Tiny amount of rare chemical found on Venus; it is NOT a sign of life

The coming dark age: Scientists today announced that they had detected a tiny amount of the rare chemical phosphine in the upper atmosphere of Venus, and immediately jumped to the absurd conclusion that this was a sign of life.

The international team, which includes researchers from the UK, US and Japan, estimates that phosphine exists in Venus’s clouds at a small concentration, only about twenty molecules in every billion. Following their observations, they ran calculations to see whether these amounts could come from natural non-biological processes on the planet. Some ideas included sunlight, minerals blown upwards from the surface, volcanoes, or lightning, but none of these could make anywhere near enough of it. These non-biological sources were found to make at most one ten thousandth of the amount of phosphine that the telescopes saw.

To create the observed quantity of phosphine (which consists of hydrogen and phosphorus) on Venus, terrestrial organisms would only need to work at about 10% of their maximum productivity, according to the team. Earth bacteria are known to make phosphine: they take up phosphate from minerals or biological material, add hydrogen, and ultimately expel phosphine. Any organisms on Venus will probably be very different to their Earth cousins, but they too could be the source of phosphine in the atmosphere.

To leap from finding twenty molecules out of a billion of a single rare chemical to claiming this is a sign of life is absurd. And yet, this is what these scientists do, in the European Space Agency (ESA) press release at the link above, as well as this Royal Astronomical Society press release.

This discovery is not giving us “a hint of life on Venus.” All these scientists have done is detect a chemical whose formation in Venus’ very alien environment is a mystery. Yes, on Earth this chemical comes from life related activities, but to claim that the presence of biology must explain it on Venus is not science, but witchcraft and the stuff of fantasy. We know practically nothing about the full make-up of Venus’ atmosphere, its chemistry and environment, which makes it impossible to hint at any theories, no less life.

The worst part of this is that we can expect our brainless media to run with these claims, without the slightest effort of incredulity.

We live in a world of make believe and made-up science. Data is no longer important, only the leaps of fantasy we can jump to based on the slimmest of facts. It was this desire to push theories rather than knowledge that locked humanity into a dark age for centuries during the Middle Ages. It is doing it again, now, and the proof is all around you, people like zombies and sheep, wearing masks based not on any proven science but on pure emotions.

Fake BBC report: Population to crash by end of century

Global fertility rate since 1950

No one is gonna be born! According to this garbage BBC report of a even more vapid science paper, the on-going decline in the fertility rate will cause the world’s population by the end of the century to shrink by about a billion, with some countries losing half their populations.

Falling fertility rates mean nearly every country could have shrinking populations by the end of the century. And 23 nations – including Spain and Japan – are expected to see their populations halve by 2100. Countries will also age dramatically, with as many people turning 80 as there are being born.

What is going on? The fertility rate – the average number of children a woman gives birth to – is falling. If the number falls below approximately 2.1, then the size of the population starts to fall. In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime.

Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation showed the global fertility rate nearly halved to 2.4 in 2017 – and their study, published in the Lancet, projects it will fall below 1.7 by 2100. As a result, the researchers expect the number of people on the planet to peak at 9.7 billion around 2064, before falling down to 8.8 billion by the end of the century. [emphasis mine]

The key word in the quote is highlighted. It is also illustrated in the graph above, taken from the BBC article but annotated by me to indicate the time period in red where we have absolutely no data at all, and no one really knows anything. While the decline in fertility since the 1960 is well documented, caused by prosperity and greater choices for women worldwide, the projections beyond 2017 are not worth the money that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation paid for it. Those projections are based on models, and from what I can tell, those models are more opinion that anything. We really can’t predict what is going to happen, because the factors that have caused the fertility decline in the past half century might simply not apply in the next eighty years.

In fact, based on the completely unexpected disaster that occurred this year because of the Wuhan virus panic and the possible fundamental changes, for the worse, that this panic will likely bring to worldwide culture, the prosperity that fueled the fertility drop in the past half century might vanish, bringing about changes that make any projections into the future pure guesswork.

In fact, these models are probably as useless and as wrong as the models used to predict that millions would die from COVID-19 in the first year. In fact, this model is likely comparable to most scientific models that attempt to predict the future. You have a better shot at guessing what will happen by looking at tea leaves.

The sad thing is that the BBC is still reporting on a model like this as if it were real data, and therefore must happen. You’d think they’d learn.

New study claims global warming caused 2015 spike in road deaths

This is why global warming activists have little credibility: A new study has concluded that global warming, not increased use of cell phones, caused the increased number of road deaths in 2015.

Combining government data for the 100 most densely-populated U.S. counties for miles driven, vehicle fatalities and weather, researcher Leon Robertson found that motorists clock up extra miles as temperatures and precipitation rates rose. When temperature rose by a degree Fahrenheit (0.5 Celsius), vehicles were driven an additional 60 miles (95 kms) per person over a year, Robertson said in the study, which was published in the academic journal Injury Prevention.

Using mathematical models, the retired Yale University epidemiologist also found that for every additional inch (2.5 cm) of rainfall, cars and trucks racked up an average of 66 more miles (105 kms) per motorist for a year. Hotter than normal outdoors temperatures likely accounted for most of the extra deaths in 2015, Robertson said.”If millions more people drive cars because the temperature is getting warmer … then that adds up to a lot of miles,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Mainly it’s a simple multiplication.”

Since road deaths apparently dropped in 2016, does this mean that global warming has ceased?

More Junk Science and Journalism

I can’t stand it. I just can’t stand it. It keeps happening and I just can’t stand it.

Yesterday there was this absurd short news piece posted on the website of the so-called journal Science, “Apollo astronauts much more likely to die from heart disease”. describing a research paper published by one of Nature’s side journals, Scientific Reports. Before I even looked at the story I said to myself, “How can they possibly come to that conclusion considering the tiny number of humans who have ever traveled beyond Earth orbit? The sample will simply be too small to allow for any such finding.”

Then I looked at the article and found my instincts confirmed. As Steve Milloy noted on his very aptly named website, Junk Science,

Yes, the result is based on a total of three (3) cases of heart disease deaths of out seven (7) Apollo astronauts. Past the vanishingly small sample size and even smaller number of cases, heart disease is a natural disease of aging and the Apollo lunar astronauts were 10 years older than the other comparison groups.

To put it more bluntly, this was a garbage piece of very bad science. While it was somewhat embarrassing for a Nature journal to publish it, it was far more disgraceful for the journal Science to highlight it. I, however, don’t have to join these two peer-review journals and participate in their stupidity, and thus I made no mention of the story on Behind the Black, because it is my policy to not waste much time on bad science, unless I think that bad science is going to have bad repercussions.

Well the bad repercussions have arrived. Since yesterday, the following so-called news organizations have run with this story, without the slightest indication that they have faintest understanding of science, statistics, or plain common sense:
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