Humans might have already been in touch with alien life, but specialists have failed to notice it, a science philosopher claims.
Evidence of intelligent life forms on exoplanets may be so unusual to humans that any different biological forms may be unfathomable to researchers. Hypothesis about alien biosignatures and whether an exoplanet is able to hold life as we know it are continually developing.
Peter Vickers, an Associate Professor in Philosophy of science at Durham University, says that specialists have no other option but to translate the data we have with the actual best hypothesis, not with some obscure future idea. He says that researchers need to keep an open mind when looking for alien life in the Universe.
Missing Out Because of Conventional Thinking
In a paper published in The Conversation, the science philosopher recommends experts to get rid of conventional thinking or any bias towards life the way we know it because these could cause them to miss out on the greatest discovery ever.
He wrote: “Plenty of breakthroughs happen by accident, from the discovery of penicillin to the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation left over from the Big Bang.”
“These often reflect a degree of luck on behalf of the researchers involved. When it comes to alien life, is it enough to assume ‘we’ll know it when we see it?'”
Researchers tried to detect alien life by searching for biosignatures, which includes any phenomenon that provides scientific evidence of past or present extraterrestrial life. It could be matter, isotope, or molecule, which would require life in order to be responsible for the substance in any given condition.
Dr. Vickers added: “Recent years have seen changes to our theories about what counts as a biosignature and which planets might be habitable, and further turnarounds are inevitable.”
“But the best we can really do is interpret the data we have with our current best theory, not with some future idea we haven’t had yet.”
Infinite Worlds Suggest That Alien Life Exists
A recent research unveiled the fact that it is more regular for distant exoplanets rotating around distant stars to hold water within their atmosphere. Scientists from the University of Cambridge examined the composition of 19 exoplanets over five years and discovered that water is usually found but in low quantities.
A total of 14 of these planets had water vapor in their atmospheres, and chemicals vital or life, such as sodium and potassium, were each discovered on six of these worlds. It is critical that researchers approach any forthcoming analyses with an open mind and be ready to find ‘the unexpected,’ Dr. Vickers says.
He wrote: “Studying the universe largely unshackled from theory is not only a legitimate scientific endeavor – it’s a crucial one.”
Because of the insanely infinite number of worlds in the Universe, the possibility of alien species developing, even at a microbial rank, is believed to be incredibly high. To give this a context, a renowned Hubble Ultra Deep Field image shows an approximate of 10,000 galaxies in a tiny area of the night sky.
Each of these galaxies has an overall of 100 million stars, and exoplanet specialists believe that each star is calculated to have at least one planet.