25 April 2007

...It Was Just Right

An Earth-like planet spotted outside our solar system is the first found that could support liquid water and harbor life, scientists announced today.

I always wonder what the cultural, religious, etc. implications of discovering extraterrestrial life (intelligent or otherwise) will be. I will predict that at the very least it will take several generations for the full effects of such a discovery to play out.

Edit: Oh, and they are calling it Gliese 581 C. We need a better name than that. Not "New Earth" perhaps, but certainly something more interesting than Gliese 581 C.


highnumber said...

I don't think the discovery of other life in the universe will have too great an effect on religion, especially if the life is not intelligent. How difficult is it to believe that one's god can create life in any part of the universe? Intelligent life would raise questions, certainly, whether the aliens had religion or not.

From the linked article:
It is located about 15 times closer to its star than Earth is to the Sun; one year on the planet is equal to 13 Earth days. Because red dwarfs, also known as M dwarfs, are about 50 times dimmer than the Sun and much cooler, their planets can orbit much closer to them while still remaining within their habitable zones

As I recall my Sun Facts, our sun is destined to be a red dwarf too, no? Over the billions of years, Earth will become uninhabitable, while, as the sun cools, perhaps life will have a chance to evolve on Mercury.

Grotius said...

Yes, but many of the adherants of the revealed religions seem to cling to the idea that man is the singular, special creation of a God. The discovery of intelligent life will rock their worlds I think. But then again, maybe not.