Terrible News for Creationists – Signs of Life on Another Planet

    By Rosa Rubicondior | 14 September 2020
    Rosa Rubicondior Blog

    This artistic impression depicts phosphine in the clouds of Venus. Credit: ESO (European Southern Observatory)

    Creationists have been putting all their eggs in one basket and telling their credulous dupes that the possibility of living organisms arising by natural processes on Earth are so low as to be impossible – so they should conclude that it must have been created by the Christian god exactly as the Bible says.

    Now it seems their egg basket may have been kicked over by science. Leaving aside the false dichotomy fallacy in their non sequitur of an argument, the discovery that there may be life in the atmosphere of Venus blows their big scary number tactic out of the water. If it could have happened on Venus it could happen on Earth.

    And they still face the prospect of signs of life, either now or in the past, in the soil of Mars and maybe in the waters on some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn!

    The announcement today (and rumoured now for several days) is that an international team led by Jane Greves of the School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, Wales, UK believe they have found evidence of phosphine in Venus’ atmosphere. Their paper announcing their discovery was published today in Nature Astronomy. Phosphine can only be produced in two ways – in special laboratories or by some species of anaerobic bacteria. So confident are scientists that this is the only way phosphine can be made that its presence is taken as a definitive indicator of the presence of living organisms. It is the tell-tale signature of life that astronomers looking for life on exoplanets try to detect.

    If their measurements are correct, because phosphine should be quickly destroyed by the highly acidic conditions in Venus atmosphere, the quantities the scientists detected suggest it is being replenished at least as fast as it is being destroyed, and this indicates actively metabolising organisms.

    What scientists will now do is try to explain the presence of phosphine some other way because science never takes any of its conclusions as definitive but they are always subject to review, revision and falsification. They will also scrutinise the methodology to see if it can be explained as an anomalous finding and they will try to replicate the method to see if they get the same result. In other words, they will try everything they can to falsify the finding scientifically.

    What creationists will now do is try to explain away the facts or ignore them altogether. Their tactics will include any or all of the following:

    • Attack the scientists and impugn their motives.
    • Attack the methods.
    • Lie and misrepresent the findings.
    • Perform intellectual and theological contortions such as claiming that God could have created life on Venus too, although they will need to fine tune their fallacious ‘fine-tuned’ argument considerably.
    • Claim the Bible prophesied it and it is entirely in line with what the Bible says. This may or may not involve giving new meanings to words or inserting ‘missing’ passages. (The Bible doesn’t mention bacteria or the atmosphere of Venus because there is nothing in the Bible that wasn’t known or believed (usually wrongly) by the Bronze Age people who made it up)
    • Ignore it altogether or dismiss the facts as ‘scientism’, therefore just an alternative ‘faith’ system, therefore wrong.
    • Dismiss it as ‘just a theory’ which no-one has ever witnessed happening, therefore mere ‘speculation’.
    • Try to project guilt onto those who mention it.

    What they won’t do is acknowledge that this refutes their ‘impossible abiogenesis’ argument and slams shut yet another gap in which they had tried to force-fit their favourite imaginary god. These will be interesting times and will reinforce the more paranoid conspiracy theorist creationists’ belief that science is trying to overthrow their superstition, so we can expect Satan to be invoked regularly as they try to come to terms with the loss of another of their favourite ‘gaps’.

    Rosa Rubicondior (a pseudonym) is a retired data analyst, biologist, blogger, author and atheist.

    Phosphine on Venus – Lead scientist Jane Greaves explains the discovery

    Possible signs of life found on Venus

    Life on Venus | National Geographic

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    1. Not for this creationist, as a Baha’i the belief in the existence of extraterrestrial life is actually part of the teachings of Baha’u’llah. He said in the late 19th Century: “Know thou that every fixed star hath its own planets, and every planet its own creatures, whose number no man can compute” http://www.bahai.org/r/070373527


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