Exploring for extraterrestrial life 


GEOL-1340-01F – Environmental Geology



Exploring for extraterrestrial life

M2 Discussion-Search for Extraterrestrial Life

From the textbook reading this week you learned that comets are believed to have seeded the solar system with water and organic molecules; forming the basis for life as we know it.  Moreover, scientists think that all of Earth’s present life forms originated from extremophile bacteria, which are still found thriving under extremely harsh conditions, such as beneath Antarctic glaciers and in super-hot volcanic vents on the seafloor.  Because extremophile bacteria are closely linked to liquid water, scientists believe that the best chance of finding extraterrestrial life is to look for places in the solar system where liquid water exists, or existed in the past.  Case Study 2.1 nicely illustrates how scientists are using this strategy to look for evidence of life on Mars.

For this discussion activity, I want you to describe whether or not you think it is worth the time and effort for scientists to continue exploring for extraterrestrial life in order to help understand how life originated here on Earth.

In this discussion, I am well aware that we will be touching on a sensitive subject: origin of life.  I welcome all discussions including those linked to creationism vs. evolution and I welcome CONSTRUCTIVE critiques.  I will probably be playing the devils advocate on both sides of the coin.  However, any type of belittling anyones personal opinion or belief will not be tolerated and wiil result in severe disciplinary action.  So far, I have been super happy to have seen the spirited discussions without any animosity.  This is college folks, let’s keep it classy.

Exploring for extraterrestrial life



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