NASA posted a subsequent article on their discovery: NASA Telescope Reveals Largest Batch of Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around Single Star. One excerpt is sufficient:
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.
The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water – key to life as we know it – under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.
PhysOrg then posted this article: Temperate earth-sized worlds found in extraordinarily rich planetary system (Update), which says:
Astronomers have found a system of seven Earth-sized planets just 40 light-years away. They were detected as they passed in front of their parent star, the dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. Three of them lie in the habitable zone and could harbour water, increasing the possibility that the system could play host to life. It has both the largest number of Earth-sized planets yet found and the largest number of worlds that could support liquid water. … All the planets, labelled TRAPPIST-1b, c, d, e, f, g and h in order of increasing distance from their parent star, have sizes similar to Earth.
These new discoveries make the TRAPPIST-1 system a very important target for future study. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is already being used to search for atmospheres around the planets and team member Emmanuël Jehin is excited about the future possibilities: “With the upcoming generation of telescopes, such as ESO’s European Extremely Large Telescope and the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope , we will soon be able to search for water and perhaps even evidence of life on these worlds.”
We knew the creationists would be upset by this news, and we found the first sour reaction from the Discovery Institute. Their article is Speculative Evolution Story of the Day: Seven Planets Found Where “Life May Have Evolved”, written by Klinghoffer.
There’s not much to it. All he does is quote-mine various articles and headlines, to emphasize the “maybe” words. Here are some excerpts:
NASA today announced the discovery of new exoplanets, totaling seven orbiting a dim red dwarf star, TRAPPIST-1, some 40 light years away. Note the headlines, which you could probably write yourself based on previous experience with these types of articles (emphasis added):
• “Scientists find three new planets where life could have evolved” (Sky News)
• “Nasa discovers new solar system where life may have evolved on three planets” (The Telegraph)
• “Nasa’s ‘holy grail’: Entire new solar system that could support alien life discovered” (The Independent)
• “Seven Alien ‘Earths‘ Found Orbiting Nearby Star” (National Geographic)
That was Klinghoffer’s bold font on all the words and phrases he quote-mined. He keeps doing it. For example:
Still, excitement runs high and even the faintest possibility of life circling this faint star is enough to send the media off to the races. The New York Times notes the longevity of dwarf planets [Hee hee!]:
“If you’re looking for complex biology, intelligent aliens that might take a long time to evolve from pond scum, older could be better,” said Seth Shostak, an astronomer at the Seti Institute in Mountain View, Calif. “It seems a good bet that the majority of clever beings populating the universe look up to see a dim, reddish sun hanging in their sky. And at least they wouldn’t have to worry about sun block.”
After all that quote mining, he tells us — and here the bold font was added by us for emphasis:
So we “simply do not know” whether any of these planets could or does host an alien biology. Life could have, may have, evolved. … However, everything else we do know indicates that life can’t and won’t originate and evolve without intelligent design.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Klinghoffer continues:
Alien evolution remains about the most speculative science subject possible. That is, except for the multiverse, which serves the same purpose. Materialist science must have alien life, to show that earthly life isn’t special, and it must have a way to explain away the appearance of cosmic fine-tuning.
Yes, we’re the ones who are desperate. The Discoveroids and other creationists are content that their “theories” are rock-solid. And now we come to the end:
None of this puts a damper on breathless coverage from the popular science media. But the actual science of evolution is itself speculative and unfalsifiable. [He attributes that to Karl Popper, as reported by Tom Bethell.] So to be fair, why hold media coverage to a standard higher than the science itself meets?
In other words: There is no alien life. Materialist scientists hope for it, because their unfalsifiable theories demand it, but we creationists know better. The intelligent designer made Earth unique, and there’s nothing else out there. Trust us.
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