Another 'Goldilocks' Planet Stirs ET Hopes | The Institute for Creation Research

Another 'Goldilocks' Planet Stirs ET Hopes

In late 2010, news media were abuzz about a very distant planet that astronomers thought might be just right for life because it appeared to be orbiting in the "habitable zone" of its star.1 Headlines referred to it as a Goldilocks planet, because it was possibly "not too hot and not too cold" for liquid water on its surface.

After the initial interest waned, however, the find was largely forgotten. Now another planet is at the media forefront as the latest hope for life beyond earth.

Astronomers using NASA's $600-million Kepler telescope—launched in 2009—examined "2,326 potential planets in its first 16 months of operation."2 Of those, Reuters reported that the researchers confirmed that "10 are roughly Earth-size and reside in their host stars' habitable zones."3 One is named Kepler-22b, and its radius is about 2.4 times that of earth.

"If Kepler-22b has a surface and a cushion of atmosphere similar to Earth's, it would be about 72 degrees Fahrenheit," according to Reuters.3 And if the planet has a rocky surface, rather than gas like most extrasolar planets, then it might hold liquid water near the surface.

But even if this were verified, which is not currently possible, liquid water would be only one of hundreds of conditions required for life.4 Given enough outer space objects to investigate, it makes sense that at least some of them would inhabit the habitable zone. So, why all the excitement over this particular planet?

The answer is the possibility of "intelligent aliens."2

Funding from the U.S. Air Force recently put the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program back in operation. Now, SETI will focus its Allen Telescope Array on NASA's Kepler discoveries. SETI director Jill Tarter told Reuters, "As soon as we find a different, a separate, an independent example of life somewhere else, we're going to know that it's ubiquitous throughout the universe."3

And that would essentially vindicate evolution and nullify creation.5 This is because the Bible describes only the earth as being habitable: "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else."6

Extraterrestrial life would also contradict the Bible's claim that "Christ died once for all" to pay for the sins of humanity (Hebrews 10:10), since to be fair, He would have to die as many times as there are planets inhabited with intelligent life.7

If the Bible is right, there should be no life that originated in outer space. If, instead, naturalistic theories are correct, then life should also have evolved elsewhere in the universe.8 So far, nobody is out there, and Kepler-22b looks just like one of "the worlds [that] were framed by the word of God."9

References

  1. Thomas, B. 2010. Doubts Raised about the "Goldilocks" Planet. Acts & Facts. 39 (12): 17.
  2. Wall, M. NASA Telescope Confirms Alien Planet in Habitable Zone. Space.com. Posted on space.com December 5, 2011, accessed December 7, 2011.
  3. Klotz, I. Planet found orbiting habitable zone of sun-like star. Reuters, December 5, 2011.
  4. Thomas, B. Newfound Planet Is '100 Percent' Sure to Have Life? ICR News. Posted on icr.org October 12, 2010, accessed December 7, 2011.
  5. Thomas, B. SETI Funding Linked to Belief in Evolution. ICR News. Posted on icr.org May 9, 2011, accessed December 7, 2011.
  6. Isaiah 45:18.
  7. Lisle, J. Are ETs & UFOs Real? The New Answers Book. Posted on answersingenesis.org December 6, 2007, accessed December 7, 2011.
  8. This is called the "Fermi Paradox." UFO researcher Gary Bates wrote, "In 1950, Nobel Prize winner and pioneer of atomic energy Enrico Fermi, while working at Los Alamos nuclear facility in New Mexico, raised this straightforward question: 'Are we the only technologically advanced civilization in the universe, and if we are not, then where are they? Why haven't we seen any traces of extraterrestrial life such as probes or transmissions?'" Bates, G. 2010. Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection. Powder Springs, GA: Creation Book Publishers, 79.
  9. Hebrews 11:3.

Image credit: NASA

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on December 16, 2011.

The Latest
CREATION PODCAST
TThe Secrets of the Cell | The Creation Podcast: Episode 29
Cells are microscopic organisms that are essential to life. What is a cell? What goes on inside of a cell? Did all life come from a single cell? Join...

NEWS
Fossil Footprints Fit Flood Ice-Age Model
Anthropologists Thomas Urban (Cornell University) and Daron Duke (Far Western Anthropological Research Group) recently found preserved human footprints...

NEWS
Deep-Sea Lobster Microbiome
Research continues regarding complex and amazing microbiomes found on or within a variety of creatures.1 The microbiome is a microbial community...

NEWS
"Massively Exciting" Fossil Find
Now this is exciting: “Geologists have found the fossil of the earliest known animal predator. The 560-million-year-old specimen is the first of...

NEWS
Copulation Didn't Kill the Frogs, the Flood Did
Evolutionary scientists recently studied 168 frog fossils from central Germany, concluding that the frogs all drowned while aggressively mating. They claim...

CREATION PODCAST
What Can We Learn From Fossils? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Is evolution seen in the fossil record? Why are fossilized terrestrial animals found buried with marine creatures? What conditions were needed to form...

NEWS
Be Not Deceived: Spiritually Train to Overcome Secular Science...
Thorough instruction and discipline are the hallmark qualities of a strong military training program. Well-trained soldiers can think on their feet, adapt...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Jurassic World: Dominion - Fun Movie, Bad Science | Creation.Live...
Covered in feathers, running faster than cars, and living in cold climates...these are just a few of the ideas introduced in Jurassic World: Dominion....

NEWS
CET Model in Plants Is Clearly Seen
Plant scientists have known for decades that plants aren’t just static entities. The half-million or more species of plants in the world display...

NEWS
Half-Billion-Year-Old Fossil Brains?
Once again, a recent and remarkable fossil discovery has been made challenging evolutionary theory. A strange arthropod (i.e. a radiodont) has been found...