Re: Europa, panspermia, exo-bacteria

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Thu Dec 06 2001 - 12:24:19 MST

On Thursday, December 06, 2001 12:26 PM jeff davis wrote:
> What makes Europa pink?
> Does Europa's rosy glow betray a flourishing colony of
> bugs?
[big snip]
> Glenn Teeter from the Pacific Northwest National
> Laboratory in Washington state says bacteria aren't
> the simplest explanation for Europa's spectrum. "It
> does strike me as a bit far fetched," he says. But it
> can't be ruled out until we go there to see.

I agree with Teeter here. I'd be surprised if any bacteria made it close
enough to the surface to make an impact on what we see now.

However, since there does seem to be strong evidence of mass exchange
between planets -- the Mars chunks found all over Earth -- I wonder what the
odds are the life from Earth could have gotten to Europa. Any such life
would probably be closer to the surface at first -- if it survived the
journey and the impact.

This could bring up another issue. What exactly are the rights of life
forms on other worlds? Should humans or posthumans be allowed to do as they
will with other worlds? If not, what sort of protocol do you think should
be in place?

I bring this up because it's going to happen sooner or later that we'll come
into contact with ET life and a lot of pro-nanotech people (including me:)
want to take apart whole worlds. Granted, with nanotech, we could store the
informational (I was going to say genetic, but that might be an
overgeneralization/"geomorphism" here) content of any nonsentient life, so
it might not be a big issue -- except for those who see intrinsic worth in
operating life forms and operating ecosystems. Still, these might be
simulated to a degree.


Daniel Ust

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