Normally, we could dismiss all this as wishful thinking — except there are the extremophiles on Earth, representing every domain of life.
The remarkable thing is that we haven’t found so much as a fossil bacterium in recent Mars samples. The belief that whatever’s weird out there must be aliens is a sheer act of faith. The same people who would dismiss massive evidence for design in the universe and life forms believe in ET with no evidence at all. That’s probably because, at heart, their commitment is one of the few types of religion that naturalism permits.
Kershenbaum wipes out, unfortunately, when he tries to claim that human culture is genetically based.
Researchers: The new James Webb Space Telescope, which launches in October, “could feasibly detect ammonia around six gas dwarf planets after just a few orbits”
Avi Loeb has come up with a very reasonable idea for searching for evidence of other civilizations in our galaxy: Look for alien debris on our still, lifeless, atmosphere-free Moon.
A good chance to check out the perennial topic, “Are We Alone?” with thoughtful people.
If planets’ water resources came from accretions of tiny carbon and ice particles, rather than icy asteroid hits, many would have lots of water, and maybe life.
Hossenfelder ends by reminding us, re phosphine on Venus, that “ absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” True, but that’s just a corollary of the fact that one can’t prove a negative. No, we can’t but that doesn’t prevent us from drawing reasonable conclusions. The proverb has been used to cover far too many situations where a more realistic conclusion would be “There is no particular reason to believe this.”
The Dark Forest Hypothesis assumes that we can use sociology to figure out what extraterrestrial intelligences might be like or might want. But can we? What’s become of sociology these days?
It’s curious how folklore can prevail for ages in science as long as it has a naturalistic origin. Maybe Top People shouldn’t count on everyone just forgetting that now.
The Percolation Hypothesis holds that they can’t overcome the laws of physics any more than we can and that colonies would lose touch with the home planet due to slow communications, thus losing interest in space travel goals. But now, if there is a purpose behind the universe, maybe we and the aliens weren’t intended to meet. That was C.S. Lewis’s view.
Okay re the importance of reproducibility but it was never clear why Oumuamua was supposed to be ET anyway. More Oumuamuas would not make it more likely.
Example: In response to a question re space aliens, ““The question presumes that aliens do exist. And again, because we haven’t found any yet, we don’t know if they do. It is possible they may exist, for one simple reason: we exist. Whatever made the likes of bacteria evolve into complex bodies with intelligent brains on Earth may have also occurred on another planet.”
Specified complexity is what we should be looking for in signals from intelligent beings — orderly patterns that hold meanings not found in inanimate nature.
If intelligent life forms are trapped in the interior oceans of rocky moons and planets, Earth is a special planet—much better suited to space exploration.