Latest 'Life from Outer Space' Claim Is Shot Down | The Institute for Creation Research
Latest 'Life from Outer Space' Claim Is Shot Down

Has alien life really been found on a meteorite?

A recent title in Nature News provides a succinct answer: "The aliens haven't landed."1 The article offered a sweeping refutation of NASA scientist Richard Hoover's claim that extraterrestrial microscopic bacteria fossils were found in a carbonaceous meteorite.

Nature News referred also to a statement by NASA chief scientist Paul Hertz, who provided a disclaimer on March 7, 2011, stating, "NASA cannot stand behind or support a scientific claim unless it has been peer-reviewed or thoroughly examined by other qualified experts."2

Hoover published his electron micrographs of the supposed bacteria in the Journal of Cosmology. Nature News affirmed that this particular journal is a "torch-bearer" for panspermia, the belief that life was "seeded" on earth by extraterrestrial organisms. But panspermia is fiction, not science. The possibility of extraterrestrial life may follow from the belief that living cells somehow evolved apart from Divine intent, but it does not follow from experiments or observations.

It appears that confirmation of panspermia was exactly what Hoover's paper attempted to provide. In it, he claimed that tiny mineral squiggle shapes, which he termed "complex filaments," were found inside a class of meteorites called CI chondrites. One of the meteorites, named Orgueil, landed in France in 1864.

If these squiggles were actual fossil bacteria, could they have simply been earth contaminants? Meteoriticist Harry McSween of the University of Tennessee in Knoxvillle told Nature News, "All of us who have studied meteorites, especially CI chondrites, are aware that they have been terrestrially contaminated."1

But the squiggles probably are not fossil bacteria. Hoover's paper described a wide array of strange, tiny shapes, one of which was a "hollow, flattened, twisted and folded sheath"3 that, like many others in the meteorite samples, looked nothing like known living things. Rather than odd shapes representing mineralized fossils of unknown alien bacteria, they could be—and perhaps must be—simply odd-shaped minerals inside the meteorite.

There was nothing in this, or any other meteorite studied so far, to show that life originated anywhere else but on earth.

References

  1. Ball, P. The aliens haven't landed. Nature News. Posted on nature.com March 8, 2011, accessed March 16, 2011.
  2. Scientists skeptical of alien life claim. Associated Press, March 8, 2011.
  3. Hoover, R. B. 2011. Fossils of Cyanobacteria in CI1 Carbonaceous Meteorites: Implications to Life on Comets, Europa, and Enceladus. Journal of Cosmology. 13: xxx.

Image credit: Copyright © 2011 Cosmology Science Publishers. Adapted for use in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holders.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on March 18, 2011.

The Latest
NEWS
Supersaurus-Sized Dinosaur No Match for the Flood
Scientists are still trying to out-do each another by finding the biggest dinosaur. Brian Curtice, from the Arizona Museum of Natural History, recently...

NEWS
Inside December 2021 Acts & Facts
How can we understand Christ’s role as our mediator from a scientific perspective? Why was ICR's first dinosaur excavation significant for...

APOLOGETICS
Christ’s Providence Is Clearly Seen in Bird Migrations
Just as monkeys can’t accidently type Shakespeare texts, birds can’t migrate by evolutionary luck, despite imagined eons of time for “lucky”...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Snowflakes
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
The Gift of God Himself
Each Christmas we remember how deeply God loves us. His wondrous plan of salvation—first set in motion in the Garden of Eden—was miraculously...

ACTS & FACTS
Early Land Plant Evolution?
In a recent Science article, two evolutionists consider land plants (embryophytes) to have evolved from stoneworts (charophyte algae).1 A...

ACTS & FACTS
Biblical Creation and Intellectual Foolishness
In a recent interview discussing his new book In Quest of the Historical Adam, philosopher and Christian apologist William Lane Craig acknowledged his...

ACTS & FACTS
Are Birds “Cousins” to Reptiles?
Are today’s birds genealogical “cousins” to today’s reptiles due to a shared evolutionary ancestry? No. However, birds and...

ACTS & FACTS
Haleakala National Park: One of Many Young-Looking Volcanoes
You can start the day atop the cold peak of Mt. Haleakala and end it on a warm beach on Maui. The sprawling volcanic mountain rises 10,000 feet above...

ACTS & FACTS
The Oceans Point to a Young Earth
by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D.* Over 70% of Earth's surface is covered by water, most of which is marine and contained in...