Friday, 30 May 2014


When I was about 11, I bought an interesting book. It was a thick, lovely softcover,  titled "World's Greatest Alien Abduction Mysteries"with photos of UFOs, sinister egg-headed beings on the front cover and sensational headlines. Within days I was convinced, beyond all reasonable doubt, that aliens had been visiting us for millennia, observing us as we observe lab rats, taking tests, tinkering with us. I learnt that different species of aliens had been visiting us across different time periods, from the tall slender "grey men" to the short "egg-headed" ones with extreme psychic abilities. They arrived with physics-defying spacecraft, from the famous " flying saucers" to cigar-shaped craft that accelerated from stationary positions to supersonic speeds in the blink of an eye. Apparently they also had bizzare sexual fetishes with humans but hey who would disapprove

Suffice to say, I felt it was my duty to gently remind people that we were not alone. Other than elucidating blank responses when I pointed out how the Nazca geoglyphs in the Atacama was evidence of a vastly complex intelligence impacting a primitive tribal society, that probably most Gods were inspired by the Space Walkers who had gifted us with intelligence to strive and create, I probably did not accomplish much.

What I am thankful for, is of course, my belief in extraterrestials was not completely subsumed into my identity that did it not impede my desire to learn.  I discovered  the vast distance between stars, fruitless efforts like SETI or the fact that crop circles in the UK mysteriously stopped forming during the foot and mouth epidemic of 2001 (maybe aliens could fall ill of our diseases too?) . I'm actually not particularly embarrassed of this; when you re young you are liable to believe just about anything.

Everywhere we see weird, irrational beliefs. Sadly, even some of the smartest people can fall victim. Nobel-Prize winning chemist Linus K. Pauling believed that extremely high doses of Vitamin C could cure heart disease. Biologist Lynn Margulis (famous for her theory of endosymbiosis) became an AIDS denialist in latter parts of her life.

I firmly believe the only solution to the spread of woo is understanding of skepticism. We have to subject pseudo-scientific claims to the full rigour of the scientific method to disprove them.

As of recent, the Bill Nye-Ken Ham has piqued my interest in creationism. This will be the subject of this blog in the coming months.  Apart from showing how their "alternative viewpoints" of my favourite subjects (geology and astronomy) do not stand up to scrutiny (except for those seeking confirmation bias)  I will also write introductory posts on science for anyone who is interested in these subjects.

The subject of intersectionality between science and faith is also of great interest to me. I will, on occasion, ramble into philosophy and theology (which I am a complete amateur, but can still opine with glee). As regards to my religious beliefs, I am agnostic.

Hope you find my blog interesting :)

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