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  • hardie karges 5:28 am on January 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Earth, solar system, Sun, three-body   

    The three-body problem is more difficult in physics than it is in nature. 

    Fortunately, it’s never been all that much of a problem in my life, because nothing is harder to predict. One woman at a time is usually enough for me, maybe too much. Scientists had described the tiniest components of an atom long before even something as basic as continental drift was accepted, but has never been able to predict the effect of three celestial bodies on the movements of each other, or turbulence of any kind, for that matter, including weather. It’ll take some more powerful computers, I guess. The problem, of course, is that there are nine planets, most with multiple moons, not to mention many other transient bodies, so the equation gets more complicated. For better or worse, most stars are not like our good ol’ Sun. Over a hundred so-called ‘earth-like’ planets have been discovered by now, but nothing like our solar system, splayed out like a prism of light and color, solid and liquid and gas, gravity and inertia, all held in delicate balance and suspension, a heavenly symphony about which we know very little. Find another Sun-like solar system and you just might find another truly earth-like planet.

     
  • hardie karges 11:22 pm on January 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Earth, ,   

    The Possibilities of Life 

    This is the Blue Planet, bathed in oxygen, a fire smoldering under control, not explosive enough to self-destruct, just oxidize and slowly turn to rust in the solid parts, slowly turn to life in the warm wet zones along rivers between thighs. This is it. Don’t look for more of us ‘out there’. It’s a pipe dream. However many planets there are out there, there’s one in that many chances of finding civilized life like ours. We’re it. Blue-green algae, yeah sure, there’s probably more somewhere. There’s probably no reason to stock up on cyanobacteria for that cryogenic tour. ‘Intelligent life’, though, that’s a different trip. First of all, you’ve got to realize that if humans go extinct here on Earth, then they probably wouldn’t come back again. Ever. Okay, I don’t really know that, infinity being a bit unpredictable, but I suspect it’s true. Platonic Forms are wishful thinking, anthropomorphism in its idealistic form. Think dinosaurs might make a comeback some day? Don’t bet on it. Second, intelligent life in any other circumstance, whether time or space, would not necessarily look like us. Is an ape really any smarter than a bear? Isn’t the possibility equally great that they might produce some mutant offspring with grossly oversized head that might one day outsmart all the others and rule the world? They themselves are an evolutionary improvement over their dog-like ancestors and can already walk on their hind legs to boot. Their trained dancing numbers even show those psychotic qualities so intrinsic to the master race.

     
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