April 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM
New planets could sustain human life
Our way of life may not be the only way of life
Professor and astronomer Eric Agol deserves recognition from his colleaguesin the fields of astronomy and astrophysics for his discovery of two new planets [“NASA finds planet pair just right for life,” News, April 19]. His discoveries are described as “Earth-like,” with one having the potential to support liquid water, and thus, the possibility of life.It’s commonly accepted now that there are millions, maybe billions, of solar systems, each containing billions of stars. Why do we then assume that our kind of water and oxygen is essential to support all intelligent life-forms. Is it not conceivable that among all those other billions of solar bodies there might be life that thrives on acids and methane, or carbon dioxide, and would perish if exposed to water and oxygen?
Earth is such an insignificant speck in the universe that it seems rather arrogant of us to believe that other life-forms would require the same environmental conditions as ourselves.
Lee Fowble, Edmonds
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