The recently activated Kepler Mission is already paying off great dividends. The deep space observatory has reportedly found up to 140 planets that may be habitable, Earth-like bodies. This is just after six weeks on the job.
These are but a part of over 700 new planets identified by the mission.
Dimitar Sasselov, professor of astronomy at Harvard University and a scientist on the Kepler Mission, noted “The figures suggest our galaxy, the Milky Way [which has more than 100 billion stars] will contain 100 million habitable planets, and soon we will be identifying the first of them.”
What is most revealing for me is how programs like Kepler yield such fantastic results — an argument against the massive cuts imposed on NASA by the Obama Administration. These programs cost a tiny fraction of what we spend in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like national parks, it appears that our most successful programs are the first to be cut by politicians because they lack a powerful lobby in Washington.
Source: Daily Mail
146 thoughts on “Kepler Mission Reveals As Many As 140 Possible Earth-Like Planets”
As I said earlier, the only comparison that I was drawing was in my expectations and motives in responding to you and Tootie. She says things which question the validity and integrity of science in ways which are patently false (and potentially destructive to our nation’s ability to produce a scientifically literate workforce), while you just continue to propagate your misinformation and ignorance about various scientific issues. Had the situation been reversed I would have said something to the effect of: ‘As with my responses to Tootie, I have no expectation of changing Bob’s mind, I just don’t want the misinformation he spews to go unanswered.’ I’m not sure how you think you’re being cast in a false light here…
In an effort to improve your written debate and reasoning skills I thought that I would go over Bob’s argument with you in the hopes that you can learn from the eloquence and reason embodied in his arguments. After accusing me of mischaracterizing him above (mischaracterizing my quote in order to do it – painting your opponent with your own sins is one of Bob’s – and Karl Rove’s – favorite tactics) Bob continued:
Here he tries to imply that Buddha is against me (and presumably with him) by using my statement that I was only concerned about the science, not the law in our argument – a position that I had evinced since the beginning of our debate. Bob is continually trying to take an argument that started when he called me out on a scientific statement into the realm of law where he would have a substantial advantage over me. Buddha’s comment about forum makes it seem like I was the one trying to change the forum, not Bob. Pretty smooth, eh?
Bob, you still haven’t answered my question about whether I used Ockham’s razor inappropriately or incorrectly (or appropriately and correctly in the manner that it is generally used by scientists). Maybe your refusal to examine the cause of our disagreement is a clever strategy on your part or maybe you just don’t want to admit that you were wrong.
This was the rest of Buddha’s comment – I saw my actions that drew this comment in a different light: having long before given up hope of changing Bob’s mind (and being pretty pissed off by his abuse of basic physics) I had resolved not to let any misinformation of his go unanswered and was continuing to do so after Buddha had agreed with my point. Anyone who read the exchange can make up their own mind about it. (Notice that Bob got a nice one in here – Buddha did chastise me and I can’t refute it cleanly. When you’re in a real fight you get bloodied occasionally – you need to put in a lot of work on your technique before you’ll be able to do this…)
Pay close attention now, because this is a clever bit… I actually made a scientific argument questioning the validity of the only evidence that Bob had provided. While chain of custody is a legal issue, it is a scientific one as well and I was calling into question the validity of the scientific conclusions drawn from tests on these samples (allegedly dust from ground zero) based on the facts that the provenance of the samples was not clear, their were no controls to test against and there may have been various sources of contamination at the location they were collected. Bob did counter by alleging that the evidence was non-fungible – but I answered his challenge by calling the quality and integrity of the scientific argument of non-fungibility into question. (Bob, did you ever find a link to the paper you keep accusing me of not addressing? Or are you just trying to avoid having me address the merits of Dr. Jones’ work?) Did you see how he did that – in order to refute his argument I had to make a dry, esoteric argument about fungibility of evidence and chain of custody. At what point did your eyes glaze over? Almost immediately, I’m guessing. And if you notice at the end there he uses one of your favorite tactics – a straw man (a particularly nice one that compares me to a religious fanatic (I’m not anything like you, am I? ;-)) I find this ironic since his complaint here is that I compared you to him…). Far from ignoring Bob’s counter argument, I raised serious doubts about its validity. But Bob apparently didn’t want to tackle that issue head on, so he tried to distract me by throwing out a straw man. As you can see, it works just about as well for him as it does for you. 😉
I’ll take Buddha at his word that he’s not pissed off (actually, I don’t have to take him at his word since I’ve had numerous exchanges with him both on the blog and via email since then and if he’s been pissed at me this whole time then he hasn’t been doing a very good job of expressing it – and I don’t think that Buddha has much of a problem expressing himself ;-)). Tootie, if you followed my last paragraph you should realize that Bob’s just making a wordy argument (argumentum ad verbosum is what he calls it when I start talking technically) in the hopes that no one will notice that it is also a completely false argument – I attacked his counter argument on its merits, an argument which Bob has yet to provide any response to.
Sounds like a pretty solid analogy and a damning closing argument, doesn’t it Tootie? Well, if I were the defense attorney I might, for instance, show that the expert alleging ‘the discovery of an incredibly unique/non-fungible highly incendiary material, produced by a handful of non-public accessed labs worldwide’ has highly dubious standards of professional ethics as shown by his words and actions. Or I might show that the evidence upon which he bases his conclusion is a single sample of un-verified provenance, which may possibly be contaminated, and for which their is no control against which to verify. Furthermore, I might suggest that the sample in question has not been made available to independent groups for testing to verify the results. Or I might question the scientific methodology used and whether the conclusions were justified by the evidence presented. In the case Bob is talking about, I did all of these things but for some reason he decided to ignore them all and say that I had no answer to his argument (that’s an example of Bob’s prized intellectual honesty at work).
So, Tootie, as you can see, I have to work a lot harder to pick apart Bob’s arguments than I do yours. I hope this encourages you to work on your debating skills and maybe inject some rationality into your arguments. Or you could just put away your bigoted anti-scientific arguments and join the rest of us in the reality-based world…
Bob, you are an eloquent and adept debater who is well-educated and knowledgeable although you suffer from a big confirmation bias and some regrettable ignorance and misinformation about basic physics while Tootie is an ignorant, dogmatic, anti-scientific bigot who wouldn’t recognize rational debate if it bit her in the ass, but that doesn’t change the fact that I wont allow either the bile she spews or the misinformation and distortion that you spread to go unanswered.
I think you are quite right. the current crop only has better elocution.
It goes without saying that I don’t have the “balls”–nor do I have the desire–to EVER run for elected office.
BTW, who’s to say that Greene or Marceaux would be any worse than many of our other politicians.
“My laugh of the day!
I think Basil Marceaux beats Alvin Greene as a “where did this guy come from” political candidate.”
I actually think he had a good idea, selling vacant lots. I will assume they belong to the state and are not owned by individuals.
Other than that Alvin is by far the “superior” candidate, although none of us has the “balls” to run for governor/senator of his/her state so my hats off to both of them for trying.
I don’t think Pierce was on the Daily Show or Colbert Report–but I’m not positive. He did appear, some time ago, on Rachel Maddow’s program.
My husband and I drove down to Hartford last March to hear Pierce and Matt Taibbi speak at the Mark Twain House in Hartford. The program was called “A Pen Warmed up in Hell.”
Here’s the video of Pierce on Maddow’s show:
“Do you know the best part about putting a saddle on a dinosaur?
You’d get eaten.”
Strangely enough, in Dead Beat (the sixth book in the Dresden Files) something of that sort happens…
In my reference to the 9/11 thread I only meant to imply that I had no expectation of changing your mind (I just wanted to respond to the misinformation and ignorance about science that you posted) and not any other similarities between you and Tootie. To continue the gym analogy, your gym gives a far superior workout than Tootie’s does – we’ll see if I’m up to it later when I respond to the rest of your post…
I’ve seen the author on something or other (probably the Daily Show or Colbert) – the phenomenon he’s talking about is a constant source of consternation to me. I just don’t understand people like Tootie that choose to stay in the middle of a vast ocean of ignorance.
The bourbon from the other thread should help with the ‘brain freeze’, but you should still be careful – I think Tootie is capable of bringing even more crazy to her reasoning than she’s shown so far…
Curses! I hate it when practical biology ruins a good joke! lol
You are, as ever milady, correct. 😀
I think whether one would get eaten by a dinosaur would depend upon whether the dinosaur was a carnivore or a herbivore. Of course, some folks have the brain function of plants–so they might be mistaken for vegetation.
Your just making that up aren’t you. Ya’ll haven’t had them creatures since the longs left politics, right? Or do they still rise from the depths of the bayous when you’re not looking….
You are most welcome.
Do you know the best part about putting a saddle on a dinosaur?
You’d get eaten.
” And as I commented to Mespo, I don’t expect to change Tootie’s mind ”
And I agree with Mespo, that your efforts (if you were trying) are probably doomed to failure … but the effort itself produces a few unexpected gems (insights) that are of benefit to those who choose not to exercise in Tootie’s gym.
I speed read Tootie’s posts so as not to suffer a brain freeze for my thought process is not as agile as yours.
Thank you for the kind words sir.
On a completely different note, I must get dog food; the hounds are hounding me.
No, I will stipulate that I had issues with some of the presentation techniques as they relate to the evaluation of evidence and I stated so on that thread as well. Nor would I ever classify you with religious fanatics as I find you easily one of the smartest posters here.
I just wanted to clear up that I really wasn’t pissed off.
Since I’m not too keen on being grouped with religious fanatics, would you say there is anything false about what I stated above?
I wasn’t so much pissed off so much as I saw that thread heading into an endless loop. Which I believed is where I predicted the arguments would end fairly early on in that discussion. No matter how fun a Merry-Go-Round is, one must get off it eventually.
Here’s a book I think you might really enjoy reading: “Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. It was written by Charles P. Pierce, a staff writer for the Boston Globe. The title of the book’s introduction is “Dinosaurs with Saddles.” (The “dinosaurs with saddles” is made in reference to the Creation Museum in Kentucky.
Here’s an excerpt from Pierce’s introduction in which he talks about his visit to the Creation Museum:
“It was impolite to wonder why our parents had sent us to college, and why generations of immigrants had sweated and bled so that their children could be educated, if not so that one day we would feel confident enough to look at a museum full of dinosaurs rigged to run six furlongs at Aqueduct and make the not unreasonable point that it was batshit crazy, and that anyone who believed this righteous hooey should be kept away from sharp objects and their own money. Instead, people go to court over this kind of thing.
Dinosaurs with saddles?
Dinosaurs on Noah’s ark?
Welcome to our new Eden.
Welcome to idiot America.
Slarti: “As with my posts on the 9/11 thread, I have no expectation of changing Tootie’s mind, I just don’t want the bile she spews to go unanswered.”
Talk about false light…
Buddha to Slarti: I quit reading after this line “Since I’m only concerned with the scientific evidence and couldn’t care less about the legal rules of evidence in regard to this case, I’ll ignore your first post and let Buddha respond if he cares to…” Audience is not only key in persuasive speech, so is forum.
Take a wild guess as to why I stopped reading, Slarti? One doesn’t win, then decide on the quality of their victory and then again declare they are playing a different game. Unless they are six.”
You made a legal argument putting the authenticity of real evidence in question. I countered your argument by showing said real evidence was essentially non-fungible – thereby shifting the burdens of production and persuasion back to you. Your response was, in fact, exactly like that of a religious fanatic in that you ignored the counter argument completely whilst declaring victory (as shown above).
Further, since your childish behavior pissed off Buddha off so much, making him abandon the argument, your alleged victory was based solely on your bare challenge to the real evidence sans the counter argument regarding non-fungibility of said real evidence.
IOW, for example, if you were arguing to collect on an insurance policy, claiming an act of God burned your client’s building to the ground, the burden of production and persuasion would be upon you to explain away the discovery of an incredibly unique/non-fungible highly incendiary material, produced by a handful of non-public accessed labs world wide, presenting a clear and convincing case for arson.
I believe I said something to the effect of:
In my opinion the most obvious example of this sort of thing is Republicans who rant about how the government can’t do anything right while asking voters to make them a part of the government. In my opinion, most of our recent domestic problems (financial meltdown, Bernie Madoff, Upper Big Branch mine, the gulf oil spill (probably the ‘little’ (only in comparison to the gulf) oil spill in the Kalamazoo River here in Michigan) are the result of Republicans (at times with the assistance of Democrats as in the repeal of Glass-Steagal) doing their best to make sure that the government is incapable of doing anything (except fighting wars). One thing is for sure – the government wont be able to do anything effectively if we keep electing Republicans to power.
With regard to my bulging mental muscles (thanks, by the way ;-)) I just wish it were as easy to build up the physical ones… (I have been doing Tai Chi nearly every day for the past 3 weeks which is good for both.) And as I commented to Mespo, I don’t expect to change Tootie’s mind (but a miracle could happen ;-)) I just don’t want the dreck she posts to go unanswered. Fortunately Elaine hit the high points on her latest post (well done, Elaine, that was some high-quality crazy from Tootie that you pointed out), so I can take my time and post a more detailed reply later tonight.
Must go out and enjoy some spectacular weather … attending an actual tea party … garden party at a friend’s house
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