'Fossil fuel' theory takes hit with NASA finding
New study shows methane on Saturn's moon Titan not biological
World Net Daily | December 1 2005
NASA scientists are about to publish conclusive studies showing abundant methane of a non-biologic nature is found on Saturn's giant moon Titan, a finding that validates a new book's contention that oil is not a fossil fuel.
"We have determined that Titan's methane is not of biologic origin," reports Hasso Niemann of the Goddard Space Flight Center, a principal NASA investigator responsible for the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer aboard the Cassini-Huygens probe that landed on Titan Jan. 14.
Niemann concludes the methane "must be replenished by geologic processes on Titan, perhaps venting from a supply in the interior that could have been trapped there as the moon formed."
The studies announced by NASA yesterday will be reported in the Dec. 8 issue of the scientific journal Nature.
"This finding confirms one of the key arguments in 'Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil,'" claims co-author Jerome R. Corsi. "We argue that oil and natural gas are abiotic products, not 'fossil fuels' that are biologically created by the debris of dead dinosaurs and ancient forests."
Methane has been synthetically created in the laboratory, Corsi points out, "and now NASA confirms that abiotic methane is abundantly found on Titan."
The realization that hydrocarbons are produced inorganically throughout our solar system was a key insight that led Cornell University astronomer Thomas Gold to write his 1998 book, "The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels." Gold wrote:
It would be surprising indeed if the earth had obtained its hydrocarbons only from a source that biology had taken from another carbon-bearing gas – carbon dioxide – which would have been collected from the atmosphere by photo-synthesizing organisms for manufacture into carbohydrates and then somehow reworked by geology into hydrocarbons. All this, while the planetary bodies bereft of surface life would have received their hydrocarbon gifts by purely abiogenic causes.
Gold wryly noted that he was sure there had not been any "big stagnant swamps on Titan" to produce the biological debris that conventionally trained geologists think was required on Earth to produce oil and natural gas as a "fossil fuel."
"If petroleum and natural gas are abiotic as we maintain in 'Black Gold Stranglehold,'" Corsi commented, "then the 'peak oil' fear that we are going to run out of oil may have been based on a giant misconception."
Paradigms in science change slowly and with great resistance, he noted, "But NASA has given us today incontrovertible evidence that Titan has abundant inorganic methane."
"If the scientists have ruled out that biological processes created methane on Titan, why do petro-geologists still argue that natural gas on Earth is of biological origin?" Corsi asked
Last modified December 2, 2005