Call to extend [mainstream] alien life search: BBC

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Beren
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I've scepticism of any life being found on a "Jupiter-type" world, but I agree wholeheartedly with searching their moons. The writer of the article hasn't done a terribly lot of reasearch though, or they'd realize Mars-like planets aren't able to be detected yet.

And come to think of it, why did they say Mars-like planets and not come out and say "Earth-like" planets. Would have made more sense, to me.
 
  • #3
Mentat
3,918
3
Great link, Ivan Seeking. Thanks.

I really appreciate that mainstream science is finally recognizing the utter anthropocentricism of believing that life couldn't exist on planets that are uninhabitable by typical "Earth life". It's obvious that, if life evolved on other planets, it would have adapted to its planet's conditions not Earth's.
 
  • #4
Beren
94
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It's obvious that, if life evolved on other planets, it would have adapted to its planet's conditions not Earth's.

Unless you're thinking that life can't evolve in any place other than an Earth-like enviroment.

(The phrase "Earth-like" is used liberally, meaning any planet within appropriate temp zones and having a solid surface, etc.)
 
  • #5
Nereid
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,401
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come to think of it, why did they say Mars-like planets and not come out and say "Earth-like" planets

Er, they did make a clear distinction, and explain why; e.g. (quote from the article): "... boosts the chances of finding life on non Earth-like planets circling stars other than our Sun"

... mainstream science is finally recognizing the utter anthropocentricism of believing that life couldn't exist on planets that are uninhabitable by typical "Earth life"

Um, there is an interesting difficulty being assumed away here. Leave aside whether mainstream science can 'believe' anything; let's say you wished to study, using the scientific method, 'life in non-Earth environments'. How would you go about it?
a) Find some life in non-Earth environments and study it?
b) go to non-Earth environments and look for life?
c) take Earth life to a non-Earth environment and see what happens?

Turn the question around; how would you go about testing - using the scientific method - the following ideas (suitably reworded so they were hypotheses)?
1) non-Earth life thrives in the cores of neutron stars
2) non-Earth life has a characteristic time of 40 million years
3) dark matter creatures inhabit ecosystems which we call rich galaxy clusters.
 

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