Phoenix was able to take high resolution pictures of the chip, confirming the exact dimensions. With one of its robotic arms, the Phoenix was able to break open the AMD Phenom II processor, revealing all the intricate details normally found within.
Physicist Dr. Smithy Peters, principal investigator and leader of the entire mission, explained, "I believe the correct combination of elements came together in a cosmic storm about 14.7 billion years ago. After the puddle died down, a perfectly formed processor was left, identical to an AMD Phenom II chip."
Wouldn't such a finding prove that life exists on other planets? Dr. Ollie Jones, microbiologist and Associate Professor at South Carolina State believes so. "The finding is important in our quest for life outside of the earth." Although the finding of an AMD Phenom II is a very important discovery, it really is only a small step towards finding life on other planets, according to Dr. Jones. "We have a long way to go before we can prove that a single living cell formed on its own. You see, the computer chip is about 10,00o times less complex than the simplest of any single living microbe."
But with trillions of trillions of trillions of trillions of planets, he is hopeful that science will eventually prove that a living cell has formed somewhere else besides the earth. Finding this simple, basic AMD Phenom II processer on Mars does prove that the spontaneous appearance of a machine may be possible.
Part of the issues left to solve involve the irreducible complexity of the cell vs. the computer chip. A cell is irreducibly complex (meaning basically that none of its parts can survive outside the cell system) whereas a computer chip is made up of many individual usable parts.
"The complexity factor is definitely a concern. Finding an actual living cell would be more comparable to finding a manufacturing plant for the AMD Phenom II," says biochemistry professor Michael Behe. "So, it may take a little more searching before the Phoenix team will find evidence of a spontaneously generated living cell."
Of course, adding electricity to the chip, in addition to the remainder of the laptop, is quite the stretch. But again, finding a simple AMD Phenom II chip on Mars, which is so close to Earth, increases the believability that we'll find life on other planets. The believability factor would increase more if we could find a full laptop with battery power and an electrical recharging source out there somewhere. Such a find would lend more credibility to the notion that we could discover life on other planets, but it would take a leap of faith to make the jump from the existence of a simple laptop which can continuously recharge itself to the notion that a more complex single living microbe appeared by chance.