Here are the reasons to be skeptical that I picked up from that blog post:

  • The website of the Journal of Cosmology is ugly
  • The figures in the paper are "annoying"
  • Perhaps the claimed bacteria aren't bacteria at all, but just squiggles.
  • The photos of the found bacteria aren't at the same magnification as photos of real bacteria
  • It seems like the bacteria are too well-preserved for having traveled the solar system for such a long time.
  • Haha, maybe next they'll find bigfoot footprints on a meteor.

PZ's his own special brand of abrasive and dismissive, but I went and read most of the paper, and while he's not exactly rigorous with explaining his criticisms, I think they're based in good ones.

While the design of the JoC website shouldn't affect assessment of the article, the fact that a paper on such a potentially high-impact subject isn't in a mainstream journal at all does and should send up some red flags that there might be issues with the paper that would keep it from getting past peer review.

My biggest issue with the paper is that the study... (read more)

-1XiXiDu9yTypical PZ Myers.

NASA scientist finds evidence of alien life [link]

by Kevin 1 min read6th Mar 201116 comments