Monday, December 5, 2011

Alan Boss - Divine Opinion Movement Nominee

Alan Boss trying to sell his book.
Okay, I'm going to start naming names. Astrophysicist Alan Boss is hereby nominated Divine Opinionator and a member of the Divine Opinion Movement.  I am assuming something risky in this—that the news media quotes people accurately. Here's the news item (my underlines) and [brackets].
NASA announced a major milestone in the quest for life in the universe Monday: The discovery of another planet close enough to the sun it orbits to potentially support life.

Called Kepler-22b, the planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth and about 600 light-years away. And it orbits in the "habitable zone," [notice the quotes] the region of space just far enough from a star that liquid water could exist on the planet's surface -- a discovery could have profound implications in the quest for alien life, said Alan Boss, an astrophysicist with Carnegie Melon University.

“This discovery supports the growing belief that we live in a universe crowded with life,” Boss said.  (Read more.)

The parameters that allow human life on Earth are astonishing precise. Vary anyone of several dozen just 0.1 to 1% and life disappears. Dr. Boss's planet is NOT something we can see or measure much of anything except perhaps the gravitational pull, which is perhaps 2.4 times that of Earths.  Traveling at the speed of the Space Shuttle (17,500 mph) to get to Keppler-22b would take over
688 million years

And between low earth orbit where the International Space Station orbits, NO LIFE has been discovered ANYWHERE... but Dr. Boss is claiming that something 600 light years away, of which we know nothing, indicates that the universe is "crowed with life."

Why would he do that? Well, he's trying to sell his book by the same name, and get more money for research. The more planets he finds (or thinks he's found, or convinces others that he thinks he's found) the more research grant money he gets. Of the 300+ rocks he thinks he's found in the universe, there are 10x that many asteroids between Jupiter and Mars... and of the ones we've seen through a telescope, they all look like cratered iron ore. 

He thinks his opinion is divine. I can tell you I won't be buying his book.

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