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Tue Dec 3, 2013, 06:59 PM

GOP House Hearing on Space Aliens

Lamar Smith is an idiot but he is the chair of the House Science, Space and Technology committee. Smith is holding hearings on space aliens http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/03/house-hearing-aliens_n_4379175.html

With only seven workdays left between now and the end of the first session of the 113th Congress, a full House committee has found time to hold a hearing on extraterrestrial life.

The Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), will meet for a hearing called “Astrobiology: Search for Biosignatures in our Solar System and Beyond” for two hours Wednesday to “investigate what methods are being used to determine if any of these planets may harbor life,” according to the hearing charter.

Republicans on the Science Committee may be open to the possibility of alien life on other planets, but Chairman Smith and many of his colleagues are much less convinced that global warming is happening on this one, or that it might be caused by humans.


The republicans on the House Science, Space and Technology committee are idiots and include people who believe in Todd Atkins rape theory and who are against any science dealing with global warming. I wonder if they ran old episodes of the X Files for this meeting

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Reply GOP House Hearing on Space Aliens (Original post)
Gothmog Dec 2013 OP
longship Dec 2013 #1
DreamGypsy Dec 2013 #2
LumosMaxima Dec 2013 #3
Gothmog Dec 2013 #4
IDemo Dec 2013 #5

Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 07:21 PM

1. Actually, it sounds pretty good, as long as they're not listening to the UFO kooks.

And have some actual astrobiologists in on the hearings.

But I imagine, with this loony GOP, one never knows what one will get. Knowing them, it'll be all about whether extraterrestrials know Jesus as their personal savior... Hallelujah!!!


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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 08:11 PM

2. Yes, does look good!! Here is the list of witnesses for the hearing...

....from science.house.gov:

Dr. Mary Voytek, Senior Scientist for Astrobiology, Planetary Science Division, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Dr. Sara Seager, Class of 1941 Professor of Physics and Planetary Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Steven Dick, Baruch S. Blumberg Chair of Astrobiology, John W. Kluge Center, Library of Congress


Two women - that's cool!

I chose Sara Seager for a credibility check - looks like she's the real thing. Her CV is here - impressive. The "Class of 1941 Professor" first led me to think she was a member of the MIT Class of 1941, but no, that's evidently a position endowed by the MIT class of 1941. She was born in 1971, PhD from Harvard, B.Sc. from University of Toronto.



Here's an excerpt from her MIT biography page:

Sara Seager is an astrophysicist and planetary scientist at MIT. Her science research focuses on theory, computation, and data analysis of exoplanets. Her research has introduced many new ideas to the field of exoplanet characterization, including work that led to the first detection of an exoplanet atmosphere. Professor Seager's space instrumentation group is focusing on "ExoplanetSat", a 3U CubeSat capable of high precision pointing, with the science goal of detecting small transiting exoplanets orbiting bright, sun-like stars. The prototype is intended to be the first of a planned fleet of nanosatellites, aimed to demonstrate the graduated growth of a constellation as a new paradigm for space science missions. In addition to being the PI of ExoplanetSat, Professor Seager is a co-I on the MIT-led TESS, a NASA Explorer Mission to be launched in 2017, an all-sky survey for transiting exoplanets including a focus on finding rocky planets transiting small stars.

Before joining MIT in 2007, Professor Seager spent four years on the senior research staff at the Carnegie Institution of Washington preceded by three years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Her PhD is from Harvard University. Professor Seager is on the advisory board for Planetary Resources. Professor Seager is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, the 2012 recipient of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences, and the 2007 recipient of the American Astronomical Society's Helen B. Warner Prize. She has been recognized in the media, most recently in Nature's Top Ten in 2011, and Time Magazine's 25 Most Influential in Space in 2012.


The hearing will be webcast live starting at 10 EST tomorrow. Link is on the science.house.gov page.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2013, 08:16 PM

3. I think they should be more concerned

about life on THIS planet, but that's just me.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 07:05 PM

4. Juanita Jean has some fun with Lamar Smith's latest act of stupidity

http://www.juanitajean.com/2013/12/04/and-the-wacky-just-keeps-on-coming/

Please meet Congressgoofy Lamar Smith from Texas. He’s a tad nuts.

He’s also living proof that politics is show business for ugly people. Bless his heart, he has a strong resemblance to a kangaroo rat. And about the same intelligence, too.

Growing weary of looking for illegal aliens, his term for undocumented workers, Lamar has decided to find them in outer space and probably kill them before they kill us. I’m serious as a heart attack, folks.

Lamar doesn’t believe in climate change and if the petrochemical industry paid you half a million dollars, you wouldn’t either. He heads the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. He doesn’t believe in any of those things, but if he had to pick one to believe in, it would be space.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 07:18 PM

5. Biosignatures != E.T.

Regardless of Lamar Smith's scientific knowledge or lack thereof, astrobiologists are professionals who deal with such esoteric things as whether the chemistry and other factors exist elsewhere to support life. They are not primarily involved in looking for purple, tentacled aliens. HuffPo fail.

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