by Greg Laden via Scienceblogs
You may know the blog Watts Up With That. It is Anthony Watts’ anti-science blog, dedicated to climate change denialism.
A current post reports the finding of life forms from another planet, in a meteorite.
This looks to be a huge story, the first evidence of extraterrestrial life, if it holds up….
This is from a recent meteorite find in December 2012. A large fire ball was seen by a large number of people in Sri Lanka on December 29th 2012, during that episode a large meteorite disintegrated and fell to Earth in the village of Araganwila which is few miles away from the city of Polonnaruwa.
Look at what the electron microscope shows of a sample purported to be from the meteorite:
Then he shows a picture of a rock with a bunch of contemporary Earth-based diatoms stuck to it.
It is very fun to read the comments. I provided a comment that will not be printed because Watts never prints my comments, but I’ve screen captured it for you (it is below).
Phil Plait has reviewed the Alien Life in the Meteor story here, and as I said, it is not alien life come to earth in a meteor. It is (I guess) a fragment of a meteorite with fresh water diatoms stuck to it. There are fresh water diatoms stuck to your shoe, your car tires, your dog, everywhere. The silica bodies of these tiny algae are part of the dust, not as numerous perhaps as skin cells or, certain times of the year, pollen, or the loess blowing off the melting glaciers and such, but common. This is why real scientists grind down the meteorite, cross sectioning it, before looking at the sample.
As Phil points out, this report is by a “scientist” who has made many outrageous and incorrect claims about aliens, reported in a journal that is famous for printing bogus and incorrect science, the methods are obviously bogus and anyone who knew anything about, say, climate studies (where fresh water diatoms are used all the time as proxyindicators) would at least be suspicious, and would know how to check for veracity of the claim.
Anthony Watts, the anti-science global warming denialist, was not equipped to recognize this bogus science as bogus. We are not surprised.
JR: Don’t miss Plait’s piece at his well-named Bad Astronomy blog, “No, Diatoms Have Not Been Found in a Meteorite,” which has this awesome image:
If only it were this easy…