Martin Lechowicz

Planets with rivers of beer

NASA announced discovery of a new solar system with three planets that could be habitable.

Lots of people bet on aliens. No aliens this time, sorry.

Still, any occasion to make people overexcited is good. Everybody getting excited means more money for NASA. And it's also good for morale. God knows what might happen If people run out of imaginary worlds and ideas that change nothing in their lives. They might actually start thinking about real problems.

The new discovery is broadly commented in all media with titles like the one from British Telegraph: "NASA discovers new solar system where life may have evolved on three planets".

Sure, it might have. Also, the river of beer might have run under the surface. It is just as likely. The probability in both cases is actually the same: zero.

So why is the new discovery such a sensation?

Good question. There are already 3.5 thousand exoplanets that we know of. So now we have 3 more. Amazing, isn't it?

Actually, it's not. So why is everybody writing about it?

The answer is simple, but doesn't sounds good: because NASA needs money and because people are religious.

I am constantly amazed how much religious faith people put into an idea that life can just happen spontaneously and the universe is full of alien life forms.

Well, have you seen it happen? No. Has anyone? No. Can any one demonstrate it in laboratory? No.

Yet billions believe it. Because why not.

Why not indeed. You can believe anything you like. But for heavens sake, stop calling it a science! It's a religion, not a science!

Science is based on facts, proofs, experiments. Religion doesn't required any of that. Only wishful thinking.

And that's what 3 planets with a potentially existing water, a potentially existing life and a potentially existing river of beer represent: wishful thinking.

It is a beautiful thing to pursue the impossible, to reach further than you see. To have dreams.

But only as long as you are capable of discerning what is reality and what is a dream.

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Z czterech książek, które wydałem, ta jest moja ulubiona - Martin Lechowicz.