Monday, December 5, 2011

Alan Boss - Divine Opinion Movement Nominee

Alan Boss trying to sell his book.
Okay, I'm going to start naming names. Astrophysicist Alan Boss is hereby nominated Divine Opinionator and a member of the Divine Opinion Movement.  I am assuming something risky in this—that the news media quotes people accurately. Here's the news item (my underlines) and [brackets].
NASA announced a major milestone in the quest for life in the universe Monday: The discovery of another planet close enough to the sun it orbits to potentially support life.

Called Kepler-22b, the planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth and about 600 light-years away. And it orbits in the "habitable zone," [notice the quotes] the region of space just far enough from a star that liquid water could exist on the planet's surface -- a discovery could have profound implications in the quest for alien life, said Alan Boss, an astrophysicist with Carnegie Melon University.

“This discovery supports the growing belief that we live in a universe crowded with life,” Boss said.  (Read more.)

The parameters that allow human life on Earth are astonishing precise. Vary anyone of several dozen just 0.1 to 1% and life disappears. Dr. Boss's planet is NOT something we can see or measure much of anything except perhaps the gravitational pull, which is perhaps 2.4 times that of Earths.  Traveling at the speed of the Space Shuttle (17,500 mph) to get to Keppler-22b would take over
688 million years

And between low earth orbit where the International Space Station orbits, NO LIFE has been discovered ANYWHERE... but Dr. Boss is claiming that something 600 light years away, of which we know nothing, indicates that the universe is "crowed with life."

Why would he do that? Well, he's trying to sell his book by the same name, and get more money for research. The more planets he finds (or thinks he's found, or convinces others that he thinks he's found) the more research grant money he gets. Of the 300+ rocks he thinks he's found in the universe, there are 10x that many asteroids between Jupiter and Mars... and of the ones we've seen through a telescope, they all look like cratered iron ore. 

He thinks his opinion is divine. I can tell you I won't be buying his book.

Divine Opinion Movement

I wish someone with more influence than I would declare an intellectual war on the "Divine Opinion Movement." This is the group that can say idiot things and claim they're rationale. Example:  Along comes the LGBT claiming the Salvation Army is bigoted (therefore don't give to the needy) because of its "selective interpretation of the Bible" (regarding marriage) when it's the LGBT that selectively interprets the Bible and is bigoted toward Christians of good will. I want to ignore these people but wish the news media would ignore them first. 

Then there's a comment by Sagalla1 on my YouTube channel regarding the 8-min short about Alex Jones, the Pentecostal minister who came into the Catholic Church with 55 of his former church members. The comment is this: "Pentacostal (sic) Methodists in the Catholic Church? What's next, Hindus????" 

People like this commenter never cease to amaze me. Sagalla1 is evidently a fan of Charlie Sheen, who froths outrageous thoughts about 9/11 being a conspiracy and then uses his craziness as the reason someone should take him serioius. Huh!? 

This is the real downside of public media and free speech. Anyone can say anything and the world takes notice, like I'm doing now. The problem is, there's so much out there, spurious comments like this one will never stop it. I think the only solution is to reintroduce the study of logic and fallacies back into Jr. High and High School and make them mandatory for 4 years. Then, maybe, in a generation sanity might return to "civilization" ... or maybe we could license journalists and bloggers to pass a logic and fallacy test... let's include government officials and advertisers while we're at it.  There is definitely a downside to "free speech" when the Divine Opinion Movement matters.