Phil Plait has a righteous takedown of a recent editorial by Amitai Etzioni in the Huffington Post. Etzioni argues that Obama needs to knock NASA down a peg or two because…um…well….because he thinks oceans are more interesting than planets, and because NASA’s publicity machine runs towards hyperbole. More or less.
Take it away Phil:
Dude. Seriously? The question of whether we are alone in the Universe, and even if there are other planets capable of sustaining life, is certainly deeply ingrained in our minds. This is one of the biggest remaining unanswered philosophical questions in science! For Etzioni to poopoo it is not only insulting, but so egregiously wrong-headed that it boggles my own mind.
A second bright spot (beyond watching Phil vivisect one of “the top 100 American intellectuals“) is the comment thread, which is much more sensible and well-reasoned than the original article.