This preface is to provide, to those who may be curious, a sense of why this author (author/builder) has constructed this website and the corresponding Second Life exhibit. As for my background that led in part to my interest in astrobiology, I have degrees in physics and environmental science, and did master’s research relating to extremophile bacteria.
I believe that there is a strong chance that microbial life beyond Earth will be found (even if not physically collected), within about the next dozen years. I think that moons of planets other than Earth, in the solar system, are the most likely locations on (or in) which such life may be found. I also think that, as far-fetched as it may sound … now, there is a reasonable chance that radio communications from intelligent life beyond the solar system will be detected in a fairly similar time frame.
It has been observed that a person with one watch knows what time it is, but a person with two is never quite sure. In a sense, the opposite is true regarding our understanding of life in the universe. With just one fundamental data point, or sample (Earth-based life), we can only know so much about life in the universe as a whole. However, with but one more such fundamental data point (assuming that any exist, of course), we can increase our knowledge, not just by double, but exponentially.
For example, if non-Earth-based microbes were found, we could not only unravel their complex, rich world of microbiological workings, but we could also compare them to our own, and learn enormously from the comparison. Conceptually, with two points, we could examine not just them, but the dimensionally greater line anchored by them. We would, in a sense, be learning about our kind – life in general – and about ourselves, as a particular form thereof. What could be more intriguing?
© 2015 Fosdick EDS ☾><(((°>