News reports are awash with spectacular claims that NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has discovered an extraterrestrial world called ‘Kepler 22b’.1It is so named because it orbits the star Kepler 22, which is classified as a ‘G-type’ star, as is our sun, although ours is slightly larger and hotter.
Such hyped-up alien reports seem to be a regular feature nowadays, and as such, it certainly convinces the public into thinking that our universe must be replete with intelligent life. Indeed, NASA would love people to believe this (it’s certainly what NASA pushes). Because they are a publicly-funded agency, they rely upon being relevant in the public mindset. Indeed, US Congressman Lamar Smith, indicated that “Funding should match public interest … ”.2 The most popular entertainment genre today is science fiction, and most science fiction has evolution occurring on other worlds as its central theme (think Avatar, Star Wars and especially Star Trek, for example). The claims of alien-hosting worlds is actually in the realm of science fiction, not science fact.
NASA’s Origins program is dedicated to looking for habitable planets that might harbor life. Their endeavours spawned a new field of research called ‘astrobiology’, which is to specifically search for the evolution of life wherever it might occur in the universe. Even in this area, a public relations agenda supports their research. Former Head of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, Bruce Runnegar, once stated about their astrobiology efforts, “It’s a mission that the taxpayers can understand and support … . Everybody wants to know where we came from and whether or not we are alone in the universe.”3….
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