For those of us who wonder if earthlings are the only intelligent species in the Milky Way and beyond, try this theory on for size:
Two scientists in Kazakhstan believe humans may have an extraterrestrial "stamp" embedded into our genetic code, a mathematical message that would not be explained by Darwin's theory of biological evolution.
The scientists are suggesting that an advanced alien civilization "seeded" our galaxy eons ago with an ET signal that eventually found its way to Earth, implanting a genetic code into humans, reports Discovery.com.
Physicist Vladimir I. shCherbak of al-Farabi Kazakh National University of Kazakhstan and astrobiologist Maxim A. Makukov of the Fesenkvo Astrophysical Institute refer to this far-out concept as "biological SETI."
The results of their research -- "The 'Wow! signal' of the terrestrial genetic code" -- can be found in the peer-reviewed journal, Icarus.
The title of their study, which was partially financed by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, refers to an unexplained radio signal detected by SETI scientists in 1977.
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While SETI -- the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence -- relies on the use of radio telescopes and signal-processing technology to search the heavens for alien life, shCherbak and Makukov theorize there's a better way of detecting ETs.
The Kazakhstan scientists believe there's a possible intelligent "signal" within the human genetic code.
"It has been repeatedly proposed to expand the scope for SETI, and one of the suggested alternatives to radio is the biological media," they write in the abstract of their study.
"Genomic DNA is already used on Earth to store non-biological information. Though smaller in capacity, but stronger in noise immunity is the genetic code. ... Once fixed, the code might stay unchanged over cosmological timescales; in fact, it is the most durable construct known. Therefore, it represents an exceptionally reliable storage for an intelligent signature."
Makukov and shCherbak contend that life throughout the galaxy may have been spread by intelligent design, that instead of life developing as a result of random processes, maybe extraterrestrials had a hand in it.
But, of course, that begs the question: If the seeds of life somehow originated with ETs, who first designed the designers?