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Terrestrial Titanospirillum velox along-side its purportedly alien look-alike.  (Source: Riccardo Guerrero / Richard B. Hoover / Journal of Cosmology)

Another close-up of the possible "alien".  (Source: Riccardo Guerrero / Richard B. Hoover / Journal of Cosmology)
Astrobiologist shattered meteorite, reports finding fossilized microbe E.T.s inside

An astrobiologist working at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center outside Huntsville, Alabama has made an astounding claim.  In a recently published journal article, he claims to have discovered a preserved alien life form residing inside a meteor that journeyed through the vast black of space before impact our planet.

This extra-terrestrial may not be a bulbous-headed humanoid like in the movies, but it may offer up an answer to one of mankind's greatest inquiries -- are we alone in the universe?

The researcher, Dr. Richard B. Hoover [profile], had to go to extraordinary lengths to make his discovery.  He reasoned that if alien microbes were to hitch a ride on a meteorite, they would likely have to do so in a special meteor.  

Specifically, he zeroed in on the CI class of carbonaceous chrondite meteors.   These meteors are rich in water, amino acids, and other organic compounds -- seemingly a virtual pantry for a microorganism.  

Picking the most ideal type of CI meteorite -- CI1 optimized his chances, but narrowed his pool of available specimens.  In total only nine such meteorites are known to exist on Earth.

After going to great lengths to obtain one of these meteorites, he destroyed a piece of it, smashing it apart.  Using scanning-electron microscopes and field emissions electron-scanning microscopes he images the result dust and fragments and made the extraordinary discovery he was hoping for -- what appears to be a fossilized bacteria.

The identified specimen appears remarkably similar to the bacteria Titanospirillum velox, a sulfur-loving archaebacteria, which was discovered in 1999 mud samples from Spain.

The meteorite was reportedly broken under carefully controlled sterile conditions.  Now the only unknown is whether the meteorite could have somehow been contaminated.  The meteors were sterilely harvested in the frigid reaches of Antarctica immediately after their observed fall.  The fact that they were collected so quickly limits the possibility that indigenous microbes contaminated them.  The possibility of atmospheric contamination still remains, though.

Dr. Hoover believes that this is not a case of contamination.  He is convinced that he has become the first human to record a scientifically verifiable encounter with an alien being.  He states in a recent interview, "I interpret it as indicating that life is more broadly distributed than restricted strictly to the planet Earth. This field of study has just barely been touched -- because quite frankly, a great many scientist would say that this is impossible."

The discovery has been met with a great deal of skepticism, but also fascination.  Dr. Hoover writes in a note to the editor's note accompanying his study, "Given the controversial nature of his discovery, we have invited 100 experts and have issued a general invitation to over 5,000 scientists from the scientific community to review the paper and to offer their critical analysis. No other paper in the history of science has undergone such a thorough vetting, and never before in the history of science has the scientific community been given the opportunity to critically analyze an important research paper before it is published."

With the paper currently peer-reviewed and published [abstract] in the Journal of Cosmology, Dr. Hoover's discovery will face its next critical test, with the collected materials being examined by a second research team for verification and validation.

Dr. David Marais, an astrobiologist at NASA's AMES Research Center states, "It’s an extraordinary claim, and thus I’ll need extraordinary evidence."

Dr. Hoover is confident his discovery will be validated.  He comments, "A lot of times it takes a long time before scientists start changing their mind as to what is valid and what is not. I’m sure there will be many scientists that will be very skeptical and that’s OK."

"If someone can explain how it is possible to have a biological remain that has no nitrogen, or nitrogen below the detect ability limits that I have, in a time period as short as 150 years, then I would be very interested in hearing that. I’ve talked with many scientists about this and no one has been able to explain."

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RE: Ugh...
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 11:37:14 AM , Rating: 4
I don't know why 95% of poeple are trying to demolish his claim instead of being happy with the news.

Simple: extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Such proof is not in the offing, and the circumstances around the publication of this research (specifically, via the highly dubious "Journal of Cosmology" instead of an actual, respected, peer-reviewed scientific journal) is indicative of a conjecture that is unlikely to pass muster with the rest of the scientific community.

Would I be ecstatic to hear of irrefutable proof of life on other planets? You betcha. However, going off half-cocked every time some pseudo-science pops up purporting to be that proof only discredits actual science and the scientific method.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/7/11, Rating: 0
RE: Ugh...
By Motoman on 3/7/2011 11:57:59 AM , Rating: 5
On the contrary, the proof needs to be of the magnitude as the claim...hence, it is also true that mundane claims require mundane proof.

How extraordinary would it be to claim that 2+2=4? That would be a pretty mundane claim. The proof, say, finding several objects, pairing them together, and demonstrating that putting 2 pairs together predictably results in a collection of 4 items, would also be pretty mundane. But completely appropriate for the claim.

Claiming that you have proven life exists on other planets, or in space, is a very extraordinary claim. Proof of that claim would, by the very nature of it, also be extraordinary. Like...look, here's this alien that landed on my lawn in his UFO. Or in this case, unambiguous proof that the formations in this space rock are indeed biological in origin. Such proof would absolutely be extraordinary. Literally, far beyond what one ordinarily experiences...that's what that word means. Substantiated proof of extraterrestrial life would be wildly beyond what one ordinarily experiences.

And by the way, you apparently didn't recognize that quote to begin with...I didn't just make that up. That came from Carl of the most respected and celebrated scientists of all time.

RE: Ugh...
By mikeyD95125 on 3/7/2011 5:33:53 PM , Rating: 2
That is a good explanation, but just to clarify all mathematical proofs end up resting on axioms. For example 2+2=4 is only true by definition, because we humans represent collections of four units with the number 4. One cannot objectively prove 4=4 as it is an abstraction that does not actually exist. One just has to accept the definition that 4 units is represented with a 4 therefore making it axiomatic.

Nitpicking? Yes, but true.

RE: Ugh...
By retrospooty on 3/8/2011 7:00:50 AM , Rating: 1
2+2=4 ? We need not prove math, it is absolute.

Anyhow, I wouldnt say you need extraordinary proof, but your point is taken. Extraordinary claims do require proof. Extraordinary proof? no, but solid proof without potential contamination and/or other hypotheses as to how the proof came to be. It needs irrefutable proof. .

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Ugh...
By Motoman on 3/8/2011 9:13:19 AM , Rating: 4
You're an idiot. I'm going to do this one more time for the off chance that you actually just aren't getting it...but it seems far more likely that you're just stupid.

A mundane claim requires mundane proof...because on either side of that equation, the information is already mundane. The claim that 2+2 equals 4 is a very mundane's barely interesting at all, and intuitively seems very obvious. The proof, demonstrating how collecting items together in pairs to add up to 4, is also barely interesting at all, and seems very obvious. Ergo, mundane.

The claim that alien life exists in space and/or on other planets is's not obvious at all (indeed, there is no proof as of yet at all that supports that claim) and far outside what one normally experiences during the normal course of their life. Because of that, the claim is, by definition, and extraordinary claim.

That extraordinary claim cannot be backed up by mundane evidence. You can't say "This rock, which may or may not have been infiltrated by terrestrial microbes, has formations that rather look like they are the result of biological processes...therefore I have proven that life exists elsewhere." Your proof is not equal to the claim. If the proof is not equal to the claim, then the claim is unproven.

On the other hand, if you did truly have extraordinary evidence...say, a walking, talking, alien from outerspace who's biological makeup is based on silicon instead of carbon and doesn't even involve DNA but rather has a fundamental biology never before seen on this planet, well then you might just have proof that is equal to the claim. And that proof would be, obviously, extraordinary - after all, the number of times anyone on this planet has ever actually seen an alien life form is zero. If you came up with one, it would be the most extraordinary event in human history.

Now stop being a f#cktard and pretending that you don't need proof of the same caliber as the claim to substantiate a theory.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/8/11, Rating: 0
RE: Ugh...
By Motoman on 3/8/2011 12:44:15 PM , Rating: 1

I hereby present the theory that you are an idiot.

In support of that theory, I present the evidence that you yourself has posted here on this forum.

Case closed.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/10/2011 9:31:32 AM , Rating: 3
Verdict: Case thrown out, due to a confusion on the part of the prosecution between intelligence and holding a differing opinion. The prosecution is advised to go back and study what intelligence and opinion actually are, to learn some respect... in short is advised to go back to school. ;-)

RE: Ugh...
By delphinus100 on 3/9/2011 9:19:21 PM , Rating: 3
2+2=4 ? We need not prove math, it is absolute.

Uh, sorry, mathematics leans on the concept of 'proof,' too...

RE: Ugh...
By melgross on 3/7/2011 1:35:56 PM , Rating: 4
In scientific research, the concept that extraordinary claims need to be backed by extraordinary proof is a well founded one.

If something is claimed that is not far off the well understood trail, it needs just a small amount of proof, as it may fit within that known context fairly easily. But when something is claimed that overturns what is thought to be true from other strong and voluminous work, then it must be backed by a great amount of strong data and reasoning. The need for this should be obvious.

If a friend told you that she drove to a resturant, even though she doesn't like to drive all that much, you might just say; really? If she said, "yes", you would believe it. But if she said she entered a cross country race, you would likely require more proof. If she said she bought a Ferrarri, and joined a racing team, you would find that harder to believe, and would ask for more proof. If she said that she would be driving in the Indy 500 shortly, you would want even more. The further along that line you go, the more proof is required.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/8/11, Rating: -1
RE: Ugh...
By Motoman on 3/8/2011 9:15:40 AM , Rating: 2
then it is time to drop this code of censorship that is being blindly adhered to.

You're a catastrophic moron, probably buried so deep in religion that you no longer have two neurons to click together in a logical fashion. It would appear that it is too late for you...please just do the rest of mankind a favor and don't procreate. You and your kind seriously compromise the gene pool.

RE: Ugh...
By kingius on 3/8/2011 10:44:33 AM , Rating: 1
Can you feel the tumbleweed, blowing past?

RE: Ugh...
By Samus on 3/7/11, Rating: -1
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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