Thursday, November 13, 2008

Is religion on the ropes?

It's going to be hard for our earth-centric religions to rationalize this. We're talking, of course, about pictures of planets outside our solar system released today by astronomers at NASA, the U.S. space agency, and by Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California. The photographs, taken by the Hubble telescope and two Hawaii observatories, show planets orbiting stars other than our Sun -- proving the existence of other solar systems. The findings of both organizations were published Thursday in Science Express, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, according to the Cable News Network (CNN). The existence of more than 300 planets outside our solar system ("extrasolar" planets, to our earth-centric astronomers) have been assumed based on observations of gravitational effects on stars seen from earth. "This discovery is the first time we have directly imaged a family of planets around a normal star outside of our solar system," said Christian Marois, lead astronomer in the Lawrence Livermore lab study, according to CNN. "After all these years, it's amazing to have a picture showing not one but three planets," physicist Bruce Macintosh of the Lawrence Livermore lab said, according to CNN. "The discovery of the HR 8799 system is a crucial step on the road to the ultimate detection of another Earth." The existence of solar systems and planets outside our own was, obviously, not anticipated by early thinkers and is not part of modern religions. Their very existence is a threat to the view of humans as alone in the universe. But, then again, none of the planets found thus far are habitable, as least as far as humans understand life.



3 comments:

The Messenger said...

I don't understand how you can say that NASA discovering another planet is a challenge to any religion? Islam, Christianity, and Judaism never state that Earth is the only place that their god created. So your title is very misleading.

NatetheGrate said...

The title is not misleading -- you just don't agree with the idea, which is fine and could lead to further discussion. But as far as the three religions go, are you actually representing that, from the getgo, you didn't think the story of Genesis was exclusive to we humans?

Bruce Serwin said...

According to Genesis and further interpretations over millenia G-d made man/humankind to have domin- ion over all the world and it's inhabitants. There is no reason to associate discovery of another solar system as denigrating religous beliefs.