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Dr. Dennis Bogdan
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May 2010
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Dr. Dennis Bogdan [userpic]


To me, at the moment, finding a fossilized alien microbe (or related) would be a much better way of proving the existence of alien life-forms than finding a living alien microbe. After all, living microbes, alien or not, could always be considered the result of some kind of contamination, even if highly unlikely. Digging up a fossilized microbe on some alien world, especially if found deep underground, would be much less likely to be the result of some kind of contamination in my view.

The unequivocal finding on an alien world of a living microbe embedded deep underground, like the archae life-forms that seem to make up a substantial amount of the total living matter found on Planet Earth, would also go far in minimizing the issue of contamination I would think.

Interestingly, some known hardy microbes (1, 2, 3, 4) found on Earth may be well suited for surviving a variety of challenging conditions that may be found on alien worlds, as well as surviving, perhaps, actual outer space journeys (via asteroids, meteoriods and/or comets?) between such alien worlds.

Consistent with such notions, exposing bacteria, commonly found on Earth, to actual space conditions seemed to make such bacteria more hardy (and more space-travel worthy?) in some ways according to recent NASA studies. Interestingly, tardigrades (tiny invertebrates called "water bears") seem to be sufficiently hardy to survive space conditions according to recent studies and news reports (1,2). In fact, an entirely different type of "waterless" life-form may be found on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, according to several astrobiologists.(5)

In any case, the "possibility that life can voyage from planet to planet inside rocks blasted off one planetary surface by impact, to land on another planetary surface" (1), called the Transpermia Hypothesis, is planned to be tested soon in an upcoming Mission to Mars. [Added 01/07/2009db]

Stephen Hawking (well-known astrophysicist) spoke recently (video/24:56) at The George Washington University (one of my alma maters) about alien life in the universe and noted that: "Primitive life is very common and intelligent life is fairly rare," quickly adding, "Some would say it has yet to occur on Earth."

In any case --


PS --
UPDATE (06/04/2008):
Published a related Comment (New York Times - "The Weird Sisters," Comment 74 - June 3, 2008) to a science news article (written by Dr. Olivia Judson, an evolutionary biologist) about a life-form that is *very, very* unusual in several ways including being able to successfully survive, in a kind of suspended animation of sorts, without any apparent water whatsoever. The actual published Comment is as follows:

"Excellent Article - fascinating subject - just wondering - if these asexual bdelloid rotifer life-forms are really able to be thoroughly dried-up ("desiccated" as noted), and survive successfully in a completely waterless state ("suspended animation" as noted), and then later be fully reconstituted with water or the like, could they also be sufficiently resilient (and hardy), as a dried-up (dust-like?) life-form, to be worthy space-travelers of sorts and travel among the stars, via comets and meteorites perhaps, seeding the universe? Can the life-forms presently on our planet be the evolved descendants of these, or similar, space-traveling dust-like, waterless life-forms, settling on our planet billions of years ago? Afterall, the earliest evidences of life on our planet are apparently the fossilized remains of very, very simple life-forms. Maybe life on our planet, rather than having a very special (and exclusive?) beginning here on our planet, was the result of dust-like, waterless life-forms falling from the stars instead?

"On a somewhat related matter - could the search for water (as a way of discovering life-forms) on the Planet Mars with the Phoenix Lander be too limiting since there may be life-forms that can, apparently, survive quite successfully without any water whatsoever?

"In any case, just a few thoughts.

"Incidently, and if interested, a similar discussion, with somewhat different hardy (and resilient?) simple life-forms, may be found at the following: http://drbogdan.livejournal.com/7419.html ."

-Actual Publication By Dr. Dennis Bogdan.

UPDATE (02/16/2009):
According to a recent BBC news story, scientists have determined that there may be Billions of Earth-like Planets with simple life-forms, and Thousands with intelligent life-forms (and civilizations), in our own Galaxy alone. However, none of these Earth-like Planets are likely to be within actual Human reach since they are all much too far away - according to my calculations, a space ship traveling 60,000 mph, considerably faster than presently possible, would take nearly 50,000 years to travel to the nearest star - with no known place to land!

UPDATE (11/28/2012):
Published a related Comment (New York Times - "Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality?," Comment 105 - November 28, 2012) to a science news article (written by Nathaniel Rich) as follows (but without noted supporting references):

"Dr. Dennis and Joanne Bogdan - Pittsburgh, PA

"Excellent Article - My Present Thinking (some supported in the responsible scientific literature) About Life-Forms:

"01. Life, At Its Most Basic Level, Is A Chemical That Can Reproduce Itself (http://j.mp/Wiki-LifeDef) (http://j.mp/WikiTalk4-Life).

"02. The Starting Materials Related To Reproducible Chemicals Seem To Be *Everywhere* In The Universe (http://j.mp/DrB-LJNote) (http://j.mp/CosmicDust).

"03. Some Of These Materials May Begin Reproducing (Naturally? Spontaneously?) And Settle Wherever Possible In The Universe (http://j.mp/Panspermia).

"04. On Planet Earth At Least, All Known Life-Forms Came From *One Single* Ancestor About 3.7 Billion Years Ago (http://j.mp/NGS-1stLife) (http://j.mp/Nature-1stLife) (http://j.mp/Wiki-1stLife) (http://j.mp/Wiki-FirstLife) (http://j.mp/Wiki-FirstLife2).

"05. All Known Life-Forms Are The *Very Same* Reproducible Chemical, With Astronomical Variation (http://j.mp/Abiogenesis).

"06. The "Purpose Of Life" Is The Same For *All* Life Forms: To Transfer Genetic Information Into The "Next Generation."

"07. All Life-Forms May Have "Intelligence" (http://j.mp/Wiki-IQ), A Possible Measure Of Cleverness In Successfully Adapting To A Host Environment, But To Varying Degrees (And In Varying Forms?).

"08. There May Be Many Technically Clever Life-Forms In The Universe - Many Such Life-Forms May Be Present In The Universe At The Moment - Or - In Times Past - But Since Space Is So Widespread And Time Is So Wideranging - Such Technically Clever Life-Forms May Never Know Of Each Other.

"09. Overall - Life-Forms Are "Star Stuff" Emerging From The Midst Of Time And Space At The Very Beginning - And Then - A Return At The Very End? - Or - In The Case Of The "Immortal Jellyfish" - A Return To The Very Beginning?

"- Dr. Dennis Bogdan
Nov. 28, 2012 at 5:12 p.m."

- Actual Comment Published By Dr. Dennis Bogdan (Publications Page).

See Also --


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