We are too often led to believe that strident denunciations of an unorthodox position in science are always based upon rational argument and irrefutable fact. This is clearly not so in many instances, one of which relates to panspermia and the dispersal of life throughout the universe. We are led to believe that from the beginning of the enlightenment in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries CE, science has moved forward with an abandonment of all forms of irrational prejudice. Whilst we are aware that socio-cultural factors control large areas of science, particularly in regard to allocation of public funds, we often forget to assess the consequent societal damage. This is true particularly in relation to the biggest questions of science such as the origin of life and the origin of the Universe. In the interests of science, it is important to recognise the role of such influences in the assessment of competing theories, particularly those relating to the origin of life.
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