10 MINUTES
Published DECEMBER 2017

How to Spot an Alien, According to NASA!

Description

We often think of aliens as space monsters or little green men with laser guns, but what might alien life actually be like? 

Here we take a look at NASA's definition of life, and see how it's being used in the exploration of the cosmos, as well as in the chemistry lab as researchers search for the possible pathway from simple chemistry to living cells. 

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This animation was funded by the Center for Chemical Evolution, the National Science Foundation, NASA, and our viewers on Patreon

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LEARN MORE:
Biochemist Seven Benner's book is the most comprehensive look at NASA's definition as it applies to space exploration and life origin's chemistry. I highly recommend it! 

Life, the Universe, and the Scientific Method: https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Scientific-Method-Steven-Benner/dp/0615267459/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=statedclear06-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=2cae79dc5c09db955db5d205a8a266f0&creativeASIN=0615267459

Here is a shorter paper he did on the subject: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3005285/

DISSENTING VIEWS ON NASA'S DEFINITION OF LIFE
Scientists and philosophers are a wild bunch of free-thinkers, as such, not everyone jumped on-board when NASA put forth their definition.

From philosopher Edouard Machery: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-011-9880-1

From Life Origin's Chemist, Jack W. Szostak: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4208307/

From philosopher Carol E. Cleland and from SETI researcher Christopher F. Chyba: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1020503324273