How Would The World Change If We Found Extraterrestrial Life? – Astrobiology Magazine

HOW WOULD THE WORLD CHANGE IF WE FOUND EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE? By Elizabeth Howell – Jan 29, 2015The ALH84001 meteorite, which in a 1996 Science publication was speculated to be host to what could be ancient Martian fossils. That finding is still under dispute today. Credit: NASA/JSC/Stanford UniversityIn 1938, Orson Welles narrated a radio broadcast of … Continue reading “How Would The World Change If We Found Extraterrestrial Life? – Astrobiology Magazine”

HOW WOULD THE WORLD CHANGE IF WE FOUND EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE? By Elizabeth Howell – Jan 29, 2015The ALH84001 meteorite, which in a 1996 Science publication was speculated to be host to what could be ancient Martian fossils. That finding is still under dispute today. Credit: NASA/JSC/Stanford UniversityIn 1938, Orson Welles narrated a radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” as a series of simulated radio bulletins of what was happening in real time as Martians arrived on our home planet. The broadcast is widely remembered for creating public panic, although to what extent is hotly debated today.Still, the incident serves as an illustration of what could happen when the first life beyond Earth is discovered. While scientists might be excited by the prospect, introducing the public, politicians and interest groups to the idea could take some time.How extraterrestrial life would change our world view is a research interest of Steven Dick, who just completed a term as the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair of Astrobiology. The chair is jointly sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Program and the John W. Kluge Center, at the Library of Congress.Dick is a former astronomer and historian at the United States Naval Observatory, a past chief historian for NASA, and has published several books concerning the discovery of life beyond Earth. To Dick, even the discovery of microbes would be a profound shift for science.“If we found microbes, it would have an effect on science, especially biology, by universalizing biology,” he said. “We only have one case of biology on Earth. It’s all related. It’s all DNA-based. If we found an independent example on Mars or Europa, we have a chance of forming a universal biology.”

via How Would The World Change If We Found Extraterrestrial Life? – Astrobiology Magazine.

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A very lucky primate who lives without a permanent home or destination. Wandering the world and enjoying this existensis.

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