Exoplanets Extraterrestrial life Intelligent Design

Faint hopes easily revived! “Life may be evolving” on closest exoplanet

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artist’s impression of Proxima-b/ESO

The current hopes are pinned on Proxima-b, despite the radiation from red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, 4.24 light years from Earth:

Most researchers consider the presence of liquid water essential to the development of life, so Proxima-b seems like a good candidate. However, the radiation from being so close to a red dwarf would make it inhospitable to us even if there’s water. The radiation might not be a deal-breaker for the development of alien life on Proxima-b, though. Lisa Kaltenegger and Jack O’Malley-James from Cornell modeled the surface ultraviolet radiation on four prominent exoplanets: Proxima-b, TRAPPIST-1e, Ross-128b, and LHS-1140b. It turns out, Proxima-b isn’t that bad compared with Earth’s past.Ryan Whitwam, “Life May Be Evolving on the Closest Alien Planet to Earth” at ExtremeTech

The fundamental problem is still the same: It is very difficult to extrapolate from a sample of one instance of life. Suppose we had information on tens of thousands of exoplanets, thousands of which had life. Making the reasonable assumption that a pattern develops within this data, we could then give fairly reliable odds on a given planet having life if its relevant data are known. But we don’t have any of this. It’s all a dreamscape.

Also, we must be prepared to accept anomalies: What if we have data on tens of thousands of planets and none of them have life? Where does that leave us besides alone? We’d be better off with the data than the dreamscape, of course.

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See also: Tales of an invented god (why space aliens will always be out there)

2 Replies to “Faint hopes easily revived! “Life may be evolving” on closest exoplanet

  1. 1
    SmartAZ says:

    Life is not a chance event. It is a black swan event. If you see one example you know there is at least one example. If you don’t see one example, you don’t know anything.

    We notice that it’s hardasell to get anybody to admit they don’t know something.

  2. 2
    ET says:

    1- In an Intelligently Designed universe we would expect there to be life, that is intelligent, complex life on other planets.

    2- We would also expect that their planet and host star would be similar to ours for all of the reasons provided in “The Privileged Planet”

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