Indianapolis (IN) - Physicists like to sit back in their comfy chairs and postulate about the possibility of life on other planets. They're always thinking about the "what ifs." How many hours of movies and television programming has been devoted to this very subject? Monster aliens from space and all that. It's just so much nonsense. And yet, maybe it isn't? An article in the New Journal of Physics has us asking that question very today.
A physicist named V.N. Tsytovich from the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow believes he has found compelling evidence for extra-terrestrial life in a computer model. It comes to us in the form of a corkscrew-shaped bit of what we would call "dust." While inorganic in nature (not based on carbon), computer models have shown it exhibiting life-like properties. Tystovich and his associates have discovered that these non-organic materials, under the right conditions, can develop helical structures in a manner which has previously been observed only in organic life. Even more amazing, these new structures also include the common properties associated with DNA, such as division and bifurcation resulting in two identical copies of the original structure.
Tystovich says it is possible these forms of "life" could exist in space and even evolve over time the way many scientists believe life on Earth has. The computer model he used simulating the conditions where this could take place are very common in outer space, he says. Some of his colleagues believe it's possible that this form of inorganic life originally settled here on Earth. It then paved the way for the more complex organic structures which came later.
Spock: "It's life, Jim. But not as we know it." (YouTube video: Star Trekkin by The Firm. Warning: That song can get a little annoying toward the end.)