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May 2, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Scientists should be more open-minded
Astronomer Eric Agol is agile enough to have faith in both science and a higher power, faith that this 13.6 billion-year-old universe, and everything in it, has an ultimate Source other than itself [“UW astronomer finds planet, keeps the faith,” page one, April 27]. Too bad only 51 percent of his scientist colleagues are open-minded enough to do the same — to walk and chew gum at the same time.Someday, perhaps, our politically-correct culture will celebrate not only the one-in-a-million discovery of a special new planet, but also the one-in-one new universe — the unique DNA and beating heart and all — found within and apart from each pregnant mother.
Peter Beaulieu, Shoreline
April 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM
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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