Known Universe television/video series, National Geographic (2010)
"Are we alone? It's an age-old question that was relatively "taboo" in mainstream science until the mid-1990s, when astronomers found planets outside our solar system. Now, Known Universe joins the hunt for alien life as scientists search for planets with similar characteristics to Earth's. We'll take you on a journey to find planets that may support life and show you new space-based technologies that aid in the search for advanced alien civilizations."
This series is related to another National Geographic Channel program that speculated on what life on other worlds might be like. The Lemming discussed National Geographic's fictional-but-plausible worlds of Aurelia and Blue Moon in another blog:
- "Beautiful Space Princesses, Almost Certainly Not: Flying Whales, Maybe"
Drifting at the Edge of Time and Space (December 8, 2009)
(National Geographic Channel, used w/o permission)
Life on Other Worlds? Maybe not so 'Taboo'On the other hand, the Lemming isn't entirely convinced that exobiology was a 'taboo' topic among scientists until the 90s. Consider: the Viking missions carried 'life experiments' to see if there were critters in the Martian soil. Those missions started in the mid-70s. More:
- "Viking 1 - 2"
Mars isn't EarthSoil from Mars didn't act quite as expected. There was a flurry of chemical activity: and then nothing. The Lemming recalls a scientist at the time saying it was 'peculiar chemistry.' But not life.
Now, a few decades later, someone else suggested that maybe microorganisms suited to a thin carbon dioxide atmosphere and only traces of water might not have precisely the same metabolism as microorganisms suited to a thick nitrogen-oxygen mix that's occasionally saturated with water.
The Lemming's discussed that before:
- "Life on Ceres? Could Be"
(March 5, 2009)
Segmented Worms, Animals, Definitions, and All ThatThen there's the assertion that "all animals are worms." That's accurate, in a way, but needed a whole lot more explanation to make sense. Like what's at the F-M Community College's website:
- "Segmented Worms / Annelids"
Michael McDarby, An Online Introduction to the Biology of Animals and Plants, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, The State University of New York (2001-2010)
Still, the Lemming feels that National Geographic could have devoted more time to bilateral symmetry and the development gnathostomata.
As for the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe: that's another topic.