January 23, 2012

Take THAT Greg Laden on #arsenicgate and NASA

Well, well, well. It looks like NASA researchers claims of about a year ago to have found new, arsenic-based life just might not be so true!

Rosie Redfield, who was one of the initial leaders in the charge against the claims, said her follow-up research of the original project has found no such life form.

But now, Felisa Wolfe-Simon has said she wants to see Redfield's claims peer-journal published:
“We do not fully understand the key details of the website experiments and conditions. So we hope to see this work published in a peer-reviewed journal, as this is how science best proceeds.”
Sounds like a red herring deal to me. Redfield was doing peer research on the original claims. And, while her refutation isn't ironclad, it's good enough; per Carl Sagan, the burden's clearly on Wolfe-Simon now.

And, on NASA to fess up to just how shoddy  this was, as I originally blogged.

And on Greg Laden, to admit he was touting shoddy science, and being unskeptical in refusing to consider NASA had "good" PR reasons for its fluffery.

But, given his response to my comment on Google +:
Are you fucking serious? Is Steve Snyder Socratic Gadfly?
I probably shouldn't hold my breath.

Meanwhile,speaking of G+, other respondents to Phil Plait's post on the matter seem to take a he said, she said stance to this. Maybe some *want* real exolife like arsenic-based life to exist. I would love something like this to pan out, but, given what we saw from the moment Wolfe-Simon published, got fluffed by NASA, got defensive, and didn't apparently do follow-up on her own, including not clearly and fully addressing early concerns of the likes of Redfield, these people are riding the wrong horse for their hopes, and, in taking that he said, she said angle, not addressing the Sagan "extraordinary concerns" angle.

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