Monday, May 12, 2008

Water that flowed on Mars and Jurassic global warming

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here’s today’s news:
g Abodes - A provocative new study of photographs taken from orbit suggests that liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars as recently as several years ago, raising the possibility that the Red Planet could harbor an environment favorable to life. See article.
g Life - During the Jurassic, global warming and severe environmental change led to the extinction of many species. One of the most intriguing effects was that the oceans became starved of oxygen. See article.
g Learning - How common are other civilizations in the universe? This question has fascinated humanity for centuries, and although we still have no definitive answer, a number of recent developments have brought it once again to the fore. Chief among these is the confirmation - after a long wait and several false starts - that planets exist outside our solar system. See article. My apologies in advance for the Web site that I found this otherwise credible article on.
g Aftermath - Clearly, if we are not alone in the universe, there are some unavoidable theological and philosophical consequences. We feel that the problem of extraterrestrial life is one of the most important questions raised in science to the present. We should reflect on the consequences of a positive result of either finding extraterrestrial microorganisms, or receiving a radio message form an extraterrestrial source: When such discovery occurs, the implications are likely to have an impact on our culture requiring adjustments possibly more radical than those arising form the evidence that humans descend from microorganisms. Note: This paper is from 1999. See article.

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