Scientists detect water on exoplanet

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,023
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I'm not sure why you quoted my post, you ignored every point I made? If you can think of a set of chemical reactions that use silicon that give rise to something that looks like life, well done, you've proved that Silicon based life is at least possible. If you don't find such a chemical reaction, you have shown nothing at all. Just because I can't find my favourite t-shirt doesn't mean that the t-shirt doesn't exist. It *could* mean that, but it could also mean that I haven't looked well enough. So what if there's no silicon based life on Mars? There's no carbon based life on the moon, but that proves nothing at all.


Are you familiar with xkcd?


Precisely the same logical falacy. To paraphrase the common archaeological idiom, "Lack of a proof for a statement being true is not a proof of the statement being false".
If you want to enter the obscure realm of rhetoric you should read better what I post before of opening its ancient doors ...

I said ...
You know ... science is based on observation and experiment. Mars tells us that silicon superior species are not possible in reality [Mars is perfect for aliens with a biology based on silicon]. May be in other solar systems this is possible.
I would underline that I finished my brief statement clearly saying ... "May be in other solar systems this is possible". Then I know that some scientists consider silicon base life impossible because of the reasons explained in the article on Scientific American I've mentioned [the link to the article is in my previous post].
 
Mar 2019
1,804
Kansas
It is an outrageously over confident claim to say that Mars would be ideal for silicon based life, or that only carbon based life is possible around a type G star. How can we possibly know that?? Do you have a citation for that? I'd like to know which scientists and journal I should lower my opinion of.
It is an element of extrapolation. Carbon based life forms are considered most probable because of carbons ability to bond with other elements. The environment produced by G class stars is considered the most favorable for life. For completeness F class stars are also considered prime candidates as well.

The second element of this point is the stars spectra can assist in identifying composite elements of potential solar systems. Metal poor stars are very unlikely to have planets and if they do, those planets are exceeding unlikely to ever produce life

As to the point regarding Mars as a potential location for silicon based life, AlpinLuke is 100% correct. Carbon based life will not survive under intense cosmic and ultra violet rays. Mars has no magnetic field, hence any life is going to have to contend with that. So other than biota located deep below the surface (A distinct possibility) the only way life can rise on Mars is down the silicon path.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,023
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Unless you're a Scientologist.
Well, let's say that the theologians of that church are quite heterodox, to say the least.

As a cultural note I can say that I had an experience with Scientology when I was young. I read a a text by their founder, Hubbard [who was an author of Science Fiction novels, btw] where there was the mention of an alien called "Xenu", the chief of a galactical something which made a total mess on this planet carrying here alien workers [if my memory is right] many million years ago [I don't remember exactly, but almost 100 million years]. The problem was that such a text wasn't intended to be a Science Fiction novel, but the explanation of the problems on Earth, caused by the souls ["thetans"] of these aliens [who got killed because of a rebellion, but I can remember not correctly the reason for the genocide].
 
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Mar 2019
1,804
Kansas
Well, let's say that the theologians of that church are quite heterodox, to say the least.

As a cultural note I can say that I had an experience with Scientology when I was young. I read a a text by their founder, Hubbard [who was an author of Science Fiction novels, btw] where there was the mention of an alien called "Xenu", the chief of a galactical something which made a total mess on this planet carrying here alien workers [if my memory is right] many million years ago [I don't remember exactly, but almost 100 million years]. The problem was that such a text wasn't intended to be a Science Fiction novel, but the explanation of the problems on Earth, caused by the souls ["thetans"] of these aliens [who got killed because of a rebellion, but I can remember not correctly the reason for the genogide].
It is interesting to note, that John W Campbell and Isaac Asimov attended a dinner with Hubbard back in the 1950s. Discussions turned naturally to the business of writing and both Asimov and Campbell report that Hubbard said if you want to make real money, start a religion.

It is worth noting Hubbard was a very highly regarded author in the pulp era. His productivity was off the chart. He even had specially modified typewriters to assist in typing faster. All of which is overshadowed by his later career choices.
 
Mar 2018
789
UK
It is an element of extrapolation.
And extrapolation works from a data set. If we want to know what kind of life is probable, the dataset consists of the independent sources of life we have. This dataset is exactly of size 1. Extrapolation from a single datapoint is meaningless, that's the first lesson in statistics.
 
Mar 2019
1,804
Kansas
And extrapolation works from a data set. If we want to know what kind of life is probable, the dataset consists of the independent sources of life we have. This dataset is exactly of size 1. Extrapolation from a single datapoint is meaningless, that's the first lesson in statistics.
Chemistry
 
Apr 2014
227
Liverpool, England
I'm pretty sure you are going to be disappointed and Religion will receive the biggest blow in history.
I am not aware of any of the major faiths who have specific doctrine regarding life outside of Earth.
There is an interesting discussion of this topic in Robert Burton’s ‘The Anatomy of Melancholy’ 1651 edition. (Partition 2, Sec. 2, Mem. 3.) He notes that astronomers were then looking for new ‘moons’ “even amongst the fixed stars”- so the search for exoplanets has been going on for a long time.

He quotes Kepler on the possibility of there being inhabitants, “Not only on the moon, but also on Jupiter and the other planets.” (I can’t find the reference, but one question raised is: why should Jupiter have moons, if there is no-one on Jupiter to appreciate them?)

“Why may we not suppose a plurality of worlds, those infinite stars visible in the firmament to be so many suns, with particular fixed centres; to have likewise their subordinate planets, as the sun hath his dancing still round him?” “Though they seem close to us, they are infinitely distant, and so, per consequens, there are infinite habitable worlds: what hinders? Why should not an infinite cause (as God is) produce infinite effects?”

Naturally, such speculations prompted theological questions. If there are rational creatures on other worlds, do they have souls to save? Kepler wondered how to reconcile this idea with all things being made for man. Tycho Brahe found it hard to believe that “those great and huge bodies” the stars were created just to provide light for the earth. But then, as Seneca said with regard to the comets, “A day will perhaps come when the labours of succeeding ages will reveal things at present obscure.”
 
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Apr 2014
227
Liverpool, England
I have found my lost reference - not sure who is being quoted, but it may be Kepler.

Si non sint accolae in Jovis globo, qui notent admirandam hanc varietatem oculis, cui bono quatuor illi planetae Jovem circumcursitant? (If there be not inhabitants on the sphere of Jupiter, who would notice this diversity to be wondered at with the eyes, for whose benefit do those four planets keep running about Jupiter?)
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,521
Las Vegas, NV USA
The Roman Catholic Church has a more accepting point of the view of cosmology than many Protestant denominations. It sees the evidence of the Big Bang as confirmation of the Biblical creation. However AFAIK it has no policy on the utter vastness of the Universe and the likelihood of intelligent life beyond the Earth.

Although I questioned the importance of discovering another planet in our neighborhood of the Milky Way, I do see the value of establishing the likelihood of planets in the "Goldilocks" zone of these star systems. It allows us to better estimate the likelihood of life in the Universe or in some part of it. It's almost certain that at least primitive life exists beyond our planet and probably less commonly multicellular life. When we come to "intelligent" life we have to recognize nothing like us existed on Earth a until few thousand years ago depending on where we draw the line for interesting human intelligence; something that spacefaring extraterrestrials might be interested in. If we ever come across such folks we must ask them if they believe in God.

The Vatican Is Looking for God in the Stars
 
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