originally posted by: neformore
a reply to: carsforkids
You do realise that if there is one habitable planet hosting intelligent life, in every galaxy (not star... galaxy) that we can see then the
universe is teeming with life?
From the year 2000: “In the last few decades, a growing number of astronomers have promulgated the view that alien civilizations are likely to be
scattered among the stars,” states The New York Times
. “This extraterrestrial credo has fueled not only countless books, movies and
television shows . . . but a long scientific hunt that uses huge dish antennas to scan the sky for faint radio signals from intelligent aliens.”
That search will most likely fail, say two prominent scientists, Dr. Peter D. Ward and Dr. Donald C. Brownlee, authors of the book Rare Earth
New findings in astronomy, paleontology, and geology, they say, show “that Earth’s composition and stability are extraordinarily rare” and that
conditions elsewhere are unsuitable for complex life-forms. “We have finally said out loud what so many have thought for so long—that complex
life, at least, is rare,” said Dr. Ward. Adds Dr. Brownlee: “People say the Sun is a typical star. That’s not true. Almost all environments in
the universe are terrible for life. It’s only Garden of Eden places like Earth where it can exist.”
Extraterrestrials—Where are they?
According to science writer Isaac Asimov, this is “a question that, in a way, spoils everything” for those who believe in life on other planets.
Originally posed in 1950 by nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi, the question capped an argument that went something like this: If intelligent life has
arisen on other planets in our galaxy, many civilizations should now exist that are millions of years ahead of our own. They should have developed
interstellar travel long ago and spread abroad in the galaxy, colonizing and exploring at will. So where are they?
While some SETI scientists are admittedly shaken by this “Fermi paradox,” they often reply to it by pointing out how difficult it would be to
voyage between the stars. Even at the speed of light, enormous though that is, it would take a spaceship a hundred thousand years to traverse just our
own galaxy. Surpassing that speed is deemed impossible.
Science fiction that features ships hopping from one star to another in a matter of days or hours is fantasy, not science. The distances between stars
are vast almost beyond our comprehension. In fact, if we could build a model of our galaxy so tiny that our sun (which is so huge that it could
swallow a million earths) was shrunk to the size of an orange, the distance between the stars in this model would still average a thousand miles [some
That is why SETI scientists lean so strongly on radio telescopes; they imagine that since advanced civilizations might not travel between stars, they
would still seek out other forms of life by the relatively cheap and easy means of radio waves. But Fermi’s paradox still haunts them.
American physicist Freeman J. Dyson has concluded that if advanced civilizations exist in our galaxy, finding evidence of them should be as easy as
finding signs of technological civilization on Manhattan Island in New York City. The galaxy should be buzzing with alien signals and their immense
engineering projects. But none have been found. In fact, one article on the subject noted that “searched, found nothing” has become like a
religious chant for SETI astronomers.
A number of scientists are beginning to realize that their colleagues have made far too many optimistic assumptions in addressing this question. Such
scientists come up with a much lower number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy. Some have said that there is but one—us. Others have said
that mathematically, there should be fewer than one—even we shouldn’t be here!
The basis for their skepticism is not hard to see. It could be summed up with two questions: If such extraterrestrials existed, where would they live?
And how did they get there?
‘Why, they would live on planets,’ some might reply to the first question. But there is only one planet in our solar system that is not downright
hostile to life, the one we occupy. But what about the planets circling the thousands of millions of other stars in our galaxy? Might not some of them
harbor life? The fact is that up to now scientists have not conclusively proved the existence of a single planet outside of our solar system. Why
Because to detect one is exceedingly difficult. Since stars are so distant and planets do not emit any light of themselves, detecting even a giant
planet, such as Jupiter, is like trying to spot a speck of dust floating around a powerful light bulb miles away.
Even if such planets do exist—and some indirect evidence has accumulated to indicate that they do—this still does not mean that they orbit
precisely the right kind of star in the right galactic neighborhood, at precisely the right distance from the star, and are themselves of precisely
the right size and composition to sustain life.
Yet, even if many planets do exist that meet the stringent conditions necessary to sustain life as we know it, the question remains, How would life
arise on those worlds? This brings us to the very foundation of the belief in beings on other worlds—evolution.
To many scientists, it seems logical to believe that if life could evolve from nonliving matter on this planet, that could be true on others as well.
As one writer put it: “The general thinking among biologists is that life will begin whenever it is given an environment where it can
begin.” But that is where evolution faces an insurmountable objection. Evolutionists cannot even explain how life began on this planet.
Scientists Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe estimate that the odds against life’s vital enzymes forming by chance are one in 10^40,000 (1 with
40,000 zeros after it). Scientists Feinberg and Shapiro go still further. In their book Life Beyond Earth
, they put the odds against the
material in an organic soup ever taking the first rudimentary steps toward life at one in 10^1,000,000.
Do you find these cumbersome figures hard to grasp? The word “impossible” is easier to remember, and it is just as accurate. The rest of
evolutionary theory is equally fraught with trouble.
Still, SETI astronomers blithely assume that life must have originated by chance all over the universe. Gene Bylinsky, in his book Life in
, speculates on the various paths evolution might have taken on alien worlds. He suggests that intelligent octopuses, marsupial
men with pouches on their stomachs, and bat-people who make musical instruments are not at all farfetched. Renowned scientists have praised his
book. However, other scientists, such as Feinberg and Shapiro, see the gaping flaw in such reasoning. They decry the “weakness in the basic
experimental foundations” of scientists’ theories about how life got started on earth. They note, though, that scientists nonetheless “have used
these foundations to erect towers that extend to the end of the Universe.”
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edit on 31-10-2019 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)