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Astronomer says humans are alone in the universe

NASA's Kepler telescope (credit: NASA)
NASA's Kepler telescope (credit: NASA)
An astronomer believes that the search for extraterrestrial life is hopeless.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at Harvard University, says he believes humans are alone in the universe. His belief is based on the analysis of 500 discovered planets that appear to be too hostile to support life—at least as it is currently known.

Smith is likely not alone in his belief, but other scientists continue to search for life elsewhere in the universe. It was less than two months ago when NASA announced the discovery of a bacteria capable of surviving in an arsenic-heavy environment by modifying its cells. The geomicrobiologist who led the study of this bacteria explained that this discovery “open[ed] the door for us to think about biology in ways we have never thought.” So Smith might be overhasty with his dismissal of those 500 planets with environments hostile to “life as we know it.”

One should hope that a senior astrophysicist would be open-minded enough to speculate that unknown life on unknown planets just might have biology that differs from what is known on Earth.

Jason McClellan

Jason McClellan is a UFO journalist and the producer/co-host of the web series Spacing Out! He is also the web content manager and staff writer for OpenMinds.tv, and a co-organizer and technical producer of the International UFO Congress. As a founding member of Open Minds, Jason served as a writer and editor for the now defunct Open Minds magazine. He has appeared on Syfy, NatGeo, and, most recently, he co-starred on H2's Hangar 1: The UFO Files. ------ Follow Jason on Twitter @acecentric and subscribe to Jason's updates on Facebook.

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One Comment

  1. Does this scientist have proof that EVERY one of the trillions of planets, in a universe that constantly creates and destroys entire solar systems, is completely devoid of any life? If not then i suggest we continue to view his position in the way he would perceive ours. As a matter of opinion devoid of fact. To base ones beliefs or hypotheses about the nature of the universe off five hundred planets is quite silly. We know that life is rare and precious. Let us expand our horizons slightly and admit that what we can see is a far-from-clear image of what is actually out there to behold and understand. Let us for once, collectively as a race, admit that we do NOT know everything.

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