Tuesday, March 8, 2011

We may have found fossils from another planet

Dr Richard B Hoover thinks he found fossils on meteorites that would HAVE to be from another planet. From Gizmodo. From DailyIndia, From Yahoo,  From PerthNow, and from The Telegraph... But nothing yet from the New York Times, or Discover, or AP News.... I'm not going to be exited about this just yet... Besides, there is the disturbing thought of the great filter  by Robin Hanson

According to the Great Filter hypothesis at least one of these steps - if the list were complete - must be improbable. If it's not an early step (i.e. in our past), then the implication is that the improbable step lies in our future and our prospects of reaching step 9 (interstellar colonization) are still bleak. If the past steps are likely, then many civilizations would have developed to the current level of the human race. However, none appear to have made it to step 9, or the Milky Way would be full of colonies. So perhaps step 9 is the unlikely one, and the only thing that appears likely to keep us from step 9 is some sort of catastrophe. So by this argument, finding multicellular life on Mars (provided it evolved independently) would be bad news, since it would imply steps 2–6 are easy, and hence only 1, 7, 8 or 9 (or some unknown step) could be the big problem. (from Wikipedia)
Reuters just picked up the story.

(another update)
Wired is pretty skeptical, with a pretty good argument.

(another update)
Pic of the actual meteorite microbe