised the scientific community by living in environments that will immediately kill the majority of life on earth.
These creatures have always been observed living deep under Glacial ice or even 1900 feet below the ocean floor. In March of this year, Ronnie Glud, a biogeochemist in the Southern Danish University in Odense, Denmark was quoted as saying “Inside the most remote, hostile areas, you can even have higher motion than their surroundings,” which “You can find microbes in all places – they are extremely malleable to conditions, and stay alive where they’re,” so this indicates more plausible that either the team is in error, or that this is just another case of microscopic life showing up in an unusual place.
In addition, it is not the first time this particular team has come under fire for stating 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 was widely criticized by the scientific community.
Other scientists have complained that there frankly isn’t enough proof to generate such a claim, as a theory this significant would require a huge body of proof to prove its validity.
What that says to this reporter is that microbes can exist pretty much anyplace and that it simply is not good science to jump to wild conclusions like aliens each time a more plausible answer is most likely present. Science should not be subject to such wild leaps of fancy. Imagination is a superb aid to science, but it really isn’t a science in and of itself. Sadly, Dr. Wainwright and his group seem to be seeing what they want to see.