Category Archives: Science

Why finding evidence of extra-terrestrial life might not be such good news.

The recent announcement that the Perseverance rover found what appears to be organic molecules in rock core samples taken from an ancient lakebed on Mars was greeted by much excitement. Organic molecules form the building blocks of life, and this is the second time such molecules have been found on Mars after a previous discovery in 2014. Although indicative, these finds are not definitive evidence that life existed outside Earth and would need to be tested in a laboratory to be sure. Finding evidence that life existed on another planet in our solar system would be an amazing scientific discovery but the existential implications of such a find for the future of humanity might not be so good.

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On science and belief in science.

As a sometime Twitter user, it always leaves me a little bemused when I see tweets that exhort people to #BelieveinScience. This slogan is becoming more popular not just in social media but in the media in general and other spheres of daily activity. As of the time of writing the Science Foundation of Ireland carry this hashtag on their homepage and use it in their social media activity. While no doubt the Science Foundation do useful and important work, #believeinscience is a somewhat unfortunate hashtag to choose for an organisation that promotes and funds scientific research. Why so?

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