From The Origin Of Life To 2012: Pseudoscience On The Loose

The Biological Big BangHave alien bacteria fossils been discovered in a meteorite by a NASA scientist?

On Friday night the “Journal of Cosmology” published an article entitled “Fossils of Cyanobacteria in CI1 Carbonaceous Meteorites: Implications to Life on Comets, Europa, and Enceladus,” attributed to one Richard B. Hoover of the NASA/Marshall SFC [1], claiming such a discovery.

Extraordinary claims, however, require extraordinary evidence, which is nowhere to be found in the paper. While I am trained in and have worked in scientific fields, I am admittedly not a scientist, so I refer you to the blogs of PZ Myers [2], David Dobbs [3], and Rosie Redfield [4] for detailed analysis/straight-up debunking. In sum, per Redfield: “Executive Summary: Move along folks, there’s nothing to see here.”

There’s nothing wrong with alternative theories – and certainly nothing wrong with leveling a critique at the scientific establishment – provided that they are supported by data and arguments that meet the epistemic criteria for scientificity. Even then, to propose an alternate theory of the origin of life is to propose a new creation myth – and as such any denunciation of the mythic nature of the consensus theory/narrative also denounces itself. And the “journal” in which Hoover’s paper appeared is rife with them – whether in articles or in press releases.”

[The full article, footnotes and commentary may be found at Modern Mythology]

How easy it is to jump from hope and wild speculation to such claims? Feynman gave a speech on cargo-cult science that warned of just this type of occurrence. Or…There are also huge pyramids in Bosnia, Russia is claiming Nazi UFO base was found in Antarctica finally, and so on. These claims must at least be examined within the light of how myth functions as a psychological force, and all such so-called conspiracy theories fall  under these same rules as Carl Jung knew.

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  • L_tracker_l

    This whole planet is littered with extraordinary evidence. One has only to look with in themselves to see it. however we have become an external society, most don’t think, they look to media and other brainwashed media leaders to explain how and what they are supposed to do and act.

  • L_tracker_l

    This whole planet is littered with extraordinary evidence. One has only to look with in themselves to see it. however we have become an external society, most don’t think, they look to media and other brainwashed media leaders to explain how and what they are supposed to do and act.

  • Cerebralsubversion

    Ever looked into any of the data on remote viewing? Yeah, it’s only roughly 10% effective, but by typical materialist philosophy, it should be 0 percent effective. I’m not arguing that it’s accurate, but it shouldn’t work at all, and demonstrably does in a lot of cases. Confirmation bias is what I’m saying, and the Scientific community is more prone to it than anyone. We used to think the Sun revolved around the Earth.

    “Extraordinary claims, however, require extraordinary evidence”

    Doesn’t that just exemplify a confirmation bias. You would need regular proof for things that fit into a scientific materialist philosophy, but for anything that doesn’t, you need “extraordinary” proof. So if remote viewing was 90% accurate, we’d look into it, but with only the 10%, that’s just not extraordinary enough. The lengths that “real scientists” (not pseudoscientist mind you, which encompasses anyone who’s foolish enough to study any kind of phenomenon that suggests that consciousness beyond sober waking states have any kind of meaning) go to explain away all manner of psi phenomenon are absolutely insane.

    The thing about Alien phenomenon, or psychic phenomenon, is that most people are incredibly conformist and really don’t want to believe in this kind of thing because our entire culture tells them it’s crazy. Who wants to be considered crazy? Then weird things happen to them which cause an ontological shock, which they can’t ignore. Just because we label schizophrenic people “crazy” doesn’t mean we’ve somehow solved that mystery.

    You ever read anything about UFO abductees? One, most don’t believe they’ve been abducted by Aliens, and would admit that they have no idea what’s going on with them. The implication is that our current materialist world view is incredibly limited, and we in fact know this about our sensory capacity. It’s easy to just label them crazy, but it’s way more complicated than that. The most skeptical people that have studied it think the Extra Terrestrial hypothesis is bullshit based on what they’ve found.

    I’ve been having psychic dreams my entire life. When I take psychedelic drugs, I encouter the presence of what I can best describe as shape shifting psychic entities comprised from pure art. Same shit most people see on DMT, but I see it on milder drugs like acid. I spent years trying to explain to myself why this stuff wasn’t real, because it’s easier that way, and that’s what my culture tells me and I want to fit in. At what point do you recognize this view as flawed. Took me years. It’s called skepticism.

    I have tons of lucid dreams. This means that I get myself into a state where I’m in a world that feels and appears just as real as anything in a waking state. It’s so real, that when I’m in it, I actually have to put my hand through walls to demonstrate to myself that I’m dreaming (the totem concept explored in Inception). I have control over this state, and can bend it to my will on occasion. On other occasions there seem to be outside presences there that teach me things about the nature of non-physical reality. These have been the most profound and empowering experiences of my life. Kind of demonstrates that we don’t need our ears to hear, or our eyes to see, etc.. Keep filing this stuff into the crazy category. Very easy way to look at the world. Hooray for easy.

  • Cerebralsubversion

    Ever looked into any of the data on remote viewing? Yeah, it’s only roughly 10% effective, but by typical materialist philosophy, it should be 0 percent effective. I’m not arguing that it’s accurate, but it shouldn’t work at all, and demonstrably does in a lot of cases. Confirmation bias is what I’m saying, and the Scientific community is more prone to it than anyone. We used to think the Sun revolved around the Earth.

    “Extraordinary claims, however, require extraordinary evidence”

    Doesn’t that just exemplify a confirmation bias. You would need regular proof for things that fit into a scientific materialist philosophy, but for anything that doesn’t, you need “extraordinary” proof. So if remote viewing was 90% accurate, we’d look into it, but with only the 10%, that’s just not extraordinary enough. The lengths that “real scientists” (not pseudoscientist mind you, which encompasses anyone who’s foolish enough to study any kind of phenomenon that suggests that consciousness beyond sober waking states have any kind of meaning) go to explain away all manner of psi phenomenon are absolutely insane.

    The thing about Alien phenomenon, or psychic phenomenon, is that most people are incredibly conformist and really don’t want to believe in this kind of thing because our entire culture tells them it’s crazy. Who wants to be considered crazy? Then weird things happen to them which cause an ontological shock, which they can’t ignore. Just because we label schizophrenic people “crazy” doesn’t mean we’ve somehow solved that mystery.

    You ever read anything about UFO abductees? One, most don’t believe they’ve been abducted by Aliens, and would admit that they have no idea what’s going on with them. The implication is that our current materialist world view is incredibly limited, and we in fact know this about our sensory capacity. It’s easy to just label them crazy, but it’s way more complicated than that. The most skeptical people that have studied it think the Extra Terrestrial hypothesis is bullshit based on what they’ve found.

    I’ve been having psychic dreams my entire life. When I take psychedelic drugs, I encouter the presence of what I can best describe as shape shifting psychic entities comprised from pure art. Same shit most people see on DMT, but I see it on milder drugs like acid. I spent years trying to explain to myself why this stuff wasn’t real, because it’s easier that way, and that’s what my culture tells me and I want to fit in. At what point do you recognize this view as flawed. Took me years. It’s called skepticism.

    I have tons of lucid dreams. This means that I get myself into a state where I’m in a world that feels and appears just as real as anything in a waking state. It’s so real, that when I’m in it, I actually have to put my hand through walls to demonstrate to myself that I’m dreaming (the totem concept explored in Inception). I have control over this state, and can bend it to my will on occasion. On other occasions there seem to be outside presences there that teach me things about the nature of non-physical reality. These have been the most profound and empowering experiences of my life. Kind of demonstrates that we don’t need our ears to hear, or our eyes to see, etc.. Keep filing this stuff into the crazy category. Very easy way to look at the world. Hooray for easy.

    • chubby

      check out the art of dreaming

    • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

      “Ever looked into any of the data on remote viewing? Yeah, it’s only roughly 10% effective, but by typical materialist philosophy, it should be 0 percent effective.”

      Any scientific experiment produces small amounts of noise as factors like the experimenter’s biases or chance error can never be completely filtered out. If ran 10 studies trying to show that black rocks fell faster than red ones, you’d eventually get one which showed at 3% effect. Psi research has produced effects that are consistent with experimental noise. An actual 0% effect would actually be unexpected.

      “”Extraordinary claims, however, require extraordinary evidence”

      Doesn’t that just exemplify a confirmation bias. You would need regular proof for things that fit into a scientific materialist philosophy, but for anything that doesn’t, you need “extraordinary” proof. ”

      What this expression means is that we eliminate mundane explanations for a phenomenon before moving on to extraordinary ones. If something goes bump in the night, you check to see if your cat knocked something over before jumping to the conclusion that your house is haunted, no?

      “The thing about Alien phenomenon, or psychic phenomenon, is that most people are incredibly conformist and really don’t want to believe in this kind of thing because our entire culture tells them it’s crazy.”

      Quite the opposite is true, in my experience. Do you think that scientists who grew up on Star Trek and Carl Sagan don’t want to believe in aliens, or that atheists are afraid to believe that they might enjoy an afterlife? Most people hold some form of supernatural belief–it’s holding a purely skeptical viewpoint that makes you stand out from the crowd.

      I grew up on UFOlogy and the supernatural. I’d love to believe that stuff. I’ve looked at the evidence. It just doesn’t convince me.

      ” On other occasions there seem to be outside presences there that teach me things about the nature of non-physical reality. These have been the most profound and empowering experiences of my life. Kind of demonstrates that we don’t need our ears to hear, or our eyes to see, etc..”

      And I wouldn’t begrudge you such experiences, if they are real and meaningful for you. However, if there is a non-material realm that is outside the scope of science, then science (or any other objective standard of evidence) cannot be used to prove it, either. What I see in the paranormal literature is a tendency to invoke science or rules of evidence in an attempt to prove that a given phenomenon exists while, in the same breath, claiming that it exists outside the “materialist paradigm” and therefore cannot be disproven by science.

      I’ve had psychedelic experiences, too, and they’re a good example. If Terrence McKenna’s machine elves really exist, they can be neither proven nor disproven. These experiences are irreducibly subjective–and that’s not at all a bad thing. To rationalize or to seek objective evidence for the sacred/subjective strikes me as a form of objectification.

  • chubby

    check out the art of dreaming

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    “Ever looked into any of the data on remote viewing? Yeah, it’s only roughly 10% effective, but by typical materialist philosophy, it should be 0 percent effective.”

    Any scientific experiment produces small amounts of noise as factors like the experimenter’s biases or chance error can never be completely filtered out. If ran 10 studies trying to show that black rocks fell faster than red ones, you’d eventually get one which showed at 3% effect. Psi research has produced effects that are consistent with experimental noise. An actual 0% effect would actually be unexpected.

    “”Extraordinary claims, however, require extraordinary evidence”

    Doesn’t that just exemplify a confirmation bias. You would need regular proof for things that fit into a scientific materialist philosophy, but for anything that doesn’t, you need “extraordinary” proof. ”

    What this expression means is that we eliminate mundane explanations for a phenomenon before moving on to extraordinary ones. If something goes bump in the night, you check to see if your cat knocked something over before jumping to the conclusion that your house is haunted, no?

    “The thing about Alien phenomenon, or psychic phenomenon, is that most people are incredibly conformist and really don’t want to believe in this kind of thing because our entire culture tells them it’s crazy.”

    Quite the opposite is true, in my experience. Do you think that scientists who grew up on Star Trek and Carl Sagan don’t want to believe in aliens, or that atheists are afraid to believe that they might enjoy an afterlife? Most people hold some form of supernatural belief–it’s holding a purely skeptical viewpoint that makes you stand out from the crowd.

    I grew up on UFOlogy and the supernatural. I’d love to believe that stuff. I’ve looked at the evidence. It just doesn’t convince me.

    ” On other occasions there seem to be outside presences there that teach me things about the nature of non-physical reality. These have been the most profound and empowering experiences of my life. Kind of demonstrates that we don’t need our ears to hear, or our eyes to see, etc..”

    And I wouldn’t begrudge you such experiences, if they are real and meaningful for you. However, if there is a non-material realm that is outside the scope of science, then science (or any other objective standard of evidence) cannot be used to prove it, either. What I see in the paranormal literature is a tendency to invoke science or rules of evidence in an attempt to prove that a given phenomenon exists while, in the same breath, claiming that it exists outside the “materialist paradigm” and therefore cannot be disproven by science.

    I’ve had psychedelic experiences, too, and they’re a good example. If Terrence McKenna’s machine elves really exist, they can be neither proven nor disproven. These experiences are irreducibly subjective–and that’s not at all a bad thing. To rationalize or to seek objective evidence for the sacred/subjective strikes me as a form of objectification.

  • Rooti

    “Extraordinary claims, however, require extraordinary evidence” is a typical scientific cop out. It is a way of maintaining the status quo and quashing new ideas. Any claim needs to be backed by good, solid evidence, not extraordinary evidence. The demand for extraordinary evidence is unscientific in itself.

  • Rooti

    “Extraordinary claims, however, require extraordinary evidence” is a typical scientific cop out. It is a way of maintaining the status quo and quashing new ideas. Any claim needs to be backed by good, solid evidence, not extraordinary evidence. The demand for extraordinary evidence is unscientific in itself.

    • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

      It just means that you rule out mundane explanations before moving onto extraordinary ones.

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    It just means that you rule out mundane explanations before moving onto extraordinary ones.

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