GFAJ-1 (i’ve thought this through a little more now)

“A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. It wasn’t the world being round that agitated people, but that the world wasn’t flat.
When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”
-Dresden James

a few months ago, if someone would have said, “i think there’s probably life that’s built from something aside from carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur,” i’d say at least 95% of the scientists on earth would have said, “what kind of crazy pills are you on??”  you know…in so many words 😉

according to NASA, this changes everything. NASA just announced that the fundamental definition of life has now been expanded. “carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur are the six basic building blocks of all known forms of life on earth. phosphorus is part of the chemical backbone of DNA and RNA, the structures that carry genetic instructions for life, and is considered an essential element for all living cells.” well, this bacteria replaces phosphorus with arsenic – which is poisonous to most living things.

“NASA’s geobiologist Pamela Conrad thinks that the discovery is huge and “phenomenal,” comparing it to the Star Trek episode in which the Enterprise crew finds Horta, a silicon-based alien life form that can’t be detected with tricorders because it wasn’t carbon-based. It’s like saying that we may be looking for new life in the wrong places with the wrong methods. Indeed, NASA tweeted that this discovery “will change how we search for life elsewhere in the Universe.””

this is one of those humbling discoveries that didn’t just become true…it’s been true for quite sometime – if not forever. in fact, in our limited perception, it’s always been completely and utterly false (just like the round world of the earlier centuries.)  well, the world was always round and there have probably always been organisms with different building blocks of life. it’s freaking huge when this stuff turns over and we have to acknowledge how our “truth” isn’t always true. even in science.

what we know…what we are cabable of: they’re incredible. they’re things other generations would have dismissed as completely false and impossible. those words need new definitions along with our new definition of life. god, i love science….


0 Responses to “GFAJ-1 (i’ve thought this through a little more now)”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s



Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

posts by month

posts by category


%d bloggers like this: