After the Rosetta spacecraft enjoyed a much-hyped crash-landing of its Philae probe on a comet last November, the internet is once again abuzz with a new, fantastical twist: reports of “unequivocal” evidence of alien life.

…Or so they said.

In Real Clear Science, Tom Hartsfield puts it best: Sorry, There’s No Life on the Rosetta Comet. Surprised? I doubt it. But apparently “leading astronomers” (and the gullible science journalists who quoted them) felt otherwise. “‘Scientists say,’ they say. Well, who’s the scientist?” Hartsfield asks – then explains:

The main person being quoted is Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, a scientist in the controversial discipline of astrobiology. He is the father of panspermia, the theory that life on earth arrived sailing in from outer space on dust grains. It’s a cute idea, but there’s absolutely no reason to believe that it’s true. …Kookiness clings to Dr. Wickramasinghe’s claims like stink on a pig. He once explained his theory that NASA has been covering up life on Mars for decades.

Go figure. But if this is the first you’ve heard of the panspermia theory, it won’t be your last. We’ve discussed it before, and even atheist ringleader Richard Dawkins has espoused it. Aliens colonizing earth? Well, as long as our skeptical scientists aren’t postulating any theories that might even remotely resemble Biblical claims, it seems like they’re willing to try anything.

And the question of human origins is no small debate. Larry Taunton sums it up: “Those engaging in it realize what’s at stake: winner takes all. Those who get to tell the Creation Story rule society. They get to define the nature of life and how we live it.”

Image Credit: DLR German Aerospace Center