# Does this public service announcement from NASA play every week?

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No one shut it off? Here:

Billions Of Planets In Our Galaxy ‘May Hold Life’

Billions of stars in our galaxy could have as many as three planets orbiting them that could support life.

Astronomers used data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope which has already confirmed that 1,000 planets are orbiting stars in the Milky Way – with another 3,000 possibles.

The researchers made their claim after calculating the chances of planets orbiting in the “habitable zone” – the region around a star which could contain planets capable of supporting liquid water.

Danish researcher Steffen Kjaer Jacobsen, from the University of Copenhagen, said: “According to the statistics and the indications we have, a good share of the planets in the habitable zone will be solid planets where there might be liquid water and where life could exist.”

Scientists believe there could be many more planets that remain undiscovered by Kepler.

Sure. We all have a ticket in this lottery And no one is saying we aren’t winners. But …

What difference would it all make to top people  if ET is NOT out there?

See also: How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there?

## 10 Replies to “Does this public service announcement from NASA play every week?”

1. 1
awstar says:

The researchers made their claim after calculating the chances of planets orbiting in the “habitable zone” – the region around a star which could contain planets capable of supporting liquid water.

Wouldn’t real scientists go one step further and multiply these chances by the chance of life coming from non-life? Thus far research has shown that probability is zero. So the true probability of life on other planets is zero. To think otherwise is of philosophy, not of science.

2. 2
Zachriel says:

awstar: Wouldn’t real scientists go one step further and multiply these chances by the chance of life coming from non-life?

Drake equation:
http://www.noeticscience.co.uk.....uation.jpg

fl {f sub l} is the probability of life occurring.

awstar: Thus far research has shown that probability is zero.

No. No one knows what conditions are suitable for abiogenesis, or the probability given those conditions, so fl is unknown.

3. 3

The Drake equation is:
N = R* x f(p) x n(e) x f(e) x f(i) x f(c) x L
where:
N = the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which radio-communication might be possible (i.e. which are on our current past light cone);
R* = the average rate of star formation in our galaxy
fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
fl = the fraction of planets that could support life that actually develop life at some point fi = the fraction of planets with life that actually go on to develop intelligent life (civilizations)
fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space

The fatal flaw in this overused equation is – as awstar points out – it lacks the key variable l(n) where l(n) is the probability of life arising from non-life.
Any value from 0.0 to 1.0 can be assigned this value, and as we have seen thus far in our observations, 0.0 is currently the best choice … thus N = 0

N = (R* x f(p) x n(e) x f(e) x f(i) x f© x L) x l(n)

So everyone can have their own value of N ???

4. 4
Rob says:

Zachriel,

I think awstar’s point was that the researchers are making outrageous claims without taking into consideration the most important (initial) step for life coming about. Yes, they use language like “could” and “may” but this gets lost in all of their optimism. Also, they’re extrapolating a huge number of possible life supporting planets based solely on the fact that there are so many planets in the universe even though only a few thousand so far have been discovered in the habitable zone. Not only that, we don’t know if ANY actually contain liquid water, let alone if all of the other conditions necessary for life exist.

Given that “No one knows what conditions are suitable for abiogenesis, or the probability given those conditions,” we have never observed life coming from non-life and, therefore, the probability of it happening as far as we know is zero or something very close to zero.

5. 5
Zachriel says:

Rob: Also, they’re extrapolating a huge number of possible life supporting planets based solely on the fact that there are so many planets in the universe even though only a few thousand so far have been discovered in the habitable zone.

There are several lines of evidence involved, including the chance of planets forming, their expected distances from their home stars, along with direct sampling.

Keep in mind that the discovery of exoplanets is a profound confirmation of modern astrophysical theory, and a speculation that goes back to Giordano Bruno.

Rob: we have never observed life coming from non-life and, therefore, the probability of it happening as far as we know is zero or something very close to zero.

We know life began soon after liquid water formed on Earth. We also know that all life has evolved from primitive unicellular organisms. We also have evidence that molecules can self-replicate. This doesn’t result in a valid quantitative valuation by any means, but it is certainly not zero.

6. 6
EvilSnack says:

We do not “know” any of those things. It’s true that many people believe them, but they’re conclusions based on untested assumptions.

7. 7
MrCollins says:

Here’s your latest service announcement on the Origin of LIfe solved.

Abstract:
A minimal cell can be thought of as comprising informational, compartment-forming and metabolic subsystems. To imagine the abiotic assembly of such an overall system, however, places great demands on hypothetical prebiotic chemistry. The perceived differences and incompatibilities between these subsystems have led to the widely held assumption that one or other subsystem must have preceded the others. Here we experimentally investigate the validity of this assumption by examining the assembly of various biomolecular building blocks from prebiotically plausible intermediates and one-carbon feedstock molecules. We show that precursors of ribonucleotides, amino acids and lipids can all be derived by the reductive homologation of ?hydrogen cyanide and some of its derivatives, and thus that all the cellular subsystems could have arisen simultaneously through common chemistry. The key reaction steps are driven by ultraviolet light, use ?hydrogen sulfide as the reductant and can be accelerated by Cu(I)–Cu(II) photoredox cycling.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-c.....h.html#jCp

8. 8
leodp says:

We know life began soon after liquid water formed on Earth. We also know that all life has evolved from primitive unicellular organisms. We also have evidence that molecules can self-replicate. This doesn’t result in a valid quantitative valuation by any means, but it is certainly not zero. — Zachriel

I appeared in my house soon after it was built. So a suitable house explains my existence. (Just trying to follow the logic here). The, “just add water (and a few other simple chemicals)” OOL theory fails to distinguish between necessary and sufficient conditions. A habitable zone is like a habitable house. It does nothing to explain how life arose/assembled/appeared from non-living matter. Just sayin’.

9. 9
Joe says:

We know life began soon after liquid water formed on Earth.

No, we don’t know that.

We also know that all life has evolved from primitive unicellular organisms.

No, we don’t know that either. We don’t even have a mechanism capable of producing eukaryotes, let alone metazoans.

10. 10
Zachriel says:

leodp: OOL theory fails to distinguish between necessary and sufficient conditions.

You don’t seem to understand abiogenetics research, which is quite aware of the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions. That’s why scientists don’t claim to have a valid theory of abiogenetics.

Nor did we say just add water. Rather, we pointed first to the historical constraints, then to specific empirical evidence.