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R.I.P. the Geo- or Heliocentric Universe

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Mefiante
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« on: February 19, 2007, 15:05:31 PM »

Wow!  At present we have a catalogue of more than 200 extra-solar planets, and climbing!  The technology for detecting them hasn't been around that long yet (20 years or so), but already we have quite a few and the cosmos is a big, big place.  We can reasonably expect that the technology will be refined and the number of astronomers working in this area to increase (it is, after all, an exciting and prestigious area of research), so that the rate of discovery is likely to increase in coming years.

One wonders if the fundies are perhaps starting to sweat a little at the prospect of extraterrestrial life - not necessarily intelligent - being discovered in the not too distant future (assuming that appropriate technology emerges), now that so many potential platforms for it have been shown to exist.

More immediately, one wonders why god would bother dribbling planets hither and yon and then make them so extraordinarily tricky to find.  More of the usual evidentiary subterfuge and misdirection, one surmises.

'Luthon64
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2007, 06:52:26 AM »

On one hand the Christians are cringing and on the other the Raelians and Scientologists are grinning with glee. "sigh"
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Mefiante
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2007, 07:32:47 AM »

On one hand the Christians are cringing and on the other the Raelians and Scientologists are grinning with glee. "sigh"
Actually, those grins are more likely attributable to severely diminished cerebral activity.  What, if anything, will they have to be smug about if we find advanced ETs who know nothing of Xenu's intergalactic aggression, or we find the Elohim responsible for directed panspermia but they know nothing of sensual meditation, Yahweh or his purported jabberings with Raël?

The big question is, would the significance penetrate?

'Luthon64
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Mefiante
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2007, 13:31:42 PM »

Water Identified In Extrasolar Planet Atmosphere

At present, the contention is still subject to peer review and verification.  The physics principles behind the purported discovery, however, are sound, and it is merely a question of being sure that the observations are neither misinterpretations nor pathological.

The possibility of life on an extrasolar planet just got quite a lot more real.

'Luthon64
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2007, 13:54:34 PM »

Do you know who did that calculation in regards to the possibility of life on other planets? From what I can remember it was calculated before we had confirmation of extrasolar planets and I am wondering how much it has changed since then.
I know it was a rather vague calculation e.g. The possible percentage of planets around other starts. The percentage of those planets been in a habitable orbit then the possible percentage of those planets having a viable atmosphere. etc. etc.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2007, 14:40:22 PM »

Do you perhaps mean the Drake Equation?  I seem to remember Carl Sagan describing it in his series Cosmos many years ago.  It gives an estimate of the number of (developed and potentially communicating) civilisations to be found in this (or any other) galaxy, based on certain observations and speculative assumptions.  Most of these assumptions, e.g. the proportion of planets that have certain characteristics essential to life, are highly contentious.

The extrasolar watery-planet discovery I linked to earlier would bear on at most two of the equation's parameters, and then only in a peripheral way.  Until we actually discover ETs, the controversy will largely remain intact because we currently have only a single example to work from, namely Earth.

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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2007, 15:06:21 PM »

Thanks. Smiley That's what I was looking for.

To me it seems Drake it a bit too optimistic in regards to the number of stars having planets. I seem to remember hearing on a podcast that the estimated percentage of stars having planets was between 5% and 15% and Drake was suggesting 50%.

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Mefiante
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2007, 12:10:04 PM »

The fundies are going to positively dehydrate over this discovery:
Quote from: FOXNews.com
"It's a significant step on the way to finding possible life in the universe."

'Luthon64
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