Bad Science on display at The Guardian

October 18th, 2007

‘Second Earth’ found, 20 light years away
Ian Sample, science correspondent
The Guardian
Wednesday April 25 2007Scientists have discovered a warm and rocky “second Earth” circling a star, a find they believe dramatically boosts the prospects that we are not alone.

The prospects (probability) that we are not alone do not change from day to day, they are the same and have been the same since man first looked up into the night sky.

Reality is not dependent on what we have or have not observed…or what we will admit to having observed. Is this journalist suggesting that this planet did not exist before it was observed? By extension, is he suggesting that intelligent life on other planets does not exist unless we detect it? I am sure that the people on other planets would have something to say about that.

This is illogic pure and simple. It is not science, or scientific thinking. In fact, it is more like false religion than science.

The planet is the most Earth-like ever spotted and is thought to have perfect conditions for water, an essential ingredient for life.

Water is not an essential ingredient for life. This is dogma. People used to say that the sun is essential for life; we now know that this is not the case. To say that water is essential for life is to fall into the same trap that previous scientists have, and really, there is no excuse for it.

Researchers detected the planet orbiting one of Earth’s nearest stars, a cool red dwarf called Gliese 581, 20 light years away in the constellation of Libra.

Measurements of the planet’s celestial path suggest it is 1 times the size of our home planet, and orbits close to its sun, with a year of just 13 days. The planet’s orbit brings it 14 times closer to its star than Earth is to the sun. But Gliese 581 burns at only 3,000C, half the temperature of our own sun, making conditions on the planet comfortable for life, with average ground temperatures estimated at 0 to 40C.

Even if Gliese 581 was cold, there is no reason why any planet that orbits it should not be teeming with life. We know that there are forms of life, named ‘Extremophiles‘ that can live in conditions that are incomprehensibly harsh. There is no reason to suppose that life forms like this, or even more hardy than this, are not living throughout the universe. More false reasoning, and very tiresome it is.

Researchers claim the planet is likely to have an atmosphere. The discovery follows a three-year search for habitable planets by the European Southern Observatory at La Silla in Chile.

Atmospheres are not required for life, clearly.

“We wouldn’t be surprised if there is life on this planet,” said Stephane Udry, an astronomer on the project at the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland.

Will you now concede that you would not be surprised if Alien scientists and explorers are visiting the earth right now?

I wonder!

Two years ago, the same team discovered a giant Neptune-sized planet orbiting Gliese 581. A closer look revealed the latest planetary discovery, along with a third, larger planet that orbits the star every 84 days. The planets have been named after their star, with the most earthlike called Gliese 581c. The team spotted the planet by searching the “habitable zone”.

There is no such thing as ‘the habitable zone’ this is another anthropocentric fantasy.

More trash from The Guardian.

Very easy to trash…typing exercise.

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