The search for alien life beyond our planet, even beyond our own galaxy, has been in the news quite often of late:
- a scientist has seriously suggested at a recent meeting of world scientists that we should be looking for alien life on our own planet. He believes that quite possibly life has landed here from outer space – possibly on the tale of a comet – more than once. If so, it might still be pulsing away in some unexpected corners of and crevices of Earth.
- both water and methane have been found on Mars. Water is an essential ingredient of any form of life as we know it; methane is produced by many forms of life. So there could be life on Mars even now. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7829315.stm
- scientists estimate that there may be as many as 100 billion Earth-like planets in our own Milky Way galaxy. What would an Earth-like planet, capable of supporting life as we know it, be like? First, it would be rocky, not gaseous. It would have water, and be close enough to its sun that water doesn’t freeze, but far enough away that it doesn’t boil. A moon would be helpful, because the moon creates tides and helps ruffle up the surface of the earth, mixing chemicals and organisms in the oceans’ waters, which encourages small organisms to grow and provides food for larger life forms. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7891132.stm
- earlier this month, Nasa launched the Kepler Space Telescope to look for Earth-like planets outside our galaxy. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7918497.stm
- and then there is the mysterious signal from outer space received in 1977 that lasted 37 seconds and had the characteristics predicted for an alien signal. No one has yet been able to explain it. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article5797028.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2
The question is, if we did find ExtraTerrestrial life, how would we respond? Would we try to kill it?