No Life on Venus & Hambo Always Knew It

A few months ago there was a brief flurry of articles about the possibility that evidence had been found that there was life on Venus. A good example is this from PhysOrg: If there is life on Venus, how could it have got there? Origin of life experts explain. PhysOrg said:

The recent discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus is exciting, as it may serve as a potential sign of life (among other possible explanations). … Most phosphine in Earth’s atmosphere is produced by living microbes. So the possibility of life on Venus producing phosphine can’t be ignored.

But the researchers, led by UK astronomer Jane Greaves, say their discovery “is not robust evidence for life” on Venus. Rather, it’s evidence of “anomalous and unexplained chemistry,” of which biological processes are just one possible origin.

For a while, it was fun to speculate about what was going on, but we don’t think anyone got carried away by the possibility of life. Well, someone did, and now the tale can be told.

That someone is Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. At the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry, ol’ Hambo posted this today: Life Really, Really Not Discovered on Venus. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

It was only five months ago that headlines declared [Link omitted!] life had been discovered on Venus. The articles associated with the headlines were slightly more nuanced — signatures of life may have been discovered on the hot little planet second from the Sun. Only a month after, two separate studies [Link omitted!] argued with those conclusions, saying the “signature of life” (phosphine) wasn’t found in Venus.

All the while, ol’ Hambo must have been in a spiritual crisis. But then he got some good news. He says:

Well, now another study [Link omitted!] says phosphine was not found on Venus (saying it was sulfur dioxide). Amazing what five months can do! But because not finding evidence of life on Venus is not considered sensational, this new research didn’t make the headlines. So many people probably still believe the false headlines last year that implied evidence of life had been found on Venus.

Hambo is going to use his blog to set the record straight for all those confused people. He tells us:

Now, when the discovery was first made, we at Answers in Genesis were skeptical. Why? Because life on other planets is not something we expect when we start our thinking based on the Word of God, what it teaches about the uniqueness of earth, and it being created for life (while the heavens were created for signs and seasons and to bring glory to God). And, as further study has taken place, our skepticism is well founded.

Ooooooooooooh! Isn’t Hambo wonderful? He was right all along! Let’s read on:

Now, sometimes when Christians see headlines or studies that contradict God’s Word, or what we’d expect starting with God’s Word, they feel anxious and want an immediate answer to disprove the new study. Sometimes that answer is obvious or available right away — sometimes it isn’t, and we have to wait.

Skipping the words of wisdom Hambo learned from his father, he continues:

This is a reminder to parents to equip your kids to think foundationally — understanding God’s infallible Word, not fallible “science” using man’s wisdom — as the foundation for our thinking. [It’s the only way to think!] And to give them answers to the questions of our day (apologetics). But you likely won’t have an answer to every single question your children have or to every skeptical claim. Do your best to answer (you can find a bevy of resources at Answers in Genesis and at [Links omitted!] to equip you with answers), but, if you don’t have the answer (and we will never have all the answers, as we are finite human beings), don’t neglect to still point them back to the truth and authority of God’s Word as my father did.

That’s wonderful advice! He finishes with these inspiring words:

The Bible is true — eventually it will be vindicated, every single time. [Ooooooooooooh! It’s True!] As Isaiah says, “the Word of God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8). Ideas contrary to God’s Word will come and go, but the Word of God will remain forever. We can boldly put our confidence in God and in his true Word.

What’s true about Venus is true of Darwinism too, dear reader. Put your faith in Hambo. He’s never wrong!

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

23 responses to “No Life on Venus & Hambo Always Knew It

  1. The Economist magazine for Feb 13 has a four page article on astrobiology, as well as a “leader” ( editorial) “Thevsearch for ET may soon yield an answer”, and a review of Avi Loeb’s book “Extraterrestrial”, which considers the evidence for the object ‘Oumuamua being the product of intelligent life beyond the solar system.

  2. “The Bible is true — eventually it will be vindicated, every single time”
    Oh, so Galileo was wrong! Still waiting for science to catch up.

  3. @hans435
    I haven’t heard anything about the “Galileo Was Wrong” group for several years. Are they still active?

  4. Theodore J Lawry

    Standard models of solar system formation involved vast numbers of comets being kicked out of the solar system by the giant planets. Over billions of years those comet would reach and even pass close to other stars. Now we know from exoplanets that other solar systems exist, so comet from other stars should be passing near the sun. Astronomers used to be worried.

    A creationist, Wayne Spencer
    noted this in 2014 and quoted (correctly) some astronomers as saying “This lack of detections of extrasolar comets is becoming an embarrassment to the theories of solar system and cometary formation.” Spencer pointed out that “Such extrasolar comets, if they exist, would not have had time to cross space from nearby stars in a time frame of 6,000 years.” So a creationist did what science does all the time: he used his theory (God’s Word!) to make a prediction!

    When ‘Oumuamua was discovered, Spencer had the unpleasant task of explaining why his prediction was wrong. The
    best he could do was suggest that ‘Oumuamua “was simply supernaturally created out in interstellar space when the galaxy was created.” I call that dodge TGAP (Throwing God At the Problem). He did try to fight back a bit by writing “However modern theories have a problem with explaining why, if the galaxy and our solar system are billions of years old, is there is only one such object?” That was in April 2019, on August 30 of the same year, amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov discovered our second known interstellar visitor!

    The Word of God didn’t work so well on that occasion. Wonder what Ken Ham would say about that?

  5. @TomS
    No, it’s very quiet since 2014 when Robert Sungenis came out with his “The Principle” to prove geocentrism. Not even Ken Ham takes it that far.

  6. Dear Kennie: while it is probable that life may not exist on Venus, it is highly improbable that some form of life exists somewhere else in the universe, since it contains something like 10^22 or 10^23 stars, many of which have planets and some of those probably have environments similar to Earth’s, which produced life as we know it. You’re perfectly entitled to believe the mythology about the activities of whatever god you like, but the odds do not appear to be in your favor.

  7. abeastwood: Me, I think it’s far worse than the odds being against it. Ham says he believes that the entire Universe is nothing more than a timekeeping device for us, us alone; for we are the only created intelligence in the only life-bearing world in that Universe.

    The hubris inherent in that belief is so enormous that it quite takes my breath away. Never mind odds. This man is so swollen in pride that he is really willing to say that he is the focus and cause of a Universe so vast that his mind cannot begin to comprehend it.

    Hubris: pride so great as to offend the gods. One might wish that it could offend Ham’s God. Perhaps the fact that it apparently doesn’t is one more piece of evidence that Ham’s God doesn’t care – or, more likely, doesn’t exist.

  8. @Dave Luckett
    And great numbers of those objects are not detectable except by technology which is not available before the 20th century: radiotelescopes, space telescopes (the famous deep space pictures), gravitational wave detectors.

  9. Oh, smooth move, SC: on Valentine’s day you post something about Venus, the goddess of love.

    But to the larger point: Dave L refers to Ham’s view that “the entire Universe is nothing more than a timekeeping device for us, us alone; for we are the only created intelligence in the only life-bearing world in that Universe.” He points out the cosmic scale of Ham’s hubris. Amen.

    Also he destroys the conceit creationist engineers have that their Designer is an engineer just like them, except omnipotent. This could not be true. Engineers strive to design machinery using no more material than required for mechanical integrity and make it operate with no wasted motion. Yet if the purpose of all those black holes, nebulae, quasars, and galaxies full of stars, with vast streamers of gas connecting them, is only to keep time for certain organisms in a thin film of biotic scum on a cool blue speck lost in all that vastness, then the engineer who designed the mechanism is the most colossally inept example of the profession ever to exist.

  10. @TheoL: “I call that dodge TGAP (Throwing God At the Problem).”
    So what? This is at the core of all creacrap.

    “The Word of God didn’t work so well on that occasion. Wonder what Ken Ham would say about that?”
    In the first place in this specific case Ol’Hambo can safely rely on that solid creacrap method of making predictions with hindsight. In the second place, when it comes to extraterrestrial life, he safely bets that it won’t be found before he dies. So no problem for him.
    Never forget: creationists argue for a predetermined conclusion and hence don’t play according to scientific rules except when it suits them.

    @Abeastwood makes this error as well: “the odds do not appear to be in your favor”
    Do you really want to bet that extraterrestrial life will be found before Ol’Hambo dies?

    @DaveL nails it: “Hubris: pride so great as to offend the gods.”
    Yup. Ol’Hambo’s the fourth in line immediately after the Holy Trinity. As there are no gods and there is no cosmic justice either the safe bet is that he’ll get away with it too.

    @RetiredP: “certain organisms in a thin film of biotic scum on a cool blue speck lost in all that vastness ….”
    Yup again. In our days it’s science that teaches humility.

    “the engineer who designed the mechanism is the most colossally inept example of the profession ever to exist”
    Not according to creationist illogic. “The Heavens declare the Glory of God” is purpose enough. Checkmate, athiest! Creacrap always wins.

  11. FWIW, As I said at the time, if the phosphine turns out to be genuine, unknown chemistry is more likely than life on Venus

  12. @Retired Prof
    The concept of a designer, or engineer, or artist involves constraints involving the laws of nature. Necessity is the mother of invention.
    But the concept the Intelligent Designer involves agency which is not constrained by the laws of nature. The IDers are able to do things that material, physical or natural agents can’t do. (If the agents are gods, they are omnipotent, but at least they are super-natural. The arguments for their existence depend on there being things that cannot happen within the constraints of nature.)
    To describe a design involves specification of the rules that are followed. “Anything goes” does not describe a design.

  13. There is no way to explain how God could create the universe with the appearance of age without making him more than a little analogous to the trickster god of your choice.

  14. @JimRoberts
    And part of the problem is that God has created our ability to understand the world, as well as the way that the world fits that understanding. Young Earth Creationism needs that there be a mismatch of that fit.
    And then there is the argument from the Anthropic Principle, the Fine Tuning of the the parameters of physics. If there were even a small deviation. a few percent, from the speed of light or factors of radioactive decay, then life as we know it would not be possible. But Young Earth requires that those parameters are unreliable by orders of magnitude, factors of many thousands.

  15. Ah, JimR, but then there is always the ultimate cop out: Romans 11:33 – 36 reads “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”

    Trust me, you can’t beat creacrap.

  16. FrankB, I know the arguments. I used to help MAKE the arguments, until I realized that they were terrible, manipulative and deceitful, which meant that I was terrible, manipulative and deceitful and turned away from it. Now, I could provide you the verses you could use to counter that passage from Romans, should you care to but, as you say, you can’t actually win that conversation.

  17. @FrankB
    If the YEC just made their assertions, then of course one would recognize that there is no rebuttal.
    But they go beyond that, and make what look like appeals to reason. One can point out that as appeals to reason, as if they think that there is value in consistency, validity in argument, evidence; then they do not adhere to such values.

  18. Again old Hambone gets things wrong. His Big Book o’BS says that this world was created for US!!! And since evilution is wrong that life in general has nothing to do with it. So it would be possible for life on other planets and not violate his psychotic gawd’s word.
    But despite the Big Book o’BS if one is smart enough to look around the various nooks of this world, one would quickly realize that this world was created for the use of microbes as they are living everywhere and we are stuck on less than 10% of the planet.

  19. @JimR: “they were terrible, manipulative and deceitful”
    Exactly – this is part of the creacrap “method”.

    @TomS: “they do not adhere to such values”
    Exactly. I refer to my reply to JimR just above.
    Intellectual honesty (like JimR’s and yours, which is why you two hopefully take my comments as a compliment) loses to intellectual dishonesty. Reason doesn’t work well on the market place of ideas.
    One remedy is exposing their hypocrisy. Because what they want is to be taken seriously, so they build and foster an image of intellectual honesty. Many of them are possibly so good at it that they have convinced themselves that they are the good guys.

  20. L. Long
    There are something like 10^20 objects in the heavens which are beyond ordinary senses. One species of bacteria, Pelagibacter ubique may have 10^28 individuals. The Bible does not tell us anything about microbes, such as which of the six days was given to their creation.

  21. We won’t be posting anything today. A lack of news, plus a dinner appointment make posting impossible. Fear not, your Curmudgeon will be back on track tomorrow.

  22. Enjoy yourself and stay safe.

  23. How would Hambone know about life on Venus…WAS HE THERE????