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How will we know for sure that we have found alien life ?

By T.K. Randall
March 30, 2022 · Comment icon 8 comments

How can we tell if something is genuinely alien ? Image Credit: NASA / Pat Rawlings
Detecting potential signs of alien life is one thing, but confirming it beyond any shadow of a doubt is quite another.
The confirmed detection of extraterrestrial life - thus proving once and for all that life on Earth was not a fluke - would be one of the most important discoveries in the history of human civilization.

Given the significance of such a find, however, it is important to know for sure that when we think we have found evidence of alien life, that we actually have done so and that it cannot be explained any other way.

There have been several false alarms already, including the apparent detection of alien organisms in samples collected by the Viking lander on Mars, the alleged discovery of fossil organisms in a meteorite and even the recent detection of phosphene gas in the atmosphere of Venus.

Even to this day, there are some who maintain that at least one of these actually does constitute evidence of alien life, however there has been no widespread acceptance of any of them.
To convince everyone, therefore, we would need more than just a single piece of evidence but instead multiple confirmed detections for which there could be no other explanation.

Short of intelligent aliens landing on the White House lawn, the detection of alien organisms on Mars for instance would most likely gain the greatest amount of acceptance if it could be independently verified by multiple sources.

If astronauts visited Mars and confirmed the evidence first-hand, for instance, it would be far more convincing than the data from a robotic rover could ever be on its own.

With manned missions to the Moon and then to Mars planned in the not-too-distant future, perhaps we won't have long to wait before such a discovery will be made.

Source: Big Think | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Autochthon1990 2 years ago
Look it's possible that **** like the WOW signal is really alien life, or that not all of those guys on the internet talking about alien encounters are full of ****, but this sort of thing has a very, VERY high bar to pass before we take it seriously. It's one of those things where you need extraordinary evidence to make such a claim and have it stand. Short of a corpse, a verified alien broadcast, or the guys showing up on the white house lawn to chat with Biden about nuclear disarmament, there's not much that can convince rational people to buy into that stuff
Comment icon #2 Posted by Bavarian Raven 2 years ago
Or a simple microbe in a Mars soil sample that had “alien DNA “ and physically cannot be from earth. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by Tassie Dude 2 years ago
During the probing. At, or just after the point of the second knuckle.
Comment icon #4 Posted by NCC1701 2 years ago
Saucer, parked around the corner.
Comment icon #5 Posted by badeskov 2 years ago
I wish, but just no. That would be my hippie neighbor and his old rebuilt volkswagen..... Cheers, Badeskov
Comment icon #6 Posted by astrobeing 2 years ago
A lot of people still believe that the Mars meteorite was evidence of life on Mars. The media isn't very good at saying, "Oh wait! Never mind!"
Comment icon #7 Posted by badeskov 2 years ago
Yeah, sadly the media tends to forget remedying/correcting their own first articles on something spectacular when shown to be wrong. Cheers, Badeskov
Comment icon #8 Posted by determinism 2 years ago
Because it won't be related to any form of life on Earth. It will be life 2.0. A second genesis and hopefully superior to life on Earth. 

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