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SETI Ignorance Gets Stronger

“Science is not about blind faith” begins a video posted on MSNBC about SETI.  Part of an article by AP reporter Seth Borenstein, “Evidence for E.T. is mounting daily, but not proven,” the video explains Frank Drake’s famous equation that tries to quantify the probability for extraterrestrial intelligence (09/29/2010, 11/24/2008).  Though Drake confidently asserts the […]

NASA Finds Life on Earth; or,Arsenic and Old Lake

A NASA teaser about an announcement coming Dec 2 that will “will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life” had watchers on edge.  PhysOrg said, “Speculation that life has been discovered beyond Earth exploded on the Internet after NASA announced plans for a briefing involving scientists who study unusual life forms.”  It wasn’t to […]

Is Life More than Sewage?

Look at the sewer pipe accompanying an article on Science Daily.  The article claims that a bacterium in the sewer water is a “missing link” in our evolution.  How can this be?     For a long time, evolutionists have tried to bridge the gap between bacteria, which lack a nucleus, and eukaryotes which have […]

Dumbing Down the Science Reading Public

In their rush to grab attention-getting headlines, are reporters doing more harm than good?  An essential part of science education is critical thinking.  Some headlines and articles state ideas that far outstrip the meager data on which they are based.  Fingers do the walking:  Science Daily blindly reproduced an audacious claim from the University of […]

The Blue and Red States of OOL

When it comes to the origin of life (OOL), some scientists color it blue; some color it red.  New Scientist votes for the blue state.  “LIFE may really have been created by a spark, one that came as a bolt from the deep blue.”  Inspired by visions sent from Ryuhei Nakamura at the University of […]

SETI: To the Unknown, Full Speed Ahead

This year marks the 50th year of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).  Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute and one of its most outspoken spokesmen, made the cover of Sky and Telescope’s November 2010 issue.  He stands proudly over his Allen Telescope Array in his feature story, “Closing in on E.T.” celebrating […]

Life: Do Ingredients Imply Emergence?

Science articles continue to push the idea that if water is found somewhere, life is certain to emerge.  Other articles look for so-called “building blocks of life” or “ingredients for life,” implying or even plainly stating that life simply emerges from its parts.  While many have complained that this kind of thinking is as ridiculous […]

Probability Life Not Found on Exoplanet: 100%

Headlines are screaming that an earthlike planet in its star’s habitable zone has been found.  Many sources, though, are claiming that life must certainly exist on this planet.  Their hubris stems from the words of Steve Vogt, an astronomy professor at UC Santa Cruz.  “Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever […]

Conjuring Up Evolutionary Implications from Current Data

What does observable reality imply about unobservable reality?  Some scientists say, a lot.  But is unobservable reality really real?  Or is it an oxymoron?  A couple of recent articles in the science media show scientists observing things in the present, then saying they have “huge implications” for things no scientist ever observed.     In […]

Grandma Gets Sexy Idea for Origin of Life

Helen Hansma likes being a grandmother and studying the origin of life, according to a video on PhysOrg.  To show she’s not over the hill, though, she came up with a sexy new hypothesis for how we got here: life emerged “between the sheets” – of mica.     Her video clip explains three parts […]

Wishing ET Upon a Star

What are the odds of finding extraterrestrials?  That subject has been discussed ad infinitum, but David Shiga at New Scientist thinks the odds just went up.  “Solitary suns like ours are not as rare as we once thought, boosting the likelihood that there are other life-friendly solar systems in the universe.”  It should be noted […]

Using Aliens to Titillate the Public

Geologists cannot even figure out our own planet (next headline), but some of them claim to know a lot about other planets – their geological history, and even their prospects for life.  Is it fair to tease the public with the L-word life when so much remains to be understood on the ground under our […]

The Limits of Scientific Speculation

How far can a scientist speculate and get a respectful hearing, just because he or she is a scientist?  One case to examine is a story on PhysOrg, “The Chance for Life on Io” (see also Astrobio.net).  Jupiter’s innermost large moon Io might be considered the last place to look for life.  It is the […]

Not Life on Titan Again

Something weird is going on at the large moon of Saturn.  “What is Consuming Hydrogen and Acetylene on Titan?” teased a press release from Jet Propulsion Laboratory”s Cassini mission: Two new papers based on data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft scrutinize the complex chemical activity on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan.  While non-biological chemistry offers […]

Fooling Around with OOL

Origin of Life (OOL) research is one of those areas in science where one doesn’t have to make any real progress, as long as he or she looks busy.  Anything the scientist says, no matter how speculative, or even foolish, is likely to be taken seriously, because the alternative – creation – has already been […]
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