Extraterrestrial life Intelligent Design Media Science

Could COVID-19 help us understand the current buzz in science media about space aliens?

It’s worth noting that we haven’t established that there are even fossil bacteria on Mars. But we are starting to hear more than ever that there are intelligent aliens out there, most recently from Ars Technica and Scientific American. Fundamentally, we have found nothing since the Sixties that truly suggests extraterrestrial civilizations. Nothing. If they want to keep looking, fine. Nobody’s stopping them. But spare us the dramatics.

Extraterrestrial life Intelligent Design Religion

New “Astrobiological Copernican Limit” claims 36 intelligent civilizations

It’s all malarkey. In the real world, it would be awfully nice to find fossil bacteria on Mars. When that seems to be taking some time, we hear about 36 alien civs. That’s because there’ll always be a market for We Are Not Alone. The thing is, it used to be called religion, not science. And it still IS religion, not science.

Extraterrestrial life

Researchers: Organic chemicals essential for life found in Martian meteorite; Rob Sheldon responds

Sheldon: The point is that we don’t expect to find nitrate and ammonia in the soil of Mars, not unless some nitrogen fixing bacteria put it there recently, because over time it will all come out of the soil as N2 gas. Claiming that the process goes the other way, from N2 in atmosphere to nitrates in soils, goes backwards, from high entropy to low entropy.

Extraterrestrial life Intelligent Design

Researchers: Organic chemicals essential for life found in Martian meteorite; Tim Standish responds

Standish: If the nitrogen cycle isn’t established within a certain time, nitrogen will be removed from the atmosphere and the surface will become rich in nitrate (bad) or, in a reducing atmosphere, ammonia (really bad). The bottom line is that there are speculations that probably get around this, but it is one more needle that has to be threaded for chemical evolution to produce the first life, or a problem for the first life to quickly take care of.