British Discovery Of Alien Life Is Unconvincing

Friday, 20 September 2013 - 12:18PM
Astrobiology
Alien Life
Friday, 20 September 2013 - 12:18PM
British Discovery Of Alien Life Is Unconvincing

Claims by British scientists that they have discovered signs of alien life have been labelled "Unconvincing" by the wider scientific community.

 

The claim came when a team of scientists, led by Professor Milton Wainwright from the University of Sheffield, sent a balloon 27 kilometers up into Earth's stratosphere. When the balloon returned, it was carrying a host of biological organisms, which Wainwright and his team were 95% convinced were alien in their origin. The fact that these organisms were found so high up is what fuelled their conviction that these lifeforms were not of an Earthly origin.

 

"By all known information that science has, we know that they must be coming from space" said Wainwright of their discovery. "There is no known mechanism by which these lifeforms can achieve that height. As far as we can tell from known physics, they must be incoming".

 

But according to certain parties in the scientific world, Wainwright and his team may be getting a bit ahead of themselves if they think they have made the discovery of a lifetime. For a start, this is not the first time that organisms have been seen in Earth's atmosphere. In fact, earlier this year, the scientific journal PLOS One published a paper that hailstones drawn from storm clouds were found to be teeming with biological life. Secondly, while Wainwright insists these organisms are "not usual" by Earth's standards, some scientists are not convinced that there is a distinct enough difference to warrant the claim of alien origin.

 

Wainwright and his team believe that the cleanliness of these organisms is what indicates their inbound nature. "If they came from Earth, we would expect to see stuff that we find on Earth commonly, like Pollen" said Wainwright. But other scientists aren't convinced. Many believe that until an organism is found that is drastically different from life here on Earth i.e. it simply cannot be considered alien.

 

This isn't to say that the scientific community is totally dismissive of Wainwright et al's claims, quite the contrary, they just desire more proof. SETI's Seth Shostack admits to Space.com that the notion of lifeforms being carried through space by objects such as comets is widely agreed upon as a realistic one. However, Shostack believes that this new study will need some intensive scrutiny from other scientific parties if Wainwright's conclusion is to be considered accurate.

 

So for now, it would appear that the wider scientific community are urging people to avoid buying into the hype. After all, this would be the greatest discovery in the history of science, so until there is something more concrete, it would be remiss for us to jump on a study as controversial as this one.

 

 

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