Origin Of Life

At Science News: Top Ten wrong results in science

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10 is arsenic-based life:

A report in 2010 claimed that a weird form of life incorporates arsenic in place of phosphorus in biological molecules. This one sounded rather suspicious, but the evidence, at first glance, looked pretty good. Not so good at second glance, though. And arsenic-based life never made it into the textbooks.

Tom Siegfried, “These are science’s Top 10 erroneous results” at ScienceNews

Here’s the update at Nature (2012) re arsenic-based life.

Many of the mistakes listed seem just to be natural, though incorrect, assumptions of their day. This arsenic-based life though, now that was intriguing, if wrong.

Amazingly, there are some things bacteria haven’t been able to do, so far as we know.

The BBC was willing to consider it:

3 Replies to “At Science News: Top Ten wrong results in science

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    How could eugenics not make the top 10? Eugenics resulted in more deaths in the last century than almost every other belief. The only one with a higher death count was socialism.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    The article should have been titled “Mistakes about pulsars”, since that’s pretty much the only focus.

  3. 3
    Belfast says:

    @bob@1
    Spot on.
    Eugenics death rate is terrifying. But even when eugenics doesn’t kill, it brings misery.
    The Darwinian age was one of matchless self-confidence, matchless arrogance, and matchless smugness.
    Churchill said it right, “all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science..”
    The perverted ‘science’ of eugenics.

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