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Comment Re:Sterile and shattered. (Score 1) 236

One thing we know for certain about at least some of the Galilean moons that due to the gravitational craziness of Jupiter and the big moons, these bodies are pretty damned dynamic. Io is probably the most geologically active body in the solar system, and while Europa's icy crust is fairly dull, a liquid ocean underneath suggests that it is very geologically active as well. I wonder with planets being that much closer to the star, and that much closer to each other, that the relatively low energy output of their star would be made up for by similar gravitational interplay, and being that much closer even though the star is very dim, there's still a lot of energy available. I don't think there's any kind of real proof forthcoming, but there seems a general view in scientific circles that where you have liquid water, organic material and energy, life may be an inevitability.

Comment Re:Overshadowed by systemic racism. (Score 2) 236

I can certainly understand why he is a pretty vile human being, but that doesn't going any distance towards defending him.

My honest view is that he has no sincerely held views. I think he just says things to piss people off, and has gathered together a following of young white men in their late teens and early twenties who think that it's really cool to be a repugnant bigot. I don't think that has anything to do with whether Milo was the victim of abuse as a child, and everything to do with the fact that he's an entertainer who has a following to immature and stupid to realize that he's playing them for laughs and giggles.

But even the further end of the conservative spectrum, while certainly happy to openly despise women and minorities, still have pedophilia as possibly their only remaining red line.

Comment Re:Echo-chamber fake news (Score 1) 403

That's a terrible fit of the data and the trend that Rei refers to isn't even that convincing. All that you can get from these data are that conditions at and above 66F were well-sampled and predominantly (though not entirely) associated with non-failure. There are nearly as many non-zero points above 66F as below. Drawing conclusions from sparse data, especially in retrospect, is silly and unscientific.

The plot you link to gives a ridiculously high weight to the sparsest data and deviates greatly from the best-sampled data. The page it's from seems to be down, but is his fit to any particular model or is it just a scary looking curve?

Comment Re:Sterile and shattered. (Score 1) 236

I remember playing a SciFi tabletop roleplaying game years ago that had a world generation system, and that one suggested that a tidally-locked world could have a "habitable zone" along the terminator, where temperatures were relatively moderate. I don't know how reasonable that is, since I would imagine that having half the planet's atmosphere at one temperature extreme and the other half at another could lead to some pretty extraordinary heat exchange, in the form of pretty brutal storms.

Comment Re:Sterile and shattered. (Score 4, Interesting) 236

I think that greatly depends. Without a strong magnetic field, the Earth would look a lot like Mars, with much of its ancient primordial atmosphere blown away. I can imagine if one or more of those planets do indeed have a strong magnetic field, then I don't see how it is improbable that they could not harbor life. At the moment, we can't even declare with a high degree of assurance that Mars does not host life.

Comment Re:Unlikely (Score 4, Insightful) 236

Well yes, much in the same way one infers the presence of a stream of electrons from an electrical charge or the Big Bang from the CMBR, relative proportions of hydrogen, helium and lithium in the Universe and the red-shift of distant galaxies. Even a particle accelerator like the LHC at CERN does not in fact directly image subatomic particles. For chrissakes, what you "see" isn't a raw image, but is heavily processed by your nervous system, beginning right at the retina itself, then by the optic nerve and then by visual centers in the brain. In other words, what you "see" isn't actually the photons that the physical structures of the eye captures.

Lots of science is inference, seeing as many phenomenon cannot be directly observed. If you're saying inference is somehow questionable, then you're basically calling all form of observation questionable.

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