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Author Topic: Does the Goldilocks theory make searching for exoplanets futile?  (Read 331 times)

Offline thedoc

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william roberts  asked the Naked Scientists:
   Hi Chris

Am I right in thinking Goldilocks theory now maintains there are hundreds of parameters, such as the exact diameter of earth, exact gravitation, atmospheric composition, distance from sun, magnetic field and so on which if even slightly different would make life on earth impossible?
If so, doesn't this make the search for exoplanets a bit futile?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 15/09/2016 22:23:02 by _system »


Offline alancalverd

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Given the extreme range of terrestrial environment that supports life, the only essential seems to be the presence of liquid water and a temperature gradient, so there are probably plenty of exoplanets that could support something recognisable as living.

That said, we still don't know how it all began, only that it seems to be inevitable and adaptable once started.

But the earth is old and science is young, so let's keep looking.

Offline chiralSPO

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Finding exoplanets and learning what sort of diversity there actually is would be very important before judging this question. But, given the number of stars that we have found that host at least one orbiting planet, even if only 1 in a million planets can host life, we should be able to detect hundreds of examples of planets with life (how we know whether they have life might be a whole different matter).

Additionally, studying the other bodies in our solar system will help us understand much more about exoplanets as well. I think it is entirely possible that there is at least one other body in our solar system that has recognizable life. But we can't know until we look. Right now we really only have good data for one planet (Earth!)...

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