A few months ago, many of us got excited by claims about the arsenic-based life which began to look much less likely moments later. But that doesn't mean that we should become completely deaf towards similar big claims.
A condom used by the creatures living inside meteorites, or whatever he claims this to be. ;-)
Seven hours ago, FoxNews became the first source among many that reported that
CI1 carbonaceous chondrites" we have on Earth - a precious kind of meteorites - he found something he calls "fossilized evidence of extraterrestrial bacterial life". It's similar to some life on Earth. It's being printed in Journal of Cosmology (click for the full article).
Now, regular TRF readers know that I find it totally sensible that the "seeds" of life were implanted from the outer space - and those seeds just found a very hospitable environment on Earth. Such a scenario is compatible with the belief that life may be either omnipresent or rare, without contradicting the fact that life began to flourish on Earth soon after the planet was created.
However, it still seems somewhat unlikely that today, March 5th, 2011, is the day when we learn about the first valid evidence of the extraterrestrial life. ;-) But if we're ever going to learn about such evidence, the evidence must arrive at some day. :-)
Still, some people - e.g. Rudy Schild of the Harvard-Smithsonian Institute (who has previously advocated the viewpoint that life came from space) - have already endorsed Hoover's work as the "definitive proof" of alien life.
Hoover finds it remarkable that there's no longer any detectable nitrogen in his samples. Well, if there's been enough time, terrestrial bacteria could have eaten some stuff inside the meteorite, leave traces, and be consumed by something else that destroyed the nitrogen, too. Maybe not. But it's clear that other competent biologists and biochemists have to look at the claims critically.
On the other hand, I am not aware of any powerful argument that would indicate that Hoover's claim is impossible. If primitive life can be easily created out of amino acids, then those meteorites seem to be as good place as the Earth because they do contain amino acids and the meteorites' temperature etc. is comparable to that of the Earth - after all, they were orbiting the Sun at a similar distance as our planet, otherwise they wouldn't hit us. ;-)
In this sense, I think that the philosophy that "life is easily created under physical and chemical circumstances similar to those on the Earth" does predict that all chemically viable pieces of rocks that orbit the Sun at a similar distance as the Earth should include simple life forms. From potential bacteria's viewpoint, those rocks are "equivalent" to the Earth much like the island of Cuba is "life-equivalent" to North America or Eurasia (although the higher life on Cuba began to evolve in a different direction since 1959).