Blow to probability argument: Sol isn't perfect

Vastet
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Blow to probability argument: Sol isn't perfect

Sun may not be a 'Goldilocks' star
The stars that are just right to support life might be dimmer and longer-lived than the sun
By Lisa Grossman Web edition: Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Want to make a planet that can sustain carbon-based life? Don’t park it in orbit around a sunlike star.“For the long term, the sun may not be the best star,” says Edward Guinan of Villanova University in Pennsylvania, coauthor of a paper reporting a new model about the suitability of planets for life. Smaller, cooler stars called orange dwarf stars might be the most hospitable, he says.

Full article here

Haha! Eat that creationists!

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:3

I wonder if the destruction of genetic code might improve development though.

 

While we take it as an automatic downfall, the evolutionary development to be more resistant to genetic damage may be more beneficial in the long run.

 

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liberatedatheist
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ClockCat wrote:I wonder if

ClockCat wrote:

I wonder if the destruction of genetic code might improve development though.

 

While we take it as an automatic downfall, the evolutionary development to be more resistant to genetic damage may be more beneficial in the long run.

It might be relevant to consider the fact that we have developed mechanisms in the replication of DNA that corrects some of the damage done by radiation. So if we were living on a planet orbiting a star with less UV radiation, we probably wouldn't need to evolve as many or as efficient corrective mechanisms to maintain our DNA. If there is an "optimum" amount of damage that radiation should do, evolution on both planets would probably tend towards having the mechanisms that allow for that amount of damage to be done.

This is still another nail in the creationist coffin Head Bash

 

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A lot of faulty assumptions

A lot of faulty assumptions in that article -- probably to justify a juicy title, I think.

Most obviously, it's not a question of lifespan that's important. The important thing is how quickly they can develop life, particularly intelligent life with the capability to ask the question, "What if there's other life on other stars?" Clearly if a life on a planet survives 20 billion years as single-celled, who gives a crap?

Next is the presumption that UV and X rays are necessarily harmful. Mutations are necessary for rapid evolution. First, they used DNA as a stand-in for life, but the better stand in would have been RNA. Second, they neglect the fact that life quickly develops mechanisms for managing rates of mutation by reducing copying errors. DNA alone is something like 1000 times (or more, probably) more likely to get copying errors than the replication mechanisms in our cells allow. We've got all sorts of machinery for fixing mutations and improving copying fidelity.

Third, they assume that the radiation from the star is the only relevant factor, but life could have started on a planet with a thick atmosphere which protects much of the radiation, or it could develop deep underwater in hydro-thermal vents. We don't yet know all the parameters, so they are making a lot of assumptions.

Maybe our class of star really is the goldilocks kind, and higher levels of radiation are necessary for quick evolution. Or maybe life requires a thick atmosphere, so you need higher radiation to get through the atmosphere to produce the necessary reactions to generate life in the first place. Etc. Etc. There are all sorts of scenarios that are possible.

I think they're just trying to sell their article by making this unjustified slant on the story. They could just as easily have come to the headline conclusion, "Faulty model predicts wrong type of Sun." That wouldn't sell though, would it? Fact is, we just don't know yet, and this article doesn't change that much. They should just stick to their findings about radiation in habitable zones. That's interesting enough, IMO.

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Vastet
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Well that's true enough, but

Well that's true enough, but having tried to explain it to theists a number of times, it will be nice to have an article to tell creationists they're wrong about Sol.
Also, they didn't actually say that Sol certainly isn't perfect, just that it might be less perfect than it was previously thought to be. The article was full of might be's and may's.
I would've said so in the title, but it was already pretty long. Sorry for giving the wrong impression. I should have mentioned it in the OP.

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KSMB
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Since science reporting can

Since science reporting can be pretty lacking when it comes to what the authors do or do not estimate/consider/etc, I recommend reading the real paper.

 

http://arxiv.org/abs/0911.1982


Atheistextremist
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Oh - that's not fair

Technical journalists are all highly intelligent, lovable people.

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Blow to probability argument: Sol isn't perfect

This is an excellent post,

But he following is premature..
"Want to make a planet that can sustain carbon-based life? Don’t park it in orbit around a sunlike star.“For the long term, the sun may not be the best star,” says Edward Guinan of Villanova University in Pennsylvania, coauthor of a paper reporting a new model about the suitability of planets for life. Smaller, cooler stars called orange dwarf stars might be the most hospitable, he says."

Weather modelling is a currently in its infancy..  I very much doubt that our modelling of  planetary systems beyond our local star cluster are better ...