Ok, so yesterday was supposed to be the big day, the day NASA was to make an announcement that was supposed to “impact the search for evidence extraterrestrial life.” The internet was abuzz, as NASA rarely makes such bold statements. Bloggers and journalists everywhere were contemplating what the announcement could be. Was it that they found life on one of Saturn’s moons? Did we finally receive a radio signal from some intelligent life out there? Was Wikileaks forcing their hand into admitting that aliens have indeed visited Earth and are cooperating with our government?
Nope. They found some bacteria here on Earth. That can use arsenic rather than phosphorous as one of the building blocks of its DNA. *cough*
Now, I’m not saying this isn’t an interesting find. But it seems like NASA overhyped this for some reason. It reminds me of the episode of “The Simpsons” (back when it was still funny) where NASA realizes its ratings are down, so they decide to send Homer into space. To make a statement as bold as they did, they must have known that people would talk about it and that it would garner lots of attention. But I feel like there’s a “boy who cried wolf” issue here. The next time NASA has something really interesting to announce, people won’t be as intrigued.
This was a big discovery, in its own way. It proves that science doesn’t always understand everything, as they seemingly always claim to. Just because we think we understand how life is formed doesn’t mean we really do. This also opens up the door on more potentially “life supporting” planets. But I feel like NASA dropped the ball here and disappointed lots of people. People who won’t care nearly as much about anything NASA has to announce next time. Way to go, NASA…