Excuse me, but you have an alien in your nose.


Nostril-probing for aliens sure beats aliens anal-probing.


  1. acilius

     /  January 26, 2010

    “If life does form readily under Earth-like conditions, shouldn’t it have formed many times over, right here on our home planet?” That makes sense to me. In December 2007, Scientific American had a cover story about biologists looking for earthly creatures that do not have common ancestors with the main bulk of life on this planet.

  2. cymast

     /  January 26, 2010

    Thanks for the link!

    “Scientists have yet to reach a consensus on a strict definition of life, but most would agree that two of its hallmarks are an ability to metabolize (to draw nutrients from the environment, convert those nutrients into energy and excrete waste products) and an ability to reproduce.”

    I find this statement absurdly incomplete, perhaps for the sake of article brevity. At least I hope it’s deliberately incomplete!

  3. acilius

     /  January 27, 2010

    You show a poet’s sensitivity to dangling modifiers. Does the “its” in “its hallmarks” refer to life, or to a prospective definition of life? If the first, those two abilities are on the list of characteristics life-forms have in common, but they aren’t the whole list; if the second, then maybe they are a definition of sorts.

  4. cymast

     /  January 27, 2010

    “poet’s sensitivity”- I like that. I’ll use that as an excuse from now on.

    “its hallmarks”- I took this article quote to mean “life definition criteria,” as in “those criteria must be present in any example of life.”

    That’s why I found the quoted statement absurd.

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