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Kepler 78B...and then some!

Posted Nov 14, '13 at 1:03am

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

9,759 posts

So recently, the planet Kepler-78b was discovered.
A few things about this planet.

-Mass 1.69 -1.86 times that of Earth
-Radius 1.16 - 1.6 times that of Earth
-Density essentially equivalent to that of Earth's
-40 times closer to its star than Mercury is to the Sun.

The most interesting thing about this planet, according to astronomers, is that its existence is quite an anomaly, given that because of the construct of the planet, it shouldn't exist.
""It couldn't have formed in place because you can't form a planet inside a star. It couldn't have formed further out and migrated inward, because it would have migrated all the way into the star. This planet is an enigma," explains Sasselov."
Source

Now, this thread can be about us ogling in awe at this enigma of a planet, but there is more to this!

Discussing with a fellow member of AG, this planet has become an argument for Creationism. The argument entails that because this planet has no logical reasoning for existing within the constraints of evolution, it finds solace in it having logical reasoning within Creationism.

Any thoughts on the matter? (whether it be about the planet itself or the argument)

 

Posted Nov 14, '13 at 1:03am

TerminatorXM214

TerminatorXM214

232 posts

Hi I'm that member he was discussing with.

 

Posted Nov 14, '13 at 1:34am

Freakenstein

Freakenstein

9,286 posts

Moderator

Astronomy has nothing to do with Evolution, ******! >

Anyway, because this planet is newly discovered, of course it will take some time for scientists to figure out exactly how the planet has this formation. We seriously can't expect to already know everything about planets despite having sophisticated astronomy in its Blastula stage.

 

Posted Nov 14, '13 at 1:34am

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,782 posts

Knight

What this would demonstrate is a lack of understanding in planetary formation. The argument being put forth by creationists is nothing more than a classic God of the gaps argument. Since we currently can't explain it they inject God.
We could just as easily say an advanced alien race put it there if we get to fill the gap with whatever unproven thing we like. At least would have more plausibility of existence.

It should also be noted that evolution here is being used in a more generic sense of change rather than the theory (which I wouldn't be surprised is what the creationists are trying to imply) dealing with biological diversity.

 

Posted Nov 14, '13 at 1:38am

Devoidless

Devoidless

3,838 posts

Discussing with a fellow member of AG, this planet has become an argument for Creationism.


Well, there goes my faith in humanity. What little left there was.
 

Posted Nov 14, '13 at 2:41am

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

9,759 posts

Should be noted: I was not on the side of this being an argument of Creationism. In case that may have caused any confusion, or could cause potential confusion.

Anyway, because this planet is newly discovered, of course it will take some time for scientists to figure out exactly how the planet has this formation.


Ay..something I pointed out. Just because we do not understand it now does not mean we won't be able to understand it in the future.

It should also be noted that evolution here is being used in a more generic sense of change rather than the theory (which I wouldn't be surprised is what the creationists are trying to imply) dealing with biological diversity.


Another thing I pointed out (among other things)...this planet has little (nothing) to do with the concept of evolution. It seemed to be solely of an argument of "it could only have been -created- there, therefore creationism."
 

Posted Nov 14, '13 at 9:59am

Moegreche

Moegreche

3,094 posts

Moderator

Discussing with a fellow member of AG, this planet has become an argument for Creationism.


I don't think it's very charitable to so quickly disregard this point. While of course a planet can't be an argument for Creationism, it could be a motivator for such an argument. There is a claim that's well motivated - that astrophysicists currently don't have a complete understanding of planetary formation or the mechanisms by which planets shift orbital paths. It would take quite a bit more argument to get from this to the claim that God created this planet as it is.

The point is that this argument could be made, so we shouldn't dismiss it so out-of-hand.

But I don't understand why the presence of this planet is so baffling. From what I can tell, it seems to be approaching its Roche limit quickly. So why couldn't it have been ejected from its orbit? Its composition seems to suggest that it was formed well after (and away from) its host star, Kepler 78.
 

Posted Nov 14, '13 at 10:23am

HahiHa

HahiHa

5,305 posts

Knight

There is a claim that's well motivated - that astrophysicists currently don't have a complete understanding of planetary formation or the mechanisms by which planets shift orbital paths. It would take quite a bit more argument to get from this to the claim that God created this planet as it is.

The point is that this argument could be made, so we shouldn't dismiss it so out-of-hand.

It could be made. But the way I undestood the debate so far, the only claim made is we cannot explain something, hence creationism. Which is not even a stretch of an argument, it is a plain fallacy. And to me sort of shows how desperate those people are to cling to any new titbit they can misuse.

It will, of course, become a valid point even to me if it can be shown that there is reason to think it was designed.

But I don't understand why the presence of this planet is so baffling. From what I can tell, it seems to be approaching its Roche limit quickly. So why couldn't it have been ejected from its orbit? Its composition seems to suggest that it was formed well after (and away from) its host star, Kepler 78.

I like that idea! What we know of that planet might not be more than a snapshot, in this case potentially a fortunate snapshot of a planet in process of being, er, dissolved, absorbed? This universe is not static, after all.
 

Posted Nov 14, '13 at 10:40am

nichodemus

nichodemus

13,299 posts

Knight

We simply don't comprehend it.....yet. Give it a couple of years. Maybe it's a little shy.

Bah Creationism arguments....

 

Posted Nov 14, '13 at 10:46am

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,782 posts

Knight

I don't think it's very charitable to so quickly disregard this point. While of course a planet can't be an argument for Creationism, it could be a motivator for such an argument. There is a claim that's well motivated - that astrophysicists currently don't have a complete understanding of planetary formation or the mechanisms by which planets shift orbital paths. It would take quite a bit more argument to get from this to the claim that God created this planet as it is.


As noted I could just as easily and more justifiably say an advanced alien race moved it there. It's an explanation that really gets us nowhere. Even if we were to grant God did it as a valid explanation it still tells us nothing of how the planet is there. It would be like if I had a huge pile of dirt and you asked how that huge pile of dirt got there and I said a flangbacker put it there. All this would tell you is a flangbacker can move and pile up dirt, it tells you nothing about how the dirt was moved.

"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitches
 
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