Evidence that there is life from beyond Earth has allegedly come hurtling through the sky.
Richard Hoover, a NASA scientist, recently reported in the Journal of Cosmology that rare meteorites on Earth contain what appear to be tiny fossils of extraterrestrial life. According to a report in The Guardian, the remains lack nitrogen, necessary for life on Earth, which led Hoover to his conclusions. As Hoover explains in the journal, the filaments “found embedded in freshly fractured interior surfaces of [certain meteorites] are interpreted as the fossilized remains of prokaryotic microorganisms that grew in liquid regimes on the parent body of the meteorites before they entered the Earth’s atmosphere.”
If Hoover’s claims are true, his findings will support a theory called “panspermia.” Panspermia suggests that space rocks spread life to different planets. The theory doesn’t necessarily explain how all of life began -- as a recent Scientific American piece states, “panspermia theories merely push the problem of life's origin into outer space.”
Recently, a meteorite in Antarctica was revealed to contain nitrogen, an element required for life on Earth. Many scientists believe that Earth initially did not have the molecules necessary for primitive life, and thus it is possible that a meteorite brought the elements necessary for life to begin.
Not everyone is convinced that Hoover’s findings are valid. He has reportedly made similar claims in the past, and no remains have been confirmed as structures of alien life. Rudy Schild, the journal’s editor, has invited 100 scientists to comment on the research in order to show all points of view on the subject.
NASA has distanced itself from and disputed Hoover's claims.
"There has been no one in the scientific community, certainly no one in the meteorite analysis community, that has supported these conclusions," NASA Astrobiology Institute Director Carl Pilcher told The Associated Press Monday. "The simplest explanation for Mr. Hoover's measurements is that he's measuring microbes from Earth. They're contamination."