Would the discovery of life on Mars be ‘world-shaking’?

| | October 14, 2019
Image: Shutterstock
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

In a recent interview with the Telegraph, NASA chief scientist Jim Green said it’s possible we’ll soon find evidence of life on Mars but that “we’re not prepared for the results.” Green said the discovery would be as world-shaking as the revelation that the solar system doesn’t revolve around Earth.

But some experts we spoke to disagreed that finding alien life would truly change much on Earth.

“Well yes, maybe [we’re unprepared],” said Wieger Wamelink, a senior ecologist at Wageningen University & Research and an advisor to the MarsOne project, in an email to Gizmodo. But this “is mostly a philosophical issue that will have an impact, but not on day-to-day life,” he said. “The stock exchange will not react and countries will not go to war because of this.”

Related article:  Search for alien life gets boost from new NASA project

Importantly, Green is correct to assert a level of unpreparedness in the scientific community. It’s not immediately clear, for example, how we’d responsibly handle alien microbes.

On that note, here’s hoping for great success for NASA’s 2020 rover and the ESA’s Rosalind Franklin. May the quest for life on Mars continue, with tempered expectations.

Read full, original post: Would Finding Life on Mars Really Change Anything?

Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend