Monday, March 2, 2015

Astrobiology or Earth's Biology - which ?

If all of the dire News Reports on the Earth being in trouble ecologically are true, where have all the research funds & grants gone to correct this ? Take a look at the image below. It was everywhere in all the News a while back & people ate it up like candy.

Alien Seed ???
Typical World Headlines Lately
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"UK Scientists: Aliens May Have Sent Space Seeds To Create Life On Earth"  
(Source)
"Antifreeze on Titan Could Affect Its Chances for Life"
(Source) 

Of course I can go on and on and list countless headlines and papers over the last few years where these very  words "could" and "may" are used repeatedly in the astrobiology literature. But isn't biology by itself supposed to tell everyone the just what "does" happen or what "did" happen in the past ? Years ago as a kid in the 1960s and later 1970s, I was intrigued by the fantasy of the possibility of life on other worlds. Hollywood actually helped a whole lot with that fantasy, as they still do today. Of course I'm not exactly on speaking terms with Hollywood anymore. Today the world faces crisis after crisis which are very very real and foretell dire consequences if this world doesn't change them. Many of these problem reports are of of an ecological nature. But when it comes to astrobiology, supposedly these people know what it takes for life to exist right here on Earth, right ? That's why they got the job in the first place, right ? Then why can't regular biologists find real world solutions to reverse climate change & restore damaged ecosystems and wildlife habitats that go beyond mere token protection ? How about eliminating pollution caused by Industrial Science-Based agriculture ? Etc, Etc, Etc ? The fact is they don't know or we wouldn't be in the mess we are in at present. So how can anybody believe the almost weekly dosage of storytelling we are receiving in the News Reports on a daily basis on life on other imaginary earth-like worlds ? Of course I still think it would be kool, but mankind has more pressing priorities now down here. 

NASA image of Amazon
If they actually know how live works on other planets, then why aren't they down here helping correct this mess ? Well, NASA has shown us good productive viable results through meteorological satellites which have helped identify the important cloud formation mechanisms like the old growth trees and shrubs from rainforests and other ecosystems. This is imperative for helping the world to reverse climate change. But the fact is, while NASA does a number of great things to help us identify climate mechanisms like what creates cloud formation like this recent photo over the Amazon where clouds always form over healthy vegetation, the Astrobiology division appears to be nothing more than a fund raising distraction which deflects attention away from our miserable reality of life down here on Earth. And most folks like that. But the reality is, NASA needs to recall all astrobiologists back down here to earth to research and create real world viable solutions for the Earth's problems. Let me tell you what the real science was behind the equipment Astrobologists use for their diving of the stars. For me, the real science was done by the men and women scientists, engineers, mathematicians and others who created and designed the Hubble telescope, even though they later had to give it a contact lens for better universal eyesight. The real science were the scientists, mathematicians and engineers who designed and built the rocket ship which blasted from the Earth and released the Hubble Satellite in orbit above us. Where the science fails is when Astrobiologists make up stories about what they think is out there based on personal bias, presupposition and metaphysical gut feelings of how they wish things to be. Now as I've stated, I would love for there to be other places in the universe where untouched pristine life could be existing and waiting to be explored, but the fact that Scientists are incapable of fixing things down here on Earth leaves me extremely doubtful that these astrobiologists are even close to knowing what they are talking about. Had our planet been managed and maintained more responsibly based on accurate knowledge of how nature really works, I'd be much more willing to allow them more leniency for their published stories. Recently, the world lost one of the great actors who helped all of us escape the reality of the miserable world around us, even if it was momentary. This was actor Leonard Nimoy. Many of the basic myths of what could be out there as far as lifeforms were actually breathed life by episodes of this very television series. For example you will often here people talk about how real Silicon based lifeforms are possible somewhere out there. However, such a myth has "life" because of one or two key episodes of "Star Trek." Leonard Nimoy was an actor, and the other cast and crew were also just plain people on a movie set. None were scientists on an actual star ship which in of itself doesn't yet exist. But Leonard Nimoy also narrated some interesting science programs. I wish he had done more, he had a great voice for it making science interesting.



The fact is, there never really has been any bio (Greek for life) in the field of Astrobiology. The articles that come out in various journals are simply loaded with stories and myths inspired by fantasy. You know what you get when you take the 'bio' out of the word Astrobiology ? Astrology. Know what Astrology was to the ancient Babylonian civilization who invented it ? Divination. What these ancient priest did was simply gaze at the stars and divine the stars to tell out future fortunes and happenings not yet realized or discovered. Know what Carl Sagan had to say about Astrology ? Listen to this 9 minute video on just what he said about astrology, especially at the very beginning:




"There are two ways to view the Stars. The way they really are and as we might wish them to be"
You know, I really miss Carl Sagan. I may not have agreed with a few things he said, but he made Science far more interesting than those who have made claim to take his place. Today there are Science Gurus who want to trip you off into multi-universes land where reality is not what we know it to be here. Seriously people, do you really like that kind of distraction to take you away from finding real world solutions for correcting things down here on Earth ? At the end of last year 2014 a fantastic article came out about Climate Change which was far different from the other dumb boring political spitting contest ones by opposing sides of the issue that we generally read. It dealt with reality and viable options for solutions. I commented on it the first day it came out. I revisited it three days later to find out what others commented on and there were only 5 or 6 comments. At that same moment, there was another typical modern day asinine article whose subject matter was something like, "Honey Boo boo's Mama June has affair with Uncle Poodle who molested her Sister". Seriously ??? That article at the time had been out for only 4 hours and already had almost 2000 comments. Idiots! People like being distracted from reality and slipping off into fantasy. Now more than ever the words below have more meaning:
"And they took no note until . . . " 
Okay, you fill in the blanks! No references this time. just think about it!

3 comments:

  1. Top-down causation: an integrating theme within and across the sciences? http://rsfs.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/2/1/1.abstract

    First author is George FR Ellis. "He co-authored The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time with University of Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking, published in 1973, and is considered one of the world's leading theorists in cosmology.[1] He is an active Quaker and in 2004 he won the Templeton Prize.[2] From 1989 to 1992 he served as President of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation. He is a past President of the International Society for Science and Religion. He is an A-rated researcher with the NRF." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_F._R._Ellis

    George directed me to this published work in a comment on "Understanding and accounting for relational context is critical for social neuroscience" http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00127/full

    He wrote: "This is absolutely correct and forms part of the larger concept that top-down causation is a key factor not just in the way the brain works but in broader contexts in biology and even physics. This is explored here: http://rsfs.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/2/1.toc

    I had written: "New data on how genetic predispositions are epigenetically linked to phenotypically distinct neuroanatomy and behaviors is provided in the honeybee model. Across-species comparisons from insects to vertebrates clearly show that the epigenetic influence of food odors and pheromones continues throughout the life of organisms that collectively survive whereas individuals do not. These comparisons also attest to the relative salience of sensory input from the rearing environment. For example, when viewed from the consistency of animal models and conditioned behaviors, food odors are obviously more important to food selection than is our visual perception of food. Animal models affirm that food odor makes food either appealing or unappealing. Animal models reaffirm that it is the pheromones of other animals that makes them either appealing or unappealing."

    One reason for theorists to not take physics and chemistry into consideration is their ignorance of biologically-based cause and effect. Another reason is that the ignorant don't want to learn.

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