Oldest fossil ever found on Earth dating back 4.2bn years shows alien life on Mars is likelyExcept for three things: they don't have actual fossils; they don't actually know that they came from thermal vents; and they don't really know how old they are.
Ancient microbes were spewed from deep-sea hydrothermal vents, study claims
The discovery is the strongest evidence yet that similar organisms could also have evolved on Mars, which at the time still had oceans and an atmosphere, and was being bombarded by comets which probably brought the building blocks of life to Earth.
Here's what they have:
The organisms would have resembled small tubes, with a ball-like base which stuck to the ocean rocks, and a stalk suspended in the water to collect iron, on which they fed.So what they have is some tubes which look like currently living creatures.
They are similar to iron-oxidising bacteria found near other hydrothermal vents today.
“We found the filaments and tubes inside centimetre-sized structures called concretions or nodules,” said Dr Dominic Papineau (UCL Earth Sciences and the London Centre for Nanotechnology).
“The fact we unearthed them from one of the oldest known rock formations, suggests we’ve found direct evidence of one of Earth’s oldest life forms.
“This discovery helps us piece together the history of our planet and the remarkable life on it, and will help to identify traces of life elsewhere in the universe.”
Even certain other scientists are skeptical:
Biology is indeed one possible explanation, says astrobiologist Abigail Allwood of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “But the evidence could equally be interpreted as non-biological.”It's not even a credible scenario, considering all the actual unknowns. Yes, it could be non-life, or it could be an instance of relatively current life, or it could be a bazillion years old: which one should we choose?
Each line of evidence, she points out, reflects processes that could have actually occurred at different times, layering potential clues in a way that looks biological, but really isn’t. “You can’t just wave your arms and say this all happened together,” she says.
Paleobiologist David Wacey of the University of Western Australia in Crawley agrees that “the individual lines of chemical evidence are not particularly strong.” But combined with the microstructures, he says, the authors come up with a “pretty convincing biological scenario
Well, the least parsimonious is the one that fits the narrative, so of course, that one is the choice. Breathless extrapolations ensue, on schedule.
Conveniently, this gig overcomes last year's record holder for breathless bogus claims: