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Monday, October 11, 2010

Coffee!! Fox News story: Chances are 100 per cent that far off planet has life

How do we know? Faith in faith alone, the astronomer explained:
"Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say, my own personal feeling is that the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent," said Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, during a press briefing today.

"I have almost no doubt about it."
Well, that settles it, I guess.

James M. Kushiner points out, at Mere Comments blog, re "Odds of Life on Nearby Planet '100 Percent,' Astronomer Says":
Did you hear about the astronomer, who said, get this, that the odds of life on nearby planet are 100 Percent? What was he thinking? What do astronomers know about biological life, and, besides, if the odds are 100 percent, then there are no odds--at least if I go to Arlington Race Track and find a horse that has a 100 percent chance of winning, they probably won't be taking bets on him. No odds there.

[ ... ]

I am not saying this planet could not support life. I am just wondering what are the chances that any given astronomer would peg a planet with so many unknowns or uncertainties with a probability of having life on it at 100 percent? Of course, if a news story is in play with a possible headline, I'd up those chances considerably, whatever they are.

If you want to read science, don't read the news.
Read more here. Kushiner is editor of the science and popular culture mag Salvo, pictured above.

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