An extension of his Privileged Planet hypothesis:
As outlined in the book The Privileged Planet, by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, the Earth is not only fine-tuned for life, but is also well-designed to allow us to make scientific discoveries. A new BIO-Complexity paper by Guillermo Gonzalez, “The Solar System: Favored for Space Travel,” extends privileged planet arguments to our ability to travel in space. Gonzalez previously summarized some of his arguments here, but it’s worth outlining some of his arguments.Evolution News, “Guillermo Gonzalez Extends “Privileged Planet” Arguments to Space Travel” at Evolution News and Science Today:
Here’s the paper.
Abstract: Here, we compare Earth to the most common type of exoplanet, the super-Earth, with respect to interplanetary space travel. The typical super-Earth should have higher gravity and atmospheric pressure at its surface. These factors pose significant challenges to rocket launches and to reentering spacecraft. In addition, the Solar System is compared to exoplanetary systems with respect to interstellar travel. It is easier to launch an interstellar spacecraft from a planet in the circumstellar habitable zone of the Sun than from planets in the circumstellar habitable zones of less massive stars. In the larger context of the Milky Way galaxy, our Solar System is in the best location to initiate interstellar missions. In summary, we here confirm and expand upon recent studies that argue that the Earth and the Solar System are rare in the degree to which they facilitate space exploration. (open access) More.
Why don’t we concentrate on exploring Mars? It’s there, we’ve sent probes there, it’s at least possible that there is or has been life there — if only life swatched from Earth during the early, loosely formed state of the planets. But anyway, exploration beats speculation.