Cryptic Preview from NASA

NASA sent out this intriguing yet mysterious announcement this week:

NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.

I have contacts at NASA and was able to obtain a part of the announcement that will be released – it’s apparently a transmission from an alien civilization that read in part, “It is neccesary for the advancement of your civilization that you increase the funding of your Federal space agency, preferably in the current budget cycle

What motivated the aliens to send such a message is as yet unknown.

**Update: NASA, in a lame bait-and-switch scheme has announced that it’s ‘evidence of extraterrestrial life’ consists of finding arsenic utilizing bacteria in California. While California is alien in many respects, it is in fact wholly terrestrial. We regret our involvement in this charade.**

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23 Responses to Cryptic Preview from NASA

  1. Justin says:

    So the aliens are democrats? uh oh

  2. jackhudson says:

    Yes, the Galactic Empire is having a debt crisis and seeking additional planets to tax.

  3. Bettawrekonize says:

    uhm… so what’s the point of this post? Is it like a pro ID post, like an “if we had gotten this message would we conclude it was space randomness or would we conclude it was designed and why” kinda thing?

    BTW, It’s December, not April fools yet

  4. Bettawrekonize says:

    Oh, and Jhud, if someone at nasa really did tell you something like this (which I doubt and you’re obviously joking), you’re naive if you really believe it. NASA just needs more money, the govt has been cutting back their funding, and this could all be a hoax just to get them more money like every other govt program out there.

    Not saying space funding shouldn’t be funded, but for them to stoop to such low levels as making up scare tactics seems silly, IMO, if that’s the case (but it’s not I’m sure). Most likely your NASA contacts are just pulling your leg as a practical joke.

  5. Bettawrekonize says:

    BTW, has anyone ever seen the movie Aliens? We should know by now, from all the Hollywood movies out there, not to trust anything an alien says.

  6. nate says:

    When they bring ET out he better be wearing a suit.

  7. Bettawrekonize says:

    Yeah, it better be a cheap suit too, unless the aliens are paying for it.

  8. jackhudson says:

    Yeah if it’s not obvious Betta, this is satire, though NASA really is making an announcement of some sort today concerning some finding in ‘Astrobiology’ – basically a made up science. (And by the way, I think we have known each other long enough for you to call me Jack already)

    Personally I find it sad that NASA has gone from an agency that produced cutting edge engineering solutions and advanced technology, to a worthless propaganda machine for the exo-biology crowd. It is interesting that for all their claims that they oppose ‘woo’, the atheistic ‘skeptics’ are totally taken in by the idea that life must certainly exist somewhere else in the universe, and we must find it. I blame Carl Sagan for this.

    Then again all humans seek a messiah on some level; for many secularists it is in the form of an alien intelligence.

  9. Bettawrekonize says:

    It does seem like your suspicions were correct, NASA basically found nothing too major and they have now decided to release what they found partly because they want money.

    BTW, NASA has been known in the past to hide data for prolonged periods of time and later release it. It does seem interesting that they release this data during a time that the govt has been cutting their budgets. It seems like the fact that they lack money is good in that it encourages them to release data they should have probably released a long time ago. Yeah, that sounds rather perverse.

    “Then again all humans seek a messiah on some level; for many secularists it is in the form of an alien intelligence.”

    I think there is some truth to this.

    I see nothing wrong with looking for life, or signs of life, on other planets, but I don’t think that NASA should use it as a card to ask for money and it shouldn’t be their only focus (which it’s not, but it does seem like they are trying to stretch any evidence to try and say that life does, probably does, or could exist elsewhere).

    Personally, I have no problems with life existing on other planets. Many Christians in the very early days of space observation even believed life would exist on other planets as a product of God’s benevolence. The Bible doesn’t say it doesn’t and it’s not even a problem for intelligent design if it does.

  10. Bettawrekonize says:

    Oh, and you might be interested in this

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20101012/17265411398/planet-declared-as-100-likely-to-have-life-now-can-t-even-be-found.shtml

    “Planet Declared As 100% Likely To Have Life… Now Can’t Even Be Found”

    Basically, they claimed that another planet was 100 percent likely to have life on it. No evidence whatsoever.

    Like I said, I do agree that there are some issues with the way some people tend to jump to conclusions.

    Overall, I would say that this problem probably doesn’t exist among scientists, and even NASA scientists, in general. It’s just that the ones that it does exist among tend to get the most attention.

  11. kenetiks says:

    This actually was exciting news. Not the kind of exciting I was hoping for of course. I was thinking it was something to do with cosmology. But it’s exciting none-the-less.

  12. Justin says:

    True, the discovery of life on another planet wouldn’t interfere with any but the most fundamental of fundamentalist Christians.

    That said, I find the sensationalism from the scientific community via the media a little over the top. Of course it was for obvious reasons ($$$).

    The interesting question to me is whether or not an arsenic based life form could ever become intelligent or if there are certain limiting factors to a arsenic-based life form. Even throughout the universe, arsenic is a fairly rare element, at least according to some charts I’ve seen. Compared to oxygen, carbon, silicon, nitrogen, etc., it doesn’t seem that arsenic-based life forms would be very common (consistent with what we see on earth).

  13. jackhudson says:

    Yeah, as a Christian I don’t have a problem with life elsewhere per se. What does annoy me is the flawed logic that says life will exist if ‘conditions are right’ or the notion that the number of stars are somehow related to the possibility that life exists elsewhere. That’s like saying the likelihood of getting a homerun is related to the number of baseball fields that exist.

    The reality is that we know of no means by which life might arise (either phosphorous or arsenic based) through unguided processes. This finding by NASA doesn’t change that reality.

  14. nate says:

    @Justin

    I think a bigger question is can intelligent life arise at all? 😛

    All this time and we still haven’t found any intelligent life on earth!

  15. kenetiks says:

    @Justin

    True, the discovery of life on another planet wouldn’t interfere with any but the most fundamental of fundamentalist Christians.

    That said, I find the sensationalism from the scientific community via the media a little over the top. Of course it was for obvious reasons ($$$).

    The interesting question to me is whether or not an arsenic based life form could ever become intelligent or if there are certain limiting factors to a arsenic-based life form. Even throughout the universe, arsenic is a fairly rare element, at least according to some charts I’ve seen. Compared to oxygen, carbon, silicon, nitrogen, etc., it doesn’t seem that arsenic-based life forms would be very common (consistent with what we see on earth).

    I would have to agree.

    I don’t know how prevalent any specific type of life form could be and this would be totally(as far as I know) bordering on extreme speculation.

  16. kenetiks says:

    @Jack

    Yeah, as a Christian I don’t have a problem with life elsewhere per se. What does annoy me is the flawed logic that says life will exist if ‘conditions are right’ or the notion that the number of stars are somehow related to the possibility that life exists elsewhere. That’s like saying the likelihood of getting a homerun is related to the number of baseball fields that exist.

    Referring to the Drake equation? I would slightly agree. Any speculation on the statistical probability of life arising under certain conditions rests solely on the conditions that we know it has happened before. In this case, it’s only happened once that we know of. Life could possibly spring up anywhere and be nothing like anything our minds could easily(if ever) comprehend.

    The reality is that we know of no means by which life might arise (either phosphorous or arsenic based) through unguided processes. This finding by NASA doesn’t change that reality.

    You mean as in either abiogenesis or spontaneous creation from dirt and divine breath? Or are we talking evolving?

  17. jackhudson says:

    Hey Kenetiks, I was referring to the unguided origination of life; evolution obviously requires that life exist in the first place.

  18. Bettawrekonize says:

    What kinda makes me scratch my head and think that this whole thing is a ploy to get money is the fact that NASA really should have little to do with the finding of some “new” bacteria on Earth. This should be some bio agency or maybe the bio department of some university or maybe the NSF. NASA should be focused on space related discoveries, not bio related ones.

  19. kenetiks says:

    @Jack

    Hey Kenetiks, I was referring to the unguided origination of life; evolution obviously requires that life exist in the first place.

    Indeed but a significant number of people completely confuse abiogenesis and evolution along with the big bang theory as well for some reason. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t saying you were. Just clarifying.

    Anyway, I think the odds are pretty well in favor of there actually being some other forms of life out there. Whether this life is anything we would understand or even comprehend is another matter of course. It may be quite similar to life here or it may be something far beyond our limited understanding. Of course there may also be some as yet unknown law that prevents this from happening anywhere else.

    I’m simply fond of speculation in this area with the full acknowledgment that aside from statistical probabilities, that’s pretty much all we can do with any certainty at this point, speculate.

  20. nate says:

    Laws, laws, laws…

    The problem is always that science doesn’t make the laws, it can’t go read the ‘law book’, and so they are left trying to figure out what our traffic (for example) laws are from brief snap shots of the traffic in question. If there is a restriction factor to life only existing here, we will almost surly never know it.

    I subscribe to the idea that we may not even recognize life when we see it.

    If the “life” happens to be far more advanced than we are, its a near certainty that shortly after developing socialized health care they destroyed themselves. We may yet find evidence of their past civilization… unless we all die off first.

  21. kenetiks says:

    @Nate

    Laws, laws, laws…

    The problem is always that science doesn’t make the laws, it can’t go read the ‘law book’, and so they are left trying to figure out what our traffic (for example) laws are from brief snap shots of the traffic in question. If there is a restriction factor to life only existing here, we will almost surly never know it.

    I don’t think anyone suggested anything of the sort. Physical laws aren’t really laws at all. You’re not making a law that requires gravity to work for example.

    I subscribe to the idea that we may not even recognize life when we see it.

    As do I. As I said, it may be something far beyond our limited understanding to comprehend.

    We evolved to understand and interpret the world that we have here. While science is an attempt to break free of our rather limited ability to comprehend; we’re still bound to our limited perception of what is.

    If the “life” happens to be far more advanced than we are, its a near certainty that shortly after developing socialized health care they destroyed themselves. We may yet find evidence of their past civilization… unless we all die off first.

    This is absurd and I am completely baffled why you even included this. Unless it was meant to be satirical?

  22. Bettawrekonize says:

    Update:

    “Redfield and other detractors point out that when NASA scientists removed the DNA from the bacteria for examination, they didn’t take the steps necessary to wash away other types of molecules. That means, according to the critics, that the arsenic may have merely clung to the bacteria’s DNA for a ride without becoming truly ingrained into it.

    The report’s detractors also note that the NASA scientists fed the bacteria salts that contained trace amounts of phosphate, so it’s possible that the bacteria were able to survive on those tiny helpings of phosphate instead of the arsenic.

    “This paper should not have been published,” University of Colorado molecular biology professor Shelley Copley told Slate’s Zimmer.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20101208/sc_yblog_thelookout/scientists-poking-holes-in-nasas-arsenic-eating-microbe-discovery

  23. jackhudson says:

    Thanks for that Betta – it’s a good reminder that science is at it’s core a human enterprise, subject to human limitations and foibles.

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