Reply To: NASA finds 7 new planets

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Avram in MD


As Jews, it would be problematic to our theology if any exoplanet is found to contain intelligent life forms, since the basis of our creation beliefs focus solely on Earth being the center of the universe, for all intents and purposes. Plant or animal life may not be as big of an issue.

I disagree. The Torah does not openly inform us whether there is “intelligent” life on other worlds or not. Why should it be problematic therefore if it were so? The basis of our Torah beliefs focuses almost solely on the Jewish people and the environment of Eretz Yisroel. Were Native Americans a challenge to our “theology”? Or the southern hemisphere, where planting happens around Sukkos time and harvesting around Pesach? Or northern Alaska, where during the summer there is no shkia at all?

Also, there are many additional criteria that must be met in order for an exoplanet to be able to contain life as we know it, such as having a large outer planet being able to deflect most space debris that comes your way, having a moon to control tides and also deflect debris, having the exoplanet tilt on its axis to allow for variations in climate, and many others. So just finding a planet in the goldilocks zone is not enough.

Much life on Earth requires seasonal variability because that life was designed to live on Earth. Why project that criteria elsewhere? Do tubeworms living by deep ocean vents need seasons? Also, the presence of high gravity planets in a star system is not the only way to reduce impacts. And how does the Moon reduce impacts? And would alien life living in a subsurface ocean environment heated by tidal expansion/contractions care about impacts at all?