Extraterrestrial life Intelligent Design

Claim: Possible hints of life on Venus

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Venus

Based on discovering phosphine in the atmosphere:

Astronomers have found a potential sign of life high in the atmosphere of neighboring Venus: hints there may be bizarre microbes living in the sulfuric acid-laden clouds of the hothouse planet.

Two telescopes in Hawaii and Chile spotted in the thick Venusian clouds the chemical signature of phosphine, a noxious gas that on Earth is only associated with life, according to a study in Monday’s journal Nature Astronomy.

Several outside experts — and the study authors themselves — agreed this is tantalizing but said it is far from the first proof of life on another planet.

Seth Borenstein, “Astronomers see possible hints of life in Venus’s clouds” at APNews

But hey, they can’t help treating the phosphine (three hydrogen atoms and a phosphorous atom) as if it were proof. They can be sure that popular science media will react similarly.

The paper is open access.

A friend notes that, to judge from the Abstract, the way they reasoned the matter sounds like design theorist William Dembski’s explanatory filter:

The presence of PH3 is unexplained after exhaustive study of steady-state chemistry and photochemical pathways, with no currently known abiotic production routes in Venus’s atmosphere, clouds, surface and subsurface, or from lightning, volcanic or meteoritic delivery. – Greaves, J.S., Richards, A.M.S., Bains, W. et al. Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus. Nat Astron (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-020-1174-4

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets:

  1. Life that originated independently of Earth
  2. Life that arrived on Venus from Earth during the early formation of the planets?
  3. Life from comets that struck both planets?
  4. Not life; just an unusual chemical formation.

Note: It appears that there is now big money behind the search for alien intelligences, which generally presupposes alien life of some kind. Could that power the noticeable spike in stories along these lines? No, not a conspiracy. More like: A rising tide floats all boats and there is nothing like a river of cash to float any given boat. We shall see what happens next.

See: Big money powers the hunt for alien intelligence. Okay, billionaires can spend their money as they like; that’s part of being a billionaire. But now, question: If they still don’t find anything out there, can any conclusions be drawn?

22 Replies to “Claim: Possible hints of life on Venus

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    4.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    1, and human exceptionalism goes out the window.

  3. 3
    jfd145 says:

    Really, human exceptionalism goes out the window because of microbes in the Venus atmosphere. That’s a fairly low opinion of humans but I guess those microbes have made some significant inventions, playing music, exploring the universe, making Art, those are some smart microbes.

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    A better explanatory filter for modern times: 1. All explanations and theories held by paid and respected scientists are guaranteed to be diametrically and murderously wrong. 2. Some explanations offered by amateur or retired experts may be right. 3. Most likely the correct explanation is right there in the THING or the DATA, and you’ll see it after you take off your theory goggles.

  5. 5
    Truthfreedom says:

    Denyse, you are a gem. 🙂

    “But Nasa’s is just one of many attempts to pin down all life with a simple description. In fact, over 100 definitions of life have been proposed, with most focusing on a handful of key attributes such as replication and metabolism.

    To make matters worse, different kinds of scientist have different ideas about what is truly necessary to define something as alive. While a chemist might say life boils down to certain molecules, a physicist might want to discuss thermodynamics.”
    Over 100 Definitions of Life and all Are Wrong

    Uh uh.
    Life is not 2+2.

    Notice how the article I linked above commits a glaring philosophical mistake:

    Life as we know it may require DNA or RNA, but what about life as we do not know it?

    A weird question.
    We can not know what we do not know. The writer is almost surely a naturalist.

    Kairosfocus if you could add some input. 🙂

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    Wait, didn’t they already announce the discovery of life on Mars due to a chemical reaction and from martian chunks found on earth?

    The good news for Severksy seems to be that if life actually exists on any other planet, it finally proves that humans are not exceptional, God doesn’t exist, and that evolutionists no longer have to hide from the embarrassment that random accidents and billions of years apparently worked only on the Goldilocks planet, earth. Woohoo!

    Of course, how one arrives at any of these conclusions remains a mystery.

    If live microbes are ever retrieved from Venus, then regardless of whether they are inventors, play music, explore the universe, and make art or not, Darwinism can easily accommodate what’s discovered:

    1. If no actual microbes are discovered, then they musta evolved into advanced extraterrestrials and already left for Alpha Centauri. This once again proves Darwinism.

    2. If no actual microbes are discovered, it must be that Venus suffered from Global Warming and they all died out! This once again proves Darwinism.

    3. If Microbes are discovered, but haven’t evolved, then they musta already evolved into a perfect match for their extremophile environment. This once again proves Darwinism.

    You can’t go wrong with Darwinism. It can’t actually predict anything, but it can explain everything!

    -Q

  7. 7
    Truthfreedom says:

    6 Querius
    It’s either darwinism or darwinism. Not a religion of course. 🙂

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    Jfd145/3

    Really, human exceptionalism goes out the window because of microbes in the Venus atmosphere. That’s a fairly low opinion of humans but I guess those microbes have made some significant inventions, playing music, exploring the universe, making Art, those are some smart microbes.

    If we find life has arisen independently on another planet in our Solar System then it becomes more likely that it may have arisen independently on suitable planets in other solar systems in this galaxy and in other solar systems in other galaxies. It may have also arisen long before it appeared here on Earth. If that is the case then what price human exceptionalism?

    As for microbes, we may have descended from something like them. If so then the humble microbe can indeed eventually give rise to beings that invent things, play music and explore the universe, and possibly did do long before we came along. There’s nothing except human hubris that says God had to start here.

  9. 9
    ET says:

    LoL! @ seversky! How does human exceptionalism go out the window if life anywhere originated independently than life on earth?

  10. 10
    Seversky says:

    Querius/6

    The good news for Severksy seems to be that if life actually exists on any other planet, it finally proves that humans are not exceptional,

    Exceptional in some ways but not others. Maybe no longer exceptional in the sense of being unique.

    God doesn’t exist,

    No, it doesn’t prove God does not exist. But we are still waiting to see compelling evidence that He does.

    …and that evolutionists no longer have to hide from the embarrassment that random accidents and billions of years apparently worked only on the Goldilocks planet, earth.

    There’s no embarrassment in not knowing what it is not yet possible to know. We are just beginning to detect planets around other stars but we are still a long way from having the science and technology which will enable us to detect any life that may exist on those planets. Give it time.

    Woohoo!

    Absolutely!

    Of course, how one arrives at any of these conclusions remains a mystery.

    I agree but they’re your conclusions not ours so you should ask yourself about them.

    If live microbes are ever retrieved from Venus, then regardless of whether they are inventors, play music, explore the universe, and make art or not, Darwinism can easily accommodate what’s discovered:

    Of course, it’s a broad church.

    2. If no actual microbes are discovered, it must be that Venus suffered from Global Warming and they all died out! This once again proves Darwinism.

    Not necessarily. They may have realized they were trashing their own planet through global warming and moved here. Maybe the Venusians started life on Earth, not God.

    3. If Microbes are discovered, but haven’t evolved, then they musta already evolved into a perfect match for their extremophile environment. This once again proves Darwinism.

    If they were perfectly fitted to their environment then why should they change?

    You can’t go wrong with Darwinism. It can’t actually predict anything, but it can explain everything!

    Tiktaalik.

  11. 11
    EugeneS says:

    4.

    or

    even 5. an error in the experiments/observations…

  12. 12
    Querius says:

    Seversky,

    Maybe the Venusians started life on Earth, not God.

    Welcome to the ID paradigm. 🙂

    -Q

  13. 13
    EDTA says:

    Life that originated independently of Earth: $0.00
    Life that arrived on Venus from Earth during the early formation of the planets: $100.00
    Life from comets that struck both planets: $0.00
    Not life; just an unusual chemical formation; or observational error: $900.00

  14. 14
    PaV says:

    4.

    We’ve seen this before. In the PR from Phys.Org one of the authors says this:

    “Finding phosphine on Venus was an unexpected bonus! The discovery raises many questions, such as how any organisms could survive. On Earth, some microbes can cope with up to about 5% of acid in their environment—but the clouds of Venus are almost entirely made of acid.”

    The atmosphere of Venus is so toxic that it is unimaginable that life could exist there, let alone develop there. More fake news.

  15. 15
    EugeneS says:

    ==Maybe the Venusians started life on Earth, not God.==

    Ready to believe in anything but God. Partiality itself 😉

  16. 16
    Truthfreedom says:

    10 Seversky

    We are just beginning to detect planets around other stars but we are still a long way from having the science and technology which will enable us to detect any life that may exist on those planets.

    First we need a clear and concise definition of what “life” is. Up until now, roughly 100 have been proposed and no consensus.

    Give it time.

    How much? More than the 50 years of massive failure to explain consciousness? The one thing with which we live every day and that according to your failed materialist paradigm is “an illusion”?
    Look, if you’re going to issue promissory notes, you need a solid foundation, not a wobbly, shaky one. Not to mention that according to your side, we are all going to go extinct due to “global warming”. Extinct monkeys can not gain knowledge about anything.

  17. 17
    EugeneS says:

    ==Give it time.==

    This sort of responses seem to be allowed in one direction only, i.e. against ID in favor of naturalism, despite the recent systematic materialist fiascos (of which the junk dna epic is just one). Just give us time…

    On the other hand, before it is considered a valid alternative, ID must present HERE and NOW a detailed account of when, who, how and, oh boy, even why

  18. 18
    Truthfreedom says:

    Chronos , we atheists worship you.

  19. 19
    JVL says:

    EugeneS: On the other hand, before it is considered a valid alternative, ID must present HERE and NOW a detailed account of when, who, how and, oh boy, even why…

    You have to admit, just saying: we think such and such was designed with no follow on work or elaboration is pretty underwhelming. If you can’t even say when design was implemented then what are you saying really? Aren’t you just creating more questions then you are answering?

  20. 20
    EDTA says:

    JVL,

    You have to admit, just saying: we think such and such was designed with no follow on work or elaboration is pretty underwhelming. If you can’t even say when design was implemented then what are you saying really? Aren’t you just creating more questions then you are answering?

    Yes, it would be more emotionally satisfying if there were more. But that by itself is not a mind-changer.

    Yes it creates more questions than it answers. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about mainstream science, it’s that you have to keep making work for yourself. 😎

  21. 21
    PaV says:

    JVL quotes:
    EugeneS: On the other hand, before it is considered a valid alternative, ID must present HERE and NOW a detailed account of when, who, how and, oh boy, even why…

    Before EVOLUTION is considered a “valid” theory, EVOLUTION “must present HERE and NOW a detailed account of when, . . . , how and, oh boy, even why…” cytochrome c was formed. Can it do this?

  22. 22
    Querius says:

    Science is moving toward a new paradigm that embraces emotional intelligence! What you do is focus your efforts on proving what you know just hasta be true . . . for you.

    Science now requires political relevance for publication in any reputable science journal. For example, a submission titled, Neurogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster has absolutely no chance of publication regardless of some dramatic breakthrough . . . BUT, if the submission were titled The Evolution of Neurogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster Negatively Impacted by Climate Change, it would be published with only cursory peer reviews, published immediately, and be cited a record number of times!

    I can’t begin to imagine what would happen to a paper titled, The Evolution of Neurogenesis in Privileged Variations of Drosophila melanogaster Negatively Impacted by Climate Change!

    -Q

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