Thursday, December 2, 2010

Who is the Alien now? Nasa finds new life form.

I just read this article in Gizmodo about NASA finding a new life form here. Let me just summarize it for you: All living beings share the same building blocks or DNA, made up of six components: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. NASA just found a new form of bacteria whose basic building block is something we have never seen before – Arsenic! Essentially NASA has discovered an alien life form. And boy does this change things... If I am this excited about this discovery, some biologist somewhere, I am sure, is running around the streets naked screaming “Eureka, Eureka”!

To put in perspective this giant leap for mankind, think of this as the most important biological discovery since Darwin showed us that we are all descendant from apes and ultimately from bacteria. And this just categorically answered a question man has been asking for a long time – “Are we alone in this Universe?” We are definitely not alone. 

New alien species found!
Religious institutions world over, I am sure, will use this discovery to point to a cosmic creator, “See, I told you. This discovery just proves how untenable the theory of evolution is”. To a certain extent, they are right. The entire basis of evolution is based on the fact that we all evolved from a single life form. Now that there is a different strain of bacteria, does this invalidate or change certain core assumptions made in evolution?  I am not a scientist capable of answering these questions but am confident the answers will come soon from people far smarter than I.

Until now scientists are not sure if life originated on earth or reached here through an asteroid from a distant galaxy. So if our ancestors (if we can call bacteria that!) took the first bus available to this planet, where did this alien species come from? Did they come earlier than us from another planet and failed to evolve because of biological constraints? Or does mother earth actually belong to this arsenic based species until a wave of invaders (us in this case) wiped them out. Whatever it is, biology will never be the same again.

“The species that sees the sun die out billions of years later will be as different from us as we are from bacteria” ~ Richard Dawkins. Chew on that.