It was around a few months back that NASA chief scientist Dr Jim Green predicted the possibility of discovering alien life in the future. As per Green, Mars missions by NASA and ESA will discover aliens on the Red Planet within 2021, and he also made it clear that humans are not ready to accept the realities surrounding extraterrestrial existence.
Now, Peter Vickers, an Associate Professor in Philosophy of Science at Durham University has suggested that humans should start expecting the unexpected to discover aliens in exoplanets.
Are human theories going wrong while searching alien life?
"If we discovered evidence of alien life, would we even realize it? Life on other planets could be so different from what we're used to that we might not recognize any biological signatures that it produces. Recent years have seen changes to our theories about what counts as a biosignature and which planets might be habitable, and further turnarounds are inevitable," wrote Peter Vickers in his recent article in The Conversation.
As per Vickers, discoveries often receive skepticism, and he cited the example of Ozone hole discovery which was initially considered as the result of bad data. "When scientists first found evidence of low amounts of ozone in the atmosphere above Antarctica, they initially dismissed it as bad data. With no prior theoretical reason to expect a hole, the scientists ruled it out in advance. Thankfully, they were minded to double-check, and the discovery was made," added Vickers.
Exoplanets hold the key
Vickers believes that an increase in the number of exoplanet discoveries could be the key to discover aliens in the near future. It should be noted that scientists have identified more than 3,650 exoplanets in the last ten years, and this trend is expected to go on as NASA is using advanced telescopes like TESS exoplanet hunter to discover alien worlds.
Vickers also added that humans should be very much open-minded while searching for aliens in deep space. He believes that non-mainstream ideas and techniques should be explored by space scientists in the coming years to detect evidence of aliens.