Wednesday, November 12, 2008

That Egyptian mythology, and those ritual star alignments

        On the official Dark Mission blog, Mike Bara posted today on the (expected) death by freezing of the Phoenix Mars lander. He wrote, in part,
"...readers of Dark Mission will be well aware of the significance of yet another NASA mission steeped in Egyptian mythology.... Phoenix signaled symbolically the Resurrection of Mars as an abode of life."

He refused to publish this comment in response:
It did nothing of the kind, Mike. It "signaled" the fact that NASA/JPL was cash-poor, and resurrected the canceled Mars Surveyor 2001 lander and parts of Mars Polar Lander, too.

Egyptian mythology, pffffui!!!

        Bara went on to draw attention to the fact (I'll accept it as fact, I sure as hell can't be bothered to check) that Mintaka, the rightmost belt star of Orion, was on the Mars horizon as Phoenix touched down. He also refused to post the following comment on that:
As for your star alignment, this is utterly worthless information. Since you consider five stars and two planets significant for these alignments, and since you count elevations of -33, -19.5, 0, +19.5 and +33 as equally significant, you have 35 chances of finding a "ritual alignment" at any given moment. Think about the thousands of events in the history of spaceflight. It would be extremely surprising if some of your 35 alignments hadn't cropped up, wouldn't it?

If I picked seven celestial objects and five elevations at random, I'd expect about the same frequency of coincidence.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Viking biology [2]

Mike Bara refused to allow this post to appear on the darkmission blog yesterday:

You will probably be interested in some renewed discussion of the LR experiment and its controversial results on a wikipedia discussion page. One further example, among many, of the fact that Dr Gil Levín's results have been quite openly discussed ever since they were obtained in 1976. You and Hoagland are fond of writing and claiming that these results have been in some way suppressed — "covered up", in your jargon — but that is categorically untrue. You yourself, on this blog, cited some six papers on the subject published by Dr Levín in science journals. The entire LR data set is available to anyone on a NASA-sponsored web site.

The Gillevinia straata theory is even, for now, on the wikipedia page. It does not deserve to be, in my personal opinion, but I'm not going to delete it or even argue against it.

You and Hoagland are completely wrong about this, and your publisher, Adam Parfrey, should be ashamed of having published a book containing so many egregious factual errors.

Click here for a primer on this controversial subject.