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message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura Snyder (laurajsnyder) | 7 comments The search for intelligent life on other planets in the news, again.

It would be great if NASA could finally settle the question, wouldn't it? I was surprised to discover that after the earth-centered universe of Copernicus was accepted, most everyone assumed that there WAS intelligent life on other planets... (otherwise, God would have been wasteful in creating all these dead worlds). Only in the 19th century did this become a question. On the one hand, the very religious Scottish physicist David Brewster, on the other the also religious but very scientific philosopher William Whewell, who claimed that speculations on the "plurality of worlds" had become the stuff of science fiction, not science. Their debate made it into Trollope's BARCHESTER TOWERS: "Are you a Whewellite, or a Brewsterite, or a t'othermite, Mrs. Bold?"

message 2: by Steve (new)

Steve Van Slyke (steve_van_slyke) | 379 comments The Kepler planet discoveries even made it to CNN--for about 10 seconds. I am hoping that NASA or ESA or JAXA, etc. can find a planet with the atmospheric chemical signature for life before I check out. It would be a nice thing to know.

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