Comment of the day: Getting the skepticism about NASA’s mission right
|July 17, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, News|
In response to: Does anyone remember when NASA was associated with daring – but credible – ideas?
I never said the search for life threatens ID theory at all. The question is more one of is it good science. Of course these people want life on other planets to be true-but that doesn’t make it likely. They all hope to have some kind of sci-fi star wars kind of discovery, because this is their fantasy, and think think it is confirm of how easy evolution is.
And even if its never found, they can always just keep going back to the idea of , one day we will-without any proof at all.
So its an easy win for them, if no proof, then just say, we know its there, we just haven’t found it yet. but if we are alone in this universe, it would contradict their idea, so they never would admit to it ever.
That is not being a skeptic, that is being a propagandist. NASA needs to continually make a justification for their money, so they always claim they are very very close to finding life!
If life only arose ONCE on this planet, why aren’t they at least skeptical that it is so unlikely and rare, that perhaps it never happened again? Where is the skepticism in the Seth Shostaks?
Exactly. What concerns many of us is the fat hype over slim hope that has come to characterize NASA spox on the subject of ET life.
ID theorists are as likely as anyone to want to study ET life forms. But what about all the grandiose claims apparently aimed at popular media, whose consumers are neither informed nor inclined to grasp the underlying difficulties? For example,
“Just imagine the moment, when we find potential signatures of life. Imagine the moment when the world wakes up and the human race realizes that its long loneliness in time and space may be over — the possibility we’re no longer alone in the universe,” said Matt Mountain, director and Webb telescope scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, which plans to launch the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018.
First, many people reading that will assume he means intelligent aliens. But he probably knows as well as we do that they are hardly the most likely ET life find. There is only one species among the vast numbers on Earth – which teems with life – that could communicate with intelligent aliens. Why should we expect a hostile universe to feature a great many intelligent species within reach?
Sure, Star Wars is fun, but people should not be led to believe by omission or vague rhetoric that Star Wars-y hopes guide policy. Let alone that any likely find (bacteria-like entities somewhere) would have an impact on “loneliness” on Earth.
If this is how NASA wants to raise money, it will have all the difficulties inherent in cultivating a poorly informed fan base in search of mere excitement, plus all the difficulties inherent in science exploration.
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