Researchers: The findings are likely a disappointment for the Venus research community, which was invigorated last September by the discovery of phosphine, a compound made of atoms of phosphorus and hydrogen that on Earth can be associated with living organisms, in Venus’ atmosphere. At that time, researchers suggested the phosphines may be produced by microorganisms residing in those clouds.
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.”
Ethan Siegel at Forbes: “a new study has just been submitted that calls the entire detection into doubt.”
Of course, there’s the detail of actually finding any extraterrestrial life forms before we all fight viciously for the right to represent them as their agents and, if they are intelligent (but not especially so) get them to sign long-term contracts … 😉
The article offers lots of interesting stuff about how life forms could possibly survive in the clouds of Venus. There are several plans in the works for probes.
A friend notes that, to judge from the Abstract, the way they reasoned the matter sounds like design theorist William Dembski’s explanatory filter.