From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul> Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2012 08:35:43 -0400 Archived: Sat, 28 Apr 2012 08:35:43 -0400 Subject: Expectation Of Extraterrestrial Life Built More On Source: Phys.Org http://tinyurl.com/77e6hor April 26, 2012 Expectation Of Extraterrestrial Life Built More On Optimism Than Evidence, Study Finds by Morgan Kelly Recent discoveries of planets similar to Earth in size and proximity to the planets' respective suns have sparked scientific and public excitement about the possibility of also finding Earth-like life on those worlds. But Princeton University researchers have found that the expectation that life =97 from bacteria to sentient beings =97 has or will develop on other planets as on Earth might be based more on optimism than scientific evidence. Princeton astrophysical sciences professor Edwin Turner and David Spiegel, a former Princeton postdoctoral researcher, analyzed what is known about the likelihood of life on other planets in an effort to separate the facts from the mere expectation that life exists outside of Earth. The researchers used a Bayesian analysis =97 which weighs how much of a scientific conclusion stems from actual data and how much comes from the prior assumptions of the scientist =97 to determine the probability of extraterrestrial life once the influence of these presumptions is minimized. Turner and Spiegel, who is now at the Institute for Advanced Study, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the idea that life has or could arise in an Earth- like environment has only a small amount of supporting evidence, most of it extrapolated from what is known about abiogenesis, or the emergence of life, on early Earth. Instead, their analysis showed that the expectations of life cropping up on exoplanets =97 those found outside Earth's solar system =97 are largely based on the assumption that it would or will happen under the same conditions that allowed life to flourish on this planet. In fact, the researchers conclude, the current knowledge about life on other planets suggests that it's very possible that Earth is a cosmic aberration where life took shape unusually fast. If so, then the chances of the average terrestrial planet hosting life would be low. [More at site... thanks to 'The Norm' for the lead] Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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