Talk:Planetary habitability/Archive 3

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Clarify Astobiologial potential does not include people

  • Duely noted that you mention nothing about Steven Spielbergs movie "E.T. the_Extra-Terrestrial" but that is what this article is about, speculation about ETs, ... okay scientist speculating about ET. Since no ETs have actually been found, can someone tell me how this article is anything more than scientists writing science fiction.
  • Having said that, the 214 page book that Stephen Dole and Issac Asimov wrote "Habitable planets for Man" is about what type of planet people could live on and why, not extremophile survival. and it was not a work of science fiction I should add. This article is misleading in that it blurs the line between what a person could survive and what extremophile lifeforms might survive.
  • That is why I have been working on an article based on that book and looking for other references to support each point that Dole and Asimov made:

  • Lastly the title of this article is deceptive, considering the very first line, "the measure of a planet's or a natural satellite's potential to develop and sustain life" this articles true name, the phrase that scientists are actually using, is "Astrobiological Potential."

GabrielVelasquez (talk) 04:42, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Citation for that last claim? Serendipodous 22:29, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I see a malformed RFC. I may not be able to participate in an extended discussion due to RL obligations, so I hope others will link to my remarks if an RfC actually takes place.
  • I have just spent perhaps 30 or 45 minutes trying to skim through legitimate academic soures looking for instances of astrobiological potential and planetary habitability. I found that:
    1. Both terms are attested in largely the same academic sources.
    2. Instances of planetary habitability and very similar phrasings such as "planetary surface habitability" seem to outnumber instances of astrobiological potential by a factor of roughly three to one.
    3. I did find a few instances where the terms co-occur, and here's a key point: I did not find any discussion which draws any semantic distinction between the two terms. Instead, they seemed to be used as near-perfect synonyms.
  • Those are the results of my informal investigation. Now, turning to the context of this discussion within Wikipedia:
    1. We have an essentially stable article that has reached FA status. This builds a case for something resembling stare decisis—if a nontrivial change (such as a page move) is made, the burden of proof is upon on the editor who made that change. That editor should be prepared to conclusively demonstrate sufficient cause for the change.
    2. I would suggest that "planetary habitability" is somewhat more readily intuitively accessible than "astrobiological potential". That is, based solely on the lexical components of the two terms, it is easier for a nonspecialist to get an initial understanding of what the former term probably means than of the latter.
    3. If you take all of the above observations together as a group, to me it seems clear that there is not sufficient justification for the page move, and indeed there is greater justification against it. Normally I would simply be WP:BOLD and move it back, but one party has shown an emotional investment in the new term. I fear an edit war might result if I acted boldly, so I'll gladly wait a short while (perhaps a couple days) to let folks settle the matter amicably.
  • Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 10:05, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  • This article's title should not hinging on one publication. it should be called what it is desribing and what scientists are refering to, which is "Astrobiological Potential."

GabrielVelasquez (talk) 05:02, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I think it's wrong to say that this article "doesn't include people"; it simply doesn't focus on us specifically. All of the points made in this article are relevant to humans, except "alternative biochemistry". Serendipodous 19:20, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
You are really good a trying to make points around other people's points, that is, outright ignoring points that you can not argue against when they are still highly relevant, and in that way you make people repeat themselves over and over again. This article is not about people, and as I said above there should be one about the habitability of planets for people, just as I already mentioned the 214 page book that Stephen Dole and Issac Asimov wrote "Habitable planets for Man" is about what type of planet people could live on and why, not extremophile survival. This article is misleading in that it blurs the line between what a person could survive (known) and what extremophile lifeforms might survive (speculation). I have you on my talkpage telling me that people are less important than bacteria. You tell me Planetary Habitability for PEOPLE is science fiction, and here you are when it suits you, thinking no one will spot the contradiction, saying it is already in this article!! - I don't accept your false reasoning: The NASA webpage and other publication for teaching children what is habitable planet-wise for PEOPLE is enough for me to make the distinction and still there is the 214 page scientific book by Dole and Asimov. If all this information was added to this article it would be too long, and that is why it makes sense to create an article around the Dole-Asimov book and other references on what is habitable for humans, but the rabid territorial editors of this article had that first attempt deleted. There are more references now and it is a completely different and more solid article.
GabrielVelasquez (talk) 00:44, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Look, your personal attacks aside, I really don't want to discuss this anymore. You can create your article. I'm not stopping you. It will either be deleted or it won't; as I said, I have no interest in deleting it. All I ask is that you leave this article alone. Serendipodous 01:04, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Bull, there are not personal attacks above, anything that contradicts you you call a personal attack. This articles title is wrong, all you have to do is read the first line to see that it should be "Astrobiological Potential." - The intro says "potential to develop and sustain life". Even a blind person could "see" that, when the listen to the article on the CD. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 01:27, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

RfC: Title of article

Should this article be titled "Planetary habitability" or "Astrobiological potential"?

See the section above for some comments added before the RfC tag was completed.

I would prefer to see this moved back to "Planetary habitability". For one thing, it should not have been moved without a conversation here on the talk page; see WP:RM for the right procedure for moving pages where disagreement is possible. More importantly, it is an equivalent term and is much more likely to be understood by a reader unfamiliar with the topic. There does not seem to be any reason to use the new title in preference to the old; and the old title is a term that has been used for decades in discussions of this topic. "Planetary habitability" seems clearly the preferable title to me. Mike Christie (talk) 13:23, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

For the record, I agree with Mike. Serendipodous 13:25, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

I moved the page back to the old title, which I think is better. Ruslik (talk) 15:05, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps it should be titled Life Sustainibility. Spencer Divonn'io the glorious (talk) 03:16, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Too vague. Could be referring to ecology or homeostasis. Serendipodous 13:07, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

I also agree with Mike.Kangaroo2 (talk) 22:39, 22 December 2008 (UTC)--Kangaroo2 (talk) 22:39, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

This article does deal with a few situations which are not (strictly speaking) planets, such as planetary satellites. Habitability (astrobiology) might be a better option. I'm not so keen on "Astrobiological potential" because it doesn't group particularly well with Habitable zone which is one of the important concepts within this field. Icalanise (talk) 14:44, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

  • "Planetary habitability is the measure of a planet's or a natural satellite's potential to develop and sustain life. " - this is the intro to this article, and it should be noted that the word "potential" is there, and that "astrobiological" is there in the contextual mean of the word used, "life." hence "Astrobiological Potential" is what is being refered to and not the vauge term "habitability" which could mean anything depending on whether you are talking about Steven Spielbergs "ET," or human beings, or sillicate based life (scientific speculation and science fiction), or even cockroaches in your apartment! - This point contradicts what Ling.Nut has said above about it being mearly semantics: "potential to develop and sustain life." That one or the other or both term has or has not been in use for twenty years is secondary to the fact that Astrobiology is the up-and-coming field on the subject, and that the article even has a subsection that references this article has some importance. The whole "Habitability" thing has to be straightened out, and I mean more than the redirects:
    *For habitability of buildings Habitability (Tenancy)
    *For habitability of planet systems, see Habitable zone.
    *For habitability of planets for ET, see Planetary Habitability??
    *For habitability of planets for people, see Planetary Human Habitability.

    What Icalanise is insinuating is that they all have to line up like this and they should all use the vague word "habitability" but that his not so, it is not a redirect contest. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 01:20, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Can I point out that "astrobiology" literally means "the study of life on stars"? —Largo Plazo (talk) 02:51, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
True, but it is recognized as per the lead of our own Astrobiology article as referring to live elsewhere in the universe. John Carter (talk) 19:31, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
RfC Comment - One of the purposes of our articles' titles is, as per WP:NAME, and I quote, "Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature." At this point, I believe that the term "Astrobiology" is, to the majority of the English language reading public, neither particularly easily recognizable nor particularly unambiguous. On that basis, I personally very much lean toward the title "Planetary habitability", as I think that title is much more recognizable, understandable, and unambiguous. John Carter (talk) 19:31, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
What about "Planetary life habitability"? I think "Planetary Habitability" is clearer than the Astrobiology title, but I sounds like it means human habitability, or "terraformability". --jwandersTalk 17:08, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
"Planetary habitability" seems fine. The intro mentions non-human life forms and the article doesn't focus on humans. If there isn't adequate relevant mention of terraforming then improve it. -- SEWilco (talk) 18:37, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that Planetary habitability is a term describing more precisely what this article is about than Astrobiological potential. The latter term seems incomplete. Potential for what? For live, hence habitability. And astro relates to stars, less often to planets. --Gereon K. (talk) 21:13, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

IMO, both "Planetary habitability" and "Astrobiological potential" are jargon-loaded, overly complex terms. Both phrases have 10 syllables each. I'd just call it "Life on other planets" - only 6 syllables, and easy to understand by any child. I think even Carl Sagan would approve. As an alien visitor, those are my 2 cents. Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 21:31, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

The first book I read on this topic was called Life on Other Worlds, so I like the idea behind this. However, I don't think it quite works as the article title -- the article is not actually about life, it's about habitability. Mike Christie (talk) 01:07, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

I've mostly just heard of this concept being called simply "habitability", so habitability (astrobiology) would be my geeky choice. But alas, the majority of our readers are not geeks, so planetary habitability would likely more closely conform to our naming conventions. "Life on other planets" appears to be a Simple English term for extraterrestrial life, which is a related but separate topic. --mav (talk) 01:03, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Will we invent new terms terms or use the existing scientific ones? Here is the definition by NASA: "The Planetary Habitability Science group comprises a multidisciplinary collection of scientists and technicians ranging from astrobiology through microbiology, chemistry and geochemistry to instrument engineering. The scientific methodology that has been espoused is one of a systems approach to astrobiology: integration of appropriate field and laboratory work and integration of those results into instrument development pertinent to answering mission science questions." Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 01:53, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
This is a terrible misquote, NASA talks about Facility Habitability a lot, and where did you find this so called definition?? - do you have a reference? GabrielVelasquez (talk) 23:27, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
NASA disagrees with you, Gabriel. See: Planetary Habitability Science. BatteryIncluded (talk) 21:35, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
"...into instrument development pertinent to answering mission science questions." - you just zoomed in on the words without checking their use, effetively misusing the link; NASA refers to habitiablity of space stations, Mars & Moon bases, and other man made Habitations. Not Extremophile lifeforms. Wikipedia itself has perpetrated the misnomer. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 09:53, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

"Planetary habitability" - seems much more prevalent and understandable. Of course all of theses concepts only revolve around life that humans understand or can conceptualize. Perhaps a section about the non carbon based life is called for? Speculation from scientist exist. Garycompugeek (talk) 15:53, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Great article

Was just reading through this page casually when, about halfway through, I thought to myself, "wow, this is a really well written article. I wonder if anyone has nominated it for FA status yet?" Sure enough, it happened about three years ago.

Anyway, for those who've had a hand in writing the content here and may still be monitoring this talk page... nice work. (talk) 01:44, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Mass, magnetism and Rare Earth hypotheses

In the subsection on mass as a planetary characteristic it says that "Plate tectonics [help] create the convective cells necessary to generate Earth's magnetic field." Is that accurate? I'm only a layman (read ignoramus) on the subject so I'm happy to believe that it is. However, I can't find any mention of this elsewhere and somehow I'm not entirely convinced by the reference cited (which strikes me as off topic, with respect to geomagnetism). I'd hoped to see a better explanation given on Earth's magnetic field or Dynamo theory so the fault may lie there rather than here. Can anyone more knowledgeable check/confirm this and maybe make this easier to follow up? Cheers, MikeEagling (talk) 13:09, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

No, it's nonsense. Tectonics is the effect, not the cause. It does, however, recycle CO2 and oxygen sequestered in sediments and thus maintain our atmosphere, so tectonics would appear to be vital. kwami (talk) 20:19, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Merge content from Goldilocks planet and Goldilocks Principle

I propose merging the articles Goldilocks planet and Goldilocks Principle into this article - most of the relevant material seems to be covered here already. Icalanise (talk) 22:56, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

agree. Serendipodous 08:12, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
Disagree. - Else-wise the converse, the Extremophile (life forms) article, or Habitable zone. Do them all and I would agree in the operation of consistency. But the article is bloated as it is, and needs (the reverse) trimming instead.GabrielVelasquez (talk) 22:38, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I can see them merged into habitable zone. Extremophile is only tangentially related to the topic. Serendipodous 10:10, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Tangentally?! - there you go contradicting youself again, are people the focus of this article? - one month you say they aren't the next they are, and now Extremophiles. Gotta love your flip-flops. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 23:23, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, they are related, but not enough to be the same article. A habitable zone is not another name for an extremophile, nor is it a subset or subcategory of same. Ergo it should not be merged with it. Serendipodous 16:06, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Twisting my words as usual: merging Extremophile into Planetary Habitability was my contrast, not Extremophile into Habitable zone. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 10:00, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

RFC on suggested title change to "Habitability (Astrobiology)"

in the discussion above a few people suggested the new article title Habitability (Astrobiology), and given the intro of the article refers to extrasolar life and there are other Habitability concept articles, should the articles title continue to refer to Habitability of Planets or be changed to the more specific to life "Habitability (Astrobiology)." GabrielVelasquez (talk) 10:25, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Support - in the discussion above a few people suggested the new article title Habitability (Astrobiology),
    and given the intro of the article refers to extrasolar life and there are other Habitability concept articles,
    should the articles title continue to refer to Habitability of Planets or be changed to the more specific to life "Habitability (Astrobiology)."
    GabrielVelasquez (talk) 10:25, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
    A few? I found only one – mav, who, however, noted that the present title is still better. Ruslik_Zero 14:16, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - Planetary habitability is an article about which planets may provide habitable environment for life. However, planetary habitability is not just talking about the planets that can support life, but moons can also provide habitable environment. For example there could be an Earth-like moon orbiting HD 28185 b. So it's good to retitle it to habitability (astrobiology) to broaden the topic. BlueEarth (talk | contribs) 21:39, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I think the current title is fine; it is a common term used in sources and is more easily understood by a reader unfamiliar with the topic than the suggested alternative. Incidentally, I think it's more usual to use the move request page to suggest a move than to use an RfC. I suggest the proposer also posts a move request using the instructions on that page. Mike Christie (talk) 09:56, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Wikipedia's official convention is to "title an article using the most common name of the person or thing that is the subject of the article." (WP:NCCN) The scientific field of Planetary Habitability is very real and it is called so, so I see it a disservice to Wikipedia that non-experts attempt to make up a new scientific term. Please see: NASA's Planetary Habitability Science, and notice in Google Scholar that 'planetary habitability' is indeed the current term used in related scientific research papers: [1]. Planetary science (& habitability) includes the scientific study of planets, moons, and planetary systems. -BatteryIncluded (talk) 21:43, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Support as per BlueEarth. --Cyclopia (talk) 22:54, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Because:
  • "Planetary habitability" is meant to ally with "planetary science," which is the most obvious and accepted academic area that serves as a parent for this article. "Astrobiological habitability" is too amorphous (and too recent) to serve in this respect.
  • "Planetary", as used in the adjectival sense here, regularly applies to moons. This issue is a red herring. Anyone studying the atmosphere of Titan would agree that they are engaged in "planetary science," even if they are studying a satellite.
  • "Planetary habitability" is now in use by canonical organizations. There is a course at Stanford and a NASA page.

I would suggest (immodestly) that the original posting of this entry on wiki may have leant credence to the title. I don't think the NASA page title existed when I uploaded the first draft, for instance. (I do vaguely recall the Stanford page.) The title may have been mirrored. But if NASA sees fit to use the title now, so can we. At the same time, Google scholar shows attestations before this page existed, which should trump any ideas that the title is only a wiki-mirror.

In short, "Planetary habitability" remains a perfectly fine, non-neologism, for what this article describes. Marskell (talk) 20:14, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

  • The stanford reference is funny considering they titled it P.H. but they describe it over and over as Astrobiology, hah. And the other "...into instrument development pertinent to answering mission science questions." - you just zoomed in on the words without checking their use, effetively misusing the link; NASA refers to habitiablity of space stations, Mars & Moon bases, and other man made Habitations. Not Extremophile lifeforms. Wikipedia itself has perpetrated the misnomer. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 09:53, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
You must realize by now that your denial of the existence of this science and its scope is beginning to be disruptive. That NASA page includes a very clear explanation of their approach to the science of Planetary Habitability, which includes their "scientific methodology", all focused on astrobiology and not on technology development for human-made bases as you claim. BatteryIncluded (talk) 01:30, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Ha Ha Ha, now you're saying astrobiology and habitability are the same thing, why not change your vote then. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 04:20, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
If lies and ignorance are your best arguments, then I am out. Physics uses mathematics and they are not the same science. Biology uses chemistry and they are not the same science, etc. We are still waiting for you to show us where in this NASA page they equate Planetary Habitability to outer-space human bases. BatteryIncluded (talk) 21:16, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
BatteryIncluded and GabrielVelazquez, in my humble opinion I would not focus on this kind of arguments. While it is true that "planetary habitability" is the most common term (and that astrobiology and planetary habitability are two different things), it is however true that habitability is not necessarily confined to planets (more so if the definition of planet, at least beyond the Solar System, is still a bit fuzzy). While I agree that "Planetary habitability" is the most common term, because most habitable environments we can think of will fall under the definition of planet or planetary body, not necessarily all of them will be. To make an example, think of a discussion on habitability of a ringworld or a Dyson sphere: clearly not planetary bodies, but clearly the same discipline will apply. I think it's a fine line between synthesis and common sense; my personal opinion is that falls on the latter side: that's why I support the renaming. I hope this helps the discussion. --Cyclopia (talk) 22:24, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
This page does not discuss the Dyson sphere or ringworld or any other theoretical human construction. Nor should it. You're talking about advanced aerospace engineering (or exploratory engineering, as one page calls it). This is clearly not the same discipline as planetary science and would be wholly tangential here. You've mistaken this page for something else. Marskell (talk) 10:21, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Marskell, maybe I have not been clear. I am not talking of discussing what a ringworld is: but if you want to discuss the habitability of a ringworld (or whatever other object, natural or artificial), your considerations will be much similar to those of habitability of a planet. Distance, atmospheric density etc. The point is that restricting habitability to planets seems a bit forced. You said that "This is clearly not the same discipline as planetary science"; what I say is that studies of habitability is not necessarily entirely restricted within boundaries of planetary science too. --Cyclopia (talk) 18:40, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
If you want to discuss the habitability of a ringworld you need to consider theoretical engineering concepts and other applied science. The example has no bearing on this article. We don't need to rename lake to take account of swimming pools. What you're basically arguing for is not renaming this but starting something else. Marskell (talk) 20:29, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Why should one consider theoretical engineering concepts to discuss of the habitability of an hypothetical solid ring around a star, while one has not to discuss the habitability of solid spheres orbiting a star? And no, I am just arguing for renaming. I was just doing examples of non-planetary habitable (possible) objects. If we want to stay within the realm of already existing objects, what about the discussion of habitability of comets, planemos, or even very cold stars? Habitability is a general concepts that applies to objects in the universe, the only reason to focus on planetary habitability is that most objects we can think of as habitable are planets. I don't see what we lose by just adding a bit of generality. --Cyclopia (talk) 22:59, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
The yeah sayers ought to start instead an article named "Habitability of space stations & bases" because that is what they want to write about. BatteryIncluded (talk) 02:00, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Clearly, naturally occurring habitable environments and human-constructed habitable environments are two different things and this article title doesn't need to account for both. What might be worthwhile is cleaning up Space colonization, which is a sloppy page at the moment. Marskell (talk) 09:55, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
I am not talking of space stations and bases. I am not talking of only human-constructed habitable environments. I am not trying to hijack the article into something which is not. I put forward these things as examples because they are conceivable habitable objects, do not fall under the definition of planet and their habitability has nothing to do with their engineering: they are artificial supports but not completely artificial environments like a space station. I have put forward also non-planetary, natural objects as further examples. Frank Drake discussed life possibility on a neutron star (Drake, F.D., “Life on a Neutron Star.” Astronomy 1(5):5) I am just stating that habitability is more of a general concept, and restricting it to planets look a bit arbitrary. --Cyclopia (talk) 10:58, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
What do you mean we are "restricting" the article to Planetary Habiltability? Have you noticed the title of this article at all? BatteryIncluded (talk) 14:49, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
It's of changing the title we're talking about, isn't it? See below. :) --Cyclopia (talk) 23:37, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
What you call "restricted topic" I call "subject coherence". Your proposal makes as much sense as changing the title of the "Horse" article to "Charriot", or as Markskell said, we don't need to change the title "lake" to account for swimming pools. You must take note that the title must be as precise as necessary to indicate accurately its topical scope, (WP:NCCN) and in this case, it already does, and if I may add: it is brilliantly written (no - I did not participate in its development) to have its subject diluted with side subjects. Have you considered investing your efforts on articles focused on your interests? A few articles best suited for your subject may be located in [Category:Space colonization], particularly: Space-based architecture, Space habitat and Space and survival. Sincerely, BatteryIncluded (talk) 02:50, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry but this is straw man argumenting at its zenith :). Read below what I mean with it and why expanding the scope of this article could make sense. The articles you talk about are not focused on my interests. I have no interest nor competence in such articles. What I am talking about is the fact that there has been some speculation on the habitability of non-planetary objects, both natural and artificial -I used hypothetical artificial ones only as an example, as misleading as it could have been. Read the answer below to Marskell and please reply to that discussion -my opinion on the discussion should be more clear there. --Cyclopia (talk) 14:09, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
I think we're talking at cross-purposes here. Cyclopia is basically arguing that because other habitable environments can be thought of, this needs to be retitled to accommodate them. That doesn't follow. This page doesn't claim to be the only one needed to deal with extra-Earth habitability. It has a coherent focus on terrestrial-type planets and moons, which is in-keeping with the vast majority of the research. If you believe that there is enough theory surrounding Solar habitability then I suggest starting a page. (Evolving the Alien takes a rather fanciful stab at life evolving on a star, IIRC.) Again, if you want to discuss human-constructed environments, start a page on that or clean up something existing. In time, habitability itself could become a redirect. But we shouldn't pull out random examples to justify mixing apples and oranges here. Marskell (talk) 22:38, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
I see your point, and thank you for exposing a crisp view of my position, even if you disagree. It also helps focus the discussion. In fact my idea is that, since there is too few material for a whole article dedicated to something like stellar habitability, yet it would be nice to have this material somewhere, a reasonable idea was changing the title of this entry and adding material about non-planetary habitable environments which have been speculated of. And it's not really a matter of mixing apples and oranges: considerations about stable habitable zones, spectral class or stellar variation apply to almost every conceivable environment; and discussion of alternative biochemistries could take note naturally of non-planetary alternatives that have been speculated of.
In fact, most of the article would stay the same: my proposal is of changing the first line to something on the kind of:
Habitability is the measure of an astronomical object (usually a planet or a natural satellite) potential to develop and sustain life.
and also there could be brief but helpful information in the article on why planets are by far the best candidates to support life of any kind. At this point, short paragraphs about the proposals of stellar habitability and stuff like that become natural and do not skew the article significantly, only adding further context and information. I see gains and practically nothing to lose in such a widening of scope ("planetary habitability" would obviously be kept as redirect), but if there is, I'd like to know. --Cyclopia (talk) 23:37, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
What would be lost is what is what Battery calls subject coherence above (no strawman there). Fringe examples do not dictate article titles. If these other types of habitability are so ancillary they do not require articles of their own, then this page does not need to be renamed to accomodate them (the star example would literally warrant one sentence). If they are substantial enough to require articles, then take them elsewhere. (And the artificial habitable environments argument has run its course: four different pages have now been linked that are much better suited to such info; there's no need to rework this one on that basis.)
Also bear in mind what including wholly speculative examples such as stars entails. The optimists on this topic (Drake, Sagan, the Evolving the Alien authors) often engage in what are essentially extended thought experiments: imagine an exotic form of life simply to prove it can be done. If you want to be creative, you can imagine life forming in practically any astronomical environment. But again, simply because other habitable environments can be thought of does not require a retitle here. And now we are going in circles. Marskell (talk) 19:25, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
(My strawman complaint was with his analogies, but that's no problem) My opinion differs in that coherence would not be lost (if anything, would be gained, because it does not privilege a kind of celestial body and would present coherently all possible cases). As for renaming, it would be for correctness and avoiding further problems, because the next thing I can think of is any editor wiping away a paragraph on star habitability because could state that "the article is about planets", effectively barring the information from WP.
As for being wholly speculative examples, I agree perfectly with your comment. Yet it doesn't them less notable: they have been talked about in several books, articles and used as a basis for several fiction works. Why should we ignore their existence?
Finally, about the artificial examples: I can agree on not including them here. But what I meant is that the habitability of the examples I proposed does not depend strictly on how they are made. If you want a ringworld to be habitable (assuming you can actually build it), you have to put it into the habitable zone of the star, just like a planet. The parameters to take into account are mostly the same (distance from the sun, gravitational instability of binary systems, surface gravity, climate etc.) and have little or nothing to do with the engineering details of such structures. They are much more akin to artificial planets than to space stations.
To try to settle the issue, I wonder if we can find a way to keep the article name, but stating explicitly that the article can cover a brief paragraph on habitability of non-planetary objects. Maybe with a rewording roughly like:
Planetary habitability is the measure of a planetary object potential to develop and sustain life. This usually includes planets and large natural satellites mostly, but the speculation on the subject has touched also planemos, minor planets and even stars.
what do you think? --Cyclopia (talk) 21:03, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
I think that would totally violate WP:UNDUE and WP:FRINGE and is a good example of losing coherence over the subject matter... Sorry, but no way.
And I'm really not sure where this is going. The rename does not have support. This is a four year-old FA with a dozen or so translations that properly gives due weight to the research. I have said nothing about barring or ignoring information. If habitable planemos and stars have "several books, articles and...several fiction works" in their favour, then it should be easy enough to at least start a stub.
This looks like a solution in search of a problem. Marskell (talk) 22:54, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Sigh. It is a problem: there is information which does not deserve an article in itself but deserves a mention and it could be easily integrated here. I don't see how having scattered, redundant stubs here and there can be considered better than having one, solid article about habitability of astronomical objects. I can't see also how WP:UNDUE or WP:FRINGE can be claimed, quite the contrary: for sure I don't want to give these speculations more weight than they deserve; and that's exactly why I think a whole article devoted to them is not the right solution: a few sentences should be more than enough. I am not thinking of turning the article upside-down, just of extending the introduction a bit and adding a short paragraph about published, sourced speculations on life on (natural) non-planetary objects. I can't see finally how can it "lose coherence": how can having several scattered stubs be "more coherent"? Why is dividing between habitability of planets and moons versus everything else "coherent"? I really wonder what's the advantage in keeping everything as it is. The fact that it is FA does not mean it is untouchable: the template at the top says "Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so". I hope this time I made myself clear. --Cyclopia (talk) 00:35, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
You want to include an idea as marginal as habitable stars in the second sentence and you don't see a due weight issue? Anyway, I filled out the intro slightly and added: "Rocky, terrestrial-type planets and moons with the potential for Earth-like chemistry are a primary focus of astrobiological research, although more speculative habitability theories occasionally examine alternative biochemistries and other types of astronomical bodies." You'll notice at the beginning of the "Planetary characteristics" a mention is made of the cloud-tops of gas giants. A single sentence on stars could probably follow it. Marskell (talk) 19:04, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
You add substance to the article that leans more toward non-terrestrial-planet life and still want base the title on "Planets" - I think you have added to Cyclopia's argument with your edit in the article. Valiant effort Cyclopia, but I believe this article is going to be split in two soon anyway. Notice they all have to ignore the very first sentence in the article "potential to develop and sustain life." to make their points. Sustain=Habitability & life=astrobiology, therefore Habitability(astrobiology), too simple for big brains. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 10:42, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
PS. yeah "Astrobiologist" is outdated, "Planetary-Habitabilitiologist" sounds much better. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 11:45, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per Marskell. Serendipodous 07:25, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
  • 'Un-support. As per Nope. Ling.Nut (talk) 08:38, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose title succinctly gives context to article subject matter, which the alternative does not. Casliber (talk · contribs) 06:49, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

SURVEY on extremophile/colonization ambiguity, article size, and the coming split.

Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia:Summary style, Wikipedia:Splitting, Wikipedia:Article size

Note: "With some web browsers with certain plug-ins running in certain environments, articles over 400 KB may not render properly or at all. If possible, such very large articles should be split." also:

  • "> 100 KB Almost certainly should be divided."
  • "> 60 KB Probably should be divided (although the scope of a topic can sometimes justify the added reading time)"
  • "> 40 KB May eventually need to be divided (likelihood goes up with size)"

This article leans in two too dissimilar directions suggesting it is about Human Colonization and discussing Extremophile Evolution and stellar survival, is a very long long read, has exceeded recommended size, and should be split. Since the article is overly large, it could use with a split into articles specifically about "Extremophile habitability and Evolution", or removing references (and layman readership ambiguities) of people to help finish an article on "Planetary Human Habitability" and "Extrasolar Extremophile Evolution" (E3).

  • Support - simply on the basis of size, but also any references and/or insinuations about people should be removed so any layman reading the article does not get the idea that "Earth-like" or "Planet" refers to or suggests people, at all. Remember not everyone who reads this article is an "Astrobiologist." GabrielVelasquez (talk) 11:41, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment - I have several issues on this subject, both against and in support of the proposal. I must say I disagree with the proposal as it is: drawing an arbitrary line between extremophiles and other life forms (like us) makes little sense scientifically. However it is true that we could divide between an article talking about habitability as a general concept, and another dealing with planets which can sustain Earth-like life. I can't think of a clean way to do this however, and I wait for discussion.
However, I have a proposal a bit orthogonal to all of this. I would find meaningful to make a general article called "Habitability (astrobiology)" as per previous RfC, which would discuss the general concept, which would then link here to Planetary habitability and to Habitable zone for further discussion of the planetary habitability subject, then to Terraforming, Dyson sphere etc. for space engineering concepts related to colonization, etc. In such an architecture, the distinction between the two possible meanings of habitability -the restrictive, human-centered and the wide one- could be easily be discussed. --Cyclopia (talk) 11:58, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Comment on comment: But not a clear distinction on stellar habitiability for people?? - As this over here is going I would say the interest exists: Science Reference Desk discussion. - GabrielVelasquez (talk) 12:07, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. I do not understand this proposal. Human Habitability is not mentioned in the current article at all, so there is nothing to split. The term "Planetary Human Habitability" itself looks rather contrived. In addition nothing prevents you from writing "Planetary Human Habitability" article without touching this one. Ruslik_Zero 12:18, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Comment on comment: If that's a request for clarification I repeat -> "Remember not everyone who reads this article is an "Astrobiologist."" - so every mention of life could mean people and not everyone assumes life doesn't mean people. If you look farther up in the talkpage you'll see editors defending the article as including people. Ask them if you need more clarification. As for your opinion on my being able to write and article on "Planetary Human Habitability" is amusing and naive considering if you had checked the link before making your comment you would notice it is near completion but will still have to fight for it's life eventually. Oh, and if you think "Planetary Human Habitability" you might want to check out "Human Habitability Environmental Requirements and Tolerances." and on top of that I do believe you've insulted Stephen H. Dole & Isaac Asimov the authors of "Planets for Man, 2nd Ed."(1964) - but that's just my opinion. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 13:04, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment I made the article planetary human habitability before, but the article was deleted. It would be interesting to recreate this article with more references. Like all extraterrestrial life, humans evolve not just on planets, but also on moons. So it would be better to simply title it as human habitability. BlueEarth (talk | contribs) 19:01, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Since humans are obviously not "extraterrestrial life" and humans did not evolve on any moon, I don't understand what you are trying to say. --Cyclopia (talk) 19:06, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
He is actually commenting on the topic of the survey, the idea of finishing "Planetary Human Habitability" by making this bloated article smaller. Funny you ignore the fact that his article's title uses the term PLANET but isn't only about planets when it is convenient for you to forget that. If this article is about ETs it should be absolutely clear about that so as not to confuse non-Astrobiologsts, or as some prefer Planetary-Habitabilitiologist. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 02:28, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Disruptive comments moved to their own heading per WP:TPO

This is becoming disruptive, Gabriel. There's nothing wrong with the article. Relative to other FAs, the size is quite normal.
Ruslik, I suggest we think about going to AN/I to get a page ban for this user. Marskell (talk) 13:44, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
You forgot to say In your opinion "This is becoming disruptive." that's the card editors play when they don't get there way I noticed, but the references are above. You can address them directly, if I'm wrong, otherwise you're just trying to skip a process that others would be glad to follow. You don't like the clarification offered so you have to end this as soon as possible, that's what I see. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 14:28, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Gabriel, I won't comment on the proposal of Marskell because he knows the edit history better than me. But your constant lack of good faith is disruptive. --Cyclopia (talk) 14:41, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
No, you have that the other way around, it is his lack of good faith if you read the first line of that link on good faith. There is nothing in error or disruptive about the proposal, you even commented on it yourself in a supportive angle and that's really why you can't follow him because you would be contradicting yourself. And on top of that I caught you removing the discussion tag when this has only started, that was really sneeky. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 14:52, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree there is nothing disruptive about the proposal itself. Thanks for making me notice the diff; I didn't want at all to remove the tag, I've just seen you've removed the planetary science link, that's what I wanted to revert. I truly apologize for this incident. I am all for keeping the tag above. That said, when you do comments like "You don't like the clarification offered so you have to end this" you are absolutely not assuming good faith. That's not the first time it happens, nor the second. This creates problems in the debates, since it unnecessarily inflames; plus, you cannot hope to be taken seriously if you accuse everyone of hidden agendas. --Cyclopia (talk) 15:19, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Alright I see your point, I have to qualify my suspicions with "I suspect" rather than state factually my formulated interpretation - and not to be disruptive but if he is really talking about the proposal/process, which you say is legitimate, then he really is being disruptive. Think about it, the arrogant unqualified "This is becoming disruptive" when I have quoted and referenced the "Wikipedia:Article size" page. And I don't have to accuse them of hidden agendas, their edits all over this talkpage speak for themselves. Anyway, duly noted that you didn't answer my question to your comment just above. Seriously, swing it all over to Terraforming & Dyson sphere?? - and what about the Sci Ref Desk comments?? GabrielVelasquez (talk) 15:31, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
The fact is, WP:AGF means do not suspect. In the moment you suspect, you are no more assuming good faith. Either there is proof (or nearly proof) of some behaviour, or AGF. So if you "suspect", keep it for yourself, and stick to facts. As per your comment, I didn't answer because the fact that something is asked in the ref desk is irrelevant on the discusson, which is on how to present the material, not on whether or not writing on it. --Cyclopia (talk) 15:44, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

First off, what's disruptive is that for two years Gabriel has been hanging about this page coming up with inane proposals about splitting, expanding, merging, renaming, etc. It's too broad, it's too narrow, who knows... And along the way he spits at good faith contributors and wastes everybody's time. By responding to these proposals, we're simply feeding this dynamic. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the length. It has been explained to him repeatedly that this page focuses on life in general on planetary-type bodies, not human life.
And it has also been pointed out that there are plenty of articles that could use some work wrt to humans in space: Space-based architecture, Space habitat, Space and survival, as well as numerous Terraforming and Space colonization pieces. By all means, let's work on those. But this crusade has to end. Marskell (talk) 22:01, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Incidentally, this page is 36K readable prose. Length is a non-issue. Marskell (talk) 22:17, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
FALSE STATEMENTS: Actually the history says "(68,093 bytes)." I have not been on here for 2 years. "wastes everybody's time" - you don't speak for everybody, Editors including yourself are here by choice. I consider the entire last comment a series of BAD FAITH attacks. GabrielVelasquez (talk) 00:31, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
The criterion is "readable prose," which is 36K for this article. There's a script that allows you to check this; works in Firefox for me. I'll dig it up tomorrow.
As for wasting time, I don't know what else to call it. Your rename tag fails so you add another (and another and another) so that we all have to chase our tails on talk. If you want to work on a page specific to human beings, go on work it. Plenty of suggestions have been provided. Marskell (talk) 00:59, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
I'll reiterate, I'm at a loss to understand, if you are not interested why are you here?? - GabrielVelasquez (talk) 01:33, 4 September 2009 (UTC)


Protected for one week. Settle disputes here. Vsmith (talk) 00:40, 4 September 2009 (UTC)