Sunday, 8 June 2014

New Planet, old conversation

Hi All, 

Much to my delight, via the BBC, a new planet has been discovered :
"There is a new class of planet out there that astronomers are calling the "mega-Earth".It is an object with a hard surface like our own world but much, much bigger.The necessity for the new designation follows the discovery of a planet which has a mass some 17 times that of Earth.Known as Kepler-10c, it orbits a star about 560 light-years away."
What is fascinating about this discovery is that this is a planet (see picture below) which is twice the diameter of the earth, which makes it the size of a mini gas giant, but because of its mass, means it is more likely to be  a rocky planet like earth, than a gas giant like Jupiter or Neptune (technically you could call Neptune an 'ice giant'). And if the planet is earth like, then there may be life there. Of course with a strong gravity on the planet, life would be very different to that which we are used to on earth, but it could be life nonetheless. Whilst we as Orthodox Jews believe that "This, The Torah of Moses, shall not be abrogated, nor shall there be any other Torah from G-d save it", we are also comfortable with science,except some of our more strident Haredi, who aren't really the only authentic voice of Orthodoxy, but a new brand of Judaism dating back only 200 years ago. Indeed Moses Maimonides went so far in the preface to his book  'Guide for the Perplexed' : "Knowledge of the Divine cannot be attained except through knowledge of the natural sciences."  

Orthodox Rabbi (who was also a physicists) Aryeh Kaplan, who was quite comfortable with the idea of extra terrestrial life, an argument of his is here. It also seems that the Lubavitcher Rebbe,  had no such problems with the idea of extra terrestrial life. To me I read that in Genesis G-d creates the stars and the universe (Genesis 1, 16 "He also made the stars"). Why should extraterrestrial life, therefore, be in contradiction to the Torah?

But what do readers think ? Is this idea Biblical and in line with Torah or is this heresy? And if life does exist on other planets, are there other 'chosen' people out there? Or would alien life forms be required to follow some form of the seven laws of Noah?  

As we celebrate each week our Shabbat and our festivals the most recent, Shavuot, celebrated the giving of the divine Torah to our people from a mountain 4,000 years ago, is there not room for one further revelation or miracle in creation ? 

[these were some of the things we ended up discussing at midnight during Friday Shabbos night; amazing when 5 Jews, 2 agnostics and 1 Anglican all get together, drink  and think!]

I'll leave people to think and comment,  but my last thought is again from the Rambam :

" For although we believe that God created the Universe from nothing, most of our wise and learned men believe that the Creation was not the exclusive result of His will; but His wisdom, which we are unable to comprehend, made the actual existence of the Universe necessary. The same unchangeable wisdom found it as necessary that non-existence should precede the existence of the Universe. Our Sages frequently express this idea in the explanation of the words, "He hath made everything beautiful in his time" 

&  here is Psalm 104: 

"How manifold are Your deeds, O L-rd" 

Over to you guys as always,

Love  H (:


  1. Pity we can never visit these places. You can't go faster than light and engage the warp drive!

  2. Oh and I'm sure aliens exist, it stands to reason really. Why would we be the only ones alone in the universe ??

  3. Almost certainly life will exist somewhere in the Universe. It is inevitable, given the number of stars in galaxies and the number of galaxies in the Universe, that a suitable planet, at a suitable distance, from a suitable star does exist.if there is life, just like us, out there in the Universe, the chance that we will be able to communicate with them is virtually nil.

  4. Bible and truth8 June 2014 at 15:06

    Believing in aliens is a heresy.For the Bible says that God only put life on Earth. No where else.It is Satan;s deception. And that is a trap for you to committing more sins in the future. It is because that is in the active domain of the evil one who deceives the whole world and has the divine power of which is not his own and thus, make men his captives and prisoners of darkness (Isaiah 61:1-6) and lead them to sins, crimes, terrorism, wars, hatred, anger, delusions of grandeur, etc.

  5. Hi All,

    Re: the probability of extra- terrestrial life. I've always taken such issues in my stride, for suggesting some form of extraterrestrial life does exist is perfectly logical. Our own galaxy has around 200 billion plus stars (suns) - if only 1% of these (an extremely conservative %) had a planet similar to our own that is 2 billion potential earths; if only a further 1% had any life on it that would be 20 million planets and say a further 1% had intelligent life that is 200,000 civilisations. With mathematics like that, I think it is certain there is indeed extraterrestrial life out there...

    For a fuller take and discussion, here is the drake equation -

  6. Hi Why is that heresy? 'The bible says that God only put life on earth', but then why would he do that? And perhaps he didn't need to, as in the Torah, he was concerning himself with 'revelation' to mankind only??

  7. Atheist Shrugged8 June 2014 at 15:58

    This is the most scientifically
    rubbish article I have yet read on this blog. The links, may as well have been
    to the scientific journal that is the daily mail.

    As for building a "star ship", well luv, real science means you'd be
    long dead before you got there. You can't travel at the speed of light. Go back
    to playing in the garden shed.

    As for religion, any rational viewing of it, if you could get out of that cycle,
    is the most dangerous and repressive ideology ever seen.

  8. True, Albert Einstein did say you cannot go through
    space-time at the speed of light, but that does not mean you cannot take it
    with you or move around it. Einstein also said that space-time is malleable,
    depending on mass and energy. One way of space travel would be "wormholes"; the theory is to bend space-time so severely that
    two points far apart come together to create a link between these points. The problem is the amount of energy required to do
    this,make the hole stable and big enough and you'd only be able to go between
    two fixed points. But is possible. I suggest U up on Kip Thorne,
    Stephen Hawkins and Miguel Alcubierre, to name but a few.

  9. The Home World of the Reptilians running the US in the Draco Constellation.

  10. Atheist Shrugged8 June 2014 at 16:56

    When you ( or anyone) wants another person to believe in something then the burden of proof is with the person who believes rather than the person who is to be convinced. I hear this from religious people all the time " prove God doesn't exist!" as if that makes them right in some way...No. If you want us to believe there is a God then it's your responsibility to show us some proof. For example i could say " the illuminous crumpet monster of Liverpool is real" but then i would have to prove it otherwise you could call me insane. Same deal with the religious crowd. Let's see some proof of this all seeing omni-potent God you want us to believe in otherwise we will continue to think you need psychological therapy.

  11. Hannah,

    As we can see below, Atheist Shrugged will say any old shite here. Ignore him, he's a pain in the arse, asshole!

  12. You don't say? WTF are you on about ?

  13. Well, I've got not problem with the thought of aliens existing.

  14. Yeah and this isn't 'astronomy today', so of course the posts are going to be at a particular level. Besides which who turned you into a scientific expert? If your science is as good as your Israel hate, then I don't hold my breath in thinking you know anything about science!

  15. Yeah and what happens if the blokes actually have brains in outer space? How will women cope then?

  16. Oh no, not you again. Um, yes well all know about the conspiracy and don't need to hear it again.

  17. Rachel,

    Have we? What is the conspiracy of reptilians running the US govt from the Draco Constellation?

  18. Hi Rachel,

    That might be too much to ask for , lol!

  19. Hi Esther,

    No you don't. This is a crank who believes in David Icke's theories, that the earth is secretly ruled by shape shifting reptiles from Alpha Draconis, who control 'grey aliens'. I think us Jews also fit into the conspiracy someone, but I can't remember.

  20. LOL, lightens up the mood a bit!

  21. No, Alpha Draconian alien conspiracy theories are beyond my toleration threshold.

  22. Bible and Truth8 June 2014 at 21:32


    I love Jesus and I have been a christian for many years. I recently heard a theory known as the theory of evolution. This strictly contradicts the creationist beliefs of the bible. Evolution is absolutely absurd and I will ask you, why do people believe these sinful ideas if:

    1. God specifically wrote that the Earth was made in 6 days, 6000 years ago in the Bible. It is scientifically impossible for species to evolve to this complexity in 6000 years. Any Christians who say this passage is only metaphorical are just cherry-picking their beliefs and choosing which ones to take literally and which ones are metaphorical.
    2. Monkeys have over 6% DNA different than us. Humans have a huge amount of DNA that Chimpanzees don't therefore the difference in DNA is so huge it is absurd.
    3. If you believe in Evolution/Natural Selection/Survival of the Fittest, then why don't we just kill all handicap/weak/sick/old people? Because if you believe that species evolved when weak ones died, why don't we just kill them?
    4. If Evolution is true, why do we have instincts? Evolution teaches survival of the fittest. My dog often barks at people. I didn't teach my dog to do that. It was not a learned skill. It was an instinct, which disproves the theory of evolution, as the theory of evolution doesn't explain instincts (The Bible does)
    5. Why are evolutionary scientists so stupid? Clearly the world was made my God. I know this because I have had a personal experience and I know with utmost certainty. It's in the Bible.
    6.Perhaps the greatest flaw with evolution is that it totally disregards the sinful nature of mankind and his inherent greed, lust and desire for power. Evolutionists do not recognize the concept of sin. Modern psychology doesn't even define the term "sin."

    The reason why evolution is taught in public schools is because Satan wanted to remove God from the classroom; thus, morality ceased to exist in the minds of children. Is it any wonder why America is so messed up today? Yet, the reality of sin cannot be denied. Just look at the horrible things people do to each other. The Bible calls it "sin." Sin is violating God's Law. Only a dishonest fool would deny the existence of man's sin-nature.

    So where did that sin-nature come from? How could lifeless stardust bring forth life, and then develop intelligence? Even wealthy people who have everything they could desire still commit horrible sins. It is more than just a matter of survival of the fittest. Mankind is inherently prone to greed, lust and hatred. If, as evolutionists claim, the universe evolved from lifeless stardust, then where did the sin-nature originate? Evolutionists cannot explain this phenomena.

    7.How can you claim to be an Orthodox Jew and be a lesbian having sex with another women? Orthodox Jews follow the old testament !

    8 There is no such thing as aliens -they are angels and demons!

    9. The big bang theory is not proper science! It is anti -Christian and part of an agenda to rid the world of Christianity!

  23. Or will they be like Klingons or Romulans?

  24. Hi Bible and Truth,

    I wouldn't call advocating evolution 'sinful', however, in this post I was not discussing evolution per se. Besides which my interest in this thread is better described as cosmology. However to briefly reply to your observations and assumptions -

    1. This point is only valid if one accepts a literal account of the Genesis creation story. I don't. So the point the evolution isn't valid because of earth only being 6,000 years old is invalid (technically it is 5,774 years old, anyways,hey ho).

    2 & 4 . If evolutionary theories can be critiqued via scientific inquiry, it does not automatically mean a literal interpretation of the bible is correct.

    3.That's called social Darwinism, You know a popular Pseudo scientific, philosophical ideal which got picked up by Nazis. If you knew about Jewish ethics you wouldn't claim any of that .

    5. Scientists aren't stupid. And good for you that you've had a personal experience of god/jesus. It's quite funny as I've been discussing my gayness quite a bit with religious people online. They dislike my appeal to emotion(I love my girlfriend), yet here you are doing just that to yourself.

    6.This is because how you are defining sin and using it, well, you are doing so as a piece of dogmatic theology, not scientific theory.

    7. I've answered this on numerous occasions, so need not repeat here.

    8. How do you accept angels and demons, but not aliens? How can you can belief in one and not the other?

    9. One of the people who first mused about the big bang was a Catholic Priest, I believe.

  25. Or will WE end up speaking Klingon? LOL!-

  26. Atheist Shrugged9 June 2014 at 13:05

    If we can't get Jesus to come back for a visit after he promised he would, what chance aliens?
    This article is a bit of a joke, this is a better one

    God was feeling a little jaded after all the creating he'd been doing, so he asked St. Peter if he could suggest a holiday destination for him.
    "How about Mercury?" said Pete, "Nah, too hot" came the reply, "Uranus?" suggested Pete,
    "WHAT" said God, misunderstanding, "the planet, I mean" stammers Pete, "Oh, err, "no, too cold" says the deity, "well" says Pete, going for the middle, "Earth is pretty nice at this time of year!" "Earth, Earth... are you kidding?, asks the supreme being, "I went there about two thousand years ago, had a one night stand with a little Jewish girl, and they haven't stopped talking about it yet!"

  27. OK sis, you gotta me there!


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