Orange Alert: Potentially Habitable Planet Found

from the M-class dept

Just as the rumors of a UN-appointed alien ambassador are settling down, astrophysicists have reported the discovery of the first potentially life-sustaining planet outside of our solar system. This conclusion is based on 11 years of observations and some estimates that place this newly-found exoplanet in a region that would allow for the existence of liquid water and an atmosphere on Gliese 581g. However, that doesn't necessarily mean water or an atmosphere actually exist there.

The more important news here is that this type of planet can be found in a relatively straightforward manner -- which will likely lead to many, many more discoveries of similar planets in the universe. However, instead of focusing on that, reporters and one of the scientists involved are hyping up the possibility of life. Steven Vogt, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at University of California Santa Cruz, optimistically states:
"Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say that the chances for life on this planet are 100 percent. I have almost no doubt about it"
It seems a bit unscientific to project a 100% chance, especially given that our own solar system has more than one planet that could be classified as potentially habitable -- and we've yet to confirm that life exists (or existed) on any other planet (or moon) that orbits our sun. And before we start charting a course towards Gliese 581 to meet up with new life forms, perhaps we should wait until a few more exoplanets are detected with similar characteristics.


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    Big_Mike (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 5:28am

    Let them Hype it up. There is more then just planets that sustain life out there to explore and this is just one more reason for us to explore space. We send people into space now by strapping them to a controlled explosion. The more reasons we need to be in space, the more ways we find to make it safer.

    Traveling in space has brought us a lot of advancements in science. Hype it up, get people interested again and not just because another ship explodes.

     

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    Doug B (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:09am

    I thought the same thing

    when I read that article. I saw another quote that bothered me as well:

    The question wouldn't be to defend that there is life at Gliese 581g, says Butler. "The question," he said, "would be to demonstrate that there isn't."

    Really? These guys are scientists?

     

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    Jay (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:13am

    Another problem.

    Another issue that arises is the very fact that there's no research being put into trying to colonize Mars at all.

    Think about this, you can actually grow resources there and have a planet that's ready to colonize quite quickly. The problem arises when budget is determined for so many pet projects. IIRC, there's a league of engineers that say we can colonize Mars for ~$420 million. Please don't quote me on that number for it's a rough guesstimate from a lecture.

    So my question is why are we trying to see planets so far out when we can work on the planets within our solar system first?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:17am

    Re: Another problem.

    "So my question is why are we trying to see planets so far out when we can work on the planets within our solar system first?"

    Uh, because we no conclusively that there are no space-babes on Mars. Don't you read Popular Science?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:19am

    Sigh...

    "Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say that the chances for life on this planet are 100 percent. I have almost no doubt about it"

    I happen to believe that life outside our solar system will eventually be found as well, but it's like this guy has never even HEARD of the Drake Equation....

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:19am

    Re: Re: Another problem.

    Ugh, *know

     

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    cc (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:20am

    Am I on the right website? What is this I don't even..

    ;)

     

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    Richard (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:27am

    Re: Sigh...

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:35am

    uh, what?

    "And we've yet to confirm that life exists (or existed) on any other planet (or moon) that orbits our sun". huh? I know you're a tech guy, but you might want to keep up on science too, Mike.

    Life was essentially confirmed as "very likely to exist" on mars recently. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2951855/Nasa-Evidence-of-life-on-mars.html

     

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    Robert Ring (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:44am

    Re: uh, what?

    Very likely to exist =/= Exists

     

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    Phillip Vector (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:47am

    Re: I thought the same thing

    Read up on scientific theory. It's not to prove something true. It's attempts to prove something wrong.

     

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    Michael, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:47am

    Re: I thought the same thing

    That's the new scientific method:

    Lack of positive evidence that something does not exist is clearly proof that it does!

    That sounds a bit like...religion.

    Perhaps science class has changed since I was in school.

     

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    Xyro TR1 (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:49am

    Honestly, I think they should keep this hyped up. It keeps people interested. In this economy and with all of the negativity in the world, there needs to be some optimism and excitement to keep the masses sane. :)

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: Sigh...

    I always liked the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy version. There is a 0% chance of finding intelligent life in the universe, since the universe is infinite and there are a finite amount of planets with life on it.

     

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    Michael, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: Sigh...

    ...and I thought the Drake Equation was:

    1 cake + 1 coffee = yummy

     

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    Michael, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:52am

    Re:

    Absolutely.

    And they should spend a few billion dollars trying to send a message in a bottle to this planet.

     

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    abc gum, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:53am

    Don't panic

     

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    DS, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:53am

    Sure, there's a 100% chance. Just like there's a 100% chance that I will win the lottery.

    http://www.cockeyed.com/citizen/poker/lottery_simulator100.php

    No matter how many times I lose, there's still a chance that I will win.

    It's just not bloody likely.

     

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    freak, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:53am

    Glad to see this stance on issues

    Just when I was chewing out people on other forums/newssites for being idiots, you get it exactly right, Mike.

    I mean heck, the planet they're talking about is in tidal lock for gods sakes, and they talk about life? It's obviously meaningless hype . . .

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:53am

    The discovery is great but greater would be to go there and for that people need to start finding ways to live in space first.

    A good first step may be creating space hotels to drive demand, and the Russians are planning to get there first.
    http://www.physorg.com/news204984424.html

     

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    Yeebok (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    Not quite - the way science works is someone goes "hey when I do X, Y happens" and that becomes a theory. Quite soon after lots of other scientists try to do X and have Y happen also. If a few of them have Z happen instead the theory is re-done to include why Y or Z may happen, it is retested, and so on. Once all the results everyone gets are included in the theory then they're accepted as a rule or fact.

     

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    Michial Thompson, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:11am

    Re: I thought the same thing

    Actually the quote makes perfect sense... If the real story is that the method they used to discover this planet may lead to many more discoveries of planets like that.

    Then the need would be to disprove that life existed on that planet, and why it didn't so that they could rule out the many other potential planets and not waste resources on trying to find life on those planets that have the same issues.

    Either way they have to find some way to either rule in or out that planet.

     

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    mac84, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:12am

    Who cares?

    how many light years away is Glise 581? So what we see now is a snapshot back in time. And to get there will take how many years? and to get any information back from any expedition? Better to spend the money on alternative energy research, or free bicycle helmets for children or to reduce poverty or world famine, or...

     

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    Sean T Henry (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:22am

    Re:

    I agree lets get everyone excited about space travel again and get NASA the funding it deserves.

     

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    Berenerd (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:27am

    Re:

    i agree whole heartedly. Who knows maybe money will be pumped into this and more jobs are created. hell, I will goto Mars to install a network...no problem...though playing WoW from there...the latency would be horrendous.

     

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    Ben (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:28am

    Re: Another problem.

    Because one of those two fits into the budget, the other does not.

     

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    Ben (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:33am

    Re:

    But at the expense of future discoveries. The real challenge is to convey exactly what was discovered and what that may lead to. Right now, these observations are helping refine our solar system formation theories, which allow better estimates on the probability of life arising in similar conditions as on earth.

     

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    Murdock (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:35am

    Re: Another problem.

    Actually, there is an entire group of people dedicated to researching the colonization of Mars. Check out the MDRS program that has been running in Utah for a # of years.

     

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    Ben (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:37am

    Re:

    It is very likely give the enormity of the universe. That's the connotation on the 100%. If any astronomer observes a new class of planet/etc., it is likely to exist elsewhere in the universe...

     

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    Doug B (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    Good point. After re-reading the quote perhaps this is what they meant. At least I hope so. It's just when taken in context with the 100% claim makes me skeptical of anything they say.

     

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    CommonSense (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    The difference, subtle though it may be, is that Scientists call it a THEORY, until it is proven wrong. It does not become fact, ever really, but is only upgraded to a 'law' or generally accepted as a rule after many scientists have run their own tests on it.

    Science WELCOMES and ENCOURAGES criticism and questioning.

    Religion shuns it, and will try to make you look like the devil if you if you don't believe it.

     

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    Ben (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:43am

    Re: Glad to see this stance on issues

    The life the article refers to is any form of cellular organism. We've found life all over the earth, in many regions previously considered inhospitable to life. We know (believe strongly) that life can arise from liquid water, so if we find a planet whose orbit places it in the collection of orbits that allow for liquid water to exist, it is no stretch to say that life is possible there. 581g certainly does not look like earth, but it doesn't need to.

     

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    Doug B (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:49am

    Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    So is that why we have a bunch of scientists trying to prove god doesn't exist?

    Proving a theory wrong can kill the theory sure. But do we have a theory about life in the universe? We've got a single observable instance of life arising on a planet. Based on that there's no way we can make a valid theory that says any temperate earth-like planet has life on it. There's not enough observable evidence to warrant the theory!

    Stating that another planet is sure to have life on it is an extraordinary claim that requires like evidence. If you're going to claim that there's a 100% chance for life on Gliese 561g, you've most certainly got to defend that with more than "where there's water on earth, there's life".

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    The Evening news is where they open with 'Good evening' and proceed to tell you why it isn't.

     

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    Ben (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:51am

    Re: Who cares?

    The largest benefit of this research is in refining our understanding of how solar systems form. This has very real applications in helping us to understand our solar system and extends to topics like the distribution of resources throughout the inner planets and asteroids. You're right that earth has problems, but if any of us want to continue to enjoy our standard of living (or anything enjoyed after ~1900s), we cannot restrict ourselves to the earthen resources.
    No one (of repute) is talking about traveling to 581g to meet our fellow life forms. Space travel beyond our solar system is infeasible according to current physics, it's out of the question. Looking at other planets may allow us to answer some of the most fundamental questions on our existence; in this case how did life arise and how common is it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:53am

    READ YOU IDIOTS

    REAL science will tell you that they dont really have 100% proof it can be habitable, however it dont look great due to tidal lock

    the planet over time due to how close it is will slow rotation if it ever did.....
    and because of the measurements they took they determined its long since been tidally locked

    that means venus like conditions potentially ( god i hate this keyboard)

    at best in the region where the two night /days meet is slim chance of water existing but if you think of the fact tidal lock means no CO2 recycling as well....

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re: Glad to see this stance on issues

    I would almost bet they have already found a planet with life and overlooked it just because they are stuck on the idea that it has to be carbon based. Why couldn't it be possible for life to exist when its not carbon based? (maybe I didn't read something I should have somewhere that explains why its not possible, but it seems like we are pigeon-holing ourselves here)

     

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    Jason, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:54am

    Re: Sigh...

    No it's more like YOU'VE heard of it but don't know what it is.

    The finding of this type of planet and subsequent speculation about life on said planet eliminate the first three factors. His limitation of asserting only that there be life, not intelligent, civilized life eliminate the last three factors, leaving only f(l).

    On this point Vogt is simply excersizing his own religious faith in the Jurassic Park perversion of Chaos Theory and asserting that life MUST happen where it might.

     

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    Freak, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: Glad to see this stance on issues

    Consider the complexity of the environment.

    There is nowhere on earth today that is anywhere near complex enough for abiogenesis. Outside of a laboratory. That we know of.

    This planet, being in tidal lock, will probably have a very stable and comparatively simple environment.

    You have further restrictions that there is only a very, very small ring around the planet, (Near the border between dark and light sides), where any life that requires water or a water-like substance might possibly have arisen from, IF it has a sufficient atmosphere such that the water doesn't all freeze on the dark side.

    And then, well, you're still dealing with some heavy apocalypse winds, especially in that particular potentially habitable ring.

    And there are tons of other restrictions that Vogt and the reporters fail to mention.

    And even then, you're confusing a couple of issues.
    Abiogenesis is completely different from underestimating life's ability to adapt to strange environments. If life doesn't start there in the first place, you won't find life there. If life has already started there, however, I wouldn't be surprised if we find it everywhere on the planet.

    (Note: To be fair, it's only predicted to be in tidal lock)

    The REALLY big news is that we now have a quick, efficient method to find a LOT of planets like these, among which we might find much better planets to call 'habitable' and '100% chance of life'.

     

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    Freak, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Glad to see this stance on issues

    I agree. However, there is this question:

    If it isn't carbon-based, how would we recognize it?

    We do actually try a variety of methods to detect life that doesn't have anything to do with it being carbon based, but we really only know how to detect carbon lifeforms.

    So, we work on finding carbon lifeforms because those are what we know how to detect.


    (Similarly, we only think about thoughts we can think because we can ONLY think about thoughts we can think. Our lack of experience with other examples leave us unable to expand our horizons)

     

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    ahuman, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 8:05am

    Before you Comment on Science learn some

    There is only one planet in our solar system right in the middle of the habitable zone and it has life. There are other planets like Europa are possibly inhabited but they are not in the habitable zone of our star. So this means that life may even exist outside the habitable zones of stars thus increasing the odds even higher of life around other stars. I would have been more bold and said that the percent was 200%.

    I can tell the author is not versed in astrophysics....

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    I hate to remind you that while the notion of free and critical discussion among scientists about well established theories is either welcomed or encouraged is a bit of a pipe dream.

    If you consider that until well into the 1970s it was widely accepted in scientific circles that dinosaurs were all cold blooded, stupid, bad parents by mammalian standards and all died out.

    Those who observed the subtle and not so subtle similarities between birds and dinosaurs were, to put it kindly, considered quacks.

    The "quacks" held their ground and through such things as the discoveries that dinosaurs actually did develop feathers, weren't at all similar to reptiles as parents, were considerably brighter than we thought, were warm blooded and a few other details that were considered laughable not so long ago.

    And now we know that birds really are dinosaurs that survived the extinction by the simple fact that they could get up and move the distances required to find food and suitable nesting places during the extinction period.

    In that sense scientists are remarkably like those you criticize in religion who hold onto simplistic notions about their faith and reject any and all interpretations that are at odds with their notions.

    If the Judeo-Christian tradition rejected criticism and questioning then where,pray tell, did such honoured practices such as midrash and exegesis come from?

    In short, we're all human, we all have our blind spots and ideas we're joined at the hip to and take something on the order of an earthquake to shake.

    Science is no different than any other human endeavor in that respect.

     

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    Keybored, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 8:18am

    Re: Another problem.

    When our sun explodes living on Mars won't help us.

     

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    Freak, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 8:25am

    Re: Before you Comment on Science learn some

    Well, being in the habitable zone doesn't mean that much. It means the temperature is about right without allowing for anything but the light from the star. 581 c and 581 d are right on the edges of the same habitability zone, but we can say right now that they are hopeless for life or habitability with our limited data.


    Meanwhile, we have some really promising looking worlds here, which so far have shown no sign of life. And we have a lot more data filled in about them; we don't even know if 581 g has an atmosphere, for example, while we have a pretty good idea about the atmospheres of the planets and moons in our solar system.

    BTW, Europa is a moon. Moon =/= planet. Habitable zone is a term intended for planets.
    In particular, the habitable zone is the area at which, IF all other conditions are right, a planet MIGHT retain liquid water on the surface.

    So, outside of the HZ, a habitable earthlike PLANET does not exist, (though a moon might), but that's only one of a heckuvalot of hurdles.
    There are still may cases, by far the majority of them, by enumeration or by statistical weight, whereas a planet in the HZ does not retain water. It might not even have water, it might not even have an atmosphere if conditions are wrong.

    And then the existence of water doesn't guarantee life. It's just one in a long list of hurdles . . .

    You're taking some major anthropic bias when you declare that the one planet we know in the middle of the HZ has life, btw.

     

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    RD, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    "Science WELCOMES and ENCOURAGES criticism and questioning."

    Ha! I call bullshit on this. There are PLENTY of critics and questions about evolution sufficient to dispute its absolute validity, and yet if you so much as SNIFF at the theory wrong, everyone jumps on you for being a "closed minded Religious nutbag." Period. It is so widely touted as FACT (and yes, its touted AS FACT by scientists and educators, and the poster boy for evolution, Richard Dawkins) that to question it in even the smallest way is tantamount to scientific heresy. It is so sacrosanct as a model, that its virtually impossible to debate the merits against it without being immediately shut down and dismissed as a wacko for even suggesting that evolution might, in fact, not be right. I have many problems with evolution as an explanation for how life exists on this planet, but you cant raise any objections because science DOESNT WANT TO HEAR DISSENT ON THE TOPIC OF EVOLUTION. At all. Ever.

     

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    Ryan Diederich, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 8:36am

    Agreed

    I agree with above, the red giant phase of the sun will engulf up to mars.

    Then again, it would take us hundreds if not thousands of years to get to this other one.

    No scientist should be claiming 100%, he is a fool... Or is he? The hype might actually build more funing, research is good, no matter what its on.

    The fact is, from way back here on Earth, no one will ever be able to disprove that there is life there.

    But, we should be proving, not disproving, since anyone whos ever heard of SETI and the Drake equation knows that the odds of life existing are what they are because there are a hundred bazillion planets out there.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    Scientists are perfectly willing to hear counter arguments to the individual theories that make up evolution, but "God did it" is not a counter argument.

     

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    Eugene (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 10:09am

    Re: Another problem.

    Well, whenever we get a ship outside the Earth's gravitational pull, it can basically get infinity miles to the gallon. So distance is essentially irrelevant at that point. May as well weigh all the options.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 11:14am

    Re: uh, what?

    I know you're a tech guy, but you might want to keep up on science too, Mike.

    The guy who wrote the post (not me, btw) *is* a scientist.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    I have many problems with evolution as an explanation for how life exists on this planet, but you cant raise any objections because science DOESNT WANT TO HEAR DISSENT ON THE TOPIC OF EVOLUTION. At all. Ever.


    Probably because your "DISSENT" isn't on a level that scientists would like to listen. Screaming something doesn't make it so. Can you point to a sane, rational discussion where said dissent is brought up and scientists have ignored, (and hasn't been refuted hundreds of times before?)

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    ""God did it" is not a counter argument."

    Because Chuck Norris did it first....

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Glad to see this stance on issues

    Well said and thank you for the response.
    And to your question: no clue, I don't follow these things well enough to offer anything more than extra questions. =)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Virtually every scientific finding in astronomy has to have this spin whenever reported by the media. Even if it's marvelous and fascinating on its own, reporters seem to feel that the general public won't be able to relate to anything without exhaustive hyperbole about the implications of life of whatever thing they're talking about.

    It can be incredibly annoying when articles are talking about some minor observation and then veer wildly into grandiose claims about how it proves this or that about extraterrestrial life or evolution or whatever, and the finding just has nothing to do with that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    Science WELCOMES and ENCOURAGES criticism and questioning.


    Science is an inanimate process and can neither welcome nor encourage anything.

    People may encourage honest inquiry, or they may not. The track record of scientists in this regard is quite mixed, which is to be expected since scientists are just people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Another problem.

    I'm pretty sure I saw a documentary once which conclusively showed that there were midgets and 3-breasted women and atmosphere-generating machines on Mars.

    Getting there will truly be a victory for Science.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Another problem.

    Huh? Distance is not irrelevant to interstellar travel! Neither is fuel efficiency. If you have solid rocket fuel, it's too massive to take on enough to reach your destination in a reasonable amount of time, while also having enough to accelerate and brake all that mass. Humans have to be able to live long enough to reach their destination. Ships will decay and fall apart from interstellar dust if they begin to travel at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Micrometeorites will puncture hulls if a ship is left in space long enough. Cosmic rays and radiation will wreck computer systems when near stellar bodies.

    There are a million problems that make interstellar travel unfathomably difficult. Reaching escape velocity is the easiest part.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Another problem.

    Huh? Distance is not irrelevant to interstellar travel! Neither is fuel efficiency. If you have solid rocket fuel, it's too massive to take on enough to reach your destination in a reasonable amount of time, while also having enough to accelerate and brake all that mass. Humans have to be able to live long enough to reach their destination. Ships will decay and fall apart from interstellar dust if they begin to travel at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Micrometeorites will puncture hulls if a ship is left in space long enough. Cosmic rays and radiation will wreck computer systems when near stellar bodies.

    There are a million problems that make interstellar travel unfathomably difficult. Reaching escape velocity is the easiest part.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    Actually, during the very early days of space exploration, many Christians believed that the universe is full of life as a sign of God's benevolence. Unfortunately, that never seemed to pan out as far as we know. I think it would be very cool if we do find life on other planets though. Or at least other planets that we can inhabit. As a Christian I see nothing wrong with finding life on other planets at all.

     

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  59.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    Yeah, but then you'd have to double baptize Zaphod Beeblebox and all the others too. Because if you don't, they're all going hell....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
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    Michael Ho (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Before you Comment on Science learn some

    nope, you got me! nice string of truthiness, ahuman -- very amusing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 5:43pm

    Science doesn't even know what ingredients are needed to create life. Science has never been able to create life.

     

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  62.  
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    abc gum, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    Re:

    You need to get out more

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
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    TheStupidOne, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 9:36pm

    I'm 100% Sure

    That the scientist who said he is 100% sure that there is life there will not be proven wrong in his lifetime

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
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    SLK8ne, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 11:10pm

    This is all well and good, but......

    This is interesting news to be sure, but, my response is, so, what? There may be a high probability (or not) that this planet is habitable. Lets even say there's life on it. OK, that's nice.

    And your point is???

    Folks, we have trouble sending drones to Mars! I forget the exact failure rate, but, most of what we send to Mars catos when it gets there. Maybe there's life there is life on this distant planet and maybe there isn't. One thing is for sure. None of us are going there. With current technology a manned mission to, say, Jupiter, is wildly unlikely to have any survivors. The idea of going to another SOLAR SYSTEM (caps for emphasis) is absolutely preposterous.

    And as much as I find the idea of having a colony on Mars to be intriguing...has anyone noticed the economy lately? Has anyone looked at the US budget deficit? The US national debt?

    It is amazing to me that the country is up to it's eyeballs in debt, and that your children and grandchildren are going to be taxed into poverty to keep the INTEREST on the debt paid, and people here are talking about increasing NASA's budget?

    Maybe, just maybe, we should think about reigning in our budget excesses and getting the country solvent again before we go traipsing off to other planets, hm?

     

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  65.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 1:23am

    I Wonder If They’ve ...

    ... evolved the concept of “intellectual property” yet...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I thought the same thing

    "As a Christian I see nothing wrong with finding life on other planets at all."

    Yeah just wait till your religion clashes with theirs ... "what do you mean they are buddhists?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 9:02am

    Re: READ YOU IDIOTS

    If its tidally locked two other thing have probably occured. The plate techtonics have stopped, and the planets magnetic field has collapsed. So the atmosphere has been blown into space and no volcanos to pump gasses into the system and replace the gas losses. So its a dead planet.

     

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  68.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: uh, what?

    oh. I suppose I'm a bit overboard in armchair scientist land on this one then.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re:

    When has science ever created life? Everything they do is from and through cells that are already alive.

     

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  70.  
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    worldworks (profile), Oct 3rd, 2010 @ 6:01am

    Gliese 581 just 20 light-years away

    got one question? so if we could travel at light speed it would still take 20 years and i'm guessing, around trip would be 40 years that would be without stopping and saying hi so would it be better money spent looking at moons some where in our system or have we look at each one all ready?

     

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  71.  
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    Area31, Aug 21st, 2011 @ 2:52pm

    Nah gonna happen

    How are we able to reach other planets if we are incapable of even reaching the moon? cmon people, what about that huge belt of radiation just a few kilometers outside of our atmosphere able to penetrate the very metal(and people) we travel in..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Area31, Aug 21st, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Nah gonna happen

    How are we able to reach other planets if we are incapable of even reaching the moon? cmon people, what about that huge belt of radiation just a few kilometers outside of our atmosphere able to penetrate the very metal(and people) we travel in..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Area31, Aug 21st, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    Nah gonna happen

    How are we able to reach other planets if we are incapable of even reaching the moon? cmon people, what about that huge belt of radiation just a few kilometers outside of our atmosphere able to penetrate the very metal(and people) we travel in..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Area31, Aug 21st, 2011 @ 3:01pm

    Nah gonna happen

    How are we able to reach other planets if we are incapable of even reaching the moon? cmon people, what about that huge belt of radiation just a few kilometers outside of our atmosphere able to penetrate the very metal(and people) we travel in..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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