Whatever happened with that news last year about finding life on Venus? Something about phosphine, whatever that is.
And what about the cigar-shaped space rock with the unusual name (Oumuamua) they found in 2017 and called an “interstellar visitor”? Aliens, right? Where’s the follow-up on that?
The shortest, simplest answer to both these versions of the Big Question is that scientists are working on it.
Their scientific method is a very useful tool for getting to the root of things, but it takes time. Too, jargon and the technical details involved do not make for reader-friendly stories.
That’s why journalists usually wait for results to be announced in simple language.
Many years can pass in between press conferences. And sometimes other research teams come up with different results in the meantime, which the journalists also must report.
This extended, open-ended process generally leaves us laypeople feeling confused and a little put off by Science — except when the topic is “Life Out There.”
THAT always gets our attention.
It appeals to our gut feeling that, if humanity keeps searching long enough, we’ll find ET someday, looking back at us and glad to discover that it’s not alone in this huge universe.
Is that a valid hope or are we just projecting our social selves onto the cosmos?
Alien life isn’t impossible
I’ve found out something cool while reading through the sources for this chapter of the series on how cats evolved.