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The internet has been buzzing with news of apparent microfossils found in meteorites. The story was first publicized by Fox News, but rapidly spread across blogs and major media outlets alike.

These carbonaceous chondrites, meteorites that probably once formed part of comets, were split open and examined closely. Richard B. Hoover, in a study published in the Journal of Cosmology presented micrographs of squiggly structures that appeared very similar to terrestrial cyanobacteria (“Fossils of Cyanobacteria in CI1 Carbonaceous Meteorites: Implications to Life on Comets, Europa, and Enceladus“, March 2011). The chemical profiles of these artifacts differed from those of the surrounding meteorite matrix. Evidence of life elsewhere in the solar system!

Not so fast. This is a tremendous claim: is it justified? My assessment of this research includes three components: the journal, the author, and the science itself. Is the journal credible, does the author possess the relevant skills and experience to evaluate such a claim, does the evidence support the conclusions and are alternate explanations adequately considered?

Read more at Science in My Fiction.

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