Monday, 14 September 2020

Hints of life on Venus: Scientists detect phosphine molecules in high cloud decks

quote [ An international team of astronomers, led by Professor Jane Greaves of Cardiff University, today announced the discovery of a rare molecule—phosphine—in the clouds of Venus. On Earth, this gas is only made industrially, or by microbes that thrive in oxygen-free environments. ]

It's not 100% certain, but it looks like there may be (microbial) life on Venus. So 2020 isn't completely without good news. Though it wouldn't surprise me if this turned out to just be the discovery of some new abiotic process instead, it's that kind of year.

[SFW] [science & technology] [+3 Interesting]
[by hellboy]
<-- Entry / Comment History

donnie said @ 10:22am GMT on 15th September
You know, I actually wrote the first line as a joke. Out of curiosity, I did a literature search to see if anyone had actually written a paper about the idea - I found (a very bad) one, which you see there. I have no idea who the author is, but the quality of the paper speaks for itself. There's no need to resort to ad-hominem attacks. Your opinion of him is not at all correlated to the quality of the evidence presented, which is demonstrably poor.

So yes, of course it's ludicrously unlikely that microbes survive transit to Venus. But recognize also that we have very little way of objectively calculating what the probability of life evolving on Venus even is. Yes, it's fantastic to suggest that microbes survived a journey from earth, but it's also fantastically unlikely that live evolved anywhere. What you have, now, is a ratio of two unknown, very small numbers whose uncertainty bounds admit both the possibility that one or the other of these two scenarios is wildly more probably than the other. In science, this boils down to the only valid conclusion, which is that at present we do not have enough evidence to support either conclusion. We barely have evidence that live even exists at all on Venus.

All this to say that a venomous rebuttal of any position, at this point, is premature. We don't have to dig in and pick sides here - it's not that important of a fight, dude. It was just meant to be fun conversation.



donnie said @ 10:27am GMT on 15th September
You know, I actually wrote the first line as a joke. Out of curiosity, I did a literature search to see if anyone had actually written a paper about the idea - I found (a very bad) one, which you see there. I have no idea who the author is, but the quality of the paper speaks for itself. There's no need to resort to ad-hominem attacks. Your opinion of him is not at all correlated to the quality of the evidence presented, which is demonstrably poor.

So yes, of course it's ludicrously unlikely that microbes survived the transit to Venus. But recognize also that we have very little way of objectively calculating what the probability of life evolving on Venus even is. Yes, it's fantastic to suggest that microbes survived a journey from earth, but it's also fantastically unlikely that life evolved anywhere. What you have, now, is a ratio of two unknown, very small numbers whose uncertainty bounds admit both the possibility that one or the other of these two scenarios is wildly more probably than the other. In science, this boils down to the only valid conclusion, which is that at present we do not have enough evidence to support either conclusion. We barely have evidence that live even exists at all on Venus.

All this to say that a venomous rebuttal of any position, at this point, is premature. We don't have to dig in and pick sides here - it's not that important of a fight, dude. It was just meant to be fun conversation.



donnie said @ 10:28am GMT on 15th September
You know, I actually wrote the first line as a joke. Out of curiosity, I did a literature search to see if anyone had actually written a paper about the idea - I found (a very bad) one, which you see there. I have no idea who the author is, but the quality of the paper speaks for itself. There's no need to resort to ad-hominem attacks. Your opinion of him is not at all correlated to the quality of the evidence presented, which is demonstrably poor.

So yes, of course it's ludicrously unlikely that microbes survived the transit to Venus. But recognize also that we have very little way of objectively calculating what the probability of life evolving on Venus even is. Yes, it's fantastic to suggest that microbes survived a journey from earth, but it's also fantastically unlikely that life evolved anywhere. What you have, now, is a ratio of two unknown, very small numbers whose uncertainty bounds admit both the possibility that one or the other of these two scenarios is wildly more probably than the other. In science, this boils down to the only valid conclusion, which is that at present we do not have enough evidence to support either conclusion. We barely have evidence that life even exists at all on Venus.

All this to say that a venomous rebuttal of any position, at this point, is premature. We don't have to dig in and pick sides here - it's not that important of a fight, dude. It was just meant to be fun conversation.



donnie said @ 10:29am GMT on 15th September
You know, I actually wrote the first line as a joke. Out of curiosity, I did a literature search to see if anyone had actually written a paper about the idea - I found (a very bad) one, which you see there. I have no idea who the author is, but the quality of the paper speaks for itself. There's no need to resort to ad-hominem attacks. Your opinion of him is not at all correlated to the quality of the evidence presented, which is demonstrably poor.

So yes, of course it's ludicrously unlikely that microbes survived the transit to Venus. But recognize also that we have very little way of objectively calculating what the probability of life evolving on Venus even is. Yes, it's fantastic to suggest that microbes survived a journey from earth, but it's also fantastically unlikely that life evolved anywhere. What you have, now, is a ratio of two unknown, very small numbers whose uncertainty bounds admit both the possibility that one or the other of these two scenarios is wildly more probably than the other. In science, this boils down to the only valid conclusion, which is that at present we do not have enough evidence to support either conclusion. We barely have evidence that life even exists at all on Venus.

All this to say that a venomous rebuttal of any position, at this point, is premature and really uncalled for. We don't have to dig in and pick sides here - it's not that important of a fight, dude. It was just meant to be fun conversation.




<-- Entry / Current Comment
donnie said @ 10:22am GMT on 15th September
You know, I actually wrote the first line as a joke. Out of curiosity, I did a literature search to see if anyone had actually written a paper about the idea - I found (a very bad) one, which you see there. I have no idea who the author is, but the quality of the paper speaks for itself. There's no need to resort to ad-hominem attacks. Your opinion of him is not at all correlated to the quality of the evidence presented, which is demonstrably poor.

So yes, of course it's ludicrously unlikely that microbes survived the transit to Venus. But recognize also that we have very little way of objectively calculating what the probability of life evolving on Venus even is. Yes, it's fantastic to suggest that microbes survived a journey from earth, but it's also fantastically unlikely that life evolved anywhere. What you have, now, is a ratio of two unknown, very small numbers whose uncertainty bounds admit both the possibility that one or the other of these two scenarios is wildly more probably than the other. In science, this boils down to the only valid conclusion, which is that at present we do not have enough evidence to support either conclusion. We barely have evidence that life even exists at all on Venus.

All this to say that a venomous rebuttal of any position, at this point, is premature and really uncalled for. We don't have to dig in and pick sides here - it's not that important of a fight, dude. It was just meant to be fun conversation.





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