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Space Science

'Alien Life' Story of Dubious Provenance Goes Viral 62

Posted by Soulskill
from the truth-is-out-there-but-not-in-the-journal-of-cosmology dept.
Sockatume writes "By now you have likely read about the 'alien life forms' discovered in the upper atmosphere over Yorkshire, via the mass media reprinting a press release from the University of Sheffield. Unfortunately, the paper comes from researchers with an infamous tendency to identify inanimate objects as aliens, and is published in a journal that seems to principally exist to print unlikely astrobiological claims. Phil Plait points out flaws in a number of their claims. Quoting: 'They found what appears to be a fragment of a frustrule, the hard outer casing around a diatom. It certainly does look like one. But is it? Weirdly, they apparently didn’t even check. Seriously, in the paper they describe the photo of the object and say [emphasis mine], "On one stub was discovered part of a diatom which, we assume, is clear enough for experts on diatom taxonomy to precisely identify." That implies very strongly they didn’t ask an expert in diatoms to look at their sample. That’s bizarre. If I were claiming this were an ET plant, that’s the very first thing I’d do!'"
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'Alien Life' Story of Dubious Provenance Goes Viral

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  • Who? What? Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by X0563511 (793323) on Friday September 20, 2013 @09:39AM (#44902151) Homepage Journal

    "By now you have likely read about the 'alien life forms' discovered in the upper atmosphere over Yorkshire, via the mass media reprinting a press release from the University of Sheffield.

    The what from the who now? Shitty writing. "Oh, by now I'm sure you've heard about the $TRIVIAL_EVENT that occurred 4,000 miles from where I reside 99.999% of my life.

  • by beltsbear (2489652) on Friday September 20, 2013 @10:01AM (#44902377)

    We brought back samples from the moon, if this stuff is floating around all of the time out in space just waiting to land, why did we not find anything in the moon samples? The stuff was obviously thrown up from the ground if it is organic, one cannot assume just from the height that it had to be from space.

  • Re:Who? What? Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IRGlover (1096317) on Friday September 20, 2013 @10:12AM (#44902487)
    Exactly! I live in Sheffield and 99.999% of the posts on Slashdot are about "$TRIVIAL_EVENTS" happening 4000 miles away from where I live. So what! If a story is interesting, what does it matter where it happened (not that this is an interesting one, mind you)

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro

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