Over at Bad Astronomy, Phil Plait reveals some of the astonishingly bad coverage last week about methane on Mars, giving people the impression that we’ve got proof-positive of life on the Red Planet. But I think Carol Collins Petersen raises an important point: it’s the headlines that were truly noxious. If you stripped the headlines off of the articles Phil lambastes, they’d range from acceptable to mediocre. At least, that’s my non-scientific analysis. Unfortunately, headline writers are harder to track down than reporters (who don’t write headlines and rarely get to vet them).