Exoplanets Extraterrestrial life

Okay, so Earth IS rare … and who predicted that?

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Here’s Lee Billings at New Scientist coming to the point with admirable swiftness:

Two decades of searching have failed to turn up another planetary system like ours. Should we be worried?- “No place like home: Our lonesome solar system” (11 May 2011)

He answers his own question, in part:

It was clear we had ignored a fundamental rule of science. “We had been judging the cosmic diversity of planetary systems based on a sample size of one,” says Marcy.

If these were the first hints that our solar system was not normal, they were not the last. Other planets were soon caught breaking all sorts of rules: orbiting in the opposite direction to their star’s spin, coming packed in close orbits like sardines in a can, or revolving on wildly tilted orbits far away from their star’s equator.

Soon “theorists began to supply the necessary creation stories.”

Billings brings us up to date on how planets are detected, then comes the punch line:

All this makes the status of our solar system increasingly clear. “Our system is a rarity, there’s no longer a question about that,” says Marcy. “The only question that remains is, just how rare is it?”

Expelled ID guy Guillermo Gonzalez predicted this state of affairs. Here, for example, in 2001:

When all of these factors occur together, they create a region of space that Gonzalez calls a “Galactic Habitable Zone.” Gonzalez believes every form of life on our planet – from the simplest bacteria to the most complex animal – owes its existence to the balance of these unique conditions.Because of this, states Gonzalez, “I believe both simple life and complex life are very rare, but complex life, like us, is probably unique in the observable Universe.”

– Leslie Mullen, “Galactic Habitable Zones,” Astrobiology Magazine, 05/18/01

Gonzalez was then  Assistant Professor of Astronomy at the University of Washington (1999-2001). Mullen’s decade-old article is free of the hostility that later dogged Gonzalez when, at Iowa State University,

After the release of Privileged Planet, ISU religious studies professor Hector Avalos–faculty advisor to the campus Atheist and Agnostic Society–began publicly campaigning against Dr. Gonzalez and his work. Although Dr. Gonzalez had never introduced intelligent design into his classes, Avalos helped spearhead a faculty petition urging “all faculty” at ISU to “uphold the integrity of our university” by “reject[ing] efforts to portray Intelligent Design as science.” Avalos later conceded to a local newspaper that Gonzalez was the key motive for the petition. The logical conclusion of this campaign against Dr. Gonzalez came in the spring of 2007, when ISU President Gregory Geoffroy denied Dr. Gonzalez’s application for tenure.

Avalos’ success has been widely considered a great victory for “science.”

4 Replies to “Okay, so Earth IS rare … and who predicted that?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Coral Ridge recently did a small piece on Guillermo Gonzalez

    Guillermo Gonzalez & Stephen Meyer on Coral Ridge – video (Part 1)

    Guillermo Gonzalez & Stephen Meyer on Coral Ridge – video (Part 2)

    further notes:

    Privileged Planet – Observability Correlation – Gonzalez and Richards – video

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    The Privileged Planet – video

    Privileged Planet Principle – Michael Strauss – video

    Does the Probability for ETI = 1?
    Excerpt; On the Reasons To Believe website we document that the probability a randomly selected planet would possess all the characteristics intelligent life requires is less than 10^-304. A recent update that will be published with my next book, Hidden Purposes: Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, puts that probability at 10^-1054.

    Linked from “Appendix C” in Why the Universe Is the Way It Is
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters ? 10^-1333
    dependency factors estimate ? 10^324
    longevity requirements estimate ? 10^45
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters ? 10^-1054
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe ? 10^22

    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.

    Hugh Ross – Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere (10^-1054) – video

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called “Lord God” [pantokratòr], or “Universal Ruler”… The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect.”
    Sir Isaac Newton – Quoted from what many consider the greatest science masterpiece of all time, “Principia”


    Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill How Great thou Art – 720P HD – Standing Ovation!

  2. 2
    Eugen says:


    On the picture we can see Venus, Earth and Mars all in the calculated habitable zone.

    We know Mars atmosphere was long ago stripped away and that there is most likely no life there as well.

    Venus likely formed in a similar way to Mars and Earth, yet out of the three, it is the most inhospitable. Venus suffered runaway greenhouse effects, it’s atmosphere can crush any space probe we send.

    Venus is as similar as Earth in the past, yet it is a very different and unforgiving place for anything living.
    Looking at this picture we could logically conclude that the habitable zone must be a rule of science, and we are close to the middle of it… the question is: what happened to Mars and Venus?

    Obvious and logical conclusion is astronomers may find planets within habitable zone but that doesn’t mean they will develop into hospitable place for life.

    Just look at our neighbors.

  3. 3

    Who’s Hector Avalos??? Is he a scientist? A what? A professor of Religious studies? But is religion a scientific subject? What do religions believe? Give me a break! Oh, yes, he’s an atheist!!!

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    If earth is so rare, how did the phrasee “dirt cheap” ever catch on?

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