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“It is my understanding that NASA Headquarters recently lost hundreds of positions, and after those halls were emptied no one could remember what in the world all those people did.”

from Getting to Space by Dr. Jerry Pournelle

Earthlike Planet found near Proxima Centauri

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Something to consider when we hear reports of an exoplanet being "Earth like" or "Mars like" or anything-like is that such statements are from the same folks who said that they knew everything that there was to know about the planets and moons right nearby... but then when probes were sent to those places right here in our own neighborhood every post mission interview features at least one moment where the researchers say that they were totally blown away by what they actually found. In many cases they come out and say "we were totally wrong". Perhaps one or many Earth-ish worlds have been detected, personally I have no doubt that are many out there, but maybe not the ones we have seen in the reports so far. However, with each report I'm reminded of Douglas Adams Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy and the story of the Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries and other Professional Thinking Persons ... knowing any actual truth would kill their business but Deep Thought told them that they shouldn't worry since it would take so long to know the truth that they could keep getting on talk shows spouting their opinions as absolutes and making big money on hype for generations.

Such announcements generate interest in bigger things than the continuing soap operas of politics-going-nowhere and that is a very good thing to keep people looking up and seeing positive possibilities, but until we go... and it has to be Humans going, because even right next door on Mars the results of tests performed by non-human probes are never fully believed and are fought over year after year by all of our own "Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries and other Professional Thinking Persons" - until *WE* go and touch and feel and see for ourselves, the announcements of "Earth-like" or Anything-Like are to be taken with a large hunk of salt.



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