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1,235 Planets in our universe ... and counting

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Holy Diver, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Holy Diver

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    Every exoplanet orbiting every star discovered by the Kepler telescope

    This amazing image takes all 1,235 of the candidate planets spotted by NASA's Kepler telescope, and then shows them in orbit around their stars. And all of this is still just the tiniest fraction of the entire Milky Way.

    ================================================================

    This is such a cool perspective, to think how far we have come in such a short time in exploring our universe, and the to understand the scope of what is unknown...


    1,235 planets discovered, only a fraction of our own galaxy actually searched.
  2. PatsFanInVa

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    and the Milky Way is such a tiny fraction of the universe... the cool thing is that planetary formation seems to be fairly common. So, that's one term in the equation for extraterrestrial life solved (if you're interested in that whole "are we alone" thing.)
  3. Holy Diver

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    I think the odds of Humans and life on Earth being an accident shrink each day. If you are a person who has faith, then you certainly believe in extra terrestrial life, every text from the bible to the quran speak of "those who came from the sky/heavens"

    If science thinks its probable, and religions base their texts on it, and the Vatican currently accepts it....


    who is still a skeptic? The terrorists?
  4. PatsFanInVa

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    Don't get me wrong, I don't want to meet the bastids. Hawking reminds us to think of the American Indians meeting the Europeans. Um, that can happen. Best we can do is introduce ET to cigarettes as a slow-burning revenge tactic.
  5. Holy Diver

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    better yet...introduce them to Supply Side Economics....

    but we are drifting.
  6. The Brandon Five

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    The problem is that many scientists do not think it is possible, hence the need for the multiverse theory.
  7. PatsFanInVa

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    Which scientists say extraterrestrial life is not possible?

    It seems at odds with, well, the odds.
  8. IcyPatriot

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  9. The Brandon Five

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    Not impossible. Improbable. Odds are against it.

    Is physics watching over us? : Nature News

  10. chicowalker

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    What "odds"?

    and what you cited doesn't seem to be addressing the likelihood of extraterrestrial life
  11. Harry Boy

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    To know that life exists elsewhere all one has to do is "look up" how can anyone be so numb as to think that in a universe that seems to go on forever that we, on this little planet are the only life in that universe.

    The people who don't believe that other living beings are somewhere out there are the same people that fainted when Barack Hussein Obama walked out onto a stage and blew his nose.


    :bricks:
  12. chicowalker

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    harry, you were doing so well until you tried to bring politics into it...
  13. Harry Boy

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    I'm sorry I couldn't help it.


    :bricks:
  14. PatsFanInVa

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    Actually, this has absolutely nothing to do with the probability of life on other planets in this universe.

    It has everything to do with what Susskind says is the likelihood of our universe existing at all. And I think his issue is the balance of primordial forces following the big bang not immediately resulting in either an incredibly inhospitable universe, or in the immediate collapse of whatever universe did result.

    I do agree with the opposite argument; it is very, very, very likely that the universe we observe will be exactly as it is, since we are here to observe it.

    But regardless, Susskind et al. can say our universe is improbable, but it does nothing to establish the probability or improbability within our universe of more than one life-supporting planet.

    The obvious conclusion is that no other planet will have to contend with other laws of physics, so far as we know. The planets observed in the OP's link are in no danger of never having existed, because the universe they are in collapsed into a superhot superrandom soup that never coalesced into localized clumps (like ours did,) or annihilated itself because matter and anitmatter were in a precise balance, rather than in an almost precise balance, as in our universe.

    Given the universe that we -- and whatever aliens there are -- both exist in, the OP's post establishes one term of a long equation. That is, it seems that many stars have planets orbiting them.

    That was not a known fact until we started getting an idea of the existence of exoplanets.

    They've now started finding rocky exoplanets, not just gas giants. That's term 2: it appears that rocky planets are in plentiful supply out there.

    Liquid water would be (probably) another term... we think water's a really good thing to have around if you want to make life happen. Etcetera.

    Life elsewhere is incalculably more likely with exoplanets without them, just as it is vastly more likely if we find liquid water.

    But the point is, given the size of our universe, it is just about certain that all the necessary conditions pertained -- regardless of how likely or unlikely our universe is to exist at all.

    So, this particular article on Susskind et al has no bearing here. Since we're in our universe, the question of the universe ever coming into being is pretty much solved from the get-go.

    PFnV
  15. The Brandon Five

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    I guess I was thinking that the Nature article serves as a general rebuttal of the anthropic principle.

    In my opinion you need more than 1,235 planets to have the odds in your favor to explain life on this planet, let alone others. I know that you and others think otherwise (that is, you believe the odds do favor it). Since none of us truly know the odds we are at an impasse.

    If you believe that DNA is data rather than information the idea that life can just happen makes sense. I think it is information. It represents a message. Messages do not arise from random noise.

    For more on the information theory critique of the purely naturalistic explanation see here:

    Information Theory, Evolution, and The Origin of Life - Cambridge University Press
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  16. chicowalker

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    1235 is a miniscule fraction of the # of planets that almost certainly exist in the universe

    The idea of "odds" in this context, though, is pretty meaningless.
  17. The Brandon Five

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    Well the 1,235 represent planets that are thought to have conditions necessary for life. The total number of planets in the universe is irrelevant.

    Odds are meaningless if the universe is infinite. We know that it is not.
  18. chicowalker

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    3 things:
    1) you mean life as we know it -- we have no idea what other forms of life may exist

    2) what the 1235 refers to: "... candidate planets spotted by NASA's Kepler telescope, and then shows them in orbit around their stars. And all of this is still just the tiniest fraction of the entire Milky Way..." -- the idea that these 1235 are the only planets existing in the universe that would meet the criteria set forth has no basis

    3) odds -- has nothing to do with infinite or now -- think about what eactly "odds" would be measuring here -- this isn't the outcome of a football game or coin toss -- if it's supposed to be analogous to a series of coin tosses, what exactly is the analogy to the coin toss itself? and finally, how are the probabilities siupposed to be deteermined?

    it's a meaningless notion thrown around for purposes of talking in generalities with casual readers about science.
  19. The Brandon Five

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    Until we find other forms, that is the scientific stance, no? Otherwise, it is science fiction.

    As would any assertion that there are more. Unless they are found, they are purely a matter of speculation or extrapolation.

    In an infinite universe you get certainties for any probability, so that regardless of the odds (we agree that they are unknown) you can be confident that they don't matter. In a finite universe you need to know what the odds are, which (as you point out) is pretty much impossible.


    I am surprised that you would say such a thing about HD and PFinV.:p
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  20. chicowalker

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    I don't think there is a "scientific stance." if there is one, it certainly issn't that anything we don't know is science fiction.


    Or logic. There's no reason to think that the only planets in the entire universe are those we've come across so far.

    So is it speculation? Sure -- but you seem to be denigrating that.

    I'm pretty confident our knowledge of the iniverse has only scratched the surface.

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