Billions of Earths?

According to an article on BBC.com, possibly “…half of all the known planetary systems today could be harboring habitable worlds.” The Open University team presented its ideas today at the UK National Astronomy Meeting at the University of Birmingham in the U.K.

A Discover magazine article from five years ago starts out like this: “A little more than 400 years ago, Italian philosopher and astronomer Giordano Bruno theorized that the universe was filled with an infinite number of stars orbited by an infinite number of worlds. For that astounding insight and others he was branded a heretic by the Catholic Church and burned at the stake.” It goes on to discuss the current state of knowledge around other worlds and the possibility of them.

How can you not look up in the night sky and think about the billions of galaxies that are up there and the planets that are undoubtedly circling those other stars? I’ve had several conversations over the last several months with people whose views are more aligned with the heretic branders than with philosopher’s and scientist’s.

To me a simple glance up in the night sky and even a moment taken to ponder the universe and its mysteries would cause me to not be so narrow. Of course, Copernicus had quite a time convincing the church that the Earth rotated around the Sun and Galileo equally struggled to show that his observations with his new fangled telescope confirmed these and many other theories. Copernicus was informed by Rome that his was, “foolish and absurd philosophically and formally heretical inasmuch as
it expressly contradicts the doctrines of the holy scripture
” and there is evidence that Galileo was warned on his visit to Rome in 1615 not to espouse this Copernican doctrine.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.