Panspermia and the Discoveroids: This Is Great!

This one was found at the creationist website of the Discovery Institute. Their latest post is titled Octopuses from the Sky: Scientists Propose “Aliens Seeded Life on Earth”, and it has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

On a classic episode of ID the Future [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!], host Sarah Chaffee and biologist Ann Gauger discuss panspermia, the topic of a peer-reviewed paper by several quite serious scientists.

Wowie — Ann Gauger! For those who don’t know why we call her “Annie Green Screen,” she had been toiling in obscurity at the Discoveroids’ clandestine creationist research facility, Biologic Institute. Annie’s work was so sensitive that the interior of her lab could never be seen by outsiders. You can read all about that in Klinghoffer Defends Photo Trickery. Okay, back to the Discoveroids. They say:

Panspermia tries to sidestep problems in origins biology by suggesting that, to recall the title of an old science fiction movie, “it came from outer space.” And yes, according to this explanation, maybe aliens even sent it our way.

Panspermia doesn’t try to sidestep anything. Wikipedia tells us:

Panspermia (from Ancient Greek πᾶν (pan) ‘all ‘, and σπέρμα (sperma) ‘seed’) is the hypothesis, first proposed in the 5th century BC by the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras, that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by space dust, meteoroids, asteroids, comets, and planetoids, as well as by spacecraft carrying unintended contamination by microorganisms. Panspermia is a fringe theory with little support amongst mainstream scientists. Critics argue that it does not answer the question of the origin of life but merely places it on another celestial body. It is also criticized because it cannot be tested experimentally. … Panspermia studies concentrate not on how life began, but on methods that may distribute it in the Universe.

That’s a reasonable description. The Discoveroids, however, try to present it as mainstream Darwinism — but they don’t cite that “peer-reviewed paper” Annie mentioned. Anyway, their post continues:

Maybe (honest — this is a real theory) the first octopuses came here special delivery, as encapsulated embryos falling from the sky.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Where do they find this stuff? Oh, wait — we blogged about it a few years ago, and it was in a scientific journal — see Is the Octopus an Alien Species? Ah well, let’s read on:

Anything but intelligent design, for these sober scientists. Dr. Gauger understands what drove the scientists to such an explanation.

Actually, this shows their desperation, not ours. Here’s how their brilliant post ends:

Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted!]

Okay, now let’s not be critical of Annie Green Screen. She’s a Discoveroid, and she’s doing the best she can.

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6 responses to “Panspermia and the Discoveroids: This Is Great!

  1. “Anything but intelligent design, for these sober scientists. Dr. Gauger understands what drove the scientists to such an explanation.”

    Could it be… Satan? How would it rule intelligent design anyway. Thanks for the tacit admission of hard-core special creationism Dr.

  2. Typo

    “rule intelligent design”

    rule out intelligent design

  3. Ross Cameron

    Always suspected that the religious were another species dumped on Earth by Space Cleaners Inc. While rational thinkers were the original species here. OR, maybe it was the other way round.

  4. David Luckett

    richard puts his finger on the crux: “Anything but intelligent design, for these sober scientists”. This after admitting that panspermia is “a fringe theory with little support amongst mainstream scientists”. So i’s not “anything but intelligent design”, it’s a rejection of hypotheses for which there is no evidence.

    “Intelligent design” doesn’t even come up to that standard, of course. It isn’t even a hypothesis, because a hypothesis must be specific. It must propose a stated cause, some phenomenon that can be investigated. “God did it” is not such a cause.

  5. @Dave Luckett
    And an interesting thing about the argument from design, which seems to be brought up, insistent by its proponents: any example of design that we know of falls far short of the complexity of the variety of life. Humans have not even been close to designing the simplest bacteria. And that falls short of the complexity of a vertebrate eye, and the process by which an eye develops from an embryo. And then there is complexity of evolution (even creationists accept microevolution). And the complexity of a functioning ecosystem.
    Why would anyone give a monent’s thought that that is supposed to suggest design?

  6. To posit that octopi are extraterrestrial proves one thing – Annie Green Screen watches “Resident Alien” on the scifi channel.