Posts Tagged Habitable zone
Excuse my logic but with all the possible planets and other celestial bodies scattered about the various galaxies that make up the universe, isn’t it a bit narcissistic of us humans to believe that we are the only planet to sustain life? It never ceases to amaze me that some people I meet pooh- pooh the idea and state categorically that they don’t believe in UFOs, life on other planets, etc.
One possible explanation of these naysayers insistence is that there was a time when if you said you believed there were extraterrestrials and the like you faced the possibility of being locked up in the nut house. Even today, people are afraid to acknowledge the possibilities of what exists in area 51 for fear of being labeled crackpots.
Another reason some people dismiss the idea of life beyond Earth can be a simple matter of fear. Most of us fear the unknown. We’d rather just ignore it and hope it goes away. It’s like the person who fears they have a terminal disease but refuses to seek medical help. Their fear of knowing for sure that they are ill actually induces them to avoid finding out. Most normal people in their right mind don’t want to be told they have cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and the like. So they shun the doctor rather than face the truth.
Like it or not, some day we may be visited upon by beings from another planet. Right now, there is no documented case of this having happened. However when considering the possibility of life on other planets, I like to call to mind a phrase I once heard that goes “If you put a thousand barking dogs together one of them is bound to be singing Beethoven.”
Our solar system is just a tiny fragment of the universe in its totality. A recent news story appearing on the internet indicated that the first cosmic census of planets in our galaxy alone estimates that there are 50 billion planets in the Milky Way. That’s just our galaxy alone. Scientists estimate that there are 100 billion galaxies. These numbers are almost beyond comprehension. Already, William Borucki, chief scientist for NASA’s planet hunting Kepler Telescope has identified 1,235 candidate planets with 54 in a so-called Goldilocks zone where life could possibly exist.
Consider this possible scenario. Someone tells you that there is not one diseased cell in your entire body. With all the billions of cells that make up our body, and the vast milieu of illnesses that befall humans, only a Pollyanna would dare make the claim that their entire body is disease free. Now invert this. Scientists are telling us in essence that there exist trillions of planets and we think we are the only one with life? If I were a betting man, I know which side of these odds I’d make my wager for.
Look around on our own planet. Anaerobic bacteria can grow and thrive without oxygen. Plants live on Carbon Dioxide. Furthermore, an April 7, 2010 Article on the website Science Daily heralded the discovery of small animals living their entire lives at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea without any oxygen and surrounded by “poisonous” sulphides.
If organisms can live on our planet without oxygen and in the total darkness you would find at the bottom of the Mediterranean, what makes us think organisms can’t exist elsewhere, perhaps in even seemingly hostile environments?
Also worthy of consideration are factors of age. Many scientists believe that the universe is infinite. The question is asked “if the universe is finite, what would be on the other side?” So let’s say the universe is infinite. Might it not follow that it has existed infinitely? Maybe, yes, maybe, no. Whatever your belief on that question it goes without saying that there are many planets that may actually be older than the Earth, ie. existed before our planet did.
As such, these planets have had greater life spans and time to evolve into habitats that would sustain life
To sidetrack a little but keeping the subject at hand in mind, I have often heard people ask “what would it take to bring peace on Earth and solidarity amongst all its peoples?” I always answer this question in the same manner. One, if God were to appear in the sky and warn us to change our ways, peace on Earth is a distinct possibility. The other is if beings from other worlds possessing the capability of annihilating our planet were to threaten such an action, the Earth’s varied peoples may finally put aside their differences and work together against an enemy greater than one another. A sobering thought in one way but one that could finally bring out the goodness in all of us.
Copyright 2009; Greg S.