Monday, March 7, 2011

What Are the Religious Implications?

...of the supposed fossilized remains of bacteria from a meteorite? Well, to begin with, it looks like there was no such find:

Well, it looks as if Hoover's paper didn't make it through the peer-review process when it was first submitted to a reputable science journal in 2007.

Peer review basically means that other experts in the astrobiology field needed to review Hoover's analysis and agree that he had followed the correct scientific procedures and reached conclusions fitting with the results he gathered from his analysis of meteorite samples. Only then can the paper be published. Somewhere along the line, Hoover's paper failed this procedure.-NASA Refutes Alien Discovery Claim

Phil Plait looks at what other experts had to say on the "aliens":

Rocks, even the most high density materials, are prone to microfractures. Microorganisms are notoriously splendid at working their way into incredibly minute microfractures…

Showing that the bug that you have actually is NOT a contaminant organism that made its way into a meteorite is a practically unsolvable problem. If you turn up an organism whose chemistry, way of coding information, or something else (besides morphology) indicates that it is significantly (and I MEAN significantly) different from anything that has ever been seen on Earth, THEN you might have a chance of proving this. Pictures of tube shaped structures don’t do it.-Penny Boston, astrobiologist at New Mexico Tech

I wondered about this as well. As I said in my first post, the major problem here is contamination. Even if we assume the things Hoover is seeing are fossilized life forms — and that’s not established! — can he show beyond a reasonable doubt that they are not from Earth? The meteorite in question is not a hard, dense rock, but actually very soft and friable (crumbly). Contamination in such a specimen is very likely. Hoover does not and really can not make a strong case that contamination is ruled out.

Another concern of mine was that he is basing a lot of this on the shape of the structures he sees… but looking like a microbe doesn’t make them a microbe!
-Followup thoughts on the meteorite fossils claim

There are also concerns about the standards of the the Journal of Cosmology, which seem less stringent than other scientific journals.

In any event, it looks as though this story simply doesn't have any legs to stand on. However, some intellectually dishonest atheists will no doubt seize on this story to have a "discussion" about its "implications" for religion, writing something stupid, like "how will creationists spin it?" Newsflash, idiot, it has NO religious implications at all. Even if it were (and it ISN'T) an alien microbe, it would only mean that non-intelligent life of a very basic sort was discovered off the earth. So what? I'm not defending silly religionists here, just sticking to facts and logic. If God is the creator and he created this universe to produce life, then okay, it did. I don't see how that should disturb any theist, even Christians. I only see religious implications coming into play if intelligent extraterrestrial life were found, and then perhaps only for Christianity, which makes the claim that God incarnated in human form as Jesus. That might cause a problem for a doctrine such as the trinity, especially if those aliens are "sinful" and therefore in need of a savior. Did Jesus die for them too?

How about a discussion on that one?

No comments:

Post a Comment

If the post you are commenting on is more than 30 days old, your comment will have to await approval before being published. Rest assured, however, that as long as it is not spam, it will be published in due time.

Related Posts with Thumbnails