Thursday, December 2, 2010


I have recently come across an article in the news entitled: “NASA announcement: Discovery changes search for extraterrestrial life”

To copy and paste the introduction from the article;

Scientists believe an arsenic-based bacterium discovered at the bottom of a lake in California could have big implications for ongoing searches for extraterrestrial life.
In an announcement Thursday, scientists explained how the discovery is redefining theories about how living organisms can sustain themselves -- mainly that phosphorus might not be an essential building block for life.
The bacterium found in California's salty Mono Lake was harvested from mud and grown in a lab mixture that contained arsenic. Scientists say the organism eventually traded atoms of phosphorus for arsenic, defying what conventional knowledge dictated was a basic principle of science.
The discovery is changing the way NASA is approaching space missions to Mars -- mostly because up until now, experiments have sought elements and reactions specific to life on Earth.

I find the second paragraph most intriguing where this discovery has since defied “what conventional knowledge dictated was a basic principle of science.”

This is exactly what we have been discussing; the difference between scientific fact and scientific theory and furthermore, the implications this has on our society. What is fact and how do we apply it to our lives? How much of the Scientific Community’s preaching do we just take in as dogma because it comes from the ‘educated elites’? And then when we find out that they have changed this dogma, how whole-heartedly do we accept that? As full-fledged members of “Darwin Scrutinized” it is imperative to be critical of what we learn from others, that we have not researched ourselves.

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