Scientists Look For Tantalizing Evidence On Titan

There has been many articles on Titan concerning the Cassini spacecraft which has now made 68 flybys of Titan. Currently, 22 percent of Titan is mapped in radar and by the end of the mission in 2017, 50 percent will be mapped in radar. Even though it is known that Titan is a dead moon, it’s hard not to find an article concerning speculations on previous life there. However, William Bains of the Royal Astronomical Society doesn’t need evidence to tell UK astronomers of his convictions what he believes about life being on Titan.

“”Hollywood would have problems with these aliens” says Dr. Bains. “Beam one onto the Starship Enterprise and it would boil and then burst into flames, and the fumes would kill everyone in range. Even a tiny whiff of its breath would smell unbelievably horrible. But I think it is all the more interesting for that reason. Wouldn’t it be sad if the most alien things we found in the galaxy were just like us, but blue and with tails?”


“Dr Bains explained, “Terrestrial life uses about 700 molecules, but to find the right 700 there is reason to suppose that you need to be able to make 10 million or more. The issue is not how many molecules you can make, but whether you can make the collection you need to assemble a metabolism.”

Scientists getting their science from Hollywood movies and not even observing one ET but yet Dr Bains thinks he knows how many molecules it would take to create one. It’s like investigating the sun for life because it has protons and electrons (so-called building blocks for life). Great for storytelling, but not for true science. One of the things that is of great interest particularly to creationists is the age of Titan.

Titan’s atmosphere has been and still is undergoing irreversible processes which is a key to obtaining it’s real age. Methane irreversibly transforms into ethane and if there is no replenishment then the Methane would disappear! If Titan was 4.5 billion years old, observations of ethane should be a half mile thick over the moon! There are few craters which surprised scientists because of it’s assumed very old in the billion of years would indicate much more on the surface.  Evidence suggest Titan is not billions of years old but much younger. Looking for tantalizing evidence is one thing, but trying to find it is quite another.

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6 thoughts on “Scientists Look For Tantalizing Evidence On Titan

  1. Yet another post without an answer to these four outstanding questions:

    (1) Blog readership numbers

    (2) Your qualifications to discuss any scientific subject, in response to the challenge to Olorin.

    (3) A substantive review of Signature in the Cell, promised for August 2009.

    (4) Upson Downes outstanding question on mitochondrial Eve

    Michael, stop posting until you answer these questions first !

  2. Michael: “Scientists getting their science from Hollywood movies and not even observing one ET but yet Dr Bains thinks he knows how many molecules it would take to create one. ”

    More failures of basic reading comprehension.

    First failure. What Bains actually said was that an organism from Titan would not look anything like a Hollywood depiction. By what twist of logic do you convert this statement into “getting science from Hollywood”?

    Second failure. What Barnes actually said was that life on Earth uses about 700 molecules. He said nothing about how many would be required for an alien, on Titan or anywhere else.

    Two gross misunderstandings of a scientist’s remarks in a single sentence!

    This is typical of creationist reporting. We don’t even need to assess Michael’s science background here. His transparent distortions of fact are there for all to see.

    Reason #16 why people laugh at creationists.

  3. “We don’t even need to assess Michael’s science background here. His transparent distortions of fact are there for all to see.”

    I agree.

    But I want to see them nonetheless. He insisted on assessing others on the basis of their scientific qualifications, but refuses to reveal his own. It is pretty obvious he hasn’t any, but still. Do your part, Michael.

  4. We don’t need Michael’s creds tio assess the falsity of his statements.

    I agree that we still want to know those creds, in order to determine intent—whether Michael is ignorant or lying. Tough choice, eh, Michael?

    Also, creds might give us a better picture as to when he’s plagiarizing the work of others without attribution.

  5. GRASPING AT STRAWS DEPARTMENT

    Titan’s atmosphere has been and still is undergoing irreversible processes which is a key to obtaining it’s real age. Methane irreversibly transforms into ethane and if there is no replenishment then the Methane would disappear!.

    Let’s suppose, just for the sake of argument, that all of Michael’s assumptions are correct here.

    His object in making this statement is to show an age of life, the universe and everything somewhat on the south side of 10,000 years.

    So, if Titan’s methane is being irreversibly converted into ethane and other hydrocarbons, how long would it take to significantly lower the quantity of methane in Titan’s atmosphere? Just to stack the odds even more in Michael’s favor, let’s suppose that no methane enters the atmosphere from Titan’ interior.

    Given a few calculations on the mass of Titan, the estimates fraction of methane, the percentage of methane in the atmosphere (rather low, by the way; about 1.4%),[1] and the conversion of methane to ethane or other hydrocarbons (by ultraviolet light from the sun—a slow process that occurs only in the upper atmosphere), we arrive at a number—

    Ready? Given the most favorable assumptions to Michael’s position, THE AGE OF TITAN IS 50 MILLION YEARS.[2] Thus exceeding the creationist time limit by A FACTOR OF 5,000.

    Of course, the assumptions above have been shown to be incorrect. Vast quantities of methane exist on Titan’s surface,[3] and methane outgasses from the interior..[4] And, of course, Michael makes the creationist assumption that everything that is happening today has been happening since the beginning of time.[5]

    Oh, I almost forgot—if microbial life is present on Titan, it would probably be methane-based, and therefore regenerate the atmospheric methane..

    .

    OK, Michael. Get out the shoulder-mounted refutation rocket and fire away. Oh. Sorry. That’s a pea shooter in your hand.

    ===================

    [1] Coustenis, Athéna and Taylor, F. W. Titan: Exploring an Earthlike World. (World Scientific Publishing, 2008),. pp. 154–155.

    [2] Sushil K. Atreyaa, Elena Y. Adamsa, Hasso B. Niemann et al. (2006). “Titan’s methane cycle”. Planetary and Space Science 54 (12): 1177. (2006);

    [3] Stofan, E. R. et al. (2007). “The lakes of Titan.”. Nature 445 (7123): 61–4.(2007)

    [4] Tobie, Gabriel; Lunine, Jonathan and Sotin, Cristophe . “Episodic outgassing as the origin of atmospheric methane on Titan”. Nature 440 (7080): 61–64. (2006)

    [5] This is deliciously ironic, because the entire basis of creationist Flood geology is catastrophism—that what happens today DID NOT always happen in the past. Such as sedimentation rates, radioisotope decay, fossil formation, and so forth. Oh well.

  6. Well, Michael’s refutation didn’t get out of the starting blocks.

    He’s off to a new subject—two new subjects, in fact. He must be in a hurry to bury this one.

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