13 November 2013

Watch how “might” vanishes

Hey, I Fucking Love Science, let me fix this photo you posted on Facebook:

To their credit, there was a link next to the photo. But when you click the link, it goes not to the primary article, but to another I Fucking Love Science site, which claims:

Earlier this year, it was discovered that Jupiter can form diamonds in its atmosphere.

If you click that link, you get a secondary news article from Nature with a sub-heading that reads (my emphasis):

Lightning storms create carbon soot that might be compressed into diamonds as it falls through the atmosphere.

“Might.” As in “maybe.” As in a possibility. Not definite. Not that you would get that from I Fucking Love Science, which presents it as a fact.

The photo includes Neptune as a diamond weather spot, but the Nature article doesn’t (my emphasis again):

Forget diamonds in the sky — it may actually be raining diamonds on Saturn and Jupiter, according to two planetary scientists.

The Nature news article provides reasons to rule out Neptune for diamonds:

Luca Ghiringhelli, a physicist at the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin, Germany, is also sceptical of the pair's conclusions. His own previous research showed that the concentration of carbon is not high enough in Uranus and Neptune — which are several times richer in carbon than Jupiter and Saturn — to grow diamond from the 'ground up', building the crystals atom by atom.

IFLS, you’re increasingly becoming part of the problem, not the solution. It takes as much time to make a picture that’s right as one that’s wrong. Why not make it right?

No comments: