Could life have been spread out through the galaxy like a plague?
Theory of Panspermia
How ebola spreads
What can survive the hostile environment of space?
The article post above suggests that life could be spread like a virus in our own galaxy and there proof of life should be clustered around in pocket bubbles of the Milky Way. However because our own solar system spins around the center of our galaxy and it takes 250 million years for a full rotation, I believe that concept will be extremly hard to prove or disprove. If we think of our own lives and the length of time anything living here can be alive, or the length of it's life in comparison to how long it takes to cycle our own galaxy, then one can see that by the time we are able to spot a seed of life that either originated elsewhere, or here could have died out in a million years or so. Look at how long ago the dinosaurs were here, that could have been 2 or 3 cycles around our galaxy. I believe the time and scale of potential life within our own galaxy can be taken into consideration, and with that we can determine the best possible planets to look into for life beyond our solar system. I'm excited about this because we could already have aliens here, just on a microscopic scale and not as how we think they should be.
C) - The Bullet Answers:
1) The global impact, national impact, and local / personal impact.
Rethinking how we define what is alien and the realization that it could already be here could have a dramatic impact on Science and Religion. National impact to push science to the forefront and become the new space race. Personal impact of accepting aliens are real and we are much bigger and smarter to some extent. We just haven't evolved enough to create a thick membrane and hibernate on a droplet of water.
2) Forecast the range of impact over the short term (the next 2 months to 2 years), to the long term (next 20 years to 20 + decades).
I believe science is slightly behind technology when it comes to advancement due to it's reliance on technology. Technology has been advancing on a faster scale and in the short term we can continue to look microscopically and apply on a macro theory. In the long term we will have verified by either seeding a nearby planet and observe it's success or failure and discover how other beings could thrive by observation of bacteria in space.
3) What could you do, or could be done to create the greatest positive impact on the future.”
In order to create or help create the greatest positive impact on our future in this realm is to set aside our religious/scientific debate and working on a seeding plan and push our ability to get out further into space faster. Eventually we will run out of fossil fuels and sooner rather than later we will dry up the Earth of it's minerals and metals. We need to start looking at alternatives now.
4) “What could you do, or could be done to create the greatest negative impact on the future.”
In our process of seeding or attempting to create a seeding plan we could pull a Star Trek and end up using "Genesis" to create a world apocalypse here on Earth.
5) “Which region of the future” does this related closest most to or does this fit in between – or perhaps a region of the future you’d like to define for yourself.
Combination of Biotech and Astrophysics.
b) Pose questions / concepts / feedback you are looking for.
What other types of life or biology should we look at for defining life outside of the planet Earth?
What are the other ways we can define that something is alive?
Does this seem like a feasible forecast idea?
Do you think we have aliens from space here as microbes and which ones?