June 29, 2005

Cruise in Rare Form, and Rare Earth

The whole Tom Cruise, and Dawson’s girlfriend thing cracks me up --- and Cruise’s breakdown of sorts in the press is pretty amusing too. However I’d like to make one thing clear, Tom has the right to believe whatever craziness he wants, and tell anyone he wants --- however --- he’s not being a very good ambassador. Being rude, condescending and frankly mean --- isn’t the way to convince people of your way of thinking.

Speaking of that, Cruise a follower of Scientology (which I don’t even know where to begin with) was recently asked if he believes aliens exist. What a silly question, of course he does! He is a Scientologist! If he didn’t believe in them it would be like a Christian saying “Jesus never existed, oh and there most like isn’t a God.”

But what Tom was interesting …

Asked in an interview with the tabloid daily Bild if he believed in aliens, Cruise said: “Yes, of course. Are you really so arrogant as to believe we are alone in this universe? Millions of stars, and we're supposed to be the only living creatures? No, there are many things out there, we just don't know,” Cruise, 42, said in the interview published in German. Cruise is a follower of the Scientology church founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, and his recent willingness to discuss the faith has raised eyebrows in the media.

Well there are a few things wrong with that statement. First off there are billions of stars, not millions --- and just because there is a star doesn’t mean it could help support life. It’s pretty silly just to assume that if you have a giant ball of burning hydrogen and random chance that it results in life.

Beyond that, our earth may very well be far more rare then some once thought --- like Carl Sagan --- from who Cruise lifted that “Millions of stars” comment. We can’t at this time detect earth-sized planets, we can detect large gas ones, and possibly really, really large rock ones.

However just because there is a rock planet doesn’t mean there is life there either --- just look at our solar system only 1 out of 5 supports life. You also have to take things into account like the type of star, near by super nova (that would kill off life with mass amounts of radiation --- and by near by I’m talking about thousands of light years.) Not only that, but things like proper atmosphere (that keeps in some heat, but not too much, and lets in ultraviolet light, but not too much --- and also keeps in water.) Also you’ve got to think about things like our moon --- that allow for a stable water cycle, weather cycle, tides, etc. If we didn’t have our moon --- with it’s just right size and distance, we wouldn’t have the earth we do.

Not only that, but you need to be in the right type of galaxy for life to be likely … you need to be in the right place in that galaxy (not too far out, not too far in) and you need to be in a stable solar system --- or life would have never appeared and sustained. You can’t have life or complex life at that when your planets changes temperatures by 100 degrees and is being pelted by asteroids --- which most would be. We are lucky we have a stable obit, and a few gas giants to catch asteroids, a stable sun that doesn’t flare too much, etc. etc.

We get so worried we’d kill off life on earth from CFC’s by raising the global temperature by a degree or two --- but we assume earth like planets (our fragile planet according to environmentalists) would just be everywhere? Sure you might not need an earth life planet to support advanced life --- but give me reasons I shouldn’t assume that.

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