A Debut Article on Panda's Thumb

I am pleased to report my debut article on Panda’s Thumb.

This article summarizes the recent discovery by @Paul.B.Rimmer (and colleagues) of Phosphine Gas in the Cloud Decks of Venus.

PT is a storied blog with roots back in the early days of the ID-evolution debates. As I understand, it was launched by @Joe_Felsenstein, perhaps with some other colleagues. It seems that most the contributors are atheist scientists, but Glenn Morton also contributed there.

I am grateful that PT invited this article from me specifically. It is a privilege to join the Panda’s Thumb community.


Clearly this is an indicator of Protomolecule activity on Venus.

Aside: If a portal opens up outside the orbit of Uranus be sure to pass through it slowly unless you want to get plastered against your ship’s forward bulkhead.


I contributed years ago, as a Christian, and @Nicko_Matzko is a founding member (I think) who is not (I think) an atheist.

Good to see your voice there!

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Wesley Elsberry, who I believe hosts the PT sever, is not an atheist.


As an erstwhile Panda’s Thumb contributor, allow me to welcome and thank you for the contribution. Hopefully, it will be the first of many.


A person of culture, I see!


THE EXPANSE is one of the best works of science fiction I have seen in a long time. It’s pretty clear that the people who made the show love science, and appear to have had consulting scientists to give input to the show.

On a totally tangential side note, there’s a video game series called Half-Life, which in my opinion is one of the greatest pieces of science fiction ever made. Again the people who made it clearly love science(particularly experimental and theoretical physics and cosmology).

But people not into video gaming are unlikely to have heard of it of course. If anyone has access to a PC, a highly faithful and technologically updated remake (called Black Mesa) of the original 1998 game Half-Life, was released in final form just a few months ago. It also has multiple sequels(Half-life 2, and it’s two episodes) which, incredibly, are even better than the first game.

Half-Life received acclaim for its graphics, realistic gameplay, and seamless narrative. It won over fifty PCGame of the Year” awards and is considered one of the most influential FPS games and of the best video games ever made. By 2008, it had sold over 9 million copies. It was followed by the expansion packs Opposing Force (1999) and Blue Shift (2001), developed by Gearbox Software. It was ported to the PlayStation 2 in 2001, along with another expansion Half-Life: Decay , and to macOS and Linux in 2013. Valve ported Half-Life to its Source engine in 2004, while a third-party remake, Black Mesa , was released in 2020.


Welcome to the Dark Side. :wink:

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Very well done! I give you my stamp of approval as an astronomer (though I am not an astrochemist or astrobiologist)!

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Without taking any undue credit, I’m very proud to see @Paul.B.Rimmer, one of our Peaceful Science denizens, get so much positive coverage. I hope he invites some of his co-authors to the conversation about the article.

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@swamidass I think you should take this as the fruitfulness, not just as a scientist, but especially of your “peaceful science” posture. It’s a bigger “win” than might be apparent at first. Kudos!

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