Kepler Mission Reveals As Many As 140 Possible Earth-Like Planets

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”

  1. Actually that would be Slarti’s fault, since his attempts to show that nano-thermite, of the type discussed in the paper above, can occur ‘naturally,’ sounds like it’s being taught in a Kansas Public School under the title “Denial 101.”

  2. Gyges,

    Sorry, I’ll try to corral the discussion by posting my reply to Bob back on the original thread. At least it is a discussion regarding the science surrounding 9/11… 😉

  3. Slarti: “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…”

    And I could say the same about your inane & inapplicable examples and analogies; e.g. your meteor impact and paper clip analogies. However, rather than attack you personally, I simply reminded you where we left off.

    Slarti: “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”

    No, I’m showing intersubjective verification; viz that Buddha took issue with the same tactic of yours that I did. You made a legal argument and thence refused to address the consequent counter-argument.

    Slarti: “Bob, you still haven’t answered my question about whether I used Ockham’s razor inappropriately or incorrectly”

    I think Buddha made it incredibly clear who’s been misusing Ockham’s razor. IOW, you failed to win the assent of your audience.

    Slarti: “Notice that Bob got a nice one in here – Buddha did chastise me and I can’t refute it cleanly.”

    Because you argued like a child.

    Slarti: “While chain of custody is a legal issue, it is a scientific one as well”

    That’s all fine and well, but determination of the ultimate issue employs the same line of reasoning in both disciplines. Thus you can’t run or hide from the the shifting of the burdens of production and persuasion.

    Slarti: “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.”

    You’re talking gibberish now; mostly because you apparently aren’t familiar with the nexus between non-fungability and proving authenticity.

    Once again: 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).

    Slarti: “(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”

    And there you go again, attempting to refute that which you have know knowledge of; like an 8th grade kid attempting to bullshit his way through a book report for something he never read. Had you read the report, which was posted multiple times in the other thread, you’d see that Neils Harrit is the primary author and Jones tertiary.

    Once again: “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.”

    Finally Slarti, I have yet to find one peer reviewed paper endorsing ANY theory you’ve set forth. Furthermore, since the paper by Harrit, et. al. has been peer reviewed and your scribblings have not, you can probably guess why I have little respect for your chest beating.

  4. I am really surprised; here we are told ,for the time in scientific context, that the Universe probably is teeming with life – and it only inspires you to compete on who has the most “right” opinion and writes the best. Do not tell me that you are so intelligent that this is so trivial to you that you believe you have understood it all, trying to be arrogant are we?Actually it is more likly to show the depth of ignorance, the cloud of un-knowing – we have all lived under for millenia.

  5. Tootie said:

    I need to correct myself. I said

    “…I read it [the Bible] for my spiritual edification and enjoy it when science confirms it. ”

    I should have been more precise.

    It would have been better to say “…I read it for my spiritual edification and enjoy it WHENEVER science confirms ANYTHING WRITTEN THEREIN.”

    Let’s see what you think that science has confirmed…

    For example, science has confirmed that a woman can have a baby without having coitus with a man.

    So you are suggesting that Mary was artificially inseminated with God’s sperm? And you think that the invention of artificial insemination is confirmation of this? I only see confirmation of your lack of reasoning abilities.

    Maybe I should say the Bible has confirmed what science has finally discovered? Yes, that would be the better way to present the idea. Science finally catches up to how God does things. And that is really what I believe. I stated it badly (as I often do).

    It’s not how you stated it that’s the problem – what you stated shows an appalling lack of understanding of science and religion and their respective purposes.

    You tell me that you do not “believe” in evolution but that it appears to be a good explanation for how life exists. The scientific method is irrelevant if evolution is true and I think it would be wise of you to disassociate yourself from evolution because it cancels out the need for any scientific method.

    The relevance of the scientific method does not depend on evolution (any more than it depends on any one theory). The method is relevant because it has proven to be an effective context for understanding the physical universe and has resulted in immense scientific and technological knowledge. If you care to argue this irrational tripe further, please explain how, in your twisted mind, evolution makes the scientific method irrelevant and cancels out any need for it. Let us continue to bask in your incomparable ‘wisdom’…

    Why do we have to know anything?

    Because except for superstitious fools who think that all curiosity results from Satan, most of us have an innate desire to better understand the universe around us – this has led to some pretty cool (as well as pretty awful and sometimes both) things.

    The lower creatures and plants don’t have to know anything to survive. They just react. There is no reason (according to observation) to believe that humans need to know anymore than they already do even in primitive conditions. Even if they have the capacity to live longer than 100 years, they tend not to.

    So you’re saying that not only hasn’t scientific progress allowed people to live longer, but intelligence isn’t an (evolutionarily) desirable trait either? And Noah lived to be 900, right?

    We all die anyway, right?

    Sure, you want people to live a healthy life as long as they can avoid deadly or crippling diseases or accidents – I’d like people to live as long and healthy a life as their genetics (with scientific assistance) will allow.

    I presume you borrow the modern scientific method from Christians (Roger and Francis Bacon) in order to explain what you think is true or factual. Then you abandon the foundation providing us the best means ever discovered thus far (seemingly according to you) that permits us know that we know what we know.

    You mean the modern scientific method that was based on work done around the year 1,000 by Ibn al-Haytham?

    “Truth is sought for its own sake. And those who are engaged upon the quest for anything for its own sake are not interested in other things. Finding the truth is difficult, and the road to it is rough.”

    Just because a Christian did something does not mean that I automatically repudiate it – not every Christian is an anti-scientific zealot like you are. I don’t judge people’s ideas on their religion, I judge them on their merits (unfortunately your ideas don’t do well by this standard). According to Wikipedia, in his works Roger Bacon “treats the four causes of error: authority, custom, the opinion of the unskilled many, and the concealment of real ignorance by a pretense of knowledge.” By my count you’ve fallen victim to all four. Sir Francis Bacon said:

    “There are and can be only two ways of searching into and discovering truth. The one flies from the senses and particulars to the most general axioms, and from these principles, the truth of which it takes for settled and immoveable, proceeds to judgment and to the discovery of middle axioms. And this way is now in fashion. The other derives axioms from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken ascent, so that it arrives at the most general axioms last of all. This is the true way, but as yet untried.”

    Which way do you think you are using?

    He also said this regarding the ultimate role for deductive reasoning:

    “Lastly, we have three that raise the former discoveries by experiments into greater observations, axioms, and aphorisms. These we call interpreters of nature.”

    There’s nothing in the philosophical underpinnings of the scientific method that requires belief in Christianity or any other religion.

    Without Christianity (which also provides the certitude that knowing anything is important and that the universe is already ordered and will continue to be) what do you have to stand on?

    The shoulders of giants. 😉

    You will not be able to continue your pursuit of the truth (scientific or otherwise) unless you get back on the solid ground you once stood. The Christian civilizations have advanced science further than few others ever have. This is solid evidence. This is observable information.

    This is a prime example of a confirmation bias. It is also an attempt to bolster the numbers of whackjobs like yourself by implying that all Christians share your myopic view of the religion.

    Heeren interviews Arno Penzias

    Hereen: “What do you feel makes physicists think there must be some sort of ultimate, short explanation for all the laws of nature…”

    Penzias: “That really goes back to the triumph, not of Copernicus, but really the triumph of Kepler. That’s because, after all, the notion of epicycles and so forth goes back to days when scientists were swapping opinions. All this went along until we had a true bigot, a true believer, and this was Kepler. Kepler, after all, was the Old Testament Christian. right? He really believed in God the Lawgiver. And so he demanded that the same God who spoke in single words and created the universe is not going to have a universe which has 36 epicycles in it. And he said there’s got to be something simpler and more powerful.”

    Penzias says “Kepler got it out of his belief in the Bible, as far as I can tell. This passionate belief turned out to be right.”

    And “…scientists have adopted Kepler’s faith, without the cause.”

    It appears you have too.

    Neither scientists in general nor I have adopted Kepler’s faith – we’ve seen Kepler’s laws repeatedly validated by the scientific method and adopted them as our current ‘best’ understanding of a phenomena – kind of like evolution. As I said before, I put my faith in the scientific method thus I trust what it says is true. The religion (or lack thereof) of a scientist is irrelevant – all that matters are the merits of their arguments.

    Do other religions and world-views practice good science. Well, now they do. They are able to because of the many devout Christians who were sure there were natural laws to pursue (because God was a law maker and giver). Even the godless can do it now thanks in large part to Christians who were scientists. WHAT people do with it science is now the biggest problem.

    Wow, do you have a warped (and downright wrong) version of history. Inquiry into the nature of the universe began long before Christianity and in no way is Christianity necessary for that inquiry. Not to mention the fact that Christianity is prone to a crazy, anti-scientific fringe that has taken control of the religion (or substantial factions of it) from time to time.

    Faith in the God of the Bible is intimately associated with many of the greatest scientists and scientific discoveries. Christianity and science are natural companions.

    No matter what you want to tell yourself, creationism makes itself the enemy of science whenever it insists that a well-verified scientific theory is incorrect because of someone’s interpretation of a story some ignorant tribesmen made up thousands of years ago.

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