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Dissing Microbes

Phil Bowermaster muses on the significance of the possible discovery of secondary evidence of life on Mars.

Okay, granted, it’s not a six-limbed furry creature or the ruins of some ancient temple. It’s methane signatures potenitally indicative of microbes. Big deal.

Well, yeah. It is a big deal.

If, like me, you suspect that there is probably life elsewhere in the universe, what does it say about how abundant life may be if we just happen to find some on, oh, you know…the next planet over? Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Or maybe it’s not that big a deal because both Earth and Mars are in the orbital sweet spot for life in this solar system.

Or maybe, if there is bacterial life on Mars, it’s the result of cross-contamination by meteorite impacts…we won’t know until we can test any critters we might find when we go there.

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