Arsenic and post-haste: another example of the broken peer review process turned “science by press release”

Arsenic and post-haste: another example of the broken peer review process turned “science by press release”. A NASA news report made an eye-opening announcement about “an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.” Arsenic-based bacterium were found by astrobiologists in Mono Lake, suggesting that we should widen our search criteria for extraterrestrial life. Turns out that the scientist’s conclusions may be flawed. They’re probably just a regular phosphate-based bacterium that can tolerate high arsenic concentrations. Interesting though.

Anthony Watts’ take on this? Maybe that the scientific publication process catches these kinds of problems? No. Maybe that results that aren’t approved by the existing, and oppressive, “consensus” can be published? No.

Anthony’s conclusion is that scientists are defensive egotists. And that “peer review” failed, somehow. Therefore scientific criticism of denialism must also be flawed.

Guess what, Anthony. That was science in action, not blog-blather. Scientists reported their discovery, other scientists examined it skeptically, knowledge was advanced. One “tribe” didn’t defeat the other. Publication of results isn’t the finish line, it’s the first lap.

Can Anthony really say that “NASA again has egg of [sic] their faces”? No. He’s just trying to opportunistically smear this minor controversy over to the field he’s trying to discredit NASA in.

One thought on “Arsenic and post-haste: another example of the broken peer review process turned “science by press release”

  1. Shouldn’t Watts have considered the NASA researchers as the
    ‘heretics’ and those that have ‘debunked’ the research as the evil
    consensus stopping revolutionary ideas? (though that would make
    Science mag as revolutionary as E&E)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s