Rare Earth

I thought this was interesting:

A new study suggests that there are around 700 quintillion planets in the universe, but only one like Earth. It’s a revelation that’s both beautiful and terrifying at the same time.

Astrophysicist Erik Zackrisson from Uppsala University in Sweden arrived at this staggering figure — a 7 followed by 20 zeros  — with the aid of a computer model that simulated the universe’s evolution following the Big Bang. Zackrisson’s model combined information about known exoplanets with our understanding of the early universe and the laws of physics to recreate the past 13.8 billion years.

Zackrisson found that Earth appears to have been dealt a fairly lucky hand. In a galaxy like the Milky Way, for example, most of the planets Zackrisson’s model generated looked very different than Earth — they were larger, older and very unlikely to support life. The study can be found on the preprint server arXiv, and has been submitted to The Astrophysical Journal.

[…..]

But according to Zackrisson, most planets in the universe shouldn’t look like Earth. His model indicates that Earth’s existence presents a mild statistical anomaly in the multiplicity of planets. Most of the worlds predicted by his model exist in galaxies larger than the Milky Way and orbit stars with different compositions — an important factor in determining a planet’s characteristics. His research indicates that, from a purely statistical standpoint, Earth perhaps shouldn’t exist.

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5 Responses to Rare Earth

  1. Ilíon says:

    And it is a “finding” of a computer model — so, as per the global warm-mongers, we know it has to be the Gospel truth.

  2. Bilbo says:

    I agree that it is very interesting. Do you think the paper will be published?

  3. Kevin Stuart Lee says:

    The arguments I have heard in favor of extraterrestrial intelligence boil down to “the universe is so BIG! The sheer chance that our planet is the only one supporting intelligent life must be zero!”

    What if you in fact needed a universe this size just to produce one?

    Interesting thought.

  4. Ilion says:

    The arguments I have heard in favor of extraterrestrial intelligence boil down to “the universe is so BIG! The sheer chance that our planet is the only one supporting intelligent life must be zero!”

    Ah! The Argument From Personal Credulity, so belovéd of ‘atheists’ and Darwinists.

  5. Bilbo says:

    A friend wonders how many other studies, based on known exoplanets, regarding the probability of Earth-like planets there have been.

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