Once-hyped planet does not exist


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So, if a scientist has a hunch, and expresses it out loud, that constitutes a “ridiculous level of hype?” Hey, at least he’s not going to prison for manslaughter.

It’s a tough racket, I guess.


I’m sure that a Fox News mouthpiece will be uttering
…and these “scientists” expect us to believe them about stuff like global warming and evolution?

There’s a pretty big difference between these two cases. Gliese 581g was given a huge fanfare, with far more certainty in the language than is typical for the field, and claiming that you are absolutely certain there will be alien life on a planet that you aren’t totally certain exists yet is very different from expressing a hunch out loud. Absolutely, scientists are allowed to be wrong. I also think that it’s important to not sweep it under the rug when they (and the media) get over-confident and overly promotional of early data.

Heard about this over the weekend and, given the outstanding work of the Kepler telescope and its repeatedly verified data (not all, but lots of it), I’m a little bit meh about losing Gliese. For one thing, I think it’s amazing that we can even figure out that rocky planets exist outside of our solar system simply because of the distances and the magnitudes of light involved. As has been said before, expectations of finding exoplanets varied wildly prior to having actual data proving that such things exist in seemingly abundant numbers, so it doesn’t shock me to hear that we’ve missed out this time. There will be many, many others, and while I’m not about to spout off the Drake equation, it seems to me that it’s only a matter of time before we get solid data on a human-habitable exoplanet.

I think we’re all ignoring the most obvious solution here.

That the planet has cloaked itself. What we should really be worried about is, after the cloaking device inevitably causes radiation damage to the population, and all the population is sterile, whether they’re going to abduct our kids in order to produce their next generation. As happened on Aldea.


I know! But comparing criticism to prison is what the internet is all about… it’s just a shame I couldn’t find a way to work in some Nazis. My point (and I do have one) is that Vogt was very careful to qualify his remark as unsubstantiated personal opinion - not that the press listened.

Gotcha. If I wasn’t clear before, I should clarify that I think this was both a press problem and a Vogt problem.

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i dunno, a lot of things that get hyped turn out not to exist. That is pretty close to standard procedure.

Listen to Wesley!

Gliese 581h said it was “permanently closed.”

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