Thursday, January 5, 2012

Another way to tell pseudoscience from ordinary bad science

Whether it's deserved or not, the general consensus on NASA's revelation of arsenic-based life seems to be largely negative, i.e. that the research was poor or tentative at best, and did not warrant the kind of hoopla the organization made over it; and Felisa Wolfe-Simon has taken a rather remarkable drubbing -- to the point where I've even seen some who condemn the research question whether her treatment has really been fair.

The NASA team didn't always respond in the best possible way, e.g. their rather odd comment that all dialogue had to be conducted via peer-reviewed journals, coming immediately on the heals of a rather splashy press conference they had just held. But one thing they never did was try to sue their critics.

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