How unique is our planet in the Universe?
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Dave: Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer, SETI INSTITUTE has said this:
Jeff: “The bottom line actually, when people ask ‘why do you think that they’re out there’ is that the Universe is extraordinarily rich, extraordinarily vast… so unless there is something very very special, miraculous if you will… extraordinarily unusual about [earth], then what happened here must have happened many times.”
Dave: His underlying assumption is… the Earth probably isn’t that special.
Jeff: We don’t deny that life may be out there. But, complex life is far more complicated than “find a planet with water!”
Dave: Right – there are lots of stars and planets out there. But there are many many factors that come into play for a habitable planet. Probably HUNDREDS of factors.
Jeff: Size of the moon, location of the moon, temperature on Earth, type of atmosphere…
Dave: Location in our solar system, location of our solar system relative to the Galaxy…
Jeff: Types and sizes of nearby planets in home solar system, magnetic and radioactive protection…
Dave: The list goes on and on.
Jeff: It’s likely that our planet is very very special, miraculous, if you will.