About That Life From Other Planets….:Everyday Magic, Day 228

Well, this is embarrassing, but it seems The Journal Of Cosmology articles I cited yesterday has been widely called into question for several reasons. First, the Journal itself, according to PZ Myers, a biologist at the University of Minnesota, “…isn’t a real science journal at all, but is the ginned-up website of a small group of crank academics obsessed with the idea of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe that life originated in outer space and simply rained down on Earth.” There’s also problems with the logic, photographs presented as proof, and consistency of research. Most of the corrective information came to me from my son, Daniel, who wrote, “I feel kind of bad at bursting your guys’ bubble, as both of you sounded very excited via mom’s blog post.  But, since I’m going into actual science, I guess I had to inform you anyway.”

In a nutshell, there is evidence that some meteorites contain evidence of life beyond earth, but this evidence hasn’t yet been vetted by the larger scientific community and it comes from disgruntled scientists who are overstating their research to make a case for more Mars exploration funding.

I push my students to cultivate critical writing and thinking skills — to not just take things on face value without looking closely at who the authors are and where they want you to land — and so I guess I needed to take more of my own advice. At the same time, I do lean toward faith, intuition, what we feel in our bodies that tells us something is true or not, and from that perspective, I still believe we will see the evidence one day, and hopefully soon, that the universe pulses with life.