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Comments from contacts about the possible alien life form discovery

In response to someone who wondered whether American scientists might be letting their imaginations run away with them about this spectacular new alien life find, Rob Sheldon offers “absolutely not”. Au contraire, the French were onto it and NASA dropped the ball. On why that happened, he says, NASA’s attitude is an example of

… “pathological science” and was extensively discussed by Irving Langmuir in 1953 and subsequent publications

I can assure you, nothing in Hoover’s [the discovering scientist’s] work comes within a mile or so of being pathological. Hoover has several gigabytes of pictures taken in every single CI meteorite he can get his hands on. The pictures have made him a sensation in the French Academy, the Belgian Academy and the Russian Academy. Experts in microbiology have examined the pictures and not only verified their biological identity, but asked how he obtained such clarity that exceeds what they can accomplish in the laboratory. (Freeze dry for a thousand years…) The only people that continue to shun him are the US and NASA. Ultimately it is ideology that prevent people from taking the pictures seriously, a prior commitment to “life only exists on Earth”. Some of those people are conservative Christians, some are dedicated Darwinists. I really don’t think it is a well-reasoned position, but still, there’ a lot of ideological opposition.

By the way, Fox News is offering updates, comments from relevant scientists, though as of ten minutes ago, I couldn’t yet find them. Keep checking back.

I suppose some Evolution Sunday clergy will now be preaching sermons about how to adjust to the fact that we now “know” how life got started purely by chance (abiogenesis). Our ID community’s rebbe, Moshe Averick, told me,

I don’t think it has any implications at all for abiogenesis. No one really has much of a clue how abiogenesis could have occured on earth, the best that could be said is that not only is life on earth inexplicable, but life elsewhere in the universe is also inexplicable.

Our George Hunter will doubtless comment shortly on his regular blog, but I overheard him say,

It is particularly interesting that this finding rubs just about everyone the wrong way. For evolutionists, this stretches their OOL [origin of life] fairy tales even beyond their own liberal limits. You need the warm little pond, or deep sea vents, lightning, etc. OOL taking place on a meteorite is simply too far out. As Shostak discussed in the story, it forces them actually to take seriously Crick’s notion that OOL is so unlikely it must have come from the cosmos. But how did it get onto these meteorites?

Ah, but George may be overlooking the sheer density of TV talk show hosts. They will convey the very message that the Darwinists knew better than to convey themselves. There is a pathology in modern media similar to what Sheldon observes for science.

As for Seth Shostak, whom Hunter mentions, he said,

Maybe life was seeded on earth – it developed on comets for example, and just landed here when these things were hitting the very early Earth,” Shostak speculated. “It would suggest, well, life didn’t really begin on the Earth, it began as the solar system was forming.”

Seth, Seth, do you have any idea what you are saying? Yes, we know that this will make your career, but it is not only science; it is – much more important these days – “science” – the preserve of tenured mediocrities, miked up bubbleheads, and Darwin’s broomstick. Have a care how you go, man!

Some wrote me wondering why the study wasn’t published in Science or Nature, and I think Sheldon explains that above.

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16 Responses to Comments from contacts about the possible alien life form discovery

  1. It must be some form of clinical denial that nobody in the pop-science press (and few of us peons in the public) is willing to consider the entirely reasonable hypothesis that fossilized evidence of microbial life on (any) meteorite may be best explained by it originating from earth via a past collision ejecta event. Good grief. The proclivity of some in the scientific community to become hysterical over these purely speculative claims of life from outer space just boggles the mind.

    The case presented for this meteorite is based on a visual similarity to cyanobacteria already on earth. But it hasn’t really been established that what is on the meteorite actually is not something inorganic that natural conditions have formed. At this point, it is simply nothing short of pure, unbridled hysteria to even suggest (without more rigorous testing), that what is on the meteorite is actually evidence of life from outer space, much less life at all.

  2. These stories NASA keeps putting out, just gall me to no end. To think, respectable, accomplished scientists like Guillermo Gonzalez are raked over the coals over reasonably inferring design based on an increasing number of necessary and fine-tuned parameters, but when it comes to meteorites like these at issue, all of a sudden many in the scientific community make the leap to believing in little green men from outer space, or at least little microbes coming from anywhere (other than earth).

  3. They can determine of the asteroid is from earth or not, but you are quite right in one respect, life found on an asteroid could have got there after being blown off the earth. The question this raises it that IF the asteroid is not from earth but contains traces of life that were living in the asteroid then if that life actually originated on earth it must have survived and spread in space in order to get into the asteroid.

    Microorganisms surviving and reproducing on comets and asteroids would be an interesting find, regardless of whether they came from earth or not, and it would indicate that it is possible, at least in theory, for life to migrate from one planet to another.

    The proclivity of some in the scientific community to become hysterical over these purely speculative claims of life from outer space just boggles the mind.

    I agree – my first thoughts (as someone in the scientitif community) were the same as yours – they could have come from earth.

  4. For what it’s worth, life on one of these rocks would be pretty consistent with a prediction made by Dr Walter Brown using his Hydroplate Theory on the global flood.

    Prediction #29:
    http://www.creationscience.com.....ets10.html

  5. Instead of “life” should say “products of life”. e.g. complex organic compounds and bacteria

  6. This kind of reminds me of the hype from the mars meteorite that was though to contain evidence of life,,, Hugh Ross pointed out the obvious fact,,,

    At the time of the original meteorite discovery, Reasons To Believe called attention to the fact that, in addition to material having been blasted off the surface of Mars and eventually finding its way to Earth, there is also a large amount of material that has been driven from the surface of Earth, eventually landing on Mars. Consequently, RTB’s position has been that it seems reasonable to conclude any evidence of life found on Mars or in Mars meteorites is more likely to have come from Earth—the planet teeming with life—rather than the other way around. Based on this view we have predicted that it is highly probable that evidence for life will, in fact, be found on Mars. However, with the likelihood of additional contamination from spacecraft, if life is detected on Mars, we’ll have even more reason to believe it originated on Earth.
    http://www.reasons.org/tnrtb/2.....mars-isnt/

  7. See Rosie Redfield’s comments on this research:

    Is this claim of bacteria in a meteorite any better than the 1996 one?

    http://rrresearch.blogspot.com.....orite.html

  8. Hey, guys, this is more credible than Sagan Drake. Heck, better than that, it’s more credible than the Kosmic Kat funnies. Do stay tuned.

  9. I’m a little lost. Why is this news? Hadn’t we already found microorganisms on meteorites and on Mars?

  10. Phaedros:

    That would be “no” on both counts.

  11. SCheesman-

    Oh, I guess I was remembering other overhyped news stories concerning a meteorite from Mars, or thought to be from Mars, that may have had bacterial skeletons on it. From what I’ve read now those “skeletons” were probably just mineral formations.

  12. From:

    http://rrresearch.blogspot.com…..orite.html

    “He spends a lot of text discussing the morpohlogical similarities of these filaments to cyanobacteria, but I don’t regard these similarities as worth anything. Filamentous bacteria are very morphologically diverse, and additional variations in appearance are likely to result from inconsistent preparation for electron microscopy. It’s probably pretty easy to find a bacterial image that resembles any fibrous structure. In the absence of any statistical evidence to the contrary, it’s prudent to assume that such similarities are purely coincidental.

    The author tacks on quite a bit of other less-than-compelling information intended to support his claim that life from space is plausible. For example, he shows photos of colonies of coloured microorganisms to support his argument that the colours seen on the surfaces of Europa and Enceladus are biological in origin.

    Bottom line:

    The Ivuna meteorite sample showed a couple of micron-scale squiggles, one of which contained about 2.5-fold more carbon than the background. One of the five Orguil samples had at least one patch of clustered fibers; these contained more sulfur and magnesium than the background, and less silicon. As evidence for life this is pathetic, no better than that presented by McKay’s group for the ALH84001 Martian meteorite in 1996.”

    But if this thesis was true and life was found on another planet that would mean it’s evidence against the Bible in the views of many- So we MUST do everything we can to accept this possibility as a likely reality and give it the benefit of the doubt.

    If on the other hand a religious person puts forth an artifact or evidence that might support the authenticity of the Bible like the Shroud of Turin

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ideo_title

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ideo_title

    Then everything possible in this case must be done to discredit this as fast as possible- and the benefit of the doubt should not be given-

    That’s just the way it always seems to work. If they find a squiggle in a rock that no one would think to accept as evidence for life then it MUST be considered. If you find a shroud with photographic like image qualities that they don’t know the mechanism for and that many people naturally accept as evidence for the Bible- then that is considered bogus.

  13. 13

    Back in ’96 (in the antiquated information dissemination technology known as “the newspaper”) the discovery of extra-terrestrial life was front page news. I remember at the time wondering how long it would take for someone to say “hey, wait a minute folks, we should probably think this through”. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before I read an article essentially saying “oops!” Thing is, it was buried deep within the bowels of the papers nether pages in smaller print among the advertisements for undergarments etc., easily overlooked by folks too readily distracted by the photographic images accompanying the ads.

  14. I have always found Hugh Ross’ assumption of ejection material teeming with life to be very plausible. Earth has been around 3.9 billion years. It has probably “infected” the rest of the solar system.

    The only question I would have is that, if it is life, if that hypothesis could be confirmed somehow. Not sure. We just get down to what seems more plausible to different people.

  15. Scientists skeptical of meteorite alien life claim (Update)
    Excerpt: NASA astrobiologist David Morrison said Hoover’s work falls far short of good science.

    “If Hoover wants to be taken seriously by the community of astrobiologists, he needs to publish this in a real journal and to respond to the criticisms from other scientists,” Morrison said in an e-mail and on a NASA web site. “That is the way science advances.”
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....-life.html

  16. semi OT:

    Did DNA Evolve? Watch Part 2 of Stephen Meyer’s Series on the John Ankerberg Show
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....44631.html

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