New planet is "Just right for life." Oops, maybe not. Never mind.

 

New planet is "Just right for life." Oops, maybe not.  Never mind.

 

This story was *all* over the news last month.

 

A new planet, named Gliese 581g, was found outside our Solar System.

 

Unlike all the other exoplanets we've found, this one is in the 'Goldilocks zone' around its star.

 

Apparently, all the conditions there are 'just right' for life.

 

The initial reports were breathless. Scientists were "truly excited" about this new discovery. There was a lot of speculation about the chances for life on this planet, and how common these Goldilocks planets must be.

 

Stories ran in all the major media -- newspapers, TV, radio, and Internet.

 

But, as creationists pointed out, this hype was irresponsible and completely unwarranted.

 

First of all, the planet's orbit was measured to be very close to the star. This means the planet would be tidally locked -- so the same side would always face the star.

 

One side would be permanently frozen, the other would be permanently broiled. The only place life would be possible would be in the narrow strip between the light side and the dark side.

 

Even worse, the parent star is a red dwarf -- a BY Draconis-type variable. You would *not* want to live on a planet close to a variable red dwarf.

 

These stars are very unstable. They frequently blow off massive flares.

 

Any planet unlucky enough to closely orbit one of these would be sterilized by the flares. Any life there would be destroyed.

 

Of course, none of the media reports that I saw mentioned any of this. Nor did they mention that creationists had thoroughly debunked the whole idea.

 

We had the last laugh, though. Just two weeks after the first announcement, Science ran an article [1] with this title:

 

"Recently Discovered Habitable World May Not Exist"

 

Seems that some other scientists went looking for Gliese 581g and couldn't find it.

 

This wasn't that surprising to the astronomical community. Most non-astronomers don't realize that the "evidence" for these planets consists of very subtle motions -- slight wiggles -- in the parent star.

 

And for Gliese 581g, the "evidence" is so slight that nobody has precise enough data to know if it's real or not.

 

But that didn't stop the media from running countless stories about alien life on this new 'planet'.

 

Nor did it stop the evolutionists who gave sensational quotes to the media.

 

And while we're talking about evolutionary sensationalism in the media, here's another great example...  Hints of life on Saturn moon

 

Link mentioned above:

1. Link

 

By Spike Psarris as originally published in

CREATION ASTRONOMY NEWS - November 2010 (sign up for the newsletter at his website)

reprinted with permission from the author.

http://www.creationastronomy.com/

 

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