Astrological Discovery is one of Years Greatest
Posted: 13 December 2007 08:27 AM   [ Ignore ]
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According to CNN’s list of the greatest technology/science events of 2007, the discovery of an Earlth-like extra-solar planet was accomplished via astrology.  It’s nice to see astrologers doing something besides predicting whether you’re a nice person looking for true love.  Of course, having more planets in the universe means more planetary gravitational effects on human physiology, so I can understand the astrologers’ interest:

“After the astrological discovery [of Earth-like Gliese 581c], British bookmaker William Hill lowered the odds on finding estraterrestrial intelligence from 1000/1 to 100/1.”
(emphasis added)

It’s also not very intuitive to talk about “lowering odds” as increased probability, but it’s technically correct.

I suspect astronomers will be spurred into fervent action by the rising challenge of astrologers.  wink

-Scott

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Posted: 13 December 2007 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Interesting, but no details where given for how astrologers made this discovery.  I want to know their methods.  Was it a vague description of an earth like planet and when astromoners used science to discover this planet, did the astrologers say “yah that sounds like the planet we were talking about, we call it.”?

I suspect this has similair probability to a psychic detective getting a vision of the criminal that leads to a legitament arrest.

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Posted: 13 December 2007 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Oh that’s really depressing. The guy writing the copy didn’t know the difference.

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Posted: 13 December 2007 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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retrospy - 13 December 2007 08:44 AM

Interesting…  Was it a vague description of an earth like planet and when astromoners used science to discover this planet, did the astrologers say “yah that sounds like the planet we were talking about, we call it.”?

I’m sure it was something like this.  Or perhaps they used astral projection.  I believe technological advances allow for HDAP (High Definition Astral Projection) these days, so the astrologers could sense more details of the cosmos than before.

-Scott

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Posted: 13 December 2007 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I think Doug’s right.  The reporter or editor didn’t know or catch the difference between astrologer and astronomer.

And just because we detected planets larger than Jupiter isn’t particularly meanful as far as finding life goes.  Setting odds is just plain silly.

Occam

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Posted: 13 December 2007 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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As a former journalist this really pisses me off. I find it unconscionable that anyone at CNN could be so ignorant.

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Posted: 14 December 2007 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Occam - 13 December 2007 04:25 PM

I think Doug’s right.  The reporter or editor didn’t know or catch the difference between astrologer and astronomer.

And just because we detected planets larger than Jupiter isn’t particularly meanful as far as finding life goes.  Setting odds is just plain silly.

Occam

This particular critter is “Earth-Like” not “Jupiter-Like”.  It’s the first such planet detected, as all the others so far are big, heavy gas balls.  See: http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/070424_hab_exoplanet.html


Another nifty thing about the planet is that it orbits a red-dwarf star.  The niftiness is due to the fact that red dwarfs live longer than the current age of the universe.  Evolution on a planet around such a star could proceed for tens of billions of years.  I wonder if life on such planets evolves to the point where all the astrologers, chiropracters, homeopaths and religions die off? smile

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Posted: 15 December 2007 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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More exciting information about this planet (and another in the same system) from non-astrologers:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071213101403.htm

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Posted: 16 December 2007 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The niftiness is due to the fact that red dwarfs live longer than the current age of the universe.

“Red dwarfs live longer than the current age of the universe”. Whoa! How do you know that? Astrological calculations?

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Posted: 16 December 2007 10:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Of course no star (including Giliese 581) is older than the current age of the universe.  But red dwarf stars are thought to have a total lifespan longer than the universe’s current 13.5 or so billion years - meaning it’ll be around for a very long time to come.  An interesting thing about Gliese is that its planet is “rocky”, meaning if it formed with its host star, it cannot have been a first-generation (e.g. hydrogen-only) star, since there are presumably silicates metals etc. involved.

With science (especially astronomy) giving mankind so many wonderful reasons to be humble and insignificant, one wonders that folks still need to invent a god toward whom they can affect humility.

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Posted: 17 December 2007 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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tscott - 16 December 2007 10:01 PM

With science (especially astronomy) giving mankind so many wonderful reasons to be humble and insignificant, one wonders that folks still need to invent a god toward whom they can affect humility.

It is still easier to comprehend a man on a cross than it is the complexity and vastness of our universe.  I’m not surprised people choose the simple version.

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Posted: 19 December 2007 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Speaking of astral projection, wasn’t there a psychic some years back who claimed to psychically tag along with one of the Voyager probes as it approached Jupiter?  And of course he later claimed that his descriptions perfectly correlated with what the probe discovered.  Still later, when it was pointed out that some of his predictions were in error, he claimed to have overshot and visited a completely different planet!

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