posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 05:49 PM
I began thinking about this when reading Timothy Good's Need to Know. The book mentions several instances of alien body recovery and a strange
detail about what appears to be alien metabolism. Witnesses to some recoveries, including Aztec, speculate that exposure to the earth's oxygenated
atmosphere may have killed the ETs.
When considering the probability of alien life forms, we often use the size of the universe as a factor. We are one small planet in a small solar
system; there are billions of stars and billions of planets orbiting them. That earth is the sole locus of life in the cosmos seems not only
improbable but absurd, given the sheer immensity of space.
But as we look outward for arguments in support of ET life, so may we look inward at a different, and to me more compelling rationale, for the
existence of alien life: the earthly microcosmos. The biodiversity of bacteria alone utterly dwarfs that of the world visible to the naked eye. The
shapes of single-celled organisms, their fundamental makeups and component parts (prokaryote vs. eukaroyte for instance), and especially their modes
of metabolism, are wildly divergent and varied compared those found in other kingdoms; bacteria constitue one third of the known taxonomic kingdom,
and protists make up another.
Look to the famous archaebacteria who live in extreme environments, like those who live on the vents of the ocean floor and utilize hydrogen sulfide
for energy. In fact, the diversity is so great that almost any organic molecule can be used to fuel life by some organism somewhere. And bacteria make
up the great majority of earth's biomass. Indeed, the bacterial cells on a human body outnumber the number of cells composing the body itself. Is
there any greater evidence for the tenacity and prevalence of life in the universe, even if it's the universe of a single, small planet in an
out-of-the way galaxy?
Take this a step further and consider the work of biochemists like the brilliant widow of Carl Saga, Lynn Margulis, who argue that single-celled
organisms are themselves the products of evolution, with their organelle constituents once having been separate bioentities that developed a
cooperative relationship within the protective skin of a naturally-occuring lipid sphere. Or Richard Dawkins, who changes the perspective and argues
that humans are a conglomerate of cooperating bacteria so entrenched in interdependence that the single cells can no longer live on their own.
These are not original ideas, and they don't "prove" anything, but they're intriguing. Any feedback about them would be appreciated.