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An artist's rendition of the new discovery of the three new planets, orbiting a star previously thought to hold none.  (Source: ESO)
More new Earth like planet discoveries pour in

Planets just aren't quite as unique as they once were thought to be.  During the medieval times, it was thought that the Earth was the center of the universe about which the sun and planets rotated. 

With time it was realized that the Earth was just one of the solar planets orbiting the sun, but skepticism that planets existed outside the solar system remained strong.  However, with the advent of new techniques and more power telescopes researchers began to discover extrasolar planets at a rapid pace, starting in the 1988, with the discovery of planets orbiting the star Gamma Cephei.  Meanwhile a large new orbiting body was discovered on the fringes of our own system, while Pluto was downgraded to a mere "Plutoid".

Some of these planets were deemed somewhat Earth-like in that they were smaller than gas giants, might have water, and could be made to be habitable.  Other extrasolar planets were similar in size to Earth, but were way to hot to inhabit with current technologies.

Now European astronomers have continued the run of discoveries of smaller planets with the discovery of a trio of "super-Earths" rotating around the star HD 40307, located 42 light-years from Earth towards the southern Doradus and Pictor constellations.  The new planets have masses of 4.2, 6.7, and 9.4 times the mass of Earth and orbits of 4.3, 9.6, and 20.4 days respectively.

The star they orbit is a normal star, approximately the same size as our sun.  According to Didier Queloz and Michel Mayor, expert planet hunters who led the discovery team, the planets are too hot to support life as we know it.

However, despite this slight disappointment, the discovery raises the intriguing possibility of a so-called "crowded universe" teeming with undiscovered planets.  HD 40307 was long thought to hold no planets -- it is clear now that the discovery was only possible with the advances in detection.  There are likely many smaller planets that have yet to be detected.  In total 270 extrasolar planets have already been found.

Stéphane Udry, a colleague of Mayor, describes the advance stating, "With the advent of much more precise instruments such as the HARPS spectrograph on ESO's 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, we can now discover smaller planets, with masses between 2 and 10 times the Earth's mass."

Mayor who works at the Geneva Observatory states, "Does every single star harbour planets and, if yes, how many?  We may not yet know the answer but we are making huge progress towards it.  Clearly these planets are only the tip of the iceberg.  The analysis of all the stars studied with HARPS shows that about one third of all solar-like stars have either super-Earth or Neptune-like planets with orbital periods shorter than 50 days."

The slowly unfolding picture of a universe full of planets brings two key possibilities.  First, the possibility of expansion and colonization outside the solar system, and secondly, the possibility of extraterrestrial life.



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If space is so massive...
By Whiskyboy on 6/18/2008 11:04:10 AM , Rating: 5
...and largely indefinite, why should we be so surprised to find planets in other systems? I've never really understood the once commonly held belief that our system was one of only a few with planets in it. It sounds like some sort of silly holdover from geo-centric space models.




RE: If space is so massive...
By nosfe on 6/18/2008 11:17:15 AM , Rating: 4
well the horoscope is geocentric and it's still alive and kicking so why shouldn't this concept survive?(not that it's a good thing but that's just life)


RE: If space is so massive...
By phxfreddy on 6/19/2008 12:34:35 AM , Rating: 3
I checked my whoroscope and it said not to believe any of your non earth centric talk!


RE: If space is so massive...
By Ratinator on 6/18/2008 11:21:05 AM , Rating: 3
It's all based on religious origins and that the earth was the center of the universe. The longer the church can maintain their way of thinking the slower the conversion process from non believers to believers is. Right now it is a fight to maintain that we are the only beings in the universe. As long as there are no planets in other solar systems and more specifically hospitable planets, the longer the church can continue to hold sway over those who are literally unable to think for themselves.


RE: If space is so massive...
By therealnickdanger on 6/18/2008 11:40:10 AM , Rating: 4
Actually, geocentrism owes its roots to early, flawed science and philosophy, not any particular church or religion. The same goes for "flat earth" concepts.

Many of the greatest scientists and discoverers in human history were also religious people with varying faiths in God. How they managed to expand human understanding while being unable to think for themselves is certainly a mystery.


RE: If space is so massive...
By GlassHouse69 on 6/19/08, Rating: 0
RE: If space is so massive...
By Relion on 6/19/2008 9:41:21 AM , Rating: 2
It harbors a good deal of religious fanatics too.


RE: If space is so massive...
By quickk on 6/18/2008 11:44:48 AM , Rating: 5
The Earth is the center of the universe... Supposing an infinite universe, then in each direction away from the Earth, there is an infinite number of kilometers. Since there is an equal distance in all directions, therefore one must conclude that the Earth is indeed at the center.

In fact, to be more precise, I am at the center of the universe :P


RE: If space is so massive...
By DM0407 on 6/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: If space is so massive...
By Adonlude on 6/18/2008 1:45:45 PM , Rating: 3
Don't be naive, man has "proven" very little. People even still argue proof that the earth is flat:
http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/FlatWh...

We have Newtonian physics v.s. quantum physics in the "standard model" that doesn't even encompass everything. No, for that we have string/unified theory/theory of everything...

So don't be to sure about what is really proven. Don't be to sure the human mind is even capable. "Men In Black" illustrated it pretty well when they showed our universe as being a marble in a higher beings board game, one of just an infinate possibilities that we may never be able to prove either way.


RE: If space is so massive...
By Parhel on 6/18/2008 1:52:37 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
People even still argue proof that the earth is flat


Methinks that's an elaborate joke . . . Supposed "flat earth" believers are somewhat of an urban legend.


RE: If space is so massive...
By Parhel on 6/18/2008 1:55:07 PM , Rating: 3
Correction - I know that's an elaborate joke. Read their "current events" section:

http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/FlatCu...

It's actually a pretty damn funny read.


RE: If space is so massive...
By encryptkeeper on 6/18/2008 2:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
From the bottom of the "Flat Earth Society" homepage:
The Flat Earth Society is not in any way responsible for the failure of the French to repel the Germans at the Maginot Line during WWII. Nor is the Flat Earth Society responsible for the recent yeti sightings outside the Vatican, or for the unfortunate enslavement of the Nabisco Inc. factory employees by a rogue hamster insurrectionist group.

Yeah. Fake. You may be thinking of people denying that the moon landing occurred. I believe they truly exist. Go to youtube and search for "proof of moon hoax" and view the first clip. Classic.


RE: If space is so massive...
By jabber on 6/19/2008 6:00:20 AM , Rating: 1
The whole 'flat earth' thing is actually a rather recent idea postulated by an author in the 18/19th century.

Humans have assumed the earth is round from pretty much the get go.

It is a myth.


RE: If space is so massive...
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2008 7:33:48 AM , Rating: 2
> "Humans have assumed the earth is round from pretty much the get go. It is a myth. "

No, that "myth" is itself pretty much a myth from the annals of Christian Apologia. Belief in a flat earth was exceedingly common during the Dark Ages, and persisted in some forms up to nearly the Renaissance. For instance, Medieval artist Hieronymous Bosch depicted a flat earth in his Garden of Earthly Delights, with the heavens above the earthly disc:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Hieronymus_Bosc...


RE: If space is so massive...
By Parhel on 6/19/2008 12:02:55 PM , Rating: 2
You think that's bad? Pablo Picasso believed that people's noses grew out of the side of their heads . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Dora_Maar_Au_Ch...

Seriously though, Bosch was sort of the Salvador Dali of his day. If you think that "The Garden of Earthly Delights" indicates that he believed the Earth was flat, you are totally missing the point of his work.

Rather than do a lot of cutting and pasting, I'll just state that it is indeed a myth that medieval people believed in a flat Earth . . . a myth which this article discusses in detail:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_earth


RE: If space is so massive...
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2008 2:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
> "If you think that "The Garden of Earthly Delights" indicates that he believed the Earth was flat, you are totally missing the point of his work."

One can argue the "point" of an artist's work forever. And yes, I don't believe Bosch himself believed in a flat earth. But he can't have painted in the 1500s a myth that we only invented in the 1900s. He is, rather, depicting a fanciful view of a collective mythos from an earlier era.

> ". . a myth which this article discusses in detail"

I won't bother pointing out the dangers of quoting Wikipedia, especially on politically-charged topics like this. I will say this, however. By the late Medieval period (the 1400s onward), that statement was true -- only a few uneducated people believed in a flat earth.

However, during the early Medieval period (from AD 400 onward) on can find many religious scholars espousing a flat earth viewpoint. And in fact, we find Wikipedia pointing out a few of those (though true to form for politically-charged topics, the mention is buried deep...the editors on the "apologia" side were obviously more numerous this month):
quote:
In his Homilies Concerning the Statutes[41] St.John Chrysostom (344–408) explicitly espoused the idea, based on his reading of Scripture, that the Earth floated on the waters gathered below the firmament...Diodorus of Tarsus (d. 394) also argued for a flat Earth based on scriptures; however, Diodorus' opinion on the matter is known to us only by a criticism of it by Photius.[43] Severian, Bishop of Gabala (d. 408), wrote: "The earth is flat and the sun does not pass under it in the night, but travels through the northern parts as if hidden by a wall".[44]

The Egyptian monk Cosmas Indicopleustes (547) in his Topographia Christiana, where the Covenant Ark was meant to represent the whole universe, argued on theological grounds that the Earth was flat, a parallelogram enclosed by four oceans...


RE: If space is so massive...
By steelincable on 6/18/2008 2:58:11 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I mean, isn't this still the current belief? Scientists have proven that the universe is actually EXPANDING and if it is expanding then that means at some point it had to be more condensed...even to the point of a single highly condensed super heated object of some sort; that is, of course, before it exploded into what it is today.


RE: If space is so massive...
By Ringold on 6/18/2008 6:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
Here's what I recall from Intro to Astronomy:

The universe is infinite; its finite only in what we can observe, which is limited by the age of the universe.

It's expanding not in the sense that somewhere out there is a barrier separating "nothing" from a rapidly expanding bubble of "space," but more like the... distance between any two objects is becoming larger, like if you marked an empty balloon with two dots and then inflated it with air. Sort of.

I think the OP sounds like those that interpret the big bang as some super-dense ball that exploded, and then all the universe is flying away from that point of origin. No.

I can't explain the inflation concept. Someone else debunk it. :P


RE: If space is so massive...
By Cheapshot on 6/18/2008 1:26:55 PM , Rating: 2
A mathmetician takes a can of paint and paints a circle around himself... he then mathmatically proves he has drawn a circle around the entire earth.


RE: If space is so massive...
By rudolphna on 6/18/2008 10:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
my brain hurts from all this paradoxy-like thinking. lol


RE: If space is so massive...
By lco45 on 6/23/2008 5:44:47 AM , Rating: 2
He has indeed, but he has left out the bit he's standing in.
Fair enough though, one must always be careful not to paint oneself into a corner.
The catholic church painted itself into a corner in Galileo's time, but has since decided that the popes of the time were wrong. I guess the hotline to God was being bounced off the wrong geostationery satellite ;)
Luke


RE: If space is so massive...
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 11:57:54 AM , Rating: 2
It has absolutely nothing to do with religion in the world of science. I don't believe theres ever been doubt in the scientific communities (in the past 100 years) that other planets exist. Just whether others harbor intelligent life.

There are very precise requirements for a planet to have life. So it will likely be a long time before we find another planet with life on it. Much less actually getting there.


RE: If space is so massive...
By Parhel on 6/18/08, Rating: -1
RE: If space is so massive...
By Fluxion on 6/18/2008 12:52:31 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
What . . . in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary? I mean, if there were other living beings in our universe why haven't they evolved far enough to make contact with us? Or at least create structures in space that we could detect? The universe is billions of years old. If life existed outside of Earth, I would expect that there would be some very convincing evidence of that.


With the universe as large and old as it is, it's very likely that intelligent life (both more advanced and less advanced than we are) has already developed and currently exists. The reality however, is that in terms of them contacting us, you'd have to essentially be spending most of your time looking at the earth in order to notice a change that would signify life, and even then, I'd say that we've only been "noticeable" for 50-60 years now, unless they were spending hundreds of years recording changes in atmospheric chemistry, etc., that may signify life.

One of the best means of potentially "discovering" intelligent extraterrestrial life is via radio communication, but unfortunately, we've only been broadcasting radio signals outwards for about 70 years ourselves, and have only been listening for around 40 years. Even in human evolutionary terms, that's a mere drop in the bucket on the timescale, so the fact we haven't discovered anything yet, doesn't really mean much.

And given that it's likely that there are billions upon billions of planets, and no (given our current understanding) means of faster-than-light travel through space, it would take even an old, established space-faring species quite a long time to happen across another intelligent species.


RE: If space is so massive...
By Parhel on 6/18/2008 1:07:06 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
in terms of them contacting us, you'd have to essentially be spending most of your time looking at the earth


I wasn't necessarily referring to contact aimed directly and specifically at us . . .

quote:
One of the best means of potentially "discovering" intelligent extraterrestrial life is via radio communication


That's more in line with what I was thinking. If it occurs to us to send radio signals to try and contact extraterrestrial life, why isn't the entire universe filled with messages sent by intelligent beings?

I know that other possibilities exist. For example, maybe life exists, but is very rare and the news just hasn't had a chance to reach us yet. Maybe the conditions necessary to sustain life are only recently coming into existence throughout the universe. It's just very suspicious that no evidence exists.


RE: If space is so massive...
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/2008 1:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
> "we've only been broadcasting radio signals outwards for about 70 years ourselves"

It's been almost 90 years since the first regular radio broadcasts begun...but yes, your primary point is correct.

Furthermore, it's likely that technological advances in the future might wholly invalidate radio broadcasting itself, which would help to explain why we see no other intelligent life using them.


RE: If space is so massive...
By phattyboombatty on 6/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: If space is so massive...
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/2008 5:25:18 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Religions are criticized often by the scientific community for holding blind faith belief in ideas with no supporting evidence (or, I should say, clinging to their beliefs in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence). Yet that is exactly what you are doing
No. There is no "overwhelming evidence" against intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. In fact, there is evidence that life will tend to evolve whenever certain conditions are present.

That -- coupled with the nonevidentiary, but highly reasonable supposition that intelligent life is no more than a special case of life in general -- is certainly reason to believe.

Is it hard proof? No of course not...but many murderers have been convicted on the basis on circumstantial evidence. And that's what we have here: circumstantial evidence that life is ubiquitous, and intelligent life not exceedingly rare.


RE: If space is so massive...
By Parhel on 6/18/2008 5:52:51 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
the nonevidentiary, but highly reasonable supposition that intelligent life is no more than a special case of life in general


I don't see how that is a reasonable supposition at all. It's possible, but it's certainly no more reasonable than assuming that the we are the only case of intelligent life in the universe. There are no other intelligent lifeforms here on Earth, and it's only reasonable to assume that there weren't in the past.

In a very short time human beings have covered the Earth from wall to wall with evidence of intelligent beings, and sent radio signals into space which would now cover a diameter of some 90 light years, encompassing over 1400 known solar systems. Despite the fact that intelligence as we know it clearly leaves such evidence, we have yet to run into any evidence at all. That alone makes me assume that if intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe, it is in fact exceedingly rare.

I'm not saying it isn't worth investigating. In fact, I think that we should fund NASA far more than we do today. If extra-terrestrial life exists, it may be the most important discovery the human race has ever made.


RE: If space is so massive...
By phattyboombatty on 6/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: If space is so massive...
By Ringold on 6/18/2008 6:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You would need to find a second case other than Earth to support your statement.


Why?

If the universe is infinite (or really, really, amazingly huge), then if Earth exists with intelligent life, obviously the probability is greater than zero.

Beyond that, if Mars had just a little more mass, and therefore managed to keep more of its atmosphere, it would've been conducive to life. There is liquid water under the surface of Europe, so there's a shot there. Thats one winner for life, and two close-calls, in one solar system.

With a probability greater than zero and an infinite universe, logic dictates there must be countless other Earth-like planets.

If you take a look at any of the pictures of distant galaxy clusters from a telescope like Hubble, and realize that almost everything in the image is a galaxy, and that thus you're looking at perhaps trillions of trillions of stars in just a tiny sliver of the sky.. Is it really all that hard to figure out that somewhere out there some other species developed an opposable thumb or equivalent?

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap080616.html

Load that picture up, and zoom in. We can't possibly be that special; to even think we could be almost seems arrogant.


RE: If space is so massive...
By phattyboombatty on 6/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: If space is so massive...
By idconstruct on 6/18/2008 7:15:34 PM , Rating: 3
You can't just selectively exclude earth from a probability based on the universe when the earth is very clearly part of it.

quote:
With a probability greater than zero and an infinite universe, logic dictates there must be countless other Earth-like planets.

I think there's something about that quote you must not understand.^

quote:
Obviously, if the question is "What is the probability of life existing in the universe?", that probability would be 1


yes this is nit-picky but a probability of 1 is like saying: The Universe = Earth
The probability is actually 1*10^-(BIG NUMBER)... yes it is small, but it is greater than zero. As such, if you multiply that by an infinite universe, you have infinite other planets with life.

quote:
It's similar to asking what is the probability of pulling a blue marble out of a bag, where you have no idea what color marbles are in the bag.


Well, considering we've pulled quite a few marbles out of the bag already and one of them was indeed blue (earth) how is it unreasonable to assume there could be more in the bag? Especially considering there's upwards of millions or billions of marbles in the bag?


RE: If space is so massive...
By cyclosarin on 6/22/2008 12:46:44 AM , Rating: 2
He isn't discounting the Earth. He's saying Earth is reference point 1, find reference point number 2 before you start extrapolating data.

You're trying to debate on an emotional level based on your belief structure and you aren't comprehending the debate on a logical level. He's already said there could be millions of 'earths' out in the universe, he also said we could be the only one. We have no proof either way at this point.


RE: If space is so massive...
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/2008 9:52:50 PM , Rating: 1
> "We haven't even been able to replicate abiogenesis under presumably ideal conditions in a controlled laboratory setting"

I'm surprised you didn't sprain a finger when you typed the word "even" in that sentence. Once we've "replicated abiogenesis", we've created life itself. It's something that took nature billions of years and a laboratory the size of a planet (if not larger) to accomplish...and you're upset because we haven't been able to replicate that in our extremely limited experiments of the past 50 years or so?

The fact is, while we haven't replicated the entire process, we've made enormous strides in many areas. We've shown that inorganic molecules can spontaneously form into organic nucleotides -- not under "controlled laboratory conditions" but under conditions the primordial earth would have had. We've seen those nucleotides self-assemble into larger units, and likewise seen the spontaneous formation of protocells, which exhibit behavior remarkably similar to the simplest eukarotic life.

At our current rate of progress, within the next 250 years or so, we'll not only have replicated the entire process, but we'll be custom-building our own lifeforms, to whatever designs we wish.


RE: If space is so massive...
By idconstruct on 6/18/2008 1:01:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not aware of any religious dogma that would prevent one from believing in extra-terrestrial life.


If got created man and woman here on earth, and god created all the animals to keep them company, then how did those extra-terrestrial beings come into existence? The existence of extra-terrestrial beings would also indisputably prove the theory of evolution. (not that it hasn't already)

quote:
I mean, if there were other living beings in our universe why haven't they evolved far enough to make contact with us? Or at least create structures in space that we could detect?


The main problem with that statement is that planets and other things that don't light up (emit radiation) are notoriously hard to detect (we know of countless stars, yet only 270 planets) As far as contacting us... they're gonna run into the exact same problem... not to mention actually traveling any significant distance is massively difficult and time consuming.


RE: If space is so massive...
By Janooo on 6/18/2008 1:17:12 PM , Rating: 2
If you are a Catholic and you believe in the Bible then what are angels?
Aren't they extra-terrestrial?


RE: If space is so massive...
By xRyanCat on 6/18/2008 1:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
Angels are of the spirit while you and I are of the flesh AND spirit. That's why we're revered by God. So since angels aren't of the flesh they aren't extra-terrestrial.

That's how you would prove it theologically.


RE: If space is so massive...
By Janooo on 6/18/2008 2:12:54 PM , Rating: 2
If they don't originate on the Earth I'd say they are extra-terrestrial beings.


RE: If space is so massive...
By idconstruct on 6/18/2008 7:22:13 PM , Rating: 2
Angels have nothing to do with the discussion here as they are not real. Or, to be more neutral, they are not physical beings made of matter... which I believe is one of the requirements for life.


RE: If space is so massive...
By SlyNine on 6/19/2008 12:35:00 AM , Rating: 2
Or at least a requirment to be any sort of terrestrial being.


RE: If space is so massive...
By MrPoletski on 6/18/2008 2:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
It was scientists not religious types that came up with the earth being the centre of the universe huh?

First of all, science as a 'job' barely existed back then.

Also, why was it then, that Galileo (who played a major role in the scientific revolution) was arrested by the inquisition for his 'non centre of the universe' ideas (having observed other planets). His work banned from being published. The idea that the earth moved aroudn the sun deemed heretical.

And:
quote:
Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, and 1 Chronicles 16:30 include text stating that "the world is firmly established, it cannot be moved." In the same tradition, Psalm 104:5 says, "the LORD set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved." Further, Ecclesiastes 1:5 states that "And the sun rises and sets and returns to its place, etc."[87]


When was that written?

quote:
What . . . in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary? I mean, if there were other living beings in our universe why haven't they evolved far enough to make contact with us?


Why havent we? and who would want to contact us anyway? How do we know they haven't tried? transmitting radio waves across the galaxy takes years and years. There might actually be *no* solution to breaking the light barrier.

quote:
Or at least create structures in space that we could detect? The universe is billions of years old. If life existed outside of Earth, I would expect that there would be some very convincing evidence of that.


We have only just managed to start detecting planets 5x the size of earth around other stars, give us a chance!

What, for example, evidence have we given about our existance out to other solar systems? None. All the radio transmissions we sent out since 1958 will have only travelled 50 light years, reaching precious few solar systems and at infanitessimal power levels.

Besides, I imagine a super intelligent species would do exactly what we do with vastly inferior beings. Watch them like ants to learn about them, but don't mess with them otherwise you screw your science experiment up.


RE: If space is so massive...
By phattyboombatty on 6/18/2008 3:20:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I imagine a super intelligent species would do exactly what we do with vastly inferior beings. Watch them like ants to learn about them, but don't mess with them otherwise you screw your science experiment up.

Why do you assume a super-intelligent species would do the same thing as a vastly inferior being? Based on your premise, ants must also be observing inferior species, but not messing with them, because it would mess up their science experiments.

It's pretty riduculous for the "inferior" being to try to postulate what the "superior" being would do in the same situation.


RE: If space is so massive...
By phattyboombatty on 6/18/2008 3:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
And I forgot to add that I doubt there is any other intelligent beings in the universe that can compete with our level of arrogance. I'm sure the smartest person in the universe would agree with me on this point.


RE: If space is so massive...
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/2008 10:42:37 PM , Rating: 2
The belief that mankind is the smartest/most arrogant/most evil/most violent/most (insert whatever here) is just a variant of the same anthropomorphic philosophy that had us all believing the sun and stars rotated around the earth, and the planet was created just for our own enjoyment.


RE: If space is so massive...
By MrPoletski on 6/19/2008 4:55:43 AM , Rating: 2
Because ant's don't have the mental capacity for experimental observation of other species? We probably don't have the intelligence to comprehend the kinds of experiments a vastly more advanced race would perform on us - but you can bet we'd try and screw it up somehow if we found out they were doing it.

We regularly analyse behaviour/responses and such of lesser species because in some situations we can use them as 'simple' models to describe ourselves.


RE: If space is so massive...
By sqrt1 on 6/18/2008 10:55:05 PM , Rating: 2
Quick! be sure to send emails to all the news outlets saying that because they use the words "sunrise and sunset" in their reports - they must believe that the sun rotates around the earth!

Actually, there is no absolute frame of reference in space. I know, I'm on Earth so I'll use it as a frame of reference.

Egad! the Sun does orbit the Earth! QED.


RE: If space is so massive...
By masher2 (blog) on 6/18/2008 11:51:25 PM , Rating: 2
> "Actually, there is no absolute frame of reference in space. I know, I'm on Earth so I'll use it as a frame of reference"

Relativity holds only for non-rotating frames of reference. I know you were being facetious, but if one uses the earth as a frame of reference to show the sun rotating around it, one gets some *very* strange results from the equations of motion.


RE: If space is so massive...
By sqrt1 on 6/19/2008 4:13:48 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps I am being ignorant here, but what I meant was Earth's "axis" as the frame of reference. (eg. 365.25 days for the Sun to orbit the earth)

It all makes a lot more sense if the only two bodies you are modeling are the Sun and Earth.


RE: If space is so massive...
By masher2 (blog) on 6/19/2008 7:36:57 AM , Rating: 2
> "Perhaps I am being ignorant here, but what I meant was Earth's "axis" as the frame of reference"

Right, but the position of that axis is itself revolving around the sun, which makes it a non-inertial frame of reference.


RE: If space is so massive...
By sqrt1 on 6/19/2008 8:06:36 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, the Earth axis that rotates around the Sun, roughly every 27 days. (from the Suns' frame of reference) Glad that is cleared up...


By Shane McGlaun (blog) on 6/21/2008 12:08:41 AM , Rating: 2
Even the Vatican says alien life may be possible.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7399661.stm


RE: If space is so massive...
By WasabiX on 6/19/2008 2:25:16 AM , Rating: 2
Bingo.


RE: If space is so massive...
By amanojaku on 6/18/2008 11:24:06 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think anyone today is surprised to find planets. We have found so many, even after the redefinition of the term "planet" in 2006. At this point I doubt many would be surprised to find aliens, even on this planet. It would explain some people's behaviors, that's for sure!


RE: If space is so massive...
By FITCamaro on 6/18/2008 11:58:56 AM , Rating: 1
I can drive 5 minutes and see a whole bunch of aliens. They're just not from another planet. But they're welcome less here than aliens from another planet in my mind.


RE: If space is so massive...
By amanojaku on 6/18/2008 12:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure the Native Americans are thinking the same thing about Caucasians, peoples of African descent, Asians, and anyone else. Deal with it, FIT, like they have.


RE: If space is so massive...
By Runiteshark on 6/18/2008 1:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah by drinking and opening casinos

(rimshot)


By Seemonkeyscanfly on 6/18/2008 1:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
He is dealing with it. He telling you the community he lives in do not welcome law breaking aliens to living in their community.


By phattyboombatty on 6/18/2008 2:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
There's nothing about geocentricism that says there can't be numerous other planets outside our solar system.


RE: If space is so massive...
By MrPoletski on 6/18/2008 2:21:51 PM , Rating: 2
Neither did I, probably the same people that think the world is only 4000 years old.

When we meet intelligent alien life, will that shut the religious fanatics that stand in front of science up for good?


RE: If space is so massive...
By BruceLeet on 6/18/2008 2:45:29 PM , Rating: 2
I know how you are thinking, even Metallica understands...

All that is, was and will be
Universe much too big to see
Time and space never ending
Disturbing thoughts, questions pending
Limitations of human understanding


There was an article about scientists/astronomers finding this unnatural* quasar, who are we to call something we no understanding of unnatural.

* = forgot the actual word used.


RE: If space is so massive...
By Parhel on 6/18/2008 2:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
forgot the actual word used


Let me see if I understand your question correctly . . .

Who are we to call something we don't understand this word you can't remember?

. . . Is that about right?


RE: If space is so massive...
By iceolate on 6/18/2008 4:38:37 PM , Rating: 2
Then it would make sense that they'd use the term "anomaly" or "anomalous". That's generally the word used to describe something less understood, or that which does not quite fit into currently known patterns or classifications. Other appropriate synonyms include irregular and abnormal. Unnatural wouldn't make much sense, when in reference to something found in nature.

Something unnatural would have to be man-made, by way of manipulating materials in a way that does not happen due to the forces of nature as they naturally occur.


RE: If space is so massive...
By FaceMaster on 6/18/2008 3:19:10 PM , Rating: 2
Religion has held back so many discoveries.


RE: If space is so massive...
By MrHanson on 6/18/2008 5:54:17 PM , Rating: 3
Be sure to tell that to Werner Von Braun, Charles Babbage, the wright brothers, Michael Faraday, William Thomson Kelvin, etc..

But I do agree, the Church of Darwin has failed to explain the intracies of the cell and how it came to be by chance. Darwin always thought the cell was a simple blob of jelly. Well we all know now how that has turned out.


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