One of the biggest questions that has plagued the human race since we crawled out of the primordial soup is are we alone? Some people look to the heavens for God, for some creator, while others search among the stars for life beyond our own world. If a team of British scientists is correct, then we may have a definitive answer, because they claim to have proof of alien life.
The scientists, who claim to be “95 per cent convinced” of their discovery, have gathered biological organisms from the very edge of our atmosphere, and claim that they could only have originated in space. A team sent a balloon 27 kilometers into the stratosphere to collect samples, and when it returned, they found something interesting.
Talking about the particles, professor Milton Wainwright, a molecular biologist from the University of Sheffield, and a member of the team, said, “By all known information that science has, we know that they must be coming in from space.” He continued, “There is no known mechanism by which these life forms can achieve that height. As far as we can tell from known physics, they must be incoming.”
The fact that the particles are clean suggests that they originated in an aquatic environment, and where do you find an aquatic environment in space? That’s right, a comet, which is essentially a big ball of ice hurtling through space. You may recognize comets from such films as Deep Impact. These samples were harvested during a meteor shower, one made up of debris from a comet. When the pieces hit the atmosphere they began to melt and release their payload. While these samples are not alive, they do appear to contain DNA, the building blocks of life.
This is all well and good, but what does it mean? For one it is a huge indication that life on Earth could very well have originated well beyond the confines of our atmosphere. Wainwright puts it well when he says, “The earth is an open system with biology raining down on it as we speak.” He notes that there are billions and billions of comets blasting around in outer space. It is plausible that particles such as these could have fallen into the primordial soup and jump started the evolutionary process so to speak.
Some theories hold that particles like these originate with volcanic eruptions. Wainwright and the rest of the team will find out for sure, as well as gleaning other information, in October. There will be meteor shower that is associated with Halley’s Comet, and the crew hopes to that they will see similar results, that new and unusual organisms will be found then.