[ExI] Alien Planet's Missing Methane Stumps Scientists

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 18 21:23:44 UTC 2010

Actually, my understanding is no one knows or has a rigorous theory of how life 
first originated -- even if it originated on Earth or wasn't a importation.

Regarding observational error, I'm not so sure. I don't know, for instance, if 
there's enough in the observations to rule out there being no methane. I'd give 
them the benefit of the doubt -- which is why I meantioned that the model used 
is likely off and only put the observation error comment as an afterthought.



----- Original Message ----
From: spike <spike66 at att.net>
To: swestrup at gmail.com; ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Sat, September 18, 2010 4:15:11 PM
Subject: Re: [ExI] Alien Planet's Missing Methane Stumps Scientists

> From: Stirling Westrup [mailto:swestrup at gmail.com] 
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Alien Planet's Missing Methane Stumps Scientists
> On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 12:46 PM, Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > 
> >
> > Okay. Totally off the wall speculation: ET harvested the methane and 
> > that's why it's missing. :)
> >
> > Of course, my guess is the cause is that the model used to predict 
> > abundance is wrong. Or there's some observational error.
> >
> I vote for alien chemistry. What we don't know about 
> chemistry under non-terrestrial conditions is huge... Stirling Westrup

Ja, I mostly dismiss the notion of observational error, but agree that we
don't know very well all the chemistry when the surface is over 500 degrees.
I am intrigued with the notion that some extremophile might have evolved
there and devoured the methane.  Recall that is pretty much what happened on
this planet: life originally evolved here in a reducing environment, rich in
methane and other organics.  The early plants and beasts devoured much of
that methane and the other *anes.  Then that crowd were later poisoned by
oxygen.  We are the freaks that escaped that poisonng event.

Wouldn't it be wicked cool if that's what is going on?




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