To Be Habitable, a Planet Needs Inhabitants

first_img(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Galactic Habitable Zone, where a star must be located (09/29/2009);Circumstellar Habitable Zone, the right radius from the star where liquid water can exist (10/08/2010);Continuously Habitable Zone, because too much variety can be lethal (07/21/2007);Temporal Habitable Zone, because habitable zones do not last forever (10/27/2008);Chemical and Thermodynamic Habitable Zone, where water can be liquid (12/30/2003);Ultraviolet Habitable Zone, free from deadly radiation (08/15/2006);Tidal Habitable Zone, which rules out most stars that are small (02/26/2011).Stable Obliquity Habitable Zone (1/12/2012)Stellar Chemistry Habitable Zone (9/08/12)Stellar Wind Habitable Zone (9/19/13, 6/03/14)Inhabitants, creating a biosphere that can regulate the atmosphere (06/06/14) In a chicken-or-egg conundrum, astrobiologists are asking whether inhabitants are needed to make a planet habitable.Which came first, the habitable planet or the inhabitants?  The traditional answer has been that habitability precedes life.  Not so fast, says Jorge Zuluaga, lead author of a new paper submitted to Biogeosciences (see arXiv).  A planet may need inhabitants to be habitable.  PhysOrg explains his thinking:“It is like trying to design the air conditioning system of a vehicle excluding from the heat and mass balance the effect of passengers inside the cabin; what is the purpose of the air conditioning system if, for designing it, we need to assume that the vehicle is empty?” asks Prof. Jorge I. Zuluaga, leading author of the paper. Although the determinant role of life in the present and past state of Earth’s environment has not been definitively probed, there is a growing amount of evidence supporting the idea that our Planet will not be the same if we remove every single form of life from its surface.Co-author Juan Salazar adds that biology interacts in complex ways with the geological and atmospheric systems of the Earth.  These interactions may keep the Earth habitable: “powerful, though sometimes subtle interactions between their components continuously maintains the system in a regulated equilibrium state.”  If alien scientists were to evaluate the habitability of the Earth without considering its inhabitants, they might come to a very different conclusion.  How can we be sure, therefore, whether exoplanets are habitable or not?  Space.com may be rushing to judgment when writer Mike Wall headlines, “Found! Oldest Known Alien Planet that Might Support Life” (cf. 6/03/14).  Ditto for Astrobiology Magazine and New Scientist, touting “Earth’s bigger, older brother,” a planet around Kapteyn’s Star with “the right stuff for life.”The article points out that this idea is not new.  Around 1920, Russian physicist Vladimir Vernadsky introduced the concept of a “biosphere.”  Later, James Lovelock, father of the “Gaia Hypothesis,” developed his thinking around interactions between biology, geology, and atmospherics.  So what’s new?What Zuluaga and his collaborators are attempting to do in their paper is first to demonstrate that excluding life from the “habitability equation” is unnatural and probably misleads the search for actually inhabited planets. In the second place, the authors present a general conceptual basis supporting the development of habitability models that include life.They’re doing this because most models up till now have not considered life in the equations.  Life has a special property – namely, information – that can radically alter the interaction of planet and habitability.  “Contrary to abiotic processes, living systems contain and maintain impressive amounts of information that give them unparalleled regulatory capabilities,” Zuluaga says.  For instance, life helps regulate the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which can dramatically impact the formation of clouds.Zuluaga and Salazar seem friendly to the Gaia hypothesis.  Their ideas, therefore, are controversial and not acceptable to all astrobiologists.  Still, they have questioned an assumption that will surely lead to further debates about the criteria for habitability.  “Ultimately,” the article ends, “the truth is that finding inhabited, rather than merely habitable, worlds is the actual goal of our ultimate scientific search for life beyond our pale blue dot.”The Biblical account pictures a world that started abiotic but became biotic within 3 days, right after the dry land was raised up out of the waters.  This was all God’s creative activity.  There never was a long period of earth history without life.  God designed life and the planet that supports them together.  That’s why we find life here, and so far, nowhere else.  The Biblical worldview does not rule out other inhabited planets, but for theological reasons, it seems unlikely there would be other sentient beings made in the image of God, like humans.While not endorsing the Gaia-like views of Zuluaga and colleagues, we think their paper raises good questions that have been overlooked by the astrobiology community.  Darwinian imagineers too often equate habitability with inhabited.  Finding a sterile planet in a “habitable zone” will not make it habitable.  The growing number of “earth-like” exoplanets found by the Kepler spacecraft could well be lifeless rocks with deadly atmospheres, for all we know.  Never assume.If they are right, then we have another requirement for habitability (9/09/13, 9/08/12) that must be considered when looking for extraterrestrials:last_img read more

2018 Soybean Planting Cab Cam – Owen Niese, Crawford County

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest There was dust flying in each direction from Owen Niese’s vantage point. He was in Crawford County planting soybeans when The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins jumped in for a Cab Cam. Find out how progress is going for R & R Niese Farms and what keeps the family busy off of the farm.last_img

Kashmiri traders call for shutdown

first_imgTraders in Kashmir have called for a shutdown against the GST regime even as Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s government is facing growing opposition to the reforms from political parties and separatists. Two traders’ bodies — the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation and Kashmir Economic Alliance — have called for a shutdown on July 15. A special Assembly session is scheduled to debate the implementation of the GST in Srinagar on that day. “There is consensus among traders on GST being a threat to J&K’s identity,” said the KEA chairman.last_img read more

NBA: Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s jersey next season

first_imgEthel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ The team’s co-owner, Steve Pagliuca, confirmed that the team will hold Pierce’s much-deserved jersey retirement ceremony sometime in the 2017-2018 NBA campaign.“It’s going to be fantastic,” the executive told the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“For our era, the most recent era, he embodied the Celtics’ leadership, the Celtics’ brand and was the MVP of the championship team. So it’s going to be fantastic to see that happen.”Last July, the team inked the 39-year-old forward to a one-day contract so he could walk away from the sport as a member of the franchise. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR PH archers miss shot at third medal LATEST STORIES Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Paul Pierce (34) bends down to kiss the Boston Celtics logo following an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Boston.  AP Photo/Steven SenneThe Boston Celtics franchise paraded a string of legendary players through the years, from Bill Russell to Larry Bird to Robert Parish, among others.But perhaps nobody embodied the Celtic Green  in the modern era more than recently retired forward Paul Pierce.ADVERTISEMENT View commentscenter_img NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim READ: Celtics ink Paul Pierce to one-day contractKnown best for his moniker “The Truth,” Pierce wore number 34 throughout his first 15 seasons as a Celtic, culminated by an NBA title and NBA Finals MVP award in 2008.He left the team in 2013 to join the Brooklyn Nets, followed by a one-year stint with the Washington Wizards a year after. His quest for another title led to a reunion with former Celtics head coach Doc Rivers ofthe Los Angeles Clippers for the past two seasons.Pierce was a 10-time All-Star in Beantown and held career averages of 21.8 points, six rebounds and 3.9 assists while donning the Celtic colors.  Khristian Ibarrola /raADVERTISEMENT Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READlast_img read more

10 months agoCardiff boss Warnock: Liverpool can end Man City’s title defence

first_imgCardiff boss Warnock: Liverpool can end Man City’s title defenceby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff City boss Neil Warnock believes Liverpool can end Manchester City’s title defence on Thursday.The Reds could go ten points clear of Pep Guardiola’s side with a victory and Warnock believes they are one of the world’s best sides on current form.“I don’t think they [Tottenham] are title contenders but I think they are going to have a great season,” he said.“It’s such a strange thing, I think they would be [challenging] in a normal situation but we’ve just got two incredible teams at the minute.“At the moment [Liverpool] is just flying.“If Liverpool do get a result on Thursday it is very difficult to see anything else [other than Liverpool title win] really.“You can never say never but at the moment I would say Liverpool are as good as anybody in the world let alone England.“But football changes quickly, one or two injuries or loss of forms and someone takes over.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Rep VanderWallsupported law gives high school students credit for internships

first_img Categories: News,VanderWall News 25Jun Rep. VanderWall-supported law gives high school students credit for internships State Rep. Curt VanderWall today announced a new state law will allow high school students to earn course credit for completing an internship or work-study program, citing the need for expanding education beyond the classroom.“We have to give our state’s future generations more opportunities to learn and gain real-world experience, not just expect success because they completed 12 years of education in a classroom,” said VanderWall, of Ludington. “Whether a student is set to go to college or start a career right after earning their diploma, an internship can be invaluable for deciding what is best for themselves. This will help the students and our local businesses to prepare for their respective futures.”Michigan Department of Education guidelines already allow work-based paid or volunteer internships in grades 9-12, but this new law cuts through the state administrative hurdles by giving the local district board of education authority to approve and oversee the internship for course credit. The new law also protects funding, allowing school districts to count anyone participating in an internship or a work experience program off campus as a full-time student.“Giving local schools more say is crucial because matching the right students to the right program has clear educational benefits,” VanderWall said. “If a high school junior has an interest in being an electrician, how does it not help to spend five hours a week on a construction site while helping a journeyman electrician? That’s on-the-job training and skill development that is not available in every high school. Opening that door is all about opportunities with it being up to the student, their family and the school to work together.”House Bills 4106 and 5676 are now Public Acts 184 and 185, respectively, of 2018.#####last_img read more

Freesat is seeking manufacturing partners to devel

first_imgFreesat is seeking manufacturing partners to develop a “new range of innovative set-top boxes” that will include Ultra HD support and multiscreen streaming.The free-to-air UK satellite operator said it is seeking proposals for its next generation consumer product and aims to announce manufacturing partners in the autumn, with a view to bringing the set-top box to market “as soon as possible”.The platform provider said that the new devices should be ultra high definition-ready for encrypted broadcast and IP; should offer “fast channel change”; and support HBBTV 2.0.1 applications.Other key features should include: in-home multiscreen streaming to allow users to watch TV across multiple set-top-boxes in the home; and additional tuners to help customers plan their recordings and avoid programme clashes.“We’re thrilled to announce plans for Freesat’s next generation product,” said Freesat managing director, Alistair Thom.“The requirements for our set-top box have been developed with the customer in mind and our aim is to continue to bring UK audiences the best subscription free TV service, and a fantastic alternative to pay TV.”The product requirements will be based on an open technical specification set by the Free TV Alliance, which is a collaboration between four major European digital satellite television broadcasters: Fransat (France), HD Plus (Germany), Tivusat (Italy) and Freesat (UK).Freesat said its request for proposals signals the Free TV Alliance’s ongoing commitment to create “common standards for free-to-view satellite TV services and technologies across Europe for the benefit of viewers, manufacturers and broadcasters.”last_img read more

The mergers of ComcastSky and DisneyFox mean tha

first_imgThe mergers of Comcast-Sky and Disney-Fox mean that two in every 10 dollars spent on content worldwide will be by one of these two companies, according to Ampere Analysis.The research firm estimates that the combined content spend of the two merged players will reach US$43 billion (€38 billion) by the end of 2018 – more than the combined spend of the next 10 largest content spenders in the US, including OTT providers Netflix and Amazon.Disney-Fox is tipped to spend some US$22 billion on originated and acquired content in 2018, while Ampere estimates that Comcast-Sky will spend slightly less at US$21 billion. By comparison, Netflix is expected to spend more than US$8  billion on a profit and loss basis by the end of the year.“Prior to the recent mergers, Netflix was on course to catch – and overtake – the top Hollywood studios by content spend. However, in light of the two new combined entities, Netflix would now need to triple spend to achieve this this feat,” said Ampere analyst, Daniel Gadher.Ampere noted that the ‘mega-mergers’ of Comcast-Sky and Disney-Fox will strengthen each entity’s position in the global market while also protecting against “the rising strength of online video,” with Disney set to launch its own Netflix-rivalling SVOD service next year.However, Ampere also sounded a note of caution over the implications of such consolidations on independent producers. “With a shrinking number of content acquirers in the market, the competition for rights will diminish,” said Gadher. “This will inevitably impact the indie sector’s ability to negotiate favourable deals.”last_img read more

Disabled activists will need to seek out more har

first_imgDisabled activists will need to seek out more “hard facts” if they want to fight off the continuing threat of efforts to persuade the courts to legalise assisted suicide, according to a crossbench peer.Baroness [Jane] Campbell spoke out after the campaign group of disabled people she founded, Not Dead Yet UK (NDY UK), intervened in a court case last week for the first time to try to defeat the latest attempt to persuade judges to weaken the law.NDY UK’s barrister, Catherine Casserley – who was acting pro bono – was allowed to respond to the arguments of Conway’s legal team in court, and to submit a witness statement from Baroness Campbell herself, despite previous concerns that this would not be allowed by the court.The judicial review has been taken by Noel Conway, who is terminally-ill with motor neurone disease and wants the court to find that the Suicide Act – which makes it illegal to assist someone to take their own life – is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.Conway’s case is backed by the pro-assisted suicide campaigning organisation* Dignity in Dying (DiD).He argues that the current law prevents him exercising his right to choice and control over his death, and that the right to an assisted suicide would give him “great reassurance and comfort” and allow him “to decide when I am ready to go, rather than be forced into a premature death by travelling abroad or be left at the mercy of a cruel illness”.Baroness Campbell (pictured) was in court for three of the four days of last week’s judicial review.She said it was almost certain that whichever side loses will appeal, when the three high court judges deliver their ruling later this year.She told Disability News Service that her experience of witnessing the judicial review had convinced her that NDY UK “cannot rest on this issue” and needs to find fresh evidence to back up its arguments, both for any appeal and future cases supported by DiD (formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society).She said: “The court is interested only in facts and they must be evidenced. For every argument advanced, the judges respond, ‘Prove it!’ If you can’t, they’re not interested.”Baroness Campbell said this meant that NDY UK would have to “search out more hard facts to support our arguments”, or even commission fresh research to look at what has happened in those countries and US states that have legalised assisted suicide.But it will also be seeking evidence of cases in the UK in which someone has attempted to take their own life because of “coercion” by a loved one or relative, or because they felt they were a “burden”.This is likely to mean that NDY UK will be seeking more pro bono help, this time from researchers.Baroness Campbell said NDY UK had been “on a very steep learning curve” with its first intervention in a court case, and had not had “the time or resources to research copious piles of evidence”, unlike DiD, which had been preparing for its next court battle since the defeat of a private member’s bill put forward by Labour MP Rob Marris two years ago.And she warned that yet another judicial review is due to be heard in court soon, which will argue that the rights of Omid, a disabled man from north London who has multiple system atrophy but is not terminally-ill, are being breached by UK law, which prevents him from being helped to take his own life. That case is not supported by DiD*.Baroness Campbell said that Omid’s lawyers are likely to use evidence from Canada, where its supreme court ruled in favour of assisted suicide in 2015, in a case which had similarities to the one being taken by Omid and led to new assisted suicide laws the following year.Pro-assisted suicide groups in Canada are already campaigning to widen the scope of that legislation.Baroness Campbell said: “This court case reminded me why we cannot rest on this issue.“We are constantly under siege from the DiD supporters, who will not accept that disabled and terminally people are a fact of life and should be supported to live as equal human beings.“That way, maybe they wouldn’t fear the unknown so much that they want to blot it (us) out.“This entire issue never fails to make me feel miserable and uneasy and this was bought into sharp focus during the four-day court hearing.“We really don’t have a choice other than to fight back.”*An earlier version of this story mistakenly stated that Dignity in Dying was a charity. It is actually a non-profit campaigning organisation. The story also mistakenly stated that DiD was supporting the Omid case, which it is not. DiD says it proposes a change in the law “to allow only terminally ill, mentally competent adults the option of an assisted death, subject to strict safeguards”. Apologies for these two errors.last_img read more