Tag Archives: skepticism

NASA has NOT found alien life.

So Fox News published an exclusive story about a NASA scientist who claims to have discovered evidence for life in a meteorite.  Hate to break anyone’s bubble, but this is another one of those times when a single person obsesses over one particular idea, and sees evidence for that idea everywhere.  The actual paper the guy wrote is here

Now of course, I am not a scientist, and most of the information in that paper is way over my head.  There are lots of cool graphs and pretty pictures.  Unfortunately, cool graphics aren’t everything.  Below are some responses from actual scientists.  Seems there’s not a lot of support out there for this claim.

P.Z Myers, a biologist and professor wrote about this story here and here

Rosie Redfield, a biologist who also debunked the story about the arsenic life in Mono lake give this take

Discover Magazine talks a bit more about it here.

And astronomer, blogger, writer and friend of Mythbuster Adam Savage, Phil Plait talks about it here and here

Long story short, overly enthusiastic scientist with dubious claims publishes a paper in a dubious journal without any kind of peer review, and uses his NASA credentials to increase the visibility.  I think it does illustrate one of the reasons science works so well.  Folks can make any claim they want, but if the claim is not backed up by solid evidence, other scientists will blast holes in the claim.  Claim is discarded, scientists reload their guns, and wait for the next claim to come along.  Maybe that one will hold a bit more water.

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