And by high chance, I mean, relatively high chance. Like, maybe, about 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. Which, for this sort of thing, is rather high.
First, let me tell you that the Journal of Cosmology has a very checkered history and anything published in it can not be trusted in the same way one might trust counter-intuitive results, provisionally at least, in a legit journal.
An article in the journal indicates that British scientists found stuff way high up at the edge of the out space-atmosphere boundary that must be from comets.
They give the argument that it must be from a comet because they did their sampling of it during a time when comet dust would be likely found in the region (because a comet’s remains,a meteor swarm, was bombarding the Earth). They plan to test this idea further by sampling again at a later time. Unfortunately, rather than sampling during a period of little or no comet-remnant activity, they will sample again during high commet-remnant activity. This way they can establish the TRUTH of WHAT IS OUT THERE using the best available method: CONFIRMATION BIAS.
There is a picture of the life. It is clearly a diatom fragment. Expect Anthony Watts to be reporting on this momentarily!
Diatoms, or fragments of them, are tiny itty bitty things and tend to make up a good proportion of air-dust. Probably, this is air dust.
Also,earlier recovered “aliens” were tested to see if they had DNA, and they do. This led the researchers to conclude with high certainty that life on earth started elsewhere because “there are hardly any biologists in outer space” (or words to that effect).
I hesitate to provide this, but HERE IS A LINK to an article describing this amazing story. Or maybe amazing is the wrong word. Maybe I mean unbelievable.
I know, right?
Anthony Watts, of the science-denialist Whats Up with That blog, has got his shorts in a knot because of a post I wrote indicating that he is a boob. He is upset because in a screen shot of him talking about a totally absurd pseudo-scientific claim that should have been rejected out of hand, I failed to include enough of the post to show that he was skeptical about the claim.
Let me be very very clear: This is not a claim to be skeptical about. This is a Teapot orbiting the Sun between Earth and Mars claim. A person who has reported debunked claims about alien life again and again, reporting in a fake scientific journal, has made an absurd claim. To understand the level of absurdity check out PZ Myers post, written after mine, which goes into more detail about the “journal.”
I did not need to show that Anthony Watts was skeptical because that wasn’t the point. The point was that it was funny that he was looking at this claim at all. But, fine, if he really needs me to include the snippet where he expresses his laughable skepticism, I can do that. Here, Watts says.
This looks to be a huge story, the first evidence of extraterrestrial life, if it holds up.
… thus indicating skepticism. I’m sorry I did not include that sentence in the … wait, wait, hold on a sec. Hey, I DID include that phase about “if it holds up” in the original post? But Watts is saying that I did not include any of his skeptical language. Who is this Anthony Watts guy, some kind of liar? Huh.
Maybe he means this bit, the bit after the phrase “Look at what the electron microscope shows of a sample purported to be from the meteorite:” … that’s where he says I cut off the post, let’s see what he says there. Of the claim of Alien Life stuck to a meteorite, Anthony Watts says
It looks convincing, and the paper says: “Contamination is excluded by the circumstance that the elemental abundances within the structures match closely with those of the surrounding matrix.“, but I remain skeptical of the claim.
So, it looks convincing, but remains skeptical. Convincing is worrying, “skeptical” is not good enough, which was the point of my original post and which was the point Phil Plait was making in his post on the same topic.
I’m sure most of my regular readers will see why this is really funny. I didn’t really cherry pick Watts. I showed how he posted on this claim of alien life stuck to a meteorite, and I did not claim that he had been taken in and I said nothing about his skepticism one way or another. But, Watts is a minor leader in the Science-Denialist movement focusing on climate change, and you all know that those folks life to cherry pick.
Does cherry picking really bother Anthony Watts this much, and his readers, who have commented heavily on my post? If so, then they should stop doing it themselves!
Watts complains that I don’t provide a link to the original story. It is against my blog policy to provide links to science denialist sites. It would be unethical for me to do that on a regular basis because it would enhance the google juice of pseudoscience. I’ve got children. I want them to grow up in a better world, not the world that Anthony Watts wants them to grow up in. So, no. Now and then, if necessary, I’ll link, but normally not.
Then he goes on and on with a really boring post, but there are two comments in that post I’ll address briefly.
First, he complains about spelling. I know, I suk as speling. But it isn’t just that. I have a disorder that causes this. I am disabled. When Anthony Watts make fun of my spelling he is being an “Abelist” (or is it Ableist? Whatever). Nice guy. But that’s OK, many people are unaware that such a condition exists. I’ve gotten used to the thoughtless comments about that, even from friends, and I do appreciate having the spelling errors pointed out.
Second, Anthony Watts says, “The difference between myself and Mr. Laden is that WUWT isn’t afraid to have topics for discussion that might be proven wrong.” That’s not true. At the moment, I’m getting ready for publication on this blog a post about the highly controversial yet very interesting Ozone Theory of tree death and, believe it or not, a post about Aquatic Ape Theory from one of the main proponents of that theory. Recently, I was ruthlessly attacked for my position on the Flores (Hobbit) hominids, and I’ve invited the author of that attack to give me a guest post. He’s not gotten back to me on that, but a third colleague who has an opinion that might be very different the one I expressed has agreed to do so. These should all be interesting posts! And, these are all examples of me engendering discussion of topics where my previously stated position may be proven wrong. This is science we’re doing here. Being proved wrong is one of our main objectives.
(The Ozone and Aquatic Ape posts are delayed by sickness in my family, which has taken a few days out of my schedule and caused me to spel even werse!)
One last item, about meteorites with life on them. There is actually no reason to believe that a meteor or two having fossil or isotopic evidence that conforms to would call life could land on us from Mars. There are all sorts of problems with such data, and it is good that we have Robots on Mars checking things out there more directly. But the sample in question may not even be a meteorite, and yes, anyone in the climate sciences who has the remotest clue about anything should recognize what a FW diatom looks like, not necessarily to identify it to genus or species, but sufficiently to be suspicious. This meteorite, the one Anthony Watts laughingly accepts as something to be “skeptical” about, is not the same thing at all. Not even close. In fact, it might not even be a meteorite, according to Phil.
Every now and then a news story comes along that makes me want to repost this particular thing I wrote a long time ago. And it has happened again. First, the news story:
National Geographic Channel has run a poll in which they found that 36% of Americans “believe UFO’s exist.” This is in line with previous results. There are other findings as well, but one item is new. The survey asked people who would do a better job of fighting off Aliens if they come to earth and, well, wanna fight. Obama killed Romney on that question.
So just keep that in mind when you are in the voting booth, America.
The last time something came up that wanted me to repost my story, it was this:
Nineteen former pilots and government officials … told reporters their questions can no longer be dismissed …”We want the US government to stop perpetuating the myth that all UFOs can be explained away in down-to-earth, conventional terms,” said Fife Symington, former governor of Arizona… “Instead our country needs to reopen its official investigation that it shut down in 1969,” Symington told a news conference. [source]
OK, so, now for the original story about how I was almost abducted by aliens. Continue reading I was almost abducted by aliens