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Commentary: The habitability mantra: Hunting the Snark

Stevenson, David J. (2018) Commentary: The habitability mantra: Hunting the Snark. Physics Today, 71 (11). pp. 10-12. ISSN 0031-9228. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20181126-085701240

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Abstract

The origin of life and the existence of extraterrestrial life are among the most important scientific puzzles of our time. Humans have embarked on a great quest, the discovery of extraterrestrial life: We are seeking the Snark. The work of characterizing celestial bodies within our solar system and beyond contributes toward solving the puzzle, and future astronomical observations of exoplanets are also essential. However, in promoting those efforts or the choice of targets, excessive emphasis on habitability is bad science policy: It presumes a greater understanding of the concept than we currently possess, and it may fail to recognize the extraordinary diversity of planetary environments.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.4054DOIArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Stevenson, David J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Additional Information:© 2018 American Institute of Physics.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181126-085701240
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20181126-085701240
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:91152
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Nov 2018 17:39
Last Modified:26 Nov 2018 17:39

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