Fuck panspermists, and fuck creationists. They are pretty much indistinguishable. It’s their fault I had to listen to Ann Gauger of the Discovery Institute misrepresent wackaloons like Chandra Wickramasinghe as representative of good evolutionary thinking, in a podcast titled Octopuses from the Sky: Scientists Propose “Aliens Seeded Life on Earth”. You can see why that caught my eye.
On this ID the Future from the vault, biologist Ann Gauger discuss panspermia, the topic of a peer-reviewed paper published recently by several very serious scientists. Panspermia tries to sidestep problems in origins biology by suggesting that, to quote the title of an old science fiction movie, “it came from outer space.” And yes, according to this explanation, maybe aliens even sent it our way. Maybe (honest — this is a real theory) the first octopuses came here special delivery, as encapsulated embryos falling from the sky. Anything but intelligent design, for these very serious scientists. Tune in to learn from Dr. Gauger what precisely drove these scientists to such an explanation.
They are also indistinguishable from Kent Hovind and Matt Powell, who have also promoted this idea that serious scientists seriously propose that squid seriously fell from comets to land on Earth. Gauger even claims that “some scientists say” bats came from outer space (I’ve never seen such a claim), because the fossil record of bats is very poor, so they couldn’t possibly have evolved.
That gives the game away. Bad scientists, panspermists and creationists, see any absence of evidence is evidence for their cockamamie ideas, and ignore all the evidence against them. Bats are poorly preserved as fossils, but we’ve got unambiguous molecular and genetic evidence that bats are mammals, not aliens, just as we have unambiguous evidence that octopuses are molluscs. There’s no reason to think that any complex organism fell from a comet. Anyone who argues otherwise is an ignorant loon. No, no one with any credibility in science thinks panspermia is a scientific idea; a few people have suggested it as a possibility — a remote possibility that complex molecules falling from space might have contributed to the evolution of protocells — but they all have to agree that no, there is no scientific evidence of such a thing, and further, most would agree that a more productive hypothesis, one with real evidence, is that life arose here on Earth from prebiotic chemistry.
To argue that scientists really believe that crap is deceitful scumbaggery that aligns Intelligent Design creationism with literalist Biblical creationism. They both lie.