The chemical composition of a comet

Scientists have identified two complex organic molecules on the Comet Lovejoy. Well, that’s what they say, but reality is light years away from that. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

The scientists think they have found an alcohol and a simple sugar on the comet. These two are important building blocks of life here on earth, but are they on a comet? And are these substances on this comet to start with? That’s everyone’s guess, for these scientists present these findings as facts, but in reality they are wild guesses.ethyl_alcohol_molecule

The way these findings are presents you would think that they have somehow got samples of the comet and analysed them in a lab, but that’s not true. Nope, the scientists just observed the comet through a microscope, saw things that looked similar to things here on earth and came to the conclusion that what they saw “had to be” this sugar and alcohol. But that’s a huge stretch. For who says that a comet has the same chemical composition as the earth? Is it possible that it is made up for a big part of substances that we don’t know here on earth? There is no way of knowing, for comets are far away and we can’t visit them. But to blindly assume that everything in our solar system is made from the same substances is not based on anything else than wishful thinking. There is no way of knowing anything about the chemical composition of anything apart from our earth and its moon. And even here on earth new elements are still discovered, so even our own planet is still a mystery.

Findings like these have been done before with other comets, but every time the same problem arises: you don’t know what is exactly out there. Whatever information you get from so far away, you can only interpret it with whatever you know here on earth. And it’s likely that earthly knowledge is limited to the earth and cannot be applied to anything further away than the moon.

6013076-3x2-340x227“Since comets contain some of the oldest and most primitive material in the solar system” That’s quite a statement and I would love to see some proof for that. But again the same problem arises: it’s all based on assumptions. Even if some kind of space ship would land there, take samples and send those samples to earth, we still would only know a tiny bit. It’s a pretty hopeless situation for astronomers.

“offering a peek at how it all started 4.6 billion years ago” 4.6 billions years ago? I wonder how they get that number. Usually we are told that the world is at least 15 billion years old, but that number gets higher and higher every time scientists realize that their number is too low to ever make their stories plausible. Any number of years that is mentioned as the age of the universe is made up. It’s not even a guess. The numbers are just made up to fit a story. Presenting that as science is really bad for the reputation of science in general.

“These observations show a possible explanation for its (life’s) origin on our planet” Do they? Only if you already have a lot of theories that you accept as facts. And even then it’s a stretch. indexOf course you can find explanations for everything, if you use enough fantasy. That doesn’t mean that the explanations are based on facts or have anything to do with science.

There is just one fact: astronomy is a nice hobby, but it can never ever be a science, because close to no facts are available. It’s all dreams, fantasies and wishful thinking. And these stories could make really good fiction, if it would be presented as fiction. As long as they are presented as science the result is both bad science and bad fiction.


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