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Every Planet Surprises Secular Astronomers, II: Outer Planets
May 3, 2014
"Surprise" or "puzzling" are the most common words in news reports about bodies in the solar system. Here are recent examples that discuss the outer planets.
Scientists Dodge Youthfulness of Saturn Moon Titan
August 17, 2013
Like Enceladus, Saturn's moon Titan shows multiple signs of being far less than 4.5 billion years old – yet the press releases are strangely silent about the implications.
Europa Plus Water Does Not Equal Life
November 18, 2011
NASA gave one of its high-profile press releases this week to dazzle reporters: Europa, the icy moon of Jupiter, may have large lakes of liquid water under its icy shell, closer to the surface than the deep ocean long believed to exist miles down. The curious domes rising above the ice seem to indicate heating that Would the reporters resist the temptation to speculate about life?
October 28, 2011
Members of our solar system that were little more than points of light for decades or centuries have now become familiar family members, seen up close and personal by spacecraft. Here are introductions to three worlds that are no longer mere names in a catalog. Even the names of members in this trio may be unfamiliar to some. They’re worth getting to know.
8.7 Million Species Is Not a Scientific Fact
August 24, 2011
Human beings love to classify things. We pigeonhole items into bins of our own making, for whatever the reason, to give us a feeling of having things organized and understood. Do our pigeonholes reflect categories that are “out there” in nature, or are they constructs of our own minds? Science reporters are announcing in bold print that there are “8.7 million species on Earth,” but a look at the fine print shows the error bars to be so enormous, there is more error than data. What does this imply about the scientific validity of human classification schemes?