Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Astronomer: No Intelligent Life Beyond Earth

After analyzing hundreds of planets, Harvard's senior astrophysicist, Dr. Howard Smith has concluded that there is no one beyond our own Earth -- which exists in perfect placement in our Solar System to sustain our lives, unlike any other heavenly body.

Ummm . . . It would seem he's saying that the Earth's perfect existence is not the result of random chance.

-- From "No hope of alien life in space, says US researcher" by The Daily Telegraph 1/25/11

There is no hope of finding alien life in space because conditions on all other 500 planets discovered so far are too hostile, a leading astronomer has claimed.

Dr Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard, said that extreme conditions found so far on planets discovered outside the solar system are likely to be the norm. "Most other planets and solar systems are wildly different from our own," he said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Astronomer discounts chances of alien life" posted at UPI 1/24/11

Smith insists extrasolar planets are too different from our own and even if they did support life it would be impossible for us to contact it.

"Any hope of contact has to be limited to a relatively tiny bubble of space around the Earth, stretching perhaps 1,250 light years out from our planet, where aliens might be able to pick up our signals or send us their own," he says. "But communicating would still take decades or centuries."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Alien life deemed impossible by analysis of 500 planets" by Heidi Blake, London Telegraph 1/23/11

[Dr. Smith] 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.

. . . Dr Smith dismissed the claims [of NASA -- see next article below], insisting that other extrasolar planets differ starkly from our own . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 2/2/11: Media Fanfare for NASA discovering, what might be distant planets, that theoretically could sustain life, but no conclusions are scientifically possible.

From "Astronomers hunting alien Earths" by Dan Vergano, USA TODAY 1/23/11

NASA's Kepler space telescope team this month unveiled the first indisputable detection of a rocky planet spotted in another star's solar system. The find lifted hopes that planets with rocky cores like Earth fill many stars' solar systems. Mission scientists led by William Borucki of NASA's NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., promise to report on hundreds of more planetary candidates next month.

Dubbed "Kepler-10b," the recently-announced rocky planet roasts in an orbit far too hot for life, circling less than two million miles above its sun-like star. "You have to see this as a warm up for Kepler, literally," says mission team scientist Sara Seager of MIT, however, pointing to expected future finds.

"Although no such planets have yet been discovered, the first will be found within the next couple of years," write astrophysicists Jonti Horner of Australia's University of New South Wales and Barrie Jones of the United Kingdom's Open University in the current Astronomy & Geophysics journal. "And so the time is right to discuss exactly what factors might come together to make such planets more, or less, suitable for life to develop and thrive."

Some caution about planet discoveries might be in order, though. The September announcement of the planet Gliese 581g by a team led by Steven Vogt of the University of California-Santa Cruz and Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institute of Washington (D.C.), has come under fire. Circling just such an M-class dwarf star, the planet was announced as orbiting in a potentially habitable zone. Other astronomers, such as the Geneva Observatory's Francesco Pepe, have since said they couldn't confirm the planet's detection, raising questions about its existence. (Noting that three outside groups have now reported they can't find Gliese 581g, Pepe says in an email, "It turns out today that Vogt's conclusions were wrong.")

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Warning to Dr. Howard Smith: You're about to be labeled a heretic by your peers.

UPDATE 2/3/11 (video): PBS report speculates that "odds are" some planet must have life

UPDATE 12/25/14: From "Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God" by Eric Metaxas (author of “Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life”), posted at Wall Street Journal

Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life—every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart. . . .

Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing. What can account for it? Can every one of those many parameters have been perfect by accident? At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces? Doesn’t assuming that an intelligence created these perfect conditions require far less faith than believing that a life-sustaining Earth just happened to beat the inconceivable odds to come into being?

Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments. He later wrote that “a common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology . . . . The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that “the appearance of design is overwhelming” and Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said “the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator . . . gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 3/17/14: Science Limited to Godless Origins at Ball State Univ.