Monday, June 05, 2006

Aliens? I doubt it...

This weekend, two news stories talked about aliens. One, involving the picture above, is more of a joke. Unless a duck both became carnivorous and swallows food larger than its mouth whole, this is just an illusion (and an excellent illustration of our human ability to see faces in just about everything).

This story, on the other hand, is not meant to be humorous. The story involves a mysterious red rain that fell over parts of India five years ago. One group testing the rain claims that the particles that made the rain red multiply (a sign of life) yet have no DNA. This could imply that the particles are extraterrestrial, in other words, aliens!

Now I seriously doubt this is true. Other labs are testing the result and finding evidence of DNA. Besides, there is life on Earth that does not have DNA (many viruses have only RNA), and there are replicating particles that are not alive and do not have DNA or RNA (prions).

Maybe tomorrow I will talk about the connection of this story with the hypothesis of "Panspermia"

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