20 September 2007

No, No, No - That Can't Be It

A meteorite fell near a small Peruvian village this past weekend. The residents reported headaches, dizziness, nausea, and other physical symptoms, which they blamed on the object. Before a single scientist had been there to research what happened, there were plenty of "scientists" saying that the villagers were wrong, and that the meteorite couldn't have possibly sickened them, no way, no how! Then they called the villagers liars, saying it was psychosomatic sickness, or maybe that it wasn't a meteorite at all but a geyser of some sort which belched sulfurous fumes and that the villagers just think they saw a bright streak in the sky beforehand and heard sonic booms and crackling. And, if it was a meteorite, it had to be metal, and there couldn't be gas in a metal meteorite, no way, no how, the "scientists" belched.

Now, real scientists have been there. It was a rocky meteorite, just like the villagers said. Doctors still see no evidence of sickness, but they took tissue samples to check for contamination of some sort.

Why do people rush to judgement, especially so-called "scientists"? Why does the news report shit like that? And, why can't people get over the idea that it is possible that things fall on the Earth all the time, and they can contain various compounds, and that those compounds can have an effect, from causing a pretty streak in the sky, to sickening plants and animals, to helping create life?

Frankly, when I first read the article, I was hoping for some strange bacteria or virus that sickened the villagers. That would have been proof of extraterrestrial life. But, alas, we get gas instead.