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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Oct > Oct 18

Re: Is Ufology 'Anti-Science'?

From: Jim Deardorff <deardorj.nul>
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2007 20:51:32 -0700
Archived: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 16:30:31 -0400
Subject: Re: Is Ufology 'Anti-Science'?

>From: Claude MAUGE <claudemauge.nul>
>To: UFO UpDate <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2007 19:13:06 +0200 (CEST)
>Subject: Re: Is Ufology 'Anti-Science'?

>>From: Franck Boitte <franckboitte.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2007 12:34:20 +0200
>>Subject: Re: Is Ufology 'Anti-Science'?

>As far as I know, cosmology itself offers no clue about the
>question of the life in the universe, except at a very general
>level such as in the discussions (not very recent) about the
>anthropic principle. They are however far closer to philosophy
>than to science. As for the probability of life elsewhere, it is
>far from being evident that it was increased by the recent
>discoveries. First, because there are still huge uncertainties
>about many parameters which are fundamental for the questions of
>the origin and evolution of life. And second, because the many
>discovered exoplanets are "wrong" planets at the "wrong" place.
>In the '70s and the '80s, several scientific papers had "proved"
>by simulations that there were probably in the universe many
>planetary systems basically as ours, that is with "little"
>planets between the star and much bigger planets outside: as the
>Mediocrity Principle asserts, the solar system was thus a
>mundane system. But the known exoplanets are mostly giant ones
>very close to their sun, and therefore the solar system is not
>as mundane as it was thought. ....

This last conclusion doesn't yet follow. It's well known that
the key method, presently, by which exoplanets are detected is
through their gravitational pull upon their star, giving it a
slight wobble in its orbit that's detected spectroscopically.
This detection method, though it has improved quite a lot in the
past several years, still can only detect large planets close to
their star; they can't yet detect them farther out, anywhere
close to Jupiter's orbit in distance, for example. The other
reason for this is that the observations have to be carried out
over a time period of two or three cycles (years) of the planet
and its induced wobble upon the star. Jupiter's orbit once
around takes about 12 years, so some 30 years of observations
would be required to discern such a planet's effect upon its
parent star even if the distance effect of reduced gravitational
influence is overcome by ever more sensitive spectroscopic

The other present method involves searching for periodicities in
very slightly reduced stellar intensity, of rather short time
interval, as the planet passes in front of the star, for those
rather rare cases where the exoplanetary orbits lie in a plane
that intersect us. This also suffers from the huge time periods
of observation required for planets far from the star, like
Jupiter is from the sun.

Jim Deardorff

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