Monday, April 06, 2009

The Best New Species

April Is The New Month, fighting The Death of New by pointing out what The Best New Things Are.

I sometimes think "scientists" are just messing with us, and I think that they bring it on themselves that I suspect that.
If they weren't just messing with us, for example, why won't they admit that there was never such a thing as a "velociraptor?" Or that it's amazingly, phenomenally unlikely that dinosaurs were fossilized while fighting each other? How could that ever happen?
My skepticism of "scientists" doesn't just come as a result of my own concrete, utterly logical, scientific reasoning and proof; it comes from the fact that "scientists" bring it on themselves through their own actions. How am I supposed to take "science" seriously when the "scientists" name stingrays after vacuum cleaners and claim that they've found a rare form of rhinoceros beetle whose horn is identical to that of Dim, the Pixar-animated Rhinoceros beetle in A Bug's Life?

When "scientists" do things like that, it makes it all the harder to believe that they've actually found alien organisms living in our atmosphere, as a group of scientists claimed recently. The "scientists" announced in March, 2009, that they've found three new species of bacteria living in the upper atmosphere, and began openly speculating on whether the bacteria were alien organisms-- life from other planets, in bacteria form. The "scientists," who were possibly-backed by Stephen Hawking (who attributes the invention of Kentucky Fried Chicken to Columbus) don't want to confirm yet that the bacteria are alien bacteria, but they do want to speculate, often and as publicly as bacteria-studying "scientists" can, that they've discovered alien life forms, living here on Earth.

Leaving it to me once again to inject some cold hard logic into "science."

The "scientists" sent up a balloon to sample bacteria from the upper atmosphere, and took what they say are elaborate precautions to avoid tainting the study by getting ordinary Earth bacteria in the mix.

Despite those elaborate precautions, which included liquid neon -- the presence of liquid gases is always a part of elaborate precautions -- the "scientists" got not just the three "alien" bacteria but nine kinds of bacteria that were clearly Earth bacteria -- having a 98% similarity to known bacteria.

In other words, the elaborate precautions to avoid getting Earth bacteria led to the "scientists" getting three times as many Earth bacteria as "alien" bacteria.

But, the "scientists" say, The three "alien" bacteria are totally new species, unknown to us -- and therefore the "scientists" are free to speculate on whether the bacteria are "extraterrestrial" despite the near-infinite odds against such a thing happening.

Here's what would have to happen for the Alien Bacteria to have gotten into our upper atmosphere to be discovered by these "scientists:"

The Alien Bacteria would have to have evolved on another planet. Presumably one outside the solar system, since our probes have yet to find any sign of any proof of life on any planet inside our solar system.

The Alien Bacteria would then have to get off of their planet somehow, and get here. Because they are (presumably) not intelligent and not tool-using Alien Bacteria, that means that they would have had to be blasted off of their planet by being on a piece of rock that was near enough to an explosion of some kind to boost that rock into space -- but far enough away so that the explosion would not have killed the Alien Bacteria.

That Alien Bacteria then, despite being adapted to living on a planet with an atmosphere and nutrients and all, would have had to survive on its piece of rock drifting through airless, foodless space, until that rock intersected Earth's atmosphere, at which point the Alien Bacteria would have had to somehow detach from the rock while in the atmosphere -- doing so before the rock's entry into our atmosphere caused it to heat up and burn -- and learn to survive in the upper atmosphere on Earth (even though they didn't survive in that atmosphere on the other planet) and to thrive enough to be discovered by the "scientists."

Yes. All that could have happened, I suppose.

Or, it could simply be that we've just never discovered these bacteria until now but they're terrestrial. Not every brand new species is an alien, is it? If these guys found a new kind of frog, would we have to hear about how we were going to be invaded by the Frog Warriors of Saturn?

There should be, in my mind, some sort of requirement, in "science," that a hypothesis (the "scientists" in the article could look that word up if they're unfamiliar with it) be logical and have factual support before it gets publicized.

But where's the fun in that? And where's the fame, glory and continued research grants in that? Where are the headlines in San Diego papers allowing geologists to be interviewed about microbes on Mars killing the entire human race? Without rampant speculation based on nothing more than a desire for headlines... I mean, "without science as we know it today," how will "scientists" pay their mortgages?

No, clearly, we cannot let our "scientists" be bound to "facts" and "proof" and "logic." We must free them to generate ever-newer, ever-more-fascinating, ever-more-remunerative flights of fancy. And because of that need, I will recognize Alien Bacteria From Beyond The Stars as The Best New Species. May it, and the "scientists" who discovered it, live long and prosper. That's certainly the goal, right?

Especially the prosper.


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1 comment:

Husbands Anonymous said...

Been a while since I scrubbed the toilet- I should invite the 'scientists' to take a look- bet it's seething with undiscovered life-forms.