Great article, but have to disagree on one!
‘Life on the Sun like our own’ has of course been gleefully debunked.
But we can’t write off life-like process forming in high-energy states that may use a completely different set of processes or even come from a different era. They may operate at absurd energy states, go through generations before we know it, and they’d never escape that gravity well with any sort of mass . . . but we always have to be careful when we think we ‘know’ things. We are just teensey little humans with very limited views.
Authors like Gregory Benford, Charles Scheffield, and Stephen Baxter have dabbled a little there, still from our limited viewpoint but with their lovely brains and have touched on some possibly plausible mechanisms.
That’s something we need to keep in mind if we ever consider MESSING with the Sun generations hence.
I’m gratified and relieved to see that neither phlogiston nor spontaneous human combustion were among the “debunked” sciency things in that list.
In fact, I believe it’s simply an unintended release of the body’s phlogiston that leads to human combustion in nearly every case.
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