Researchers in Antarctica have discovered the creature responsible for the Taylor Glacier’s strange, reddish feature known as Blood Falls – it turns out, the deposits of oxidized iron are created by  a colony of microbes living in a pool  thousands of feet below the surface of the glacier that breathes iron and hasn’t seen the sun in a million and a half years.

You can check out more about the bacteria, which is one of a few helping to redefine what a life sustaining environment consists of, here and here

Meanwhile, as microbial life continues to be discovered thriving in Earth’s least hospitable neighborhoods, from super hot deep sea vents to thousands of feet below arctic deserts, finding this sort of life on other planets seems more and more to be a ‘when,’ rather than an ‘if’ scenario.

So what’s been bugging me lately is this – how would a discovery of life on other planets jibe with contemporary thought, especially religious thought, on this one? In other words, if you believe God created the universe, and man in his image, what does it mean if there’s another planet or planets out there with living organisms that bear no resemblance at all to human beings? There are some thoughtful essays on the matter here, but I’d like to hear about the matter from someone who doesn’t have a PhD in either religion or physics.

Any thoughts?