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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Apr > Apr 28

Expectation Of Extraterrestrial Life Built More On

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


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]

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