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Indeed, why don't these scientist with no social life not come up with krypton? that'd be awesome. and if we did do that, we should see if we can speed up the explosion of the sun to see if a super child will land in Kansas, 'cus that will make so many nerds' dreams come true. but not me. I hate superman.

and I'ma geek...


I hate to burst everyone's bubble, but Gliese 581 is a variable star, it's "Golden Zone" is not always all that golden.

Dar Dudley

I don't know if anyone else has already suggested it, but since this planet is much more massive than the Earth and it orbits a red sun there can only be one name for it; KRYPTON!!!!


at gliest I didnt name it


at Gliesest I didnt name it


at Gliesest I didnt name it

Ned Yeung

To the last poster who asked why it took so long to find it, if it's so close. 20.5 lightyears is not close. We only just developed a telescope strong enough to view planets at that distance, from what I understand. So really, we lucked out on discovering a planet like this, so soon after developing the technology to see it!


Because planets are very small, on a cosmic scale. And planets don't give off light, the way stars do. If I understand the reports correctly, they still haven't actually seen it. They have only deduced its existence from circumstantial evidence. That evidence can be hard to gather and interpret.



so if it so close,why did it take them so long to find it?


I vote for "Dilbearth" to replace Gliese-whatchamacallit...GO DILBEARTHIANS!!!!

Fáránlegt Skilyrði

Will you stop ending every fucking article with the word "Go"?

admiral krunch

The cooler planet names are the ones that have a signifigance besides sounding b-movie-ish. Like Dune from the novel "DUNE" by Frank Herbert or Path from "XENOCIDE" by Orson Scott Card.

Kent Morwath

Scientist have already too many items to name - they have to use some schema to avoid to get lost. Once bright stars had a name (Polar Star, Betelgeuse, Vega, etc.) and that was enough. Then some started to make maps, and giving a name to 6,000 stars was a bit difficult, and they started to use greek letters, latin letters, numbers. Telescope enters - ouch - a lot of them! Catalogs started to appear, and stars were named catalog + progressive numbers. Some stars may have more than one name. Gliese is a catalog of nearby stars. Usually interesting object get a "standard name" just after discover, so everybody can use it - and if it is proper the discoverer can later submit a name of his or her choice - and the IAU has to approve it.
Sorry if they're not sexy... if they could put up a business and sell starts they will got much more money and chicks..

Joe C

Scientists have no choice how they name things. There is no free will.


My physics classes were a while, back, but I remember enough to be seriously intrigued by Heim theory. Despite my poor memory, I can respond to Kevin's post:

"I may or may not have missed this, but does the ability to travel in hyperspace as described by Heim, (my understanding of German is very minimal, though some Babelfish translator engines help a little) circumnavigate the problem of the closer you travel to light speed, time slows down for you?If not, a round trip excursion to and from Mars spent at a luxurious two days in your personal time, may find on your return that anywhere from six to ten years have passed on Earth. Hoping that a capitalist civilastion continues with no major downturns, you could make a few shrewd safe minimal investments, take a five light year trip around the galaxy, return to Earth to a fat ripe nest egg - or at least pay for the trip in space!"

In the hyperspace Heim-Drochner theory describes, the speed of light is higher than in normal (Newtonian? Einsteinian?) space. As a result, even if special relativity holds (and it should), time dilation might be no more an issue for a hyperspace traveller than it is on a flight from Denver to Seattle.

I'm glad my wife doesn't read this blog, or I might be in danger of proving experimentally that scientists don't get laid.


really dont understand why, outside of scientific curiosity, it would be good to find life on other planets. ...IMHO We as a species are not ready to meet any new intelligent beings should there be any out there. Our fear would cause destruction of either them or us.
Posted by: Mike | April 26, 2007 at 06:40 AM

a) Because knowledge is a good thing in and of itself. Also, maybe it would put the fundamentalist notion of "God created the universe just for us" garbage to rest.

b) Good thing it's too far away to get there.

P.S. I vote for C-berts to show up and talk to dog/cat/bert kind of like the aliens who bought the earth from Calvin for a few leaves.



Your question about "Christian evolutionists" shows that you must be new here. First, because Scott rarely tells us what he really believes, and it is difficult to know whether he is serious when he does proclaim an actual opinion.

Second, according to Scott's prior posts, he appears to be an agnostic who does not believe in "invisible friends" (deities), but would not go so far as to deny the existence of a deity without some proof. Scott has not explicitly said so, but it does not appear that he has much use for faith, or much respect for the whole concept of believing things which cannot ever be proven.

Third, Scott questions some of the evidence commonly cited to support evolution, and he has explicitly said that he eventually expects evolution to be replaced by a better theory. But was he serious when he said it? Did he really understand what "evolution" means and encompasses when he said that? Did he understand that the theory of evolution is itself evolving, as it is still being refined and improved with new data? So hard to tell . . .

Scott would probably be willing to concede (and may have conceded) that evolution is the best explanation so far. As one who has been reading and posting since Scott began blogging here, I've certainly never seen him show any respect for Creationism, and I'm confident he does not believe in Creationism. I strongly suspect he does not believe in Intelligent Design, either, given his reluctance to accept anything which cannot be proven.

Moving beyond Scott's opinions, most of the people who post here appear to be agnostics, though some of those agnostics misuse the labels and erroneously call themselves "atheists." Many of the people who react to those posts appear to be Biblical literalists. A few of us, however, have identified ourselves as Christians who are not Creationists.

I call myself a Christian (a label that covers an extremely wide range of beliefs). I even teach Sunday School to teens in a mainstream protestant denomination, but I do not believe the Bible (including BOTH creation stories found in Genesis) is literally true.

Jesus taught with stories. So long as the point of the story is true, does it matter if the facts of the story are true? As long as I understand that Jesus wants me to consider everyone my neighbor, does it matter if there really was a good samaritan? I'm not saying there was no good samaritan, but I am saying that whether there was (or was not) a good samaritan is irrelevant to the lesson or to my faith.

I am comfortable applying that same standard to the entire Bible, not just the parables in the canonic Gospels. I don't believe in the literal truth of the creation stories, because the science shows overwhelmingly they are not literally true. That doesn't mean we cannot glean truth about God from those stories, and it certainly does not mean that we should abandon our faith. Disproving the literal truth of some Biblical passages is not the same as disproving the existence of God.

On the flipside of that same coin, I wonder if Creationists and other literalists who dispute or rationalize facts contrary to the Bible aren't looking for a way to bolster their faith. Of course, concrete proof of God's existence would undermine the very concept of faith.

Evolution makes sense to me, but there are some gaps (not the alleged "missing links" in human evolution, but e.g., an explanatiion with evidence showing how the eye evolved in stages). Even if science eventually fills in these gaps, I am comfortable with the idea of an Intelligent Designer who guided the process.

However, the concept of an Intelligent Designer is also a matter of faith, and it certainly should not be taught in schools as science. ID is not science.

So yes, Colin, there are rational, scientifically-minded people who are also willing to believe in things that can never be proven. The trick is to avoid confusing the two.

There are lots of different flavors of Christianity. If you have not yet found the right flavor, please just keep looking. If your home church isn't meeting your needs, ask your minister or a minister at a local college campus to recommend other churches you could visit.

And if you are ever going to be in Houston, Texas on a Sunday morning, email me.



I'd have named the planet "Jerry Lewis." Then we could as a species have had some collective seeding it and directing evolution in such a way that the planet would produce weird telethon-hosting beings considered humorous in France.


Yeah sounds like a pretty silly name to me, too, though probably promoted by some arcane taxonomy decipherable only by astrophysicist nerdy types ;-)

Aside from that this prompted my to refresh my aged desktop wallpaper from I now look at the Majestic Sombrero Galaxy (m104) periodically throughout the day. It's great to be a geek !!

Wild Bill

I think you need to add a being from Gliese 581 C as a character in Dilbert. You could call him (it?) Gliese 581 C-bert.


"The scientists named the planet Gliese 581 C, evidently to showcase the reason scientists can’t get laid."

Brilliant! Thanks for brightening up a dull afternoon...


I really dont understand why, outside of scientific curiosity, it would be good to find life on other planets. We already cant get along with eachother as a species on this single planet. What makes us think that we could get along with any other life form? I'm fairly certain that we would do as we always have done. If it is new or hard to understand...kill it. If you cant kill it control it. To us humans it will always be the other guys fault. God save them if they have something that we need. Say like Gold or Plutonium or some other thing. Even if they needed it to live we would want to take it all.
IMHO We as a species are not ready to meet any new intelligent beings should there be any out there. Our fear would cause destruction of either them or us.


"...And here we are, once more, confusing evolution with biogenesis. Telling them apart is not hard.
Please learn the difference between these concepts.

Unless, of course, we are here supposing that the intelligent life on 581C has guided the development of life on this planet as well, as opposed to just seeded it.

A hypothesis, for those who might not know, is a concept about something that is supported by evidence of some sort. Please either note your evidence, or stop calling this a hypothesis.


Wow, what a dork. Sounds like the rantings of a guy who would name a planet Gliese 581 C.

Well, here you go:
hy·poth·e·sis /
1. a proposition, or set of propositions, set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena, "either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture" to guide investigation (working hypothesis) or accepted as highly probable in the light of established facts.

niCk(mem beth)

Just saw today's strip.

So you're having someone else write your blog posts?

That explains much.

What's the "Go." signify at the end of your posts, Is that some kind of shorthand?



20 lightyears away? Maybe the planet doesn't even exist anymore. If we have to rely on this antigravity, dark energy nuclear gravity theory to work...this will be the heighth of this planet - a cool news story.

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