#1 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, September 21st, 2013 10:01
#2 By: Drabula, September 21st, 2013 11:04
I, for one, welcome our dubious diatom overlords.
#3 By: algomeysa2, September 21st, 2013 12:43
Also, their samples came from 17 miles up in the Earth's atmosphere.
Earth's atmosphere starts creating meaningful friction on reentry at 75 miles up.
At 17 miles up, you're liable to find all kinds of things.
Plummeting Felix Baumgartners, for example.
#4 By: rocketpj, September 21st, 2013 14:36
I already know that I won't accept any assertions of alien life until I read it in a post from MKB, with lots of links and qualifiers. Sorry for the pressure Maggie but there aren't a lot of readily accessible yet credible science writers out there that also post on blogs with unicorns and NSA and maker stuff.
#5 By: forwardourmotto, September 21st, 2013 15:39
Even if this is true, so what?
Talking aliens or GTFO.
#6 By: Bill Noble, September 21st, 2013 17:58
We humans - all of us - have always had a hard time remembering that knowing things - as opposed to the ease of believing things - is damn hard. Knowing we've found alien life will be a hard-fought, prolonged, exhaustive process of research, argument, and repetition, seasoned, because it's a human process, with every possible human failing.
Knowing things is like climbing Everest, a daunting, compelling challenge . . . with an amazing view at the end.
#7 By: Jardine, September 21st, 2013 18:26
Case in point, says Phil Plait, the alien in question
I read that as "Case in point, Phil Plait, the alien in question" which put an entirely different spin on the story.
#8 By: Mark K, September 21st, 2013 22:27
Felix Baumgartner is an alien is what you are saying? I knew it.
#9 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, September 22nd, 2013 09:50
My typing is apparently worse on Saturday mornings than on weekdays.
Either that, or, Phil Plait is an alien and that explains why he doesn't want you to believe that aliens exist.
#10 By: Tim Rowledge, September 22nd, 2013 12:16
...along with plummeting Babbage Bears and their installed RaspberryPis, of course.
#11 By: Jonathan Badger, September 22nd, 2013 15:02
Diatoms aren't "single celled plants" as per the writeup -- that's basically bad high school biology of the type that tries to claim that Paramecia are single celled animals. Not everything can be classified as plants or animals. Microbes are diverse, and can't really be shoved into categories designed for macroscopic organisms. Not that this makes the idea of diatoms from space any more plausible, but as somebody who works on diatoms the misclassification is annoying.
#12 By: Smut Clyde, September 22nd, 2013 18:25
#13 By: Smut Clyde, September 22nd, 2013 21:13
As God is my witness, I thought diatoms could fly!
#14 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, September 26th, 2013 10:01
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