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Are these stats for ET just “barking mad”?

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Alien tripod by Alvim Corréa, 1906 French edition of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds”

Proven. From SETI’s Seth Shostak at NBC News:

Simple math shows how many space aliens may be out there: It’s a lot more than you might imagine!

We start with recent research showing that one in six stars hosts a planet hospitable to life. No, not one in a million. One in six. So let’s take that number and run with it. Next we have to make a few assumptions. In particular, if you were given a million Earth-size worlds, what fraction do you think would ever beget technically sophisticated inhabitants?

An illustration of a number of the different kinds of planets found by Kepler all lined up in a row.
types of planets Kepler found/NAA

Wait a minute. The NASA bulletin referenced does not use the term hospitable to life. It says

The quest to determine if planets like Earth are rare or common is taking another stride forward on the journey. Using NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, managed by NASA Ames Research Center, astronomers are beginning to find Earth-sized planets orbiting distant stars. A new analysis of Kepler data shows that about 17 percent of stars have an Earth-sized planet in an orbit closer than Mercury. Since the Milky Way has about 100 billion stars, there are at least 17 billion Earth-sized worlds out there. More.

“Earth-sized” is not “Earth-like,” though the difference may confuse the NBC audience.

Life on our planet began quickly: random chemical activity in 350 million trillion gallons of ocean water spawned a reproducing molecule within a few hundred million years. So maybe biology doesn’t need much of a goad to get started. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to figure that at least half of all planets suitable for life actually produce it. More.

No, it’s not unreasonable to think that. But there is no evidence for it and the facts—as so often— could well be the opposite.

Biostatistician’s grade: H for Hopeless

Betsy Siewert writes to say,

As a statistical mathematician, I can say that your results are only as good as your data and, more importantly, your assumptions.

First, he starts with the data that “recent research showing that one in six stars hosts a planet hospitable to life.” If you go to that NASA link, it states that “At Least One in Six Stars Has an Earth-sized Planet” — so Mistake #1 — poor data

Second, he makes the assumption “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to figure that at least half of all planets suitable for life actually produce it.” There is not basis for this assumption. So, Mistake #2 — bad assumption.

Thirdly, he makes another faulty assumption. “any Klingons out there continue to hang out for 10,000 years before self-destructing.” So Mistake #3.

If I were grading this report, I think I would give it an “H” for hopeless.

Barking mad?

Biophysicist Kirk Durston adds,

Simple math indicates that the probability of obtaining a minimal life form, with 285 protein-coding genes, is fairly small (to understate things). Simple math says that one should use realistic numbers, but let us be generous to the point of being barking mad …

Let us grant that the probability of randomly assembling 300 amino acids, and obtaining a stable, repeatable 3-D fold was 1/2 (a ridiculously high probability by even the most frothingly optimistic darwinian standards). Now we need another 284 different proteins of not just any 3D shape, but 285 that can work together to provide a functioning, minimal life form. Let us say that the probability of obtaining a second novel protein that satisfied the above requirements plus was able to work together with the first one is 1/3 (another wildly generous probability). Then let us suppose that the probability of getting all the rest of the 285 proteins that all worked together to function as a minimal life form (i.e. the probabilities will be multiplied by each other) was 1/4 per protein. Note that this requires that randomly assembling amino acids produces stable, repeatable folds about as often as one flips a coin and gets heads.

To clarify, I am proposing a probability of 1/3 *(1/4)^298 which should be so jaw-droppingly generous that surely even the most fervent devotee of Darwin would not protest.

Now I have been absurdly generous, not even worrying about the probability of having all this happen on the same planet somewhere in the universe, at the same location on that planet, and at the same point in history on that planet.

Bottom Line: Don’t bet the farm that the universe is teeming with space aliens.

See also: Rebranding SETI: They are now looking for inferior space alien technology. But why? SETI is trying to align its work with the growing conviction among naturalist atheists that consciousness and intelligence are illusions. SETI’s role will dwindle to simply denouncing ID. It will find donors. Too bad, but the SETIs chose that. Maybe the aliens are laughing now. 😉

21 Replies to “Are these stats for ET just “barking mad”?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    It is barking mad to use the transcendent, i.e. platonic, world of ‘simple’ math to try to prove that life in this universe is not dependent on a transcendent Being, i.e. God:

    Video and verse

    “Simply put, Mathematics itself, contrary to the reductive materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists, does not need the material world in order to exist. And yet Darwinists, although they deny that anything beyond the material realm exists, need this transcendent world of mathematics in order for their theory to be considered scientific in the first place. The predicament that Darwinists find themselves in regards to denying the reality of this transcendent world of mathematics, and yet needing validation from this transcendent world of mathematics in order to be considered scientific in the first place, should be the very definition of self-refuting.”
    – Darwinian Evolution vs Mathematics – video

    John 1:4
    In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

    John 6:33
    “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”

  2. 2
    mike1962 says:

    More fake news from NBC. Not surprised.

  3. 3

    Interesting how such speculation is accepted when supporting a/mat philosophy, but not when supporting theism.


  4. 4
    vmahuna says:

    “A new analysis of Kepler data shows that about 17 percent of stars have an Earth-sized planet in an orbit closer than Mercury.”

    An orbit closer (to its star) than Mercury is absolute guaranteed DEATH. NOTHING could have EVER lived on such hellholes, and if by some chance a Panspermian rock INTRODUCED Life to such a rock, the only question is whether the lifespan of that Life is best counted in MINUTES or DAYS.

    So, NASA and the boys have this exactly BACKWARDS. In a single stroke we just ELIMINATED 17% of all stars in the universe as possible homes for ET and the boys.

  5. 5
    Seversky says:

    It isn’t just the size of the planet, it’s also its distance from the parent star, the size and age of that star and the strength and type of radiation it emits just to name a few.

    The problem is we only have one planet which we know supports life. It does tell us that life is very versatile and in some forms can survive in what to us are extreme conditions. But that’s all we can say. Now, if we were to find life of some sort hidden away on Mars or flourishing on a moon of Jupiter or Saturn that would really open things up but we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Shostak’s calculations are speculative at best

  6. 6
    FourFaces says:

    The only way to judge how many planets may have life is to have a set of examples greater than 1, and the more you have the better. When your only sample is earth, you are already neck deep in the crackpot swamp.

  7. 7
    Barry Arrington says:

    I will see your Drake Equation and raise you one Fermi Paradox.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    2.535*10^-322 is it?

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    The main underlying assumption for their preposterous calculations is the assumption that the earth and humanity are not all that special in this universe. It is known as the Copernican principle or the Mediocrity principle.

    Copernican principle
    Excerpt: In physical cosmology, the Copernican principle, is an alternative name of the mediocrity principle,,, stating that humans (the Earth, or the Solar system) are not privileged observers of the universe.[1]
    Named for Copernican heliocentrism, it is a working assumption that arises from a modified cosmological extension of Copernicus’s argument of a moving Earth.[2] In some sense, it is equivalent to the mediocrity principle.

    Although many notable scientists, and even Christians, have taken the Copernican principle as a unquestionable truth about the universe,,,

    “It is evident that in the post-Copernican era of human history, no well-informed and rational person can imagine that Earth occupies a unique position in the universe.”
    Michael Rowan-Robinson – (1996). Cosmology (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 62–63.

    ,, the fact of the matter is that modern science has overturned the Copernican principle and has, in fact, returned the Earth and humanity to a ‘privileged’ position within the universe.
    First off, in the 4 dimensional spacetime of Einstein’s General Relativity, we find that each 3-Dimensional point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe,,,

    Where is the centre of the universe?:
    Excerpt: There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a “Big Bang” about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell.

    ,,, and since any 3-Dimensional point can be considered central in the 4-Dimensional space time of General Relativity, then it is now left completely open to whomever is making a model of the universe to decide for themselves what is to be considered central in the universe,,,

    How Einstein Revealed the Universe’s Strange “Nonlocality” – George Musser | Oct 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Under most circumstances, we can ignore this nonlocality. You can designate some available chunk of matter as a reference point and use it to anchor a coordinate grid. You can, to the chagrin of Santa Barbarans, take Los Angeles as the center of the universe and define every other place with respect to it. In this framework, you can go about your business in blissful ignorance of space’s fundamental inability to demarcate locations.,,
    In short, Einstein’s theory is nonlocal in a more subtle and insidious way than Newton’s theory of gravity was. Newtonian gravity acted at a distance, but at least it operated within a framework of absolute space. Einsteinian gravity has no such element of wizardry; its effects ripple through the universe at the speed of light. Yet it demolishes the framework, violating locality in what was, for Einstein, its most basic sense: the stipulation that all things have a location. General relativity confounds our intuitive picture of space as a kind of container in which material objects reside and forces us to search for an entirely new conception of place.

    Einstein himself stated, The two sentences: “the sun is at rest and the earth moves” or “the sun moves and the earth is at rest” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS [coordinate systems].”

    “Can we formulate physical laws so that they are valid for all CS [coordinate systems], not only those moving uniformly, but also those moving quite arbitrarily, relative to each other? […] The struggle, so violent in the early days of science, between the views of Ptolemy and Copernicus would then be quite meaningless. Either CS could be used with equal justification. The two sentences: “the sun is at rest and the earth moves” or “the sun moves and the earth is at rest” would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS.”
    Einstein, A. and Infeld, L. (1938) The Evolution of Physics, p.212 (p.248 in original 1938 ed.);

    Fred Hoyle and George Ellis add their considerable weight here in these following two quotes:

    “The relation of the two pictures [geocentrism and geokineticism] is reduced to a mere coordinate transformation and it is the main tenet of the Einstein theory that any two ways of looking at the world which are related to each other by a coordinate transformation are entirely equivalent from a physical point of view…. Today we cannot say that the Copernican theory is ‘right’ and the Ptolemaic theory ‘wrong’ in any meaningful physical sense.”
    Hoyle, Fred. Nicolaus Copernicus. London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1973.

    “People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations… For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations… You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds… What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”
    – George Ellis – W. Wayt Gibbs, “Profile: George F. R. Ellis,” Scientific American, October 1995, Vol. 273, No.4, p. 55

    As Einstein himself notes, there simply is no test that can be performed that can prove the earth is not the center of the universe:

    “One need not view the existence of such centrifugal forces as originating from the motion of K’ [the Earth]; one could just as well account for them as resulting from the average rotational effect of distant, detectable masses as evidenced in the vicinity of K’ [the Earth], whereby K’ [the Earth] is treated as being at rest.”
    –Albert Einstein, quoted in Hans Thirring, “On the Effect of Distant Rotating Masses in Einstein’s Theory of Gravitation”, Physikalische Zeitschrift 22, 29, 1921

    “If one rotates the shell *relative to the fixed stars* about an axis going through its center, a Coriolis force arises in the interior of the shell, *that is, the plane of a Foucault pendulum is dragged around*”
    –Albert Einstein, cited in “Gravitation”, Misner Thorne and Wheeler pp. 544-545.

    Here are a few more references that drives this point home:

    “We can’t feel our motion through space, nor has any physical experiment ever proved that the Earth actually is in motion.,,,
    If all the objects in space were removed save one, then no one could say whether that one remaining object was at rest or hurtling through the void at 100,000 miles per second”
    Historian Lincoln Barnett – “The Universe and Dr. Einstein” – pg 73 (contains a foreword by Albert Einstein)

    “…Thus we may return to Ptolemy’s point of view of a ‘motionless earth’… One has to show that the transformed metric can be regarded as produced according to Einstein’s field equations, by distant rotating masses. This has been done by Thirring. He calculated a field due to a rotating, hollow, thick-walled sphere and proved that inside the cavity it behaved as though there were centrifugal and other inertial forces usually attributed to absolute space. Thus from Einstein’s point of view, Ptolemy and Copernicus are equally right.”
    Born, Max. “Einstein’s Theory of Relativity”, Dover Publications,1962, pgs 344 & 345:

    Even Stephen Hawking himself, who claimed that we are just chemical scum on an insignificant planet, stated that it is not true that Copernicus proved Ptolemy wrong,,, the real advantage of the Copernican system is simply that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.”

    “So which is real, the Ptolemaic or Copernican system? Although it is not uncommon for people to say that Copernicus proved Ptolemy wrong, that is not true. As in the case of our normal view versus that of the goldfish, one can use either picture as a model of the universe, for our observations of the heavens can be explained by assuming either the earth or the sun to be at rest.
    Despite its role in philosophical debates over the nature of our universe, the real advantage of the Copernican system is simply that the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.”
    Stephen Hawking – The Grand Design – pages 39 – 2010

    Even individual people can be considered to be central in the universe according to the four-dimensional space-time of General Relativity,,,

    You Technically Are the Center of the Universe – May 2016
    Excerpt: (due to the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the 4-D space-time of General Relativity) no matter where you stand, it will appear that everything in the universe is expanding around you. So the center of the universe is technically — everywhere.
    The moment you pick a frame of reference, that point becomes the center of the universe.
    Here’s another way to think about it: The sphere of space we can see around us is the visible universe. We’re looking at the light from stars that’s traveled millions or billions of years to reach us. When we reach the 13.8 billion-light-year point, we’re seeing the universe just moments after the Big Bang happened.
    But someone standing on another planet, a few light-years to the right, would see a different sphere of the universe. It’s sort of like lighting a match in the middle of a dark room: Your observable universe is the sphere of the room that the light illuminates.
    But someone standing in a different spot in the room will be able to see a different sphere. So technically, we are all standing at the center of our own observable universes.

    ,,, In fact, in Einstein’s original formulation of both Special and General relativity, a hypothetical observer was given a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements in the universe.

    Introduction to special relativity
    Excerpt: Einstein’s approach was based on thought experiments, calculations, and the principle of relativity, which is the notion that all physical laws should appear the same (that is, take the same basic form) to all inertial observers.,,,
    Each observer has a distinct “frame of reference” in which velocities are measured,,,,
    – per wikipedia

    The happiest thought of my life.
    Excerpt: In 1920 Einstein commented that a thought came into his mind when writing the above-mentioned paper he called it “the happiest thought of my life”:
    “The gravitational field has only a relative existence… Because for an observer freely falling from the roof of a house – at least in his immediate surroundings – there exists no gravitational field.”

    Whereas, on the other hand, in Quantum Mechanics it is the measurement itself that gives each observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe.

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.

    Richard Conn Henry who is Professor of Physics at John Hopkins University states “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.”

    “It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.
    And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial, and have fears and agonies that are very similar to the fears and agonies that Copernicus and Galileo went through with their perturbations of society.”
    Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University

    Moreover, there are Anomalies in the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation that strangely line up with the solar system and earth.

    Why is the solar system cosmically aligned? BY Dragan Huterer – 2007
    The solar system seems to line up with the largest cosmic features. Is this mere coincidence or a signpost to deeper insights?
    Caption under figure on page 43:
    ODD ALIGNMENTS hide within the multipoles of the cosmic microwave background. In this combination of the quadrupole and octopole, a plane bisects the sphere between the largest warm and cool lobes. The ecliptic — the plane of Earth’s orbit projected onto the celestial sphere — is aligned parallel to the plane between the lobes.

    Here is the graph of the alignment of the CMB with the plane of the earth’s orbit from the Huterer 2007 paper:

    Here is the actual graph of the alignment from the Huterer 2007 paper (worth a thousand words):

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover besides the earth and solar system lining up with the anomalies in the Cosmic Background Radiation, Radio Astronomy now reveals a surprising rotational coincidence for Earth in relation to the quasar and radio galaxy distributions in the universe:

    Is there a violation of the Copernican principle in radio sky? – Ashok K. Singal – May 17, 2013
    Abstract: Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) observations from the WMAP satellite have shown some unexpected anisotropies (directionally dependent observations), which surprisingly seem to be aligned with the eclipticcite {20,16,15}. The latest data from the Planck satellite have confirmed the presence of these anisotropiescite {17}. Here we report even larger anisotropies in the sky distributions of powerful extended quasars and some other sub-classes of radio galaxies in the 3CRR catalogue, one of the oldest and most intensively studies sample of strong radio sourcescite{21,22,3}. The anisotropies lie about a plane passing through the two equinoxes and the north celestial pole (NCP). We can rule out at a 99.995% confidence level the hypothesis that these asymmetries are merely due to statistical fluctuations. Further, even the distribution of observed radio sizes of quasars and radio galaxies show large systematic differences between these two sky regions. The redshift distribution appear to be very similar in both regions of sky for all sources, which rules out any local effects to be the cause of these anomalies. Two pertinent questions then arise. First, why should there be such large anisotropies present in the sky distribution of some of the most distant discrete sources implying inhomogeneities in the universe at very large scales (covering a fraction of the universe)? What is intriguing even further is why such anisotropies should lie about a great circle decided purely by the orientation of earth’s rotation axis and/or the axis of its revolution around the sun? It looks as if these axes have a preferential placement in the larger scheme of things, implying an apparent breakdown of the Copernican principle or its more generalization, cosmological principle, upon which all modern cosmological theories are based upon.

    Moreover, in the following paper, Robin Collins found that photons coming from the CMB are ‘such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.’

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    Excerpt: Predictive and Explanatory Power of Discoverability – Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
    ,,, The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,,
    ,,, The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near – optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.
    According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists — to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13)
    This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,,

    In relation to photons from the CMB being ‘such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.’, in the Privileged Planet video and book we find that “The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.”

    “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 playlist

    The Privileged Planet – The Correlation Of Habitability and Observability
    Excerpt: “The same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.”,,,
    “The one place that has observers is the one place that also has perfect solar eclipses.”,,,
    “There is a final, even more bizarre twist. Because of Moon-induced tides, the Moon is gradually receding from Earth at 3.82 centimeters per year. In ten million years will seem noticeably smaller. At the same time, the Sun’s apparent girth has been swelling by six centimeters per year for ages, as is normal in stellar evolution. These two processes, working together, should end total solar eclipses in about 250 million years, a mere 5 percent of the age of the Earth. This relatively small window of opportunity also happens to coincide with the existence of intelligent life. Put another way, the most habitable place in the Solar System yields the best view of solar eclipses just when observers can best appreciate them.”
    – Guillermo Gonzalez – Astronomer – Privileged Planet pg 18

    Moreover, in the following video, astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross reveals that We Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History to see the Cosmic Background Radiation, or as he put it in the video, we live at the right time to see ‘God creating the universe’:

    We Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History to see the Cosmic Background Radiation – Hugh Ross – video (7:12 minute mark)

    Moreover, although atheists assume that planets that are able to support intelligent life are fairly common in the universe, the fact of the matter is the probability of finding another planet that is able to support life in this universe is virtually impossible. These following video and article drive this point home:

    The Probability of Life’s Existence Elsewhere in the Universe – Dr. Hugh Ross – (1 in 10^239) – (19:16 minute mark)

    Dr. Hugh Ross, and his team, have now drastically refined this probability to a staggering probability of only 1 in 10^1054:

    Linked from Appendix C from Dr. Ross’s book, ‘Why the Universe Is the Way It Is’;
    Probability Estimates for the Features Required by Various Life Forms:
    Excerpt: Requirements to sustain intelligent physical life:
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. 10^-1333
    dependency factors estimate approx. 10^-324
    longevity requirements estimate approx. 10^45
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. 10^-1054
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. 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 miracle

    In further establishing our centrality in this vast universe, in the following video, physicist Neil Turok states that we live in the middle, or at the geometric mean, between the largest scale in physics and the smallest scale in physics:

    “So we can go from 10 to the plus 25 to 10 to the minus 35. Now where are we? Well the size of a living cell is about 10 to the minus 5. Which is halfway between the two. In mathematical terms, we say it is the geometric mean. We live in the middle between the largest scale in physics,,, and the tiniest scale [in physics].”
    – Neil Turok as quoted at the 14:40 minute mark
    The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything – Neil Turok Public Lecture – video (12:00 minute mark, we live in the geometric mean, i.e. the middle, of the universe)

    Here is a picture that gets his point across very clearly:

    The Scale: 10^-35m to 10^-5m to 10^25m – picture

    Moreover, in 2013 Michael Denton’s wrote a paper detailing the fact that chemistry itself is of maximum benefit ‘for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves’.

    The Place of Life and Man in Nature: Defending the Anthropocentric Thesis – Michael J. Denton – February 25, 2013
    Summary (page 11)
    Many of the properties of the key members of Henderson’s vital ensemble —water, oxygen, CO2, HCO3 —are in several instances fit specifically for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves. These include the thermal properties of water, its low viscosity, the gaseous nature of oxygen and CO2 at ambient temperatures, the inertness of oxygen at ambient temperatures, and the bicarbonate buffer, with its anomalous pKa value and the elegant means of acid-base regulation it provides for air-breathing organisms. Some of their properties are irrelevant to other classes of organisms or even maladaptive.
    It is very hard to believe there could be a similar suite of fitness for advanced carbon-based life forms. If carbon-based life is all there is, as seems likely, then the design of any active complex terrestrial being would have to closely resemble our own. Indeed the suite of properties of water, oxygen, and CO2 together impose such severe constraints on the design and functioning of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems that their design, even down to the details of capillary and alveolar structure can be inferred from first principles. For complex beings of high metabolic rate, the designs actualized in complex Terran forms are all that can be. There are no alternative physiological designs in the domain of carbon-based life that can achieve the high metabolic activity manifest in man and other higher organisms.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    The preceding notes were excerpted from the following video and paper:

    Humanity – Chemical Scum or Made in the Image of God? – video

    Quote, verse and videos:

    “Christianity is not merely religious truth, it is total truth — truth about the whole of reality.”
    – Francis Schaeffer –

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb”

    Gödel, Infinity, and Jesus Christ as the Theory of Everything

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, poor Copernicus! Doubtless, spinning in his grave fast enough to turn an electrical generator. KF

  13. 13
    News says:

    kairosfocus at 12, you have just hit on a solution to the world’s energy needs. The Copernicus Spin! Now just do up the physics and … hand that man a Nobel! 😉

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    KF and News, wish there were a video illustrating that thought,, along the lines of this video:

    Cat and Buttered Toast

  15. 15

    BA77 @ 10: Fascinating that life is centered between the Plank and Hubble scales. The balance of it all is simply amazing.

    Thanks again for sharing all your thoughtful comments. Many of us are reading… and spreading the word!

  16. 16
    ET says:

    The planets need the right kind of host star. Red dwarf stars will not due.

  17. 17
    RodW says:

    I’m continually amazed at how so many smart people can say such ridiculous things about the OOL and life on other planets. For example its claimed yet again in the posted links that because life got started relatively quickly on earth that life must be common in the galaxy. But that claim cannot be justified. It takes about 30 seconds at most to fill out the winning Powerball lottery ticket. Should we infer from that that its really easy to win powerball??

    What I don’t understand is why News and others here have such a smarmy cynical response to SETI and other studies looking for life or even just earth-like planets. Many religious people have said over the years the life beyond earth is not a problem for most varieties of religious belief.

  18. 18
    ET says:


    What I don’t understand is why News and others here have such a smarmy cynical response to SETI and other studies looking for life or even just earth-like planets.

    Most likely due to the processes and “logic” being used.

  19. 19
    RodW says:


    Most likely due to the processes and “logic” being used.

    If that’s what they were attacking it would make sense but they’re generally attacking anything associated with ‘ET’. So if some scientist revises down the estimate of earthlike planets then that’s reported with the smarmy ‘dumb scientist’ tone.

  20. 20
    ET says:

    Rod- If they use the formula provided by “The Privileged Planet” that may help. 😉

  21. 21
    ET says:

    From Chapter 16 of “The Privileged Planet”

    14) You haven’t shown that ETs don’t exist.

    “This is true, but we did not intend to. In fact, ironically, design might even improve the possibility of ETs.”

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