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A NASA astrobiologist’s bold suggestion: Let’s make ET ourselves

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Betül Kaçar, director of NASA Astrobiology Consortium, asks if we should just seed exoplanets with life, provided certain cautions are observed:

There are a lot of reasons to think very carefully about doing something like that, as Betül Kaçar (pictured), director of the NASA Astrobiology Consortium MUSE, acknowledges: “Rather than regarding the overwhelming majority of planets and moons as failures unworthy of further study, we should instead recognise them for what they are: they’re not empty. In fact, a very high number of them might have been (and might yet be still) on the cusp of flourishing with life, if provided the specific potential to do so. What if a significant percentage of those planets and moons require only a few hundred kilogrammes of ‘the right chemical stuff’ to spark their own, unique biotic revolutions? – Betül Kaçar, “Do We Send the Goo?” at Aeon”

News, “Why search for extraterrestrial life? Why not make it ourselves?” at Mind Matters News

There is, of course, the little problem that we have no idea how life actually got started here, let alone how to make it. But her observations are interesting nonetheless. Maybe the only ETs that ever exist will be the ones we invent, fictional or otherwise.

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So far we have not found life outside of earth but we have a lot of astrobiologists. NASA is filled with them as well as the university’s. How can so many people work in a field with no subject yet. It’s a field of speculation. jfd145
We've been trying this sort of thing in vitro for 200 years, and nothing has evolved yet. Why would it be more likely to happen elsewhere? Alt question: What if the target planet already has life somewhat similar to ours, and the goo (unfamiliar to its immune system) kills it entirely? polistra

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