Joined: Feb. 2008
|Quote (kevinmillerxi @ Feb. 27 2008,11:20)|
|Certain versions of Panspermia don't require an external intelligence, but others do. Apart from that though, I agree that the best Panspermia can ever be is a hypothesis, because it doesn't answer the ultimate question of how life originated in the universe, just how it originated on earth.|
Aside from apparent confusion about what theory and hypothesis mean in science, you are making a couple of other fundamental errors.
1) Specific variants of the panspermia (or perhaps more properly exogenesis) hypothesis could be confirmed or disproven to a high degree of certainty. If we find life off Earth, there's a very good chance we could that figure out how it is related, if it all, to Earth life. Progress in understanding abiogenisis could also make the concept more or less attractive.
IOW, these hypotheses make testable predictions, and as such, are firmly in the realm of science. We don't have the data now, but as we explore the universe, we could find evidence. Until that time, panspermia/exogenesis will remain a speculative footnote. It's worth noting that no one is campaigning for the "panspermia controversy" to be taught in k-12 schools, and if there were, it the only proper reaction would be to reject it, since there is currently not enough data to warrant more than a passing mention if anything at all.
2) The panspermia hypothesis doesn't make any claim to explain abiogenesis, the ultimate origin of life. To say that it can "never be more than a hypothesis" because of this is just nonsensical. Creationists like to make the same complaint against the "Theory of Evolution" but it similarly makes no such claim*. Neither explains gravity or star formation either, yet seems to care about how this might affect their credibility ;)
*One would expect chemical abiogenesis to have some very evolutionary qualities, but classical evolution doesn't depend on this about this.
/first post from a long time lurker