archive: RE: [ASTRO] Re: SETI in radio

RE: [ASTRO] Re: SETI in radio

Larry Klaes ( )
Wed, 9 Sep 1998 10:31:55 -0400

Believe it or not, I do agree with the views that our solar system
is not exactly showing signs of overflowing life forms, and that the
fact we are not being bombarded with signals or spaceships of
extraterrestrial origin could be taken as a sign that life beyond
Earth is not that common, or perhaps even rare. I also tend to
think some of the views expressed here are a bit conservative on
the subject, but that is everyone's right.

As for the post below on our solar system being an accurate model
of what other solar systems might be like, I remember when most
astronomers before 1992 thought that planetary systems would consist
of rocky inner worlds and giant gas outer ones. But now that we have
found primarily worlds orbiting pulsars and planets larger than Jupiter
with orbits smaller than Mercury, our solar system may not be the
norm, nor the kinds of life that could exist upon them, if at all.

I know that we have also scratched the surface when it comes to
knowing other systems in our galaxy, and that the planets we have
found are the easiest to detect because they are so massive and so
close to their primary star, but at least this shows that our solar
system is *not* typical in the galaxy, and perhaps this goes for the
life on Earth as well.

Regarding radical forms that life may take elsewhere, I invite all to
read David Grinspoon's 1997 book, Venus Revealed, especially his
text in Chapter 6:


Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 1998 10:31 PM
Subject: Re: [ASTRO] Re: SETI in radio

In a message dated 98-09-08 18:35:07 EDT, you write:

<< What annoys me about SETI research is the tendency to dismiss the
facts already in evidence in favor of speculation. We keep hearing
about how abundant life must be in the universe, yet nothing is ever
said of the evidence to the contrary right here at home in our own
solar system. When you ignore evidence simply because you don't like
its implications, you're treading on very thin ice. >>

The only assumption we can make from the direct evidence of life (or lack
thereof) in our solar system, IF we consider our solar system to be an
accurate example of the abundance of life in the universe, is that
approximately one in nine planets supports some sort of life. Until we find
more examples of life, intellegent or not, we can make very few judgements as
to the limits of where life can exist, and as to how common it is.