# Most British scientists: Richard Dawkins' work misrepresents science

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by paddoboy, Nov 7, 2016.

1. ### river

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NASA.

THEY wouldn't tell you the truth pad .

Don't you know this by now ?

My goodness man wake up.

3. ### river

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I don't care who started this thread pad . If you think I'm lying buzz off .

5. ### river

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You live in this utopian world of truth by , from , authority , institutions.

I know better . there is so much going on behind the sences pad .

Soory to break your fantasy of truth by authority and institutions .

But someone had to do it .

Last edited: Dec 16, 2016

7. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

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Hi River
May I suggest that you be a little more respectful of respected bodies such as NASA and a little more respectful of respected members such as Paddoboy.
I know you enjoy being here and I personally enjoy interacting with you however you know as well as I that you are on a one way street to a holiday.
I am sure you can do better with very little effort if you try.
Alex

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This idea of some atomic war on Mars by Aliens obviously is ludicrous and was published in a book by a quack called Branderburg.

Not much good is said about him......
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/John_Brandenburg

John E. Brandenburg is a plasma physicist who went somewhat off the rails in 2012 and started proclaiming that he saw clear evidence of a thermonuclear war on Mars in the distant past. This off-beat idea attracted the attention of woo-peddlars and gave a mighty boost to sales of his books—both the non-fiction books and the science fiction books that he wrote using the nom de plumeVictor Norgarde.

In his 2015 book, Brandenburg declared himself a devout pentecostal christian.

That thermonuclear war
Analyzing data from the 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter, which carried a gamma ray spectrometer, Brandenburg observed a local concentration of radioactive uranium, thorium and potassium in two specific areas on Mars. His first idea was that there was at least one natural nuclear reactor on Mars, analogous to the one discovered in Gabon in 1972. At the 2011 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference he published a poster on these findings.[1][2]

Later, he proposed that the elevated ratio of 129Xenon to 132Xenon in the atmosphere of Mars could only be explained as the aftersignature of a nuclear weapon. He suggests that massive explosions occurred in in Mare Acidalium at approximately 50°N 30°W,near Cydonia Mensa and in Utopia Planum at approximately 50°N 120°W near Galaxias Chaos, claiming they are both locations of possible archaeological artifacts.[3][4] This idea has been challenged by astronomers and other scientists who have shown that there is another more likely and more mundane explanation for the observed xenon isotope ratios.[5][6][7]

In December 2014 he also wrote:

Vitrified soil, etched with acid, has been found at the sites of both hypothetical explosions, but nowhere else on Mars. This mineral resembles "trinitite", the melt glass found at the site of nuclear explosions. So I consider my hypothesis is being supported by new data.
Brandenburg has cited a paper by Horgan & Bell from Geology 2011 but the article offers no real support for his contention. Horgen & Bell report widespread volcanic glass and do not even mention trinitite. The entire Northern hemisphere of Mars shows evidence of past volcanism—there is nothing special about the two areas Brandenburg focuses on.

9. ### river

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Alex

Respectful to pad , no . respect is earned not given .

Towards NASA. respect . lets hope that keeps its soft discloser coming .

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Don't worry too much Alex, having been totally demeaned by his own hands, it appears he is now just trolling. That's why I'm backing away, as he obviously would love to take others with him.

11. ### river

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You are a cruel man pad .

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Not sure if this was posted before, but anyway.........

https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0907/0907.3552.pdf

Origin of Life

Abstract

The evolution of life has been a big enigma despite rapid advancements in the fields of biochemistry, astrobiology, and astrophysics in recent years. The answer to this puzzle has been as mind-boggling as the riddle relating to evolution of Universe itself. Despite the fact that panspermia has gained considerable support as a viable explanation for origin of life on the Earth and elsewhere in the Universe, the issue remains far from a tangible solution. This paper examines the various prevailing hypotheses regarding origin of life like abiogenesis, RNA world, iron-sulphur world, and panspermia; and concludes that delivery of life-bearing organic molecules by the comets in the early epoch of the Earth alone possibly was not responsible for kick-starting the process of evolution of life on our planet.

Concluding Remarks :
Given the extraordinary potential of extremophiles to survive in highly inhospitable environments on the Earth, possibility of life on extraterrestrial bodies like Mars, Europa, Titan, Enceladus, Ganymede, Callisto, and Triton in the solar system cannot be ruled out. Also, study of the planetary geology reveals that our solar system could have many worlds with liquid water, the essential ingredient for life. Recent data from NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers also corroborate the speculation that water has at least intermittently flowed on the red planet in the distant past (Warmflash and Weiss 2005). Moreover, studies based on data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed that the red planet once hosted vast lakes, flowing rivers, and a variety of other wet environments that had the potential to support life. It is thus not unreasonable to hypothesize that life existed on Mars long ago, and perhaps continues there even today. Permafrost environments on Mars may also help harbour life in the light of the fact the ancient bacteria on Earth are capable to spring back to life after being in state of prolonged hibernation for nearly half a million years in harsh and frozen conditions. Besides, analyzing data gathered by Cassini spacecraft, scientists have recently confirmed presence of heavy negative ions about 10,000 times the mass of hydrogen in the upper regions of Titan’s atmosphere which is devoid of oxygen and comprises mainly of nitrogen and methane. These particles may act as building blocks for complicated organic molecules - the harbinger for earliest form of life in Titan’s atmosphere (Richardsons et al. 2007). Moreover, Cassini’s radar mapping reveals that Titan is just covered in carbon-bearing material. It is a giant factory of organic chemicals with several hundred lakes and sea of hydrocarbons (methane and ethane). Life may have even got a foothold on the torrid Venus. Though the Venusian surface is too hot (~ 480°C) and under too much atmospheric pressure (90 bars) to be habitable, the planet could still conceivably support sulfur-based microbial life high in its atmosphere as do sulphur-eating ‘chemotrophs’ on the Earth. Keeping in view the great surviving capabilities of extremophiles on the Earth, possibility of traces of life forms being found on billions of unexplored planetary bodies outside our solar system cannot be negated as well. Out of 721 exoplanets detected beyond our solar system till January 2012, the extrasolar planet (Jupiter like gaseous planet) named ‘HD209458B’ located at some 150 light years from the Earth in the constellation of Pegasus is believed to be harbouring water vapour in its atmosphere giving rise to speculation of the presence of life-supporting microbes in its atmosphere based on the analysis of the infrared spectrum in the range of 7.5 - 13.2 µm (Maa et al. 2007). The planetary habitability chart (Fig.8) provides clue where life might exist on extrasolar planets based on study of our solar system and life on Earth. Recent computer simulations of the known extrasolar planetary systems suggest about half of the hitherto known exoplanets could harbour Earth-like world raising possibility of traces of life being found thereon. The author describes at length the possibility of finding traces of life on the habitable planets and moons within the solar system and beyond in his article titled ‘Searching for Life on Habitable Planets and Moons’ published in Journal of Cosmology ( Lal 2010). Despite strong possibility of existence of a large number of extraterrestrial life-systems in the Universe, there remain nagging uncertainties in regard to the timing of commencement of the process of evolution of life on the primitive Earth and elsewhere in the Universe. Though panspermia provides satisfactory explanation to the origin of life on Earth and elsewhere in the Universe, it however, fails to address the long-standing riddle as to when and where precisely life originated first in the Universe, nor does it provide any clue about how transformation from prebiotic matter into primitive bacterial cells was brought about.

Evidence from comets and meteorites as also from the experiments that simulate the conditions on the early Earth suggests that probably a combination of terrestrial and extraterrestrial factors were responsible for kick-starting the process of transforming pre-biotic organic compounds into entities that we call ‘life’ on Earth. There is growing evidence to support the view that emergence of catalytic RNA was a crucial early step in the evolution of life on Earth. How that RNA came into being, however, remains unknown so far. Moreover, the “RNA World” hypothesis does not seem to provide satisfactory explanation to the initiation of mechanism of ‘self-replication’ in organisms in the early history of Earth, which is so crucial to the understanding of the process of evolution of life on our planet and other habitable bodies in the Universe. We do not yet understand the steps leading from abiotic early Earth to the RNA World( Orgel 1995). Experiments involving biologically produced RNA have so far failed to provide concrete proof regarding the RNA world being the pathway between non-life and life.To date, no possible explanation has been advanced as to how primitive self – replicating RNA molecules could have made transition into modern cellular systems that rely heavily on a variety of proteins to process genetic information. The RNA World hypothesis that hints at first living organism having an RNA-based genome appears to be on shaky ground also considering reproductive strategy of viruses whose RNA-based genome requires DNA of a living host to survive and replicate. Moreover, despite development of sophisticated biotechnology tools in the recent years, scientists still have not been successful in transforming inanimate matter into life in the laboratory.

The available scientific knowledge simply fails to provide the viable clues about the process of evolution of life from non-life. Besides, the underlying uniformity of life on the Earth, with all modern organisms sharing the same DNA-based mechanism for genetic transmission, is indicative of the fact that life emerged here only once during the planet’s entire history (Burliinski 2006).It is ironic that the crucial timing hitherto remains unknown to the mankind.

Ever since Oparin and Haldane initiated the modern theory of life’s origin from non-life in 1930s, we have learnt much about how life operates, but almost nothing about how it originates. It is a puzzle whose mystery will perhaps remain unknown to the humanity ad infinitum. ……………………………………………………………

Quite an Interesting section on Panspermia within the paper........

Xelasnave.1947 likes this.
13. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

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Well River I tried.
May I take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Xmas just in case either of us are not around for a while.
And a Happy New Year.
Best wishes
Alex

14. ### river

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The genetic code , within us . And its origin will be the challenge . in the future of biology .

15. ### river

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Thanks all the same .

The same Alex , all the best , have fun and be safe .

Hope it snows , kidding but there is nothing like a hard gentle snow fall . the trees with snow fall is just amazing .

16. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

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I do worry a little but the reality it is me and other readers like me who benefit because you punctuate the gloom with some great posts and links.
And I thank you.
Even though this thread has enjoyed a curious course I have found it most interesting and very informative.
It is an ill wind that blows no good.

Alex

17. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

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We had our hottest day in one hundred years I believe.
I have only seen snow once in my life.
Alex

18. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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I was born in Chicago so I learned to deal with snow early in life. But in my tenth winter there, we spent half of Christmas shoveling the driveway so my dad could get to work the next day. Next year we moved to the Southwest, so I never saw snow again for more than 40 years, except on the ski slopes. I've been living in Maryland now for 16 years, and it snows every winter. Well... there was that bizarre year when it snowed on Thanksgiving, in autumn. Then there was no snow all winter... until it snowed once again on Easter, in the spring!

19. ### KittamaruNever cruel nor cowardly...Staff Member

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Suffice it to say, River, that your actions here have been rather abysmal.

You have been shown and explained repeatedly why the whole "nuclear war on Mars" theory is foolish at best. A nuclear reaction, quite possibly, but a nuclear war by an ancient civilization would have telltale markers (unless you wish to posit they vaporized everything, which would require energies far in excess of traditional thermonuclear weapons). More likely, the nuclear reaction occurred over time, naturally, or was instigated via mass-impact from another celestial body (think of the energies released by the Tunguska airburst event.

This is just trolling...

More of your "the universe is alive" stuff...? Why are you posting that in this thread? Wouldn't that be better off in a pseudoscience thread of its own...?

So "They" are out to get us, hm? And "they" want to keep information from us? Smells of a conspiracy theory to me...

I would suggest that if you want to post in the non-fringe forums, that you keep it civil, on-topic, and supported with at least a modicum of evidence.

20. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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That's right! Xenon 129 is present in massive quantities on Earth; it makes up over 25% of the xenon in our atmosphere. It must have all been created by nuclear testing. It was first discovered on Earth in . . the 1920's.

Wait. The first nuclear detonation wasn't until 1945. I think there's a pretty big hole in your theory, there.

But maybe they got the discovery date wrong. OK, so xenon is in our atmosphere at a concentration of 87 parts per billion; that means 23 parts per billion are xenon 129. Do a little math here - OK, that means that there is 118 billion kg of Xe129 in our atmosphere. We have detonated about 500 nuclear weapons over the years, and each one weighed (on average) 4400kg. That means if every single atom of every single bomb was converted to Xe129, we'd have . . . 2.2 million kg of it in our atmosphere. And we know for a fact that every atom of every single bomb was NOT converted to Xe129.

There's an even bigger hole in your theory. Given that we have way more of the stuff than Mars has, and given that 99.99% of it must be natural . . . no nuclear bombs are needed to explain the prevalence of Xe129.

Xelasnave.1947 likes this.

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Science is always a challenge. And either way Evolution stands as unchallenged and abiogenisis as the only scientific explanation for life.

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Nice post. As my WIKI article alluded to, this Brandaburg character certainly went off the rails when proposing such nonsense.
A bit more research on him reveals that he was also a writer of Sci/Fi novels under the pseudonym of “Victor Norgarde”:
Perhaps he had some sort of brain explosion and got his astronomy/science works mixed up with his Sci/Fi novels

https://secretspaceprogram.org/media/dr-john-brandenburg/

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Why are we now? Researchers suggest life on Earth may be early in cosmic terms
August 23, 2016
Why are we now? We know that the universe is roughly 14 billion years old, and that someday it is likely to end—perhaps because of a Big Freeze, Big Rip or Big Crunch.

But what can we learn by considering our own place in the history of the universe? Why does life on Earth exist now, rather than at some point in the distant past or future?

A team of researchers including astrophysicists from the University of Oxford has set about trying to answer these questions—and their results raise the possibility that we Earthlings might be the first to arrive at the cosmic party.

The paper, led by Professor Avi Loeb of Harvard University and published in the Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, suggests that life in the universe is much more likely in the future than it is now. That's partly because the necessary elements for life, such as carbon and oxygen, took tens of millions of years to develop following the Big Bang, and partly because the lower-mass stars best suited to hosting life can glow for trillions of years, giving ample time for life to evolve in the future.

Is life most likely to emerge at the present cosmic time near a star like the Sun? We address this question by calculating the relative formation probability per unit time of habitable Earth-like planets within a fixed comoving volume of the Universe, dP(t)/dt, starting from the first stars and continuing to the distant cosmic future. We conservatively restrict our attention to the context of life as we know it'' and the standard cosmological model,ΛCDM . We find that unless habitability around low mass stars is suppressed, life is most likely to exist near ~ 0.1M⊙ stars ten trillion years from now. Spectroscopic searches for biosignatures in the atmospheres of transiting Earth-mass planets around low mass stars will determine whether present-day life is indeed premature or typical from a cosmic perspective.