Posts Tagged ‘Earth’

March For Science, Humanity, Sawing From Saturn.

April 23, 2017

Nietzsche “made philosophy with a hammer”. Yet science was always made with a saw, literally cutting, and not just through crap:

Today is “Earth Day”, in the USA, the most significant country, at least in the sense of most polluting, per capita (except for critters such as some emirates, Canada and Australia). Self-admiring herds of hollier-than-thou posers proclaimed the “March For Science”. Those herds marching around the US, with herbivorous intelligence, claim science is in danger. I agree, there is never enough science. 

Ironically, it is the ability to make distinctions which is in primordial danger. The inability to make distinctions proliferates in the rabidly anti-Trump, and PC crowd which tends to be marching quite a bit these days, flaunting its rage, and lack of foresight. Yet the “March for Science” is not per se anti-Trump (although the censoring, manipulative and partisan New York Times claimed it was).

Political Correctness certainly rests on the false pretense of not making distinction between being right, and feeling good. PC is driven by moods, not careful, painstaking analysis, and this is fundamentally anti-science. No distinctions, no science. (But certainly plenty of racism, tribalism, nationalism, fanaticism.) As we will see.

Marching is good, science even better. Without science there is no humanity. Literally and figuratively. Science is not a choice humanity makes, but its essence..

Humanity colonized the planet, and is now colonizing the Solar System. Colonizing: that’s what humanity not just does, but is. Starting 50,000 years ago, humanity colonized Oceania. Actually all of planet Earth, and its oceans were conquered from very small human populations. (In a very complicated spatio-temporal pattern, with select interbreeding of long isolated populations.)

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Forecasts are that, thanks to automation, robots, Artificial Intelligence, 60 million jobs will be lost in the USA within 20 years. The solution? More science. More scientists, and artists. More high level science and other high level creative jobs. As robots crawl all over, creative thinking will be needed more than ever. For example, the mathematician of the future will coach her office AI into producing thousands of theorems, after tweaking some axiom(s). And then she will ponder how useful, or pretty, those theorems produced by the AI, look.

Homo SAPIENS, comes from Latin sapientem (nominative sapiens), present participle of sapere “to taste, have taste, be wise”. Homo Sapiens is a creature of wealth and taste. Wealth from capital, even simple obsidian blades and fire cages. 

Very pale tiny blueish dot: Earth as seen from between Saturn Mighty Rings. Shot By Cassini, April 12, 2017

Cassini/Huygens is the NASA/ESA robot sent to the Saturn system, nearly 20 years ago. It established the nature of Titan’s atmosphere and surface, and that life could exist on Enceladus. Enceladus has plenty of water and hydrocarbon molecules. Now, after using Titan to change its orbit completely, thanks to five close encounter with the mighty satellite, from various position, Cassini has switched to a semi polar orbit which allows it to squeeze between the giant planet and her rings.  In case it would collide with a grain of sand, or ice, the nuclear-powered spacecraft is advancing antenna first, using it as a shield.

Cassini was a Savoy-Italian-French astronomer, born in Nice (where now Islamist immigrants kill people by the dozens, in the name of the “Islamist State”). Cassini was first to find the Cassini division of Saturn rings and was the first to measure (using a 220 feet high church roof to set-up a camera obscura, with agreement of clerics) the diameter of the Sun. The diameter of the Sun was found to vary on the ground of the church during the year, as predicted by Kepler’s ellipse theory of planetary orbits. Cassini helped set-up the Paris observatory, and worked as an astronomer under a Louis XIV grant, for the last 43 years of his life. His son succeeded him as astronomer and geodesist (measuring the Earth).

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Why does humanity need taste? To be able to distinguish: The word “Science” appears in mid fourteenth century English meaning “what is known, knowledge (of something) acquired by study; information;” also “assurance of knowledge, certitude, certainty,” from Old French science “knowledge, learning, application; corpus of human knowledge“.

In the twelfth century, the French, having the taste for simplifying the lives of their lips, transformed the Latin scientia “knowledge, a knowing; expertness,” from sciens (genitive scientis) “intelligent, skilled,” into something easier to pronounce (most of French is simplified Latin pronunciation… and grammar).

The original Latin “scientia” is the present participle of scire “to know,” probably originally “to separate one thing from another, to distinguish,” related to scindere “to cut, divide,” from Proto Indo-European root *skei- “to cut, to split”. In French : “scier” (to saw). This is the source also of Greek skhizein “to split, rend, cleave,” Gothic skaidan, Old English sceadan “to divide, separate;” itself related to schizo…

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Want to Save The Earth? Institute a Carbon Tax!

Trump came out with a pro-science and pro-Earth statements, so the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd will punch the air, once again. Right Trump at some point was one way, and at other points, the other. Trump and three of his children signed a  2009 letter to President Barack Obama calling for a global climate deal. “We support your effort to ensure meaningful and effective measures to control climate change, an immediate challenge facing the United States and the world today,” That was before Trump discovered, as I did to my sorrow, that Obama’s aspiring mood seems to have bee that of one of these Kenyan boys helping the big white masters of international finance, in a typical picture of colonial Kenya.

Later the weather got cold when Trump was trying to golf, or enjoy balmy weather in Los Angeles, and he called global warming a hoax. Nobody seems to have shown him the graph of the deep ocean temperature, steadily going up.

“My Administration is committed to keeping our air and water clean, to preserving our forests, lakes, and open spaces, and to protecting endangered species.” Trump’s statement added that environmental protection should not come at a cost to working families, and that the White House was focused on “reducing unnecessary burdens” on American workers while working to protect the environment.

Trump insisted that his administration would work to achieve the “twin goals” of environmental health and American economic growth, noting that “we should remember that rigorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate… Today on Earth Day, we celebrate our beautiful forests, lakes and land. We stand committed to preserving the natural beauty of our nation.”

Beauty of Earth too. Earth Moon from Saturn: We Are Nothing Much! We Are Nothing Much! Hanging onto precious little! Care for our small blue home by making the Solar System into a more human park, there is lots of space!

Thus the usual sea of words from the US government, same as all the ones before. For 24 years, three US administrations, preciously nothing important has been done to reduce the CO2 crisis, at the US government level (whereas all European government, including fossil fuel wealthy Norway, put a 400% tax on fossil fuels).

So far, for the USA, it has been mostly words (the gasoline tax established by Eisenhower, as many good, effective, progressive things, was not really indexed on inflation, and has become ever more irrelevant). All most of the significant progress done in the US was from scientific and technological advances to which the government contributed only indirectly. For example the government contributed to PhotoVoltaic (PV) research. PV is changing the world: by 2020, the total Earth PV production will be at least 500 Gigawatts (500 standard nuclear reactors).

Human technology is improving ever more. The tech found in the 20-year-old  Cassini/Huyghens is already amazing. And we are much further. But weneed to accelerate, lest we perish. Here are the “Grand Finale” orbits of Cassini, after having used Titan’s attraction to get a completely different set of orbits.

Beauty of Earth too. Earth Moon from Saturn: We Are Nothing Much! We Are Nothing Much! Hanging onto precious little! Care for our small blue home by making the Solar System into a more human park, there is lots of space!

There is only one policy which can seriously help: a carbon tax. Or more exactly a GreenHouse Gas tax, a GHG tax. It does not have to be punitive, vengeful. Just compute the damage particular emissions cause to the Earth, consider those to be part of their cost, and require the perpetrator to pay for that damage they cause. Those who march together, bleating together about supporting Earth, are finding all too much comfort in their lack of data gathering, thought, and will. If they want to save earth that much, they should campaign for a GreenHouse Gas tax. A GHG tax. The more GHG is used in making a product, including produce, flowers, air travel and  ship transport, the more it should be taxed (the WTO authorizes this sort of tax, at any level… while limiting other taxes at 3%. So a 35% GHG tax is WTO, and UN legal! Installing it would dramatically favor the non-carbon energy production, from PV to electric hydrogen cargo ships pulled by sails or kites…)

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Of The Ecological Hypocrisy Of The Obamas, Oprah, Springsteen, and their ilk:

Obama is great leader of the hollier-than-thou, we-don’t-need-to-think-too-hard, as long as it looks good on TV, crowd. Obama is widely and wildly admired, by the PC throngs. Although my flesh and blood friend, he was captured by the establishment, even before he became president. Much of the rage against Trump is actually subconsciously displaced from a severely suppressed, denied rage, against Obama, changing mirage! This all needs some fresh air.

Obama sold Federal coal, one of the highest quality low sulfur coal on the entire Earth, for 20% of its real environmental cost. That in turn depressed coal prices everywhere. But don’t worry: last week, the Obamas were in Tahiti, and Moorea, on a plutocrat’s 140 meter super yacht, celebrating the sucking dummies who vote “democratic”, and want to save the Earth. The Obamas were celebrating Earth Day their way, polluting massively, for all to see, with Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, David Geffen. After an incredible performance in not appearing to be what they really are, the Obamas have revealed to be some of the greatest stage artists, and deserve to share in the .001% lifestyle. 

What will Trump do about the climate disaster? We don’t know (all the noisy measures he took so far are devoid of much impact, they satisfy the deniers, but that’s it). I advise a massive carbon tax, as usual.

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One has to take decisions, to make distinctions: Considering the danger of Earth’s microbes spreading to Enceladus’ water ocean, or Titan hydrocarbon atmosphere, the decision was taken to crash Cassini into Saturn, where it will burn up. (Maybe Earthly microbes will survive and thrive in Saturn clouds, oops, haha…)

Yes, there is a dark side to colonization, including space colonization, and there is a dark side even to cognition itself. But not to worry: our species is fully equipped to handle the Dark Side, with a determined smile! That’s part of our charm.

Patrice Ayme’

Trumped By Jurassic Climate Nonlinearly Erupting

November 19, 2016

Trump is climate skeptic, it is said, but the climate is not skeptic about Trump. Humanity is the crew, and Earth the spaceship. Trump is now in charge, if anybody is in charge, after eight years of … boyhood. It’s supposed to be a racial insult, I learned. But question: where is the insult, when a 47-year-old (age of Obama when he was sworn in) is supposed to lead the planet, knowing what few other know (as Joe Biden reminded us this week).

Obama went to Germany, and sang the praises of Angela Merkel, her wisdom, etc. Arguably, however, Merkel has been disastrous: her austerity policy, combined with her refusal to support France militarily in a significant way, by re-establishing peace in Syria, manu military, has brought more than one million refugees to Germany, and a near economic and political collapse of Europe (think Brexit, exodus from Portugal, etc.)

All what Obama knows is that his financial sponsors and paymasters tell him austerity is great, Quantitative Easing is great, inequality is great, but we can live with it, etc. 

Spectacular Heat Is On Where It Hurts Most: The High Arctic

Spectacular Heat Is On Where It Hurts Most: The High Arctic. November 2016.

Meanwhile, Earth’s climate is acting up. The temperature in the Arctic is way above normal. A full twenty degrees Celsius above normal (that’s 36 degrees F above normal). As a result, ice is having a problem forming. Should the situation perdure until the sun starts shining again above the Arctic, a complete disappearance of sea ice, comes next summer, is imaginable… Sea ice levels in at the North Pole are at a record low, by a long shot.

Planetary climate is self-regulating… Except if pushed too far. Planetary climate consists in several entangled machines. The overall climate pattern in place in the last three million years is a Carnot engine, with a heat source, the tropic, and a cold sink, the poles.

Right now, the poles are still very cold, but more energy has been pumped into the tropics, from the increasing greenhouse (what’s called “climate forcing”, 60% due to COE, 17% due to CH4, and the rest completely from man-made gases like NOx). Thus the climate engine is roaring more than ever (it gets more efficient, from an equation Carnot discovered nearly two centuries ago). An effect, as I predicted long ago, is that more energy will be stored dynamically (jet stream twisted all over) and potentially (high and low pressure systems both more so).

This is what we observe.

How will it evolve? Among the entangled machinery, some is (still) dormant: fabulous quantities of methane are locked in a sort of ice in medium depth sea floor, and more in the tundra. Should those be released, the temperature of the planet would go up five degrees Celsius nearly instantaneously, and, in turn, huge quantities of CO2 locked in the northern latitudes would be released.

Once the latter happens (it’s more a question of when, not if, barring vast technological advances), Earth would go back to Jurassic conditions nearly instantaneously.  

What can one do? First have everybody understand the danger. Differently from the dinosaurs, or the mammals who lived under them, we have the means to understand and act.

Obama had as National Security Adviser a politically, dynastically connected woman, with lots of stocks and connections, but not a warrior. Trump just selected as National Security adviser a four (no, three, thanks Richard Reinhofer!) star Lieutenant General, Michael Flynn. Flynn, ex head of the Delta Force, became Director Army Intelligence in 2012 (however, Obama never met with him, and fired him for being too tough about Radical Islamism). That’s a rational choice. Flynn is a “registered Democrat” (that is, not GOP).

The general considers “RATIONAL” to be afraid of Islam. And then recommended to propagate that message, because rationality is not afraid (OK, agreed, Flynn made the mistake of saying “afraid of Muslims” instead, as he should have, “afraid of Islam”.)

General Flynn ✔@GenFlynn

Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL: please forward this to others: the truth fears no questions... http://youtu.be/tJnW8HRHLLw

5:14 PM – 26 Feb 2016 Or this:@FieldofFight Obama and Hillary’s Refusal to Name Radical Islamic Terrorism: Aiming to ‘Dumb Us Down’ – Breitbart

As the New York Times puts it: “General Flynn…sees the United States as facing a singular, overarching threat that can be described in only one way: “radical Islamic terrorism. All else is secondary for General Flynn, and any other description of the threat is “the worst kind of political correctness,” he said in an interview three weeks before the election.

Islamist militancy poses an existential threat on a global scale, and the Muslim faith itself is the source of the problem, he said, describing it as a political ideology, not a religion. He has even at times gone so far as to call it a cancer.

For General Flynn, the election of Mr. Trump represents an astounding career turnaround. Once counted among the most respected military officers of his generation, General Flynn was fired after serving only two years as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He then re-emerged as a vociferous critic of a Washington elite that he contended could not even properly identify the real enemy — radical Islam, that is — never mind figure out how to defeat it.”

I have argued that Literal Islam is totally incompatible with civilization. And the best proof is that what was long the world’s richest area, the Middle East (including the Fertile Crescent, Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia) became one of the poorest.

Clearly the voters agreed (Trump destroyed the famed “Blue Wall” of states Democrats thought were secured, and thus got a large Electoral College victory).

Islam, a savage-from-the-desert Middle Age system of thoughts and moods is nothing much, a self-destructive obsession. However, as it has invaded the Western psyche, it has become a distracting cancer. To handle the serious problems, like the planet blowing up, we have to reduce this sort of maddening distractions. Nor can we talk falsely about Islam, while talking truly about the climate. The mood of telling the truth has to be global. Irreverential. The Obama administration and its poodle regimes (Merkel, France, etc.) have been talking falsely not just about Islam, but also about economics, society, globalocracy, plutocracy, taxes, taxes on the wealthiest, corporate fascism, dark money, etc.

They talked falsely about Islam, precisely because the Obama adminstration, and the Deep State

Obama, talking at Der Spiegel: “Many people who voted for me, voted for Trump… I think that’s indicative that there is some impulse towards some sort of change, politicans have to be more sensitive to the desire for change.” where have you been my lost son? Obama sounds increasingly like Sleeping Beauty waking up after eight years’ slumber…

In any case, Trump is telling the truth about Islam, or even Mexicans (“terrific people”). Let’s keep truth momentum. Trump seems willing to replace wishful thinking by rationality (just as the pivot to Russia, however worrisome and potentially dangerous it is, is better than Obama’s boiled noodle opposition).

Meanwhile, there is little doubt that the climate has started to act nonlinearly.  It will be rational to also act even more nonlinearly in return.

Patrice Ayme’

Where Is Everybody?

September 22, 2015

Where Is Everybody? This is the question Enrico Fermi asked in the 1950s, referring to the little green men who were supposed to inhabit the galaxy. This question is still with us. Efforts have been made to search for extraterrestrial life. Science Fiction books are full of worlds peopled by clever creatures.

It would be reassuring to know that the galaxy is full of clever creatures. After all, if we, human beings disappeared, well, we were just not good enough, no big deal: those out there, better than us, would pursue the mission we are named after, wisdom (sapiens in Latin).

Yet I see plenty of reasons why Earth’s advanced biosphere is unique. I go even further. In my opinion, the fact Earth has a radioactive, high density metallic core is crucial. I will reinforce this argument today (in light of just published research).

Weirder Planets Than We Ever Imagined Are Out There. Yet, Weirdest Of Them All Could Be The Earth

Weirder Planets Than We Ever Imagined Are Out There. Yet, Weirdest Of Them All Could Be The Earth

Fermi, Nobel for discovering the neutrino (“little neutron” in Italian), discovered the Fermi principle and statistics (which posits that matter does not collapse because Fermions refuse to be in the same “state” in the same place at the same time). Fermi, who had fled from fascist Italy, was also the scientific head of the Manhattan project.

Fermi was both a theoretician and an experimentalist. Thus immensely clever, but yet down to earth. He obviously found that the obvious absence of civilization out there in space was a striking fact. And it is.

The idea that the stars had little Earths orbiting them, graced with little green men, with their own little green Christs, came all the way back to another Italian, Giordano Bruno. Bruno had lectured in universities around Europe, and was a friar. However, to suggest the world was not exactly as Christianism described it, was a capital crime in places ruled by Christianism.

To punish Bruno’s mental exuberance, the Vatican imprisoned and tortured him for seven years. Then the Vatican and its horrid Fundamentalist Jihadists stripped Bruno naked, pierced his palate with iron (so that he could not address the public), and burned him alive after he refused to submit to infamy. I am still waiting for the excuses from the institution at fault, the world’s oldest, the Catholic Church.

Yet, although he was a genius, Bruno was probably wrong about the little green men. Why? Where is everybody? Indeed. I argued that the nuclear reactor at Earth’s core has been crucial for plate tectonics, and preserving Earth from the runaway greenhouse which destroyed venus as a potential biosphere. I even argued that said nuclear reactor may have generated the Moon, by far the largest satellite in the Solar System relatively to the size of the planet it orbits around. (The Moon is larger than Jupiter’s third largest satellite, Europa.)

To generate a large radioactive core to a planet, one needs, first of all, metals. Actually metals enable to make very complicated molecules central to the wealth of biology. Hemoglobin carries iron which is used to transport oxygen.

Where do metals come from? Supernovae.

Which type of planets do we expect to observe in the Habitable Zone?

Vardan Adibekyan, Pedro Figueira, Nuno C. Santos

(Submitted on 8 Sep 2015)

“We used a sample of super-Earth-like planets detected by the Doppler spectroscopy and transit techniques to explore the dependence of orbital parameters of the planets on the metallicity of their host stars. We confirm the previous results that super-Earths orbiting around metal-rich stars are not observed to be as distant from their host stars as we observe their metal-poor counterparts to be. The orbits of these super-Earths with metal-rich hosts usually do not reach into the Habitable Zone (HZ), keeping them very hot and inhabitable. We found that most of the known planets in the HZ are orbiting their GK-type hosts which are metal-poor. The metal-poor nature of planets in the HZ suggests a high Mg abundance relative to Si and high Si abundance relative to Fe. These results lead us to speculate that HZ planets might be more frequent in the ancient Galaxy and had compositions different from that of our Earth.”

So the (empirical) argument is that, if a planet has metal content similar to Earth, it orbits so close to its parent star that it will be too hot for life. Reciprocally, planets which orbit in the Habitable Zone are found to be metal poor.

Planets are built from the same elements as their stars. Most of the properties of planets of different types strongly depend on their host stars’ chemistry, and chemistry varies. It seems Habitable Zone planets were formed long ago. After supernovae formed and exploded, spewing heavy metals such as Iron and Uranium, second generation stars such as the Sun formed, and were metal rich. However, the observations on hundreds of planets tend to show that metal-rich stars like our sun have large rocky planets wrapped in huge gaseous envelopes (caveat: it may still be a bit of a statistical fluke, at this point!).

If not a fluke (and that’s a big if), it gives a new reason to doubt that Earth-like planets are frequent in the galaxy: I argued that not just metal, but the very heaviest metals, the ones which have such large nuclei that they fission, are indispensable for life. Now it turns out that Earth orbits a metal rich star, but at a respectable distance.

So it may well be that Earth is a very special case. Maybe some day the Galactic Human Empire will be able to colonize habitable planets in various Habitable Zones, because thanks to human technology, humans, or, rather, transhumans, will capable of synthesizing metals, as needed (one could do this, if one had a mastery of accelerator technology to fine-tuned nuclear fusion as needed).

Philosophically, this rarity of Earth’s circumstances tells us, once again, that life is more precious that we ever imagined. It’s not just our unborn great grandchildren who will suffer from the holocaust of the biosphere we are engaged in. It’s the universe itself, because we may well be that unique.

Patrice Ayme’

Juicy Planets

August 15, 2015

This is the one thousandth essay on this site. Let’s celebrate with a whiff of optimism. We found, for sure, three habitable planets. Close-by. And maybe four. Or five. Europa, Callisto, Ganymede, and Enceladus. They are all in the Solar System. Why habitable? Because they all have liquid water.

And massive quantities of it. Europa’s ocean seems greater in volume than Earth’s… by a long shot. Ganymede’s ocean maybe 800 kilometers deep… This is astronomy, in full, with its proverbial astronomical numbers.

Juicy Planets In The Habitable Zone

Juicy Planets In The Habitable Zone

The total land area of Earth’s continents is 148,647,000 square kilometers (57,393,000 sq mi), or 29.1% of Earth’s surface. This is just a tiny bit larger than Mars’ total area (145 million square kilometers). Mars has lots of water. However, except for (rock covered) glaciers and ice caps, most of it is ice mixed with the soil.

It is welcome news that planetary bodies close-by have plenty of water, and land. Europa’s land area is 30 million square kilometers. Ganymede is 87, and Callisto 73 million square kilometers. Thus the total land area of water loaded Jupiter satellites is 190 million square kilometers, much larger than the grand total of Earth’s continents. That’s plenty of room for human civilization to expand into.

As I related, civilizations come and go, and one of the main mechanisms, if not the main mechanism, has to do with the entangled exhaustion of increasingly impotent technology and waning resources. This is fully in evidence now in our case: although not all resources are exhausted, yet, others are exhausting: the CO2 pollution, and similar, entangled crises, have reached the stage of a mass extinction.

A race is engaged between the deployment of more renewable energy and multiple singularities from pollution and resource exhaustion.

Once, when still a child, I met a poet and philosopher from a family of poets and philosophers. He read some poems. I was impressed. The conversation, though, turned to space exploration. My youthful enthusiasm was quickly dashed. The poet told me that space would not help humanity’s problems. Actually throwing money at space prevented to feed children, he opined. Walking on the Moon was mostly a folly darkly connected to imperialism, colonialism, materialism, nihilism.

As a teen, but a teen experienced from having lived in Africa most of my life, who had endured through wars and coups d’état, I doubted the wisdom of the poet. (When I was 11 years old, I made a sing-song about a coup d’état enfolding in the African country in which I lived. Retrospectively strange…)

I knew very well that there are monsters out there. But then, again, I also knew monsters, properly handled, could learn to behave properly. A leopard entered an open hut I was sleeping in, and walked out (don’t ask me about what I view as my parents’ irresponsibility: there was just another child in that hut, smack dab in the center of a national park, full of panthers). I once walked around a bend on a dirt road, in the same national park, to find a lion spread all across said road, looking at me calmly. I did not panic, and respected away.  

Differently from the European poet, I knew the world was richer than just a zero sum (where what you put in is what you get out). I knew starvation was entirely due to war. If you don’t want children to starve, the first thing needed is a strong stater, with a constitution centered on human rights (instead of the Catholic or Islamist creeds).

As it turned out, in its rush to the Moon, and Mars, as ordered by its Guide (USA president JFK), NASA and its Nazi engineers, helped develop plenty of new technologies, from fuel cells to solar panels. Now Photo Voltaic Solar energy is, with wind turbines, the cheapest, safest form of energy (fossil fuels get more than 5 trillion dollars of subsidies, each year). In a way PV solar energy is feeding the world, and saving it too, being non polluting. Solar PV arose in space, to feed satellites with electricity.

To this day PV energy panels used in space are much more efficient than any used on the ground (but also much more expensive, as they use different very expensive materials). The research goes on: the requirements of space did not just bring Teflon.  The technological push impelled by space exploration keeps on going. The giant infrared telescope NASA wants to launch (with an Ariane V rocket!) has been delayed for years by setbacks while developing new technology to make it possible. Engineers have perfected the efficiency of space probes and solar PV, to do away with plutonium to energize them.

Far from being weird and unusual, expanding human civilization throughout the Solar System is the most conservative behavior to behold.

It’s revolutionary in the sense of evolving again, as we used to.

Indeed, how did our species arise? Our family, hominidae, arose from a separation from chimpanzee like ancestors. Basically, our distant ancestors were motivated enough to come down from the trees and imitate baboons (giant or not), and conquer the savanna. Giant baboons, who could weigh up to 200 kilograms, and stand two meter tall, besides being extremely dangerous, were probably an inspiration, as they dominated the savanna-park.

Conquering new land, and new environments, is what our species does. Our species shipped to Australia in prehistoric times, and conquered the Americas, and the Arctic, also in prehistoric times.

Now the juicy planets of Jupiter beckon. This summer, Europe attributed to Airbus the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE), to launch in 2022, and NASA announced that its “Europa Clipper” mission was feasible. It will “clip” Europa’s atmosphere 45 times, to analyze it for organic materials.

Some may object that, before we conquer space, we could conquer the oceans. It seems an obvious extension from swimming. However, going to space means a difference of one atmosphere of pressure, just as going down ten meters in water. Going down in the ocean at its average depth, 6,000 meters, means 600 atmospheres of pressure, a much greater challenge than the one and only one of pressure difference space requires.

With present technology, extrapolated a bit, Earth’s life could be implanted in these icy moons of Jupiter, one way, or another. It’s imaginable that present day life, recently discovered 850 kilometers from the lighted ocean, under Antarctica’s ice shelves, could survive in Europa’s ocean.

And it will need to. It’s not just a question of our nature, and respecting it. Or of our tradition, Charles Quint’s “Plus Oultre”, and respecting them. It’s a precaution. We are using Earth far beyond sustainability. Yet, out there, in proximal space, lays in waiting another 230% worth of the entire land area of Earth, complete with abundant water.

After 1,000 essays on this site (and more on Tyranosopher.com), what’s the obvious verdict?

If you want to be popular, write about simple things, for simple people, in the most simple fashion. Cats, witchcraft, celebrities, flowers, home remedies, and logic for the mentally underperforming. People want to forget about their condition: those who are going to die do not salute me.

Another dismal conclusion is that censorship is strong, out there: the New York Times boast of having censored hundreds of my comments (they sent me an email about that). It’s more like thousands. The Guardian, a British daily supposedly on the left, just informed me I my comments were censored, because I am culprit of “blogging the Qur’an“. So the Guardian has decreed that Patrice Ayme, is a well-known… Jihadist? Complain about something will get you accused of it: one of the logics of the vicious.

The New York ran a long article on Islam Rape Kit, but systematically censored any direct quote from the Qur’an supporting that criminal habit. To blare as a subtitle that:

“ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape. Claiming the Quran’s support, the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria and uses the practice as a recruiting tool.” is alright. Claiming that ISIS claims the “Quran’s support” is fine. Demonstrating it is presumably “Islamophobia” (thus racism, thus censored).

Meanwhile, pretty much unfazed, I have been trying to think, as honestly as I can, precisely, and beyond (“plus oultre“) what has been said, on the most difficult problems, trying to find possible issues to them. Escapism, if you will, the hard way. As Montaigne caustically preempted, in the introduction to his “Essays”, paraphrasing:”Passant passes ton chemin, there is nothing for you here, Adieu.” (Amusingly, Montaigne, who was familiar with the most powerful, such as the future king Henri IV, was actually seriously manipulative in his essays, as demonstrated by the fact that he spent lots of pages crawling on his belly, singing the praises of most plutocrats… This is not the case here, as witness the evidence that I should have antagonized everybody by now.) 

Ultimately, I write just for my little girl, who has called me (with a slight twinge of irony perceptible) “the One Who Knows Everything”. That’s good enough, it’s the greatest honor, and all the meaning one needs in the world. Camus claimed one must find a meaning to rock and roll. Silly. Those who love a child do not need to impose meaning onto themselves. They have found it already.

One day, human children will bathe on Europa.

Patrice Ayme’

Emotional Thinking Is Superior Thinking

March 11, 2015

By claiming that emotional thinking is superior, I do not mean that “logical” thinking ought to be rejected, and replaced by passions running wild. I am just saying what I am saying, and no more. Not, just the opposite, “logical” thinking ought to be embraced. However, there are many “logical” types of thought in existence (as Pascal already pointed out). Including the emotional type. They are entangled.

Emotional and logical thinking can be physiologically distinguished in the brain (the latter is mostly about axons; the former about the rest).

Any “logical” thinking is literally, a chain made of points. (And there are no points in nature, said a Quantum Angel who passed by; let’s ignore her, for now!)

Elliptic Geometry In Action: Greeks, 240 BCE, Understood The Difference Between Latitude & Geodesic (Great Circle)

Elliptic Geometry In Action: Greeks, 240 BCE, Understood The Difference Between Latitude & Geodesic (Great Circle). (Traditionally, one quotes Eratosthenes. However, it’s Pytheas of Marseilles who first did this elliptic geometry computation… A century earlier. Pytheas also discovered the Polar Circle, sea ice, and maybe Iceland, among other things boreal…) Whether to develop, or not, this sort of mathematics and physics was, fundamentally, an emotional decision. Involving in particular the emotional worth of the axioms involved.

Some say that hard logic, and mathematics is how to implement “correct thinking”. Those who say this, do not know modern logic, as practiced in logic departments of the most prestigious universities.

In truth, overall, logicians spent their careers proposing putative, potential foundations for logic. Ergo, there is no overall agreement, from the specialists of the field themselves, about what constitute acceptable foundations for “logic”.

It is the same situation in mathematics.

Actually dozens of prestigious mathematicians (mostly French) launched themselves, in the 1950s into a project to make mathematics rigorous. They called their effort “Bourbaki”.

Meanwhile some even more prestigious mathematicians, or at least the best of them all, Grothendieck, splendidly ignored their efforts, and, instead, founded mathematics on Category Theory.

Many mathematicians were aghast, because they had no idea whatsoever what Category Theory could be about. They derided it as “Abstract Nonsense”.

Instead it was rather “Abstract Sense”.

But let’s take a better known example: Euclid.

There are two types of fallacies in Euclid.

The simplest one is the logical fallacy of deducing, from emotion, what the axioms did not imply. Euclid felt that two circles which looked like they should intersect, did intersect. Emotionally seductive, but not a consequence of his axioms.

Euclid’s worst fallacy was to exclude most of geometry, namely what’s not in a plane. It’s all the more striking as “Non-Euclidean” geometry had been considered just prior. So Euclid closed minds, and that’s as incorrect as incorrect can be.

To come back to logic as studied by logicians: the logicS considered therein, are much general than those used in mathematics. Yet, as no conclusion was reached, this implies that mathematics itself is illogical. That, of course, is a conclusion mathematicians detest. And the proof of their pudding is found in physics, computer science, engineering.

So what to do, to determine correct arguments? Well, direct towards any argument an abrasive, offensive malevolence, trying to poke holes, just as a mountain lion canines try to pass between vertebras to dislocate a spine.

That’s one approach. The other, more constructive, but less safe, is to hope for the best, and launched logical chains in the multiverses of unchained axiomatics.

Given the proper axioms, (most of) an argument can generally be saved. The best arguments often deserve better axiomatics (so it was with Leibnitz’s infinitesimals).

So, de facto, people have longed been using not just “inverse probability”, but “inverse logic”. In “inverse logic”, axioms are derived from what one FEELS ought to be a correct argument.

Emotions driving axiomatics is more metalogical, than axiomatics driving emotions.

***

To the preceding philosophy professor Massimo Pigliucci replied (in part) that:

“Patrice, 

“…Hence, to think critically, one needs enough facts. Namely all relevant facts.”

Enough facts is not the same as all the relevant facts, as incorrectly implied by the use of “namely.” 

“It is arrogant to think that other people are prone to “logical fallacies”.”

It is an observation, and facts are not arrogant. 

“A Quantum Wave evaluates the entirety of possible outcomes, then computes how probable they are.”

Are you presenting quantum waves as agents? They don’t evaluate and compute, they just behave according to the laws of physics.

“just as with the Quantum, this means to think teleologically, no holds barred”

The quantum doesn’t think, as far as I know. 

“Emotional Thinking Is Superior Thinking” 

I have no idea what you mean by that. Superior in what sense? And where’s the bright line between reason and emotion?

“Any “logical” thinking is literally, a chain made of points”

No, definitely not “literally.” 

It may not follow from the axioms, but I am having a hard time being emotionally seductive by intersecting circles. 

“Euclid’s worst fallacy was to exclude most of geometry, namely what’s not in a plane.”

That’s an historically bizarre claim to make. Like saying that Newton’s worst fallacy was to exclude considerations of general relativity. C’mon. 

“as no conclusion was reached, this implies that mathematics itself is illogical” 

Uhm, no. 

“to hope for the best, and launch logical chains in the multiverses of unchained axiomatics” 

Very poetic, I have no idea what that means, though.”

***

Massimo Pigliucci is professor of philosophy at CUNY in New York, and has doctorates both in biology and philosophy. However, truth does not care about having one, or two thousands doctorates. It would take too long to address all of Massimo’s errors (basically all of his retorts above). Let me just consider two points where he clings to Common Wisdom like a barnacle to a rock. The question of Non-Euclidean geometry, and of the Quantum. He published most of the answer below on his site:

Dear Massimo:

Impertinence and amusement help thought. Thank you for providing both. Unmotivated thought is not worth having.

The Greeks discovered Non-Euclidean geometry. It’s hidden in plain sight. It is a wonder that, to this day, so many intellectuals repeat Gauss’ self-serving absurdities on the subject (Gauss disingenuously claimed that he had discovered it all before Janos Bolyai, but did not publish it because he feared the “cries of the Beotians”… aka the peasants; Gauss does not tell you that a professor of jurisprudence had sketched to him how Non-Euclidean geometry worked… in 1818! We have the correspondence.).

The truth is simpler: Gauss did not think of the possibility of Non-Euclidean geometry (although he strongly suspected Euclidean geometry was not logical). Such a fame greedster could not apparently resist the allure of claiming the greatest prize…

It is pretty abysmal that most mathematicians are not thinking enough, and honest enough, to be publicly aware of Gauss’ shenanigans (Gauss is one of the few Muhammads of mathematics). But that fits the fact that they want mathematics to be an ethereal church, the immense priests of which they are. To admit Gauss got some of his ideas from a vulgar lawyers, is, assuredly, too painful.

That would be too admit the “Prince of Mathematics” was corrupt, thus, all mathematicians too (and, indeed, most of them are! Always that power thing; to recognize ideas have come out of the hierarchy in mathematics is injurious to the hierarchy… And by extension to Massimo.)

So why do I claim the Greeks invented Non-Euclidean geometry? Because they did; it’s a fact. It is like having the tallest mountain in the world in one’s garden, and not having noticed it: priests, and princes, are good at this, thus, most mathematicians.

The Greek astronomer Ptolemy wrote in his Geography (circa 150 CE):

“It has been demonstrated by mathematics that the surface of the land and water is in its entirety a sphere…and that any plane which passes through the centre makes at its surface, that is, at the surface of the Earth and of the sky, great circles.”

Not just this, but, nearly 400 years earlier, Eratosthenes had determined the size of Earth (missing by just 15%).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

How? The Greeks used spherical geometry.

Great circles are the “straight lines” of spherical geometry. This is a consequence of the properties of a sphere, in which the shortest distances on the surface are great circle routes. Such curves are said to be “intrinsically” straight.

Better: Eusebius of Caesarea proposed 149 million kilometers for the distance of the Sun! (Exactly the modern value.)

Gauss, should he be around, would whine that the Greeks did not know what they were doing. But the Greeks were no fools. They knew what they were doing.

Socrates killed enemies in battle. Contemporary mathematicians were not afraid of the Beotians, contrarily to Gauss.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) was keen to demonstrate that logic could be many things. Aristotle was concerned upon the dependency of logic on the axioms one used. Thus Aristotle’s Non-Euclidean work is contained in his works on Ethics.

A thoroughly modern approach.

The philosopher Imre Toth observed the blatant presence of Non-Euclidean geometry in the “Corpus Aristotelicum” in 1967.

Aristotle exposed the existence of geometries different from plane geometry. The approach is found in no less than SIX different parts of Aristotle’s works. Aristotle outright says that, in a general geometry, the sum of the angles of a triangle can be equal to, or more than, or less than, two right angles.

One cannot be any clearer about the existence on Non-Euclidean geometry.

Actually Aristotle introduced an axiom, Aristotle’s Axiom, a theorem in Euclidean and Hyperbolic geometry (it is false in Elliptic geometry, thus false on a sphere).

Related to Aristotle’s Axiom is Archimedes’ Axiom (which belongs to modern Model Theory).

One actually finds non trivial, beautiful NON-Euclidean theorems in Aristotle (one of my preferred frienemies).

Non-Euclidean geometry was most natural: look at a sphere, look at a saddle, look at a pillow. In Ethika ad Eudemum, Aristotle rolls out the spectacular example of a quadrangle with the maximum eight right angles sum for its interior angles.

Do Quantum Wave think? Good question, I have been asking it to myself for all too many decades.

Agent: from Latin “agentem”, what sets in motion. Quantum waves are the laws of physics: given a space, they evaluate, compute. This is the whole idea of the Quantum Computer. So far, they have been uncooperative. Insulting them, won’t help.

Patrice Ayme’

Cap Wealth, Decapitate Critter Power

May 7, 2014

MONEY IS POWER: LIMIT BOTH IN INDIVIDUALS, WORLDWIDE…

OR THE EARTH WILL GET YOU.

A plutocrat, Ms. Helene Pastor, the richest real estate owning Moneguasque heiress, was shot like a vulgar rabbit in Nice by a commando. She is surviving in a French hospital. Not so clear for her bodyguard. Open season on plutocrats? Plutocrats are not easily to kill. With their armored vehicles, and what not.

The plutocrats’ game is just the other way: kill and rule, using their perverse sense of justice.

In the early Twentieth Century, President Roosevelt succeeded McKinley, shot by an anarchist. At the time, anarchists were very active, shooting many of those with, or in, power. Little remembered now, Teddy Roosevelt cracked down on plutocracy, with anti-monopoly laws. Anarchists are not very popular. However, in the fullness of history, their ethical may come to be appreciated differently.

If Justice Is Not Reinstituted Soon, Is This The Future Of Plutocracy?

If Justice Is Not Reinstituted Soon, Is This The Future Of Plutocracy?

The Gilded Age came to a crashing halt in two installments, the First, and Second World wars. In the first, much of the old Prussian plutocracy went down in flames. Having lost to a reborn Poland what used to be Polish for a millennium, thanks to the Versailles Treaty, Prussian plutocrats went for an encore, the Second World War. This time, they lost Prussia itself.

Meanwhile, as, in 1945, the West had much more than 16 million young men armed, dangerous, trained to kill, and imbued with the ideology of equality and anti-plutocracy, concessions were made all over to this demanding youth, from the GI Bill to the British Health Service, to public housing by the dozens of millions, to public universities (such as the University of California).

Not satisfying this armed youth was dangerous, as the French colonialists found in Algeria, right away.

All this has been forgotten. Was it ever learned?

The Roman Republic had an absolute limit on wealth. When that went, so did the Republic.

This has been forgotten too, ever since those who noticed that, were assassinated, 21 centuries ago. Instead Gibbon the plutocratic gibbon, taught a simian version of history, to great applause among demanding Plutos.

The problem with dictator Putin is his personal power, and the power of the cronies around him. The power of the latter are embodied by their immense wealth (even the top Russian generals are endowed with billions).

As technology progresses, so do our god like powers. There is no choice: we have exhausted so many resources that used to be readily available, the human population is so huge, that all we hold dear can only sort-of survives, with new and better technology (that was the metaprinciple which intellectually fascist autocratic Rome deliberately rejected, after generations of increasing plutocracy).

It goes without saying that both the power and wealth individuals master and muster ought to be limited, worldwide.

That means a crack-down on both personal wealth, and even representative politics, that parody of democracy.

Representative politics advocate giant powers for an elected oligarchy. Manipulate the qualifier, “elected”, and you get an oligarchy. In the case of Putin, some of his own advisers admitted that the last presidential elections were manipulated. One of Putin’s closest advisers noticed that, in at least one district, Putin got more votes than there were registered voters!

The Swiss president, head of the 57 nations OSCE, went to see Vladimir Putin, May 7, 2014. I don’t know whether he told the master of the Kremlin that he could kiss goodbye to his 40 billion dollars in Swiss bank vaults, but suddenly, the Russian dictator, grimacing as a chastened schoolboy, gambled that concessions to the united world were a better bet that going it alone, supported only by a chorus of the deranged, from the extreme right in Western Europe, to pseudo leftists in the USA, and greedy German corruptocrats.

So da, the master of the Kremlin said, he would withdraw his armies, da, the “Separatists”, his henchmen, should not proceed with a pseudo-referendum. The fact that the Ukrainian army killed dozens of “Separatists” no doubt helped (many of these “separatists”, by their own admission, were (“ex”) members of Russian Special Forces, recently arrived from all over Russia).

Putin understands force only. The Kiev government pointed out “Putin just sold wind“… That’s not fair: Putin also sells oil, gas, and weapons.

A recent study from Princeton showed that only the reigning oligarchy influenced the decisions in the USA. That means that the greatest asset of democracy, its distributed intelligence, is absent.

So it is, all over the world.

The result, as the government of the USA just admitted, is that “U.S. Climate Has Already Changed, Study Finds, Citing Heat and Floods”.

Indeed the oligarchy was allowed to taint the opinion making process with lies, disinformation, dissembling, silly jokes, and outright imbecility. All these ought to be against the law, in the USA, as in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, or Nigeria.

And you have seen nothing yet. The biosphere will start convulsing pretty soon.  Change will accelerate, and could become catastrophic overnight, if methane hydrates start to be released catastrophically from the oceans’ bottom (whose temperature has been going up steadily). Methane has more than thirty times the greenhouse effect than CO2, for the same mass.

Ultimately, phytoplankton could be killed by acid, and oxygen production would then fail. Earth is being sabotaged by the fanatics of fossil fuels.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/terminal-greenhouse-crisis/

What’s the plan of the plutocrats?  The worst, the better, as far as they are concerned. That’s the theory of comparative advantage, they love so much, more than dear life. Especially the lives of others, that they enjoy to suck on, like vampires do with cattle.

The strategy of the plutocrats, consciously, or not, is the same as in 400 CE, or 1348 CE: be the last ones to die, behind their high walls and private armies, to inherit the Earth. They just don’t know that, truly, history does not repeat itself. And now less than ever.  It always comes back, with a vengeance.

Patrice Aymé

MOON From NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS, Glancing Blows?

February 27, 2014

Imagination ought to be stronger than cognition: such is human genius: invent what you don’t know (yet).

Luna, or Moon, played a crucial role in the rise of life on Earth. It is rather unlikely that advanced life could have evolved without it. Luna provided tremendous chemical mixing on Earth’s surface and otherwise unlikely stability of rotation of the planet (so nice seasons, instead of super winters and super summers, etc). Simultaneously.

Luna allows all sorts of rotations of the Earth to be close to the perfection needed for advanced life.

Other planets have unstable rotation (with up to a 40 degrees wobbling axis: Mars), or insufficient spins (Mercury, Venus), or lay completely flat on the ecliptic plane like beached whales (Uranus). The angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system is one, yet it’s spread on a huge area (about 1/6 of the Sun’s cross-section). Luna used to graze the Earth, at the Roche Limit, causing kilometer tides flushing continental margins continually (thus mixing organic materials with earth, sea and sky, as in an infernal organic materials churning reactor).

Earth-Moon From NASA's Galileo, Heading To Jupiter

Earth-Moon From NASA’s Galileo, Heading To Jupiter

How did Luna form?

John Kennedy’s Apollo Project sent a geologist to the Moon, and brought back precious rocks that were generously divided among laboratories (and various animals) worldwide.

Exploring the Moon was a better use of money than feeding the starving in Africa. Actually there were not much starvation in Africa yet. Indeed there were no wars among the savages, yet, hence no starving in Africa, yet. Moon exploration also demonstrated that the USA does not have to be a nasty den of pirates 100% of the time.

First verdict of Moon science? Isotopic studies (2001) confirmed that Luna is made of Earth’s mantle rocks.

The surprise was considerable. Before that (isotopic) discovery, it was widely expected that Luna was a captured minor planet. Instead, the Earth and Moon came from the same body. How could that be? The obvious scenario that comes to mind is that a Mars sized object hit the Earth. Melted debris would have gathered around Earth, and coalesce, forming the Moon. George Darwin, fifth child of the most famous Darwin, himself a distinguished astronomer, suggested this in 1898.

However, closer, more modern inspection reveals that if Luna was made of Terra, it was not made from an impact… because what happened to the impactor’s material? Luna’s titanium isotope ratio (50Ti/47Ti) is so close to the Earth’s (within 4 parts per million), that none of the impactor’s  mass could have been part of the Moon.

Moreover there is another drastic problem with the impact hypothesis. The dynamics don’t work. A grazing impact would have resulted with debris in a highly eccentric, grazing ellipse. Such a very elongated ellipse is not observed, and impossible to imagine (the debris would have crashed back to Earth, either from air resistance, or the Roche Limit). We are left with a deeper oblique impact, where the impactor is fully absorbed. But then it’s unclear that we can get massive ejecta with a required speed of ten kilometers per second or so, plus high enough an altitude to escape the Roche Limit.

All the more as astronomical considerations lead one to believe the collision happened at low-speed (at most 4 kms/s).

Still another problem of the impact theory is that it implies that the entire planet would have melted. However, there is plenty of evidence that the planet did not entirely melt. Rocks (zircons) have been found to be 4.375 billion years old, plus or minus 6 million years! These are granite like, water rich rocks. That means the supposedly melted Earth would have become solid within 100 million years of impact (by contrast those who believe Earth Core has just residual heat, no active fission heat, claim the core cools at the rate of 100 degrees Celsius every billion years. They generally also believe in the Impact, and thus contradict themselves, thanks to the zircons!)

Thus the impact theory does not seem to work.

The basic problem is that the Moon was created from Earth. Imagine the Earth as a soup: you need to put part of the soup in orbit. You need to rocket it up.

Any brighter idea? I propose there was no magma soup (because so was the fact).

I propose the NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS THEORY (NET). Wow. It’s half tongue in cheek, it has a more serious variant. I replace the overall melting of the impact theory, by powerful local explosions that could hurtle water rich rocks in orbit (mini impacts also do this, that’s the serious variant). As I pointed out in Life Giving Earth Nuclear Reactor, we (probably) have below our feet the largest fission reactor in the known universe.

The Inner Core of Earth is about 70% of the size of the Moon, 2440 kilometers across. It is also around 5,800 Degrees Kelvin, the temperature of the surface of the Sun. Should the rest of the planet become transparent, it would appear to us about 35 wider than the Sun, and just as bright. That would transfer to us about 1,000 times more energy than the Sun does. We would quickly fry.

In my vision of Earth’s genesis, a lot of radioactive fission products were gathered, when Earth formed. Being denser, those fissionable nucleotides tended to sink in molten Earth, and so doing, concentrated. As they did so, their neutrons hit each other. Nuclear fission pockets formed, and violently erupted in tremendous nuclear explosions, deep inside the Earth’s mantle.

(In most so-called thermonuclear bombs’ explosions, contrarily to Communal Wisdom, most of the power actually comes from fission, by using the cheap trick that Uranium 238, the “stable” isotope of Uranium, fissions when exposed to fast neutrons; in the young Earth, there would have been plenty of Uranium 238; this subtlety no doubt escaped geophysicists, since they are unused to nuclear bomb making… In other words, tapping my nuclear know-how, I notice that there is way more fissionable nuclear fuel down below if one thinks, not as Voltaire’s proverbial watch maker, but as a nuclear bomb maker! Is not thinking fun? The reserves of U238 inside the Earth are enormous, and those reserves were more than double that, 4.5 billion years ago).

These enormous nuclear explosions, within the mantle, created plenty of ejecta, thank you Lord. Most fell back with a splash, but plenty had enough correctly directed momentum to achieve high enough orbit.

This is smarter than it looks. The Earth rotated at least once every five hours (8,000 kilometers/hour at the equator). That means ejecta thrown up at the equator would have had one-third of the energy needed for satellization. Hence only equatorial ejecta would have formed the Moon, explaining both why the Moon’s orbit is coplanar, and Luna spins the way it does.

The hot debris gathered, and formed the Moon, just beyond Édouard Roche’s (liquid) Limit. At least, so I propose. Never underestimate all things nuclear. One can combine my nuclear ejection theory with coplanar mini collisions (so not on Mars size body). The whole thing would have looked like one of these spirals generated by some stars… If a star can do it, so could the nuclear boiling Earth…

Some will object that the theory above does not explain the high angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system, that an impact provides with. They will object that I have to introduce this as an independent assumption.

It is true that, the more the independent assumptions in a theory, the weaker it is, or the more empirical.

My own Nuclear Core Theory (NCT) explains a lot of characteristics of the Earth. Could it also explain the high angular momentum? Yes. How? NCT considers that Earth formed not just in the Habitability Zone, but in a Nuclear Zone (NZ). The NZ cloud dust was full of heavy elements. Heavy nuclei can’t be held together by the nuclear force, so they fission, So the densest elements are radioactive.

As the NZ condensed, the heavy elements carried more angular momentum (angular momentum is the product of speed by mass by radius). So any planet in an NZ (which I believe necessary for long-term life evolution), once it has condensed from an NZ cloud, will have more angular momentum. The NCT implies high angular momentum.

Reality is stronger medicine than fiction, because what’s within is a pale imitation of interpreted fragments out there that it has been our good fortune to come across.

Conscience without science is only dwarfing of the soul.

Patrice Aymé

***

***

Note 1: Angular momentum was locally augmented by explosions, be they partly of nuclear origin, or caused by mini-impacts, or a combination of both. Mini-impacts would have been automatically in the orbital plane… Something the usual macro impact theory does NOT have! (Let me repeat slowly: the usual Mars sized body impact theory is very unlikely just on the ground that the impact has little probability to be within the plane of the ecliptic. The theory above makes this automatic: non-ecliptic impacts and explosions get de-selected, as the Earth’s OWN rotation, which is basically co-planar with the ecliptic is used crucially… OK, cynics may retort that it’s not quite so, and thus evidence for an off-ecliptic massive impact, agreed… Computer modelling will decide…)

***

Note 2: As I pointed out in passing, the more the independent assumptions in a theory, the weaker it is, or the more empirical? This may sound all too vague. However, it’s very practical. For example racism is logically weaker than non-racism, as it hypothesizes supplementary logics. (Which is, moreover, unobserved!) Some will say that this is just a version of the law of parsimony (lex parsimoniae, Occam razor; the idea is explicit in Aristotle: “We may assume the superiority ceteris paribus [other things being equal] of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses.“.)

***

Note 3: Searching for my own essay on the Internet, July 8, 2018, to my somewhat dispirited surprise I stumbled on the following paper, which I never heard of, let alone read, before:

https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1001/1001.4243.pdf

Which argues the Moon formed in one big nuclear explosion, using some of the logic above (nuclear fission being the only source of power capable of lifting the material, etc…) The difference with my theory is that I don’t do it with just one big explosion, but a whole sequence of them. One big one looks completely implausible to me (the math of coalescing so much nuclear material in just one spot at one time don’t work). Many, yes… So my own idea holds its own, all the more as the mini nuke and mini impact theory go together well, in whichever proportions… Alleluia…

Life Giving NUCLEAR EARTH Reactor

January 14, 2014

It’s fashionable among pseudo-progressives to be rabidly anti-nuclear. Much better to burn coal, and frack rocks, they say, and they smoke pot, to accelerate the waning of their brain power. Who are those ingrates? Assuredly ignorant of the fact that all this coal they love so much was generated thanks to… nuclear power! Let me explain. It’s called science.

It is very likely that there will be much more habitable worlds in the galaxy than worlds with even the simplest animals having evolved there. Life is fragile, our life on Earth had many close calls. Moreover Earth is characterized by many very special traits: a large, stabilizing moon, a vast liquid ocean, a strong magnetic field shielding Earth surface with its magnetic armor, plate tectonics, volcanoes, etc… I argued this at length in:

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/40-billion-earths-yes-no/

All these phenomena come from just one cause: the CENTRAL EARTH FISSION NUCLEAR REACTOR. It certainly played a crucial role in the rise of life, as did fission reactors all over and around.

Where Do You Think All This Magma Comes From? Nuclear Fission!

Where Do You Think All This Magma Comes From? Nuclear Fission!

The Core Nuclear Reactor turns much of the mass of the planet into a giant iron ocean below our feet.

The electromagnet comes from a dynamo effect caused by a ferociously dynamic iron ocean rotating furiously about… Said ocean is melted by the central nuclear fission reactor at the core of Earth, which is as hot as the sun’s surface.

I long had this theory, and made terrible enemies in geophysics, promulgating it more than a decade ago (I’m not a geophysicist, so I did belong to that church; to make matters worse, my arguments, if true, implied that my math and physics were better… and they were!). Now, though, the theory I long defended with relish, is basically proven.

How? Nuclear fission generates neutrinos, and we have neutrino detectors. The proven flux of neutrino from the core corresponds to fission generating more than half the Earth’s heat flux.

Most of it comes from Uranium 238 and Thorium 232 fission. Ten percent of the heat flux also comes from radioactive Potassium 40 decay.

None of this is surprising: natural nuclear fission reactors existed in Africa up to about a billion years ago, on the surface. They self-moderated with heat, steam, water flow. When French geologists discovered this, the world was astounded.

The iron ocean heated by giant nuke below our feet is the difference of Earth with Venus. Venus is within the habitable zone, just barely, but it lost its water, while its atmosphere got stuffed with CO2, generating a ferocious greenhouse, hot enough to melt lead.

Probes sent there held at most one hour. Why all this CO2? Why not the same on Earth? Because on Earth the C of CO2 is sent by plate tectonics deep inside. Venus does not seem to have plate tectonics. So the C stays in the atmosphere.

Having no nuke inside, Venus got no furious iron ocean, hence no planet-wide electromagnet, hence no magnetic field, hence lost the H2O in its atmosphere: it was robbed by the solar wind. Something similar happened to Mars: no nuke, no iron ocean, no dynamo, no magnetosphere, loss of atmosphere from solar wind, desiccation, loss of greenhouse, etc.

The iron ocean heated by a giant nuke is the difference between Earth and Venus.

Having no nuke inside, Venus got no furious iron ocean, hence no electromagnet, hence no magnetic field, hence lost the H2O in its atmosphere, robbed by the solar wind (hyper velocity protons travelling at 400 kilometers per second from the sun literally knock-off hydrogen atoms into outer space).

Something similar happened to Mars: no nuke, no iron ocean, no dynamo, no magnetosphere, loss of atmosphere from solar wind, desiccation, loss of greenhouse, etc.

Outside of Hollywood scenarios, and publicity hungry scientists, there is no evidence that an impact “almost completely eradicated life on this planet” (see the first comment). But sure it could happen in other systems. The little impact at the end of the Jurassic is much ado about nothing. The Dekkan Traps were the real problem: they caused a dramatic cooling, over millions of years.

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/trapped-by-super-traps/

Near complete eradication of life happened because of the rise of life itself, when oxygenation meant the loss of the methane greenhouse, and thus the numerous terrible episode of snow ball Earths… Once again recovered from by CO2 building above the ice from overactive volcanoes (see nuclear reactor above).

Near eradication of life also happened probably from hyper giant core volcanism, which tends to happen every 200 million years or so.

This  also shows that, whereas the central nuke monster reactor, the largest known fission reactor in the universe (so far…), gives energy and protection to life, it’s never very far from eradicating it

This idea has been gaining momentum. One may even suspect that it’s a nuke explosion that gave burp to the moon, so to speak… Atomic propelled geysers and hot baths were found extensively in the first billion years of the planet (because radioactivity decays, so there were much more then).

Few planets will be lucky enough to thread a way through these perils. Let alone the fact that we are protected from comets by Jupiter… Although many systems seem to have Jupiters, or super Jupiters, migrating in, towards the central star, destroying all rocky planets in their wake…

All this makes Earth incredibly improbable. Although there are probably many planets we could seed with Earth’s life, few would have anything approaching animals and plants. They will just crawl with methane-friendly bacteria.

It took nearly three billion years of a goldilocks environment for busy bacteria to start creating something approaching the atmosphere we have now… And the sun’s output cooperated, augmenting just so, to keep the planet at perfect incubating temperature

It was a miracle. Enjoy it while it lasts. Glaciers are melting in Antarctica at an ever accelerating pace, baffling specialists… But not conspiratorial catastrophists with enough mettle, such as yours truly.

Conclusion: to sustain long term evolution of life on a planet, one needs the right massive amounts of long lived radionuclides and iron (perhaps with enough power to create a moon). Water is not enough to create an habitable world.

Patrice Aymé

Fragile Earth Syndrome

February 19, 2013

Abstract: The Earth is already all too close from being getting all too hot, from its astronomical position at the interior edge of the Sun’s Habitable Zone.

The Greeks viewed Gaia, the Earth, as the Mother Goddess from whom all other gods sprang. Yet, discoveries they made later showed that this metaphysics was misleading. In truth, habitable planets, far from being all powerful, are confined to narrow zones around their stars (and these zones move, and are under continual threat, as I describe below):

Sun Like Stars Are Most Hospitable.


Vertically the masses, going up, the unit being the mass of the sun; as stars gets bigger, they get hotter, thus they change color, covering the entire black-body spectrum, from brown dwarves to blinding ultra violet hot “Blue Stragglers”.

Horizontally, the distance from the star; the graph gives only a rough idea of the notion of Habitable Zone; in truth the whole point of this essay is that Earth is at the edge of Sol’s Habitable Zone, within 1% of boiling; Habitable Zones narrow as the stars get smaller, and get much larger, far out, around bigger stars.

The life of Earth on the edge has got more dicey in the last 400 million years. Thus the risk of hyper warming is greater than in the Carboniferous Era. By pumping into the atmosphere the equivalent of 100 million tons of CO2, every single day, we are, literally, playing with fire. (A first counter-measure would be to outlaw, through regulations, those gases that warm up the air a lot, and are not indispensable; for example leaks in the pipelines of the USA allow 4% of the CH4 to escape!)
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The two close calls by large space rocks were a reminder that this is a serious, not particularly friendly universe. Something to meditate carefully.

Those who play apprentice sorcerers with the climate and planetary ecology should pay attention.

For reasons having to do with the periodic table, the frequency of elements and the chemical characteristics of carbon, namely its ability to form many liaisons, it seems likely that life in the universe will have to resemble life on Earth. That is being water, carbon and oxygen based. (Believing that life does not have to be carbon-centric may sound cute, but it’s unreal.)

Thus the habitable zone is the zone around a star where it is neither to hot, nor too cold, and a planet can support water.

Not all stars can have an habitable zone: the greater the mass of a star, the more fiercely it burns. A star with five times the mass of the sun will typically have 625 times the luminosity of the sun.

Why? In small stars, the part of the core hot and dense enough to sustain thermonuclear fusion is relatively small. In large stars, it becomes enormous, and embraces much more of the thermonuclear fuel tank.

For Stars, Mass Is Everything.

For Stars, Mass Is Everything.

Thus, the larger the mass, the shorter the lifespan of the entire system orbiting the star. A star with 60 solar masses will shine only 3 million years before running out of hydrogen. At that point it will run hotter and hotter as it burns heavier elements until it explodes as a super nova. A star of five solar masses will live longer, but still only 100 million years or so. Long enough to make it a tourist destination, not long enough to evolve life (all the more as the habitable zone will migrate out fast, as the stellar furnace gets hotter, fast).

Even a star with only 50% larger mass than the Sun will live only three billion years. On Earth, after that duration, the first oxygen making organisms were appearing, and the atmosphere was going to change completely, from reducing to oxidizing. That would bring the “Snowball Earth” episodes, 600 million years ago, or so, when most of the planet froze, before enough CO2 could be generated to reach the appropriate greenhouse effect.

Clearly, for evolving advanced life, more than a billion years is needed. Thus planets with indigenous life will be restricted to red and yellow dwarves (the sun is one of the latter, with an estimated lifespan of ten billion years before turning ephemerally into a red giant).

The 2012 sci-fi (silly) movie “Battleship” has it right on that point: most of the habitability is found cuddling next to red dwarf stars, so that aliens would be blinded by our sunlight is likely. This also means that life out there has a good probability to have evolved in what, for us, would be rather dim circumstances. Indeed most stars are red dwarves and those are the longest living stars, easily going on for 15 billion years (they use their thermonuclear fuel conservatively).

Some red dwarves could have evolved life, in our Milky Way galaxy, when our sun, a mighty yellow dwarf, did not exist yet. Such stars, with their habitable planets, could still be around.

Being in the habitable zone is necessary for life, but it’s not sufficient.

For example, any planet orbiting too close to its star will lock its orbital rotation and its diurnal rotation (as the Moon has with the Earth). Thus the planet will have one side too hot for life, and the other too cold.

That means that when red dwarves become too small, their habitable zones, get too close, and would-be habitable planet lock down. (Venus, although 100 million kilometers from the Sun is nearly locked: it rotate on itself slower than it does around the Sun.)

The Earth is totally exceptional. She is endowed with a huge satellite that stabilizes her inclination on the orbital plane (Mars’ inclination on the elliptic varies wildly, causing wildly fluctuating super-seasons). This resulting, constant and mild inclination allows the poles to not get too cold, and the tropics, not too warm: it spreads the goodness of sunlight around.

Earth is also a mighty nuclear reactor, providing with the shield of a powerful magnetosphere (Venus does not have any, so its upper atmosphere is scorched by the solar wind), and plate tectonic (allowing for a complex recycling mechanism involving CO2 and long term climate stability).

The present, sort of official, habitability zone theory is 20 years old. It showed that Earth was within 5% of receiving too much warmth from her star. What has been found by the latest study is even more disturbing: Earth is within 1%, 1.5 million kilometers of inhabitability (5 times the Earth-Moon distance).

Earth is, astronomically, at risk of getting too hot, and of suffering a run-away greenhouse, as Venus did.

Long ago, Venus may have been in the habitable zone. However, general main sequence star theory, and observation, show that the Sun has warmed up. Its power output has increased by at least 25% since it got started. So the habitable zone in the Solar System has been slowly moving outward.

Why did the Earth cool over the last 100 million years, if the sun is slowly warming up? It probably has to do with non linear effects related to the geometry of the continents: the continents migrated north, and shallow tropical seas disappeared. The migration of land towards the north augmented the albedo of the Earth (as land stays frozen in summer more easily than sea, ice and snow keep reflecting more sunlight back to space, even then; that’s the core of the two centuries old glaciation theory).

So, as Earth should have warmed up, by a miracle, a sun shade, the glaciated North, was put in place, just in time!

Not all the coolness is due to ice and snow. Earth, before very recent human interference, had long been endowed with a cool climate. It seems that clouds make the difference (the effects clouds bring are too complex to be taken into account in computer programs of habitability at this point).
It’s a double edged sword. Water vapor may bring more clouds, but it is also a mighty greenhouse gas.

Still the point remains that all the objective data show that, our planet is not far, astronomically speaking, from a runaway greenhouse. By keeping on pumping a witches’ brew of greenhouse warming gases in the atmosphere, we are, literally playing with fire. Every day we add nearly 100 million tons, in CO2 alone, in our apparent urge to mimic Venus.

Pumping 450 million years of carbon into the air all of a sudden is not smart: Earth has had plate tectonics from the start, so much of this carbon was sequestered. Now we are freeing huge quantities of it… and in a geological, and biological, snap.

All other things being equal, the Earth is closer to inhabitability through warming than it was 400 million years ago (when the CO2 was very high). Having the same CO2 in the air as in the Carboniferous Era would result in a warmer planet.
To make things worse, there are no plausible technological fixes to too much CO2 in the atmosphere (with existing science and technology; and contrarily to disinformation from the fossil carbon burning fanatics).

In between the high- and low-mass stars lie stars similar to our own Sun. They make up about 15% percent of the stars in the galaxy. Such stars have reasonably-broad Habitable Zones, do not suffer from hard UV irradiation, have lifetimes of the order of 10 billion years. They are the best candidates for harboring planets with indigenous life.

Intriguingly, the three stars of the Alpha Centauri system may harbor life. The system is made of two main yellow dwarves, one slightly bigger, one slightly smaller than the sun. They come as close to each other as Saturn is from the Sun (not close enough to affect each other Habitable Zones directly).

A planet was just detected, grazing the .9 solar mass Alpha Centauri B. (We have the means to find out if the system supports life, but NASA and the Congress of the USA, shut down the projects, in an apparent fit of obscurantist anti-science rage; one of them called the Terrestrial Planet Finder; Alpha Centauri would be reachable with nuclear propulsion.)

The stability of orbits (hence of the Habitable Zones) in the Alpha Centauri system has been debated. Many a stellar system has been found where giant planets have progressively swept the entire system. And we are always one giant comet away from extinction. That could happen in 6 months. And we don’t know, because we are apparently not interested to find out. (Although the mightiest nuke could solve that problem, that would require some preparations.)

Life exists in the cosmos, everywhere, but it’s fragile. Everywhere. Including on so far invincible fortress Earth. Invincible, but still so fragile.

3,000 years after the Greeks elaborated their mythology, we find out that, contrarily to what they guessed, Earth is far from the mother of all what is divine. There are greater powers out there… The worst of them being, potentially, ourselves.

As a star goes up the main sequence, its Habitability Zone moves out. So we should be careful to think we can reconstitute the conditions of the Carboniferous Era, by pumping as much CO2 in the air as there was then, and prosper.

Everything indicates that we will punch straight trough.
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Patrice Ayme