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Alien life deemed impossible by analysis of 500 planets
The Daily Telegraph ^ | January 23, 2011 | Heidi Blake

Posted on 01/23/2011 9:38:58 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard, made the claim that we are alone in the universe after an analysis of the 500 planets discovered so far showed all were hostile to life.

Dr Smith said the extreme conditions found so far on planets discovered outside out Solar System are likely to be the norm, and that the hospitable conditions on Earth could be unique.

“We have found that most other planets and solar systems are wildly different from our own. They are very hostile to life as we know it,” he said.

He pointed to stars such as HD10180, which sparked great excitement when it was found to be orbited by a planet of similar size and appearance to Earth.

But the similarities turned out to be superficial. The planet lies less than two million miles from its sun, meaning it is roasting hot, stripped of its atmosphere and blasted by radiation.

Many of the other planets have highly elliptical orbits which cause huge variations in temperature which prevent water remaining liquid, thus making it impossible for life to develop.

A separate team of scientists recently declared the chance of aliens existing on a newly discovered Earth-like planet “100 per cent”.

Professor Steven Vogt , of the Carnegie institution in Washington, said he had “no doubt” extraterrestrial life would be found on a small, rocky planet found orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581 last September.

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alienlife; demagogue; panspermia; phonyscience; quackery; scientism; space; universe; xplanets
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Posters in "comments" are not taking this claim very well.
1 posted on 01/23/2011 9:39:01 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Did they count Alan Grayson?


2 posted on 01/23/2011 9:42:30 AM PST by Carl LaFong (Experts say experts should be ignored.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
This analysis probably more accurate than the Polls touted by the Liberal press. IOW...The sample is too small to make an accurate conclusion..


3 posted on 01/23/2011 9:42:43 AM PST by darkwing104 (Lets get dangerous)
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To: darkwing104

How true.

Just as “global warming” is “settled science.”


4 posted on 01/23/2011 9:43:34 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife (Allhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2122429/posts)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

They’re looking in all the wrong places i.e. they’re looking at solar systems like our present one and not like the original pre-flood system. They should be looking at dwarf stars like Jupiter and Saturn once were and the thing they should be taking the hardest look at would be Proxima Centauri.


5 posted on 01/23/2011 9:43:39 AM PST by wendy1946
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Let's see, we have found earth like life on one out of 501 planets (earth itself). That is a success rate of 0.2%. Now how many planets are there? Multiply that by 0.2% and the number of potential life supporting planets is very, very large.
6 posted on 01/23/2011 9:44:54 AM PST by LOC1
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

What a stupid thing for someone in his position to say.


7 posted on 01/23/2011 9:45:08 AM PST by Psycho_Bunny (Hail To The Fail-In-Chief)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

A survey of 500 planets....out of 4.6 billion in this galaxy alone.


8 posted on 01/23/2011 9:45:34 AM PST by Soothesayer (smallpox is not a person)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Yeah 500 out of 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000+
planets is a good sample lot


9 posted on 01/23/2011 9:46:03 AM PST by clamper1797 (Pray for Obama ... Psalms 109:8)
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To: Psycho_Bunny

He’s probably just desperately hoping that there is no power in the universe mightier than the state....


10 posted on 01/23/2011 9:47:03 AM PST by Soothesayer (smallpox is not a person)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

500 planets down, unknown but very very large amount to go.


11 posted on 01/23/2011 9:47:41 AM PST by Domandred (Fdisk, format, and reinstall the entire .gov system.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I can’t remember who said it... might have been George Carlin... but a comedian once said that if there’s intelligent life out there, they are proving their intelligence by NOT contacting US.


12 posted on 01/23/2011 9:47:47 AM PST by A_perfect_lady (Islam is as Islam does.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
This is the argument:

We have not found life yet, and the 500 planets we can see are too inhospitable for life, so there must not be life anywhere except here.

This DUMBELL should have his scientist license revoked.

I bet he ‘believes’ in global warming too.

13 posted on 01/23/2011 9:48:33 AM PST by Mr. K (There are 10 types of people those who know BINARY and those who don't)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
A separate team of scientists recently declared the chance of aliens existing on a newly discovered Earth-like planet “100 per cent”.

And I declare with 100% certainly that we will find a planet shaped just like Alfred E. Newman's head before we find life on another planet.

14 posted on 01/23/2011 9:48:37 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

In related news, the ant colony in my driveway has declared that life outside the block we live on is impossible.


15 posted on 01/23/2011 9:48:54 AM PST by blackdog
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Given that our current extra-solar planet detection methods are best at finding super-massive planets close in to their primary star, it is hardly surprising that most of the planets discovered are hostile to life as we know it.
16 posted on 01/23/2011 9:48:59 AM PST by null and void (We are now in day 733 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: A_perfect_lady

I am absolutely sure that intelligent life exists in the universe ... just not here


17 posted on 01/23/2011 9:49:13 AM PST by clamper1797 (Pray for Obama ... Psalms 109:8)
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To: Psycho_Bunny
And I've been saving all my quataloos for what?

Damn!

18 posted on 01/23/2011 9:50:12 AM PST by blackdog
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

500 planets, well that settles it...

But if there is no other life in the universe, there soon will be. We’ll spread out sooner or later. Then go back in time and populate it that way too. So there already are other inhabited worlds, just not yet in the past.

That is, of course, deo volente.


19 posted on 01/23/2011 9:50:24 AM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

In other breaking news:”There are no black swans.”


20 posted on 01/23/2011 9:50:38 AM PST by mad_as_he$$ (V for Vendetta.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

They obviously didn’t look in Washington D.C.


21 posted on 01/23/2011 9:51:09 AM PST by Be_Politically_Erect (Sailing Against My Will On A Ship Of Fools)
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To: LOC1
Let's see, we have found earth like life on one out of 501 planets (earth itself). That is a success rate of 0.2%. Now how many planets are there? Multiply that by 0.2% and the number of potential life supporting planets is very, very large.

Lots of people talk about the number of potential planets that could support life. But the universe is a finite number of years old.

What if we're first?

22 posted on 01/23/2011 9:52:42 AM PST by paulycy (Liberals suck all the joy out of America. Make them stop.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Check this simulation out it’s very cool

http://www.nowykurier.com/toys/gravity/gravity.html


23 posted on 01/23/2011 9:53:18 AM PST by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard, made the claim that we are alone in the universe after an analysis of the 500 planets..."

Hopefully, this moron is old, and will die before he's embarrassed for all time by this stupid, premature pronouncement. History is replete with examples of scientists making wildly inaccurate predictions.

I suppose that he never stopped to realize that it's just possible that his sample size is too small, and that the incidence of earthlike planets might be 1 in 10,000. Perhaps it's only one in a million.

This is yet another example of modern day scientists weakening the public's confidence in the field.

24 posted on 01/23/2011 9:53:25 AM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Ok, so they analyzed 500 liberals - what does that prove?


25 posted on 01/23/2011 9:53:35 AM PST by JaguarXKE (Life - It's 10 percent circumstances and 90 percent how you react to circumstances - Sarah Palin)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Pinheads like him have been making false conclusions since the beginning of time. He hasn’t seen but 0.0000000000001% of all planets, yet, he thinks that’s a good enough sample.


26 posted on 01/23/2011 9:55:22 AM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: Mr. K

If he believes in global warming, then he already lives in an alternate universe, with skittle-pooping unicorns and such. How many planets were checked over there?


27 posted on 01/23/2011 9:56:02 AM PST by Tax Government (Democrat: "I'm driving to Socialism at 95 mph." Republican: "Observe the speed limit.")
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To: null and void
Given that our current extra-solar planet detection methods are best at finding super-massive planets close in to their primary star, it is hardly surprising that most of the planets discovered are hostile to life as we know it.

You should take that idiot's job and his salary.

28 posted on 01/23/2011 9:57:25 AM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: JaguarXKE

Even if only .001 percent of stars have planets with life,
with billions of stars per galaxy and billions of galaxies,
that’s still a pretty big number.


29 posted on 01/23/2011 9:57:44 AM PST by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
They are very hostile to life as we know it,” he said.

The same can be said about Planned Parenthood.

30 posted on 01/23/2011 9:58:54 AM PST by GreenHornet
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard, made the claim that we are alone in the universe

Professor Steven Vogt , of the Carnegie institution in Washington, said he had “no doubt” extraterrestrial life would be found

Ah, another one of those annoying articles where the headline totally contradicts the article.

31 posted on 01/23/2011 9:59:29 AM PST by lonevoice (Where the Welfare State is on the march, the Police State is not far behind)
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To: paulycy

Possible. Wouldn’t count on it though.

More likely we are alone than first.


32 posted on 01/23/2011 10:01:51 AM PST by BenKenobi
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

With comments like this, Dr. Smith is clearly an attention whore, and probably should not be teaching.


33 posted on 01/23/2011 10:02:58 AM PST by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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To: Tax Government

I confess to, and apologize for having taken cheap, joking shot at someone who said nothing ever afaik about global warming.


34 posted on 01/23/2011 10:03:10 AM PST by Tax Government (Democrat: "I'm driving to Socialism at 95 mph." Republican: "Observe the speed limit.")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

500 planets isn’t even a drop in the proverbial bucket. I have no doubt extraterrestrial life is rare, given the conditions needed for a planet to be in the habitable zone. But impossible? If even only one out of a hundred million planets is capable of producing life as we understand it, that still leaves 40 or 50 likely candidates in the Milky Way galaxy alone.

There is, of course, also the possibility that life has evolved in ways we haven’t fully grasped. Don’t want to head off into Star Trek land, but we do have bacteria right here on Earth that feed on jet fuel and other exotic materials. It’s not impossible that there is some form of bacteria or other primitive life to be found in the seas of Titan and several other moons of Jupiter and Saturn.


35 posted on 01/23/2011 10:05:17 AM PST by DemforBush (I got three passports, a couple of visas. You don't even know my real name..)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

They have not even seen a planet nor another solar system only the effects they have on the stars they orbit the tiny little tug on the stars themselves so how can they tell anything?


36 posted on 01/23/2011 10:06:28 AM PST by Lees Swrd ("Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe and preserve order in the world as well")
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To: Windflier

We can’t even detect earth sized planets yet!

Let alone pinpoint the system location either. Anything over 50 light years away we could be out by a light year from the true distance. Lots of work still to do.


37 posted on 01/23/2011 10:06:57 AM PST by BenKenobi
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Alien life deemed impossible by analysis of 500 planets

Heck, I can't find intelligent life amongst 500 democrats.

He's going to have to look harder.

38 posted on 01/23/2011 10:07:46 AM PST by Caipirabob ( Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: clamper1797
LOL I once worked in Australia and one local guy told me MAGPAIS was unike to Australia only, go figure
39 posted on 01/23/2011 10:08:46 AM PST by munin (Enki did it,)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

But the 500 planets studied are the rule. Too cold, too hot, too irradiated, too something. Study 500 million planets and you’ll find the same thing: The conditions for intelligent life are incredibly, infinitesimally rare.


40 posted on 01/23/2011 10:09:01 AM PST by denydenydeny (Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views, beyond the comprehension of the weak-Adams)
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To: clamper1797
Yes, but:

"And finally, did you know that only a miraculous set of
circumstances makes life here on Earth possible? For instance,
the planet's size is just exactly right to hold our atmosphere.
The atmosphere contains just enough oxygen to support life.
And our distance from the sun is just perfect for the right
temperature. Should there be even a trivial change in any of
these conditions, all life here on Earth would certainly be
obliterated in a matter of milliseconds. This is Les Nessman
saying good day, and may the good news be yours.

Apparently, the Harvard guy doesn't think any other planet can meet
and sustain these conditions.

41 posted on 01/23/2011 10:09:58 AM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Bad, bad logic and science.

The technology so far MIGHT detect Jupiter, if it were in a highly elliptical orbit, but completely miss Earth.

This is the equivalent of saying your car keys are not nearby on the ground, because it is night and you only looked in the area under the street lamp.


42 posted on 01/23/2011 10:10:55 AM PST by FormerACLUmember (Character is defined by how we treat those who society says have no value.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The universe is so vast and the stars so innumerable that no matter how many planets we look at, it will still be an unrepresentative sample.

Hubble Deep Field images are a tiny dot of sky in the Orion Nebula magnified millions of times.

Those aren't stars, those are galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars.

And that's just one dot of sky.

Just imagine how big the universe really is.

43 posted on 01/23/2011 10:15:41 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum ("If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." -- Barry Soetoro, June 11, 2008)
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To: CodeToad
Pinheads like him have been making false conclusions since the beginning of time. He hasn’t seen but 0.0000000000001% of all planets, yet, he thinks that’s a good enough sample.

Exactly. Hence my confidence that there's a planet out there shaped just like Alfred E. Newman's head. I mean, there are so many planets out there that it's a virtual certainty. Only a pinhead would deny it.

44 posted on 01/23/2011 10:18:29 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: BenKenobi
Anything over 50 light years away we could be out by a light year from the true distance. Lots of work still to do.

Agreed. Like null and void said upthread, our current technology can just barely detect super-massive planets that orbit close to their parent star. By definition, none of those are earthlike.

Our sensing technology has to evolve to a higher level before we can easily detect small rocky planets like ours in other solar systems.

45 posted on 01/23/2011 10:20:37 AM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: BenKenobi
Since telescope resolution is tied to overall size,we will need new telescopes that are to the MMT and Keck scopes as they are to the scopes found in the science toys for children,before we can see the details necessary.And those scope will have to be space or Moon based to avoid the limits imposed by Earth's atmosphere.

Even sending a probe to the nearest star system would require a huge investment using current propulsion methods and the results might only be seen by our great-great-grandchildren.The data could be beamed back to us at the speed of light,getting the dat-gathering platform there will take a long time.And it would almost certainly have to incorporate a foolproof nuclear power reactor .Someone care to calculate the transmitter power required and antenna size to send the probe's data back at even "dial-up" rates?

46 posted on 01/23/2011 10:23:01 AM PST by hoosierham (Waddaya mean Freedom isn't free ?;will you take a credit card?)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard, made the claim that we are alone in the universe after an analysis of the 500 planets discovered so far showed all were hostile to life.

What an idiot. We can't even be sure there's no life in our own solar system even after having been to some other planets. Most of the planets we've been able to detect are hot jupiters and are easiest to detect. We've only been able to detect a couple of rocky planets that are too close to their suns to support life.

The sample size he's relying on is akin to pulling an electron out of the human body and declaring there there is no life anywhere. This clown should take up climatology, sounds like he's just the kind of man they're looking for.
47 posted on 01/23/2011 10:23:08 AM PST by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
“If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible he is almost certainly right, but if he says that it is impossible he is very probably wrong.”
-- Arthur C. Clarke
48 posted on 01/23/2011 10:23:08 AM PST by dread78645 (Evolution. A doomed theory since 1859.)
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To: LOC1

“Let’s see, we have found earth like life on one out of 501 planets (earth itself). That is a success rate of 0.2%. Now how many planets are there? Multiply that by 0.2% and the number of potential life supporting planets is very, very large.”

So, let’s carry this logic further...you exist on planet earth where life itself exists. So, there is a great chance that you exist on another planet as well, do you like it there I wonder?


49 posted on 01/23/2011 10:27:22 AM PST by Wpin ("I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny...")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Is this guy serious? He must have a credibility ‘death-wish’.

Scientists are still up in the air about life on local planets. Fossil evidence seems to point to at the very least, former life on one local planet. I don’t buy into it, but some scientists do.

If we can’t be positively certain concerning life on local planets, how can we be so bold as to make a blanket statement about 500 other planets?

What may seem like an inhospitable climate on other planets, may in fact be a fantastic climate for life of another form there.

Again, we find ourselves in a situation where we just don’t know, cannot know, and yet definitive statements are being made.

I expect a number of hilarious pronouncements to be aired over the next few decades, as fools feel compelled to turn their brains inside out for public observation.


50 posted on 01/23/2011 10:27:52 AM PST by DoughtyOne (All hail the Kenyan Prince Obama, Lord of the Skid-mark, constantly soiling himself and our nation.)
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