Overheard on CNN.com: Is there intelligent life on Earth?
The HARPS instrument has identified an Earth-like planet, shown in this artist's impression, orbiting star HD 85512 in the southern constellation of Vela.
September 14th, 2011
06:03 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Is there intelligent life on Earth?

Comment of the Day:

"The search for intelligent life in the universe will not be found on this planet."–Yumi

16 'super-Earths' discovered

A mere 35 light years away ... lies planet HD 85512b. About 3.6 times Earth's mass, it might have liquid water under certain circumstances. Its existence was recently reported by the European Southern Observatory. Don't get too excited, said many CNN.com readers, traveling there may be a bad idea, even if we can.

Nate said, "We can't even accept differing opinions and way of life within our species. Discovering extraterrestrial life would probably be like Christopher Columbus discovering a new land inhabited by natives. We would wipe them out and then steal their land and resources." zrxgrim said, "Unless we're the natives in canoes and they're Columbus."

Vesstair said, "We might not be Columbus. Heck, we might not even be the natives. We might be the fur-bearing animals the trappers wanted."

Paul said, "So, it is Monday morning and you and a few close friends hop on a "space shuttle service" flight to this kick-butt new place to live. You are 21. And, how old are you when you get there? Or is everyone frozen and then thawed-out upon arrival? Sorry. Think I will wait for the next train."

dnarich said, "As I used to tell my children: If you were to get into a spaceship on the day you were born, and hurtle through space headed towards the nearest star, as fast as the fastest spaceship any human has ever flown, the closest star would seem no closer at the end of your life than it did on the day you were born."

Spock said, "We can't build one now, but some sort of nuclear-powered interstellar ramjet engine could gather hydrogen atoms to use as reaction mass to power a spacecraft. This would provide continuous acceleration (and deceleration at our destination) and would allow the craft to approach light-speed on long trips. Relativistic effects would slow down time for those on board, so the trip would not take as long for them, although it would seem to take longer to an observer on Earth."

madcow11 said, "We will never get there. You simply cannot even approach the speed of light without turning into plasma. I loved 'Star Trek' as a kid and grew up wishing to become an aerospace engineer. But after much study, I had to come to the grim realization that 'Star Trek and its ilk' were not science fiction but fantasy. Focus on the big problems here on Earth: overpopulation and what will be our more immediate end: global warming."

jim replied, "Bull. Quantum mechanics has shown that Einstein was only partially correct, about space time on a cosmic scale. We now know that particles don't virtually exist; they can exist in multiple times and spaces at the same time, and we determine their behavior by observing them. We can instantaneously affect the behavior of particles at the other end of the universe, makiing the light "speed limit" irrelevant. Even teleportation is possible."

Republican wins Democratic district in New York race to replace Weiner

Does Dems' loss mean trouble with Jewish voters?

Former Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat, located in a heavily Orthodox Jewish district and considered a sure shot for Democrat David Weprin, was won by Republican Bob Turner. Did the election indicate Jewish dissatisfaction with the Democratic stance on Israel?

Stryker said, "It's not about Jews. I voted Republican just to send a message to Obama. The message is: If you don't get out there and fight for the middle class, if you keep acting as a Republican, we will vote you and the Democrats out. Since Obama acts as a Republican, it won't change what government is doing, and hopefully it will shake up the Demcrats."

VanBarbee said, "This wasn't about Jews turning Democrat to Republican, this was about Jews, and everyone else, not participating in the election. Turner barely came within striking distance of his 2010 tally against Wiener, and the other guy got a third of the Democrat vote that Rep. Wiener got. People didn't like the options and didn't turn out to vote."

Alex said, "Besides the large number of Orthodox Jews, in this district there are many like myself, immigrants or children of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. We are traditionally more conservative than the American Jews, but also, most of us have close family members in Israel and we are very troubled by some of our president's stances on Israel. All of my family members voted for the Republican Party."

grist said, "It is just crazy to think that the Orthodox community in this district in any way represents Jewish voters. A minuscule proportion of Jews are Orthodox. I am upset that this community is so critical of Obama for being more even-handed in terms of the Middle East. It is an approach that is much more likely to result in peace."

Howard said, "Jewish voters may be a little frustrated with everything like most of the country but the last thing they will do is vote for any of the current Republican candidates!"

Ozymandias71 said, "National Organization for Marriage invested $75,000 into Turner's campaign, attempting to stir up the Jewish Orthodox community against David Wepbrin because of his support for the Marriage Equality bill. On NOM's blog, they're taking all sorts of credit for Turner's victory, couching it in uber religious terms. This is just a foreshadowing of the 2012 elections."

5@5 – Things you never want to hear in a restaurant

What are the signs of a bad dining experience waiting to happen? For one, beware of the overly familiar waiter, warns digital food magazine editor Sean Elder. CNN.com readers offered their own warning signs.

a Foodie said, "When the waiter says, 'Our power was off last night but everything should be okay.' You also don't want to have your waiter return to your table and say, 'The chef just quit.' "

Lori said, "Servers who come to the table when the meal is finished and make remarks like 'Wow, you must have really enjoyed that!' I know they don't mean it as an insult, but it always makes me feel like they think I'm a glutton."

Livin' Legend said, "At a Texas Roadhouse, an overly-friendly, socially awkward waiter overheard a conversation about a horror movie we had just seen. He excitedly described his favorites, and then told us he had just gotten out of jail and how nice it was to be able to spend his off days drinking and passing out on his porch. He ended with, 'Man, I LOVE horror movies! You oughta see my tattoos!' "

Andrea M said, "Exception to the rule: Generally, the more rude the service at a Chinese place, the better the food. You know you're in heaven when they charge you for rice and shout at you in questionable English." Joeymom agreed, "We have a Chinese restaurant where the more the couple that owns it fight, the hotter and better the food is. Often locals pop their head in, listen for yelling in the kitchen, and stay or leave depending on what they hear."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Philip

    @chrissy...so sad to hear news of your loss. Dad's are a good-thing, and now another one is lost to the grave. (hug) Now whose gonna help you fix those brakes on your truck?:) I remember my mother calling me to say Dad had died. I didn't even think I'd miss the drunken old bassterd. Three days later, it hit me square. I miss my old man, and wish that I would have spent more of the time I spent gadding around with him instead. (shrug) Maybe God will wake him up and I can see him again someday. Maybe God will do the same for your'n. (and be careful chrissy) Agape'

    September 15, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Philip

    @Michael Fury...sounds about right to me. People these days just want to have their ears tickled. They want to blame others who starve as they burn others oil and wear others diamonds...eat others foods to beyond the brink of obesity. Kindly folk really, just fat, lazy, ifnorant, and greedy. They sure know what's on TV Though... gotta give 'em that. (I enjoy your site too Mr. Fury...wtg!)

    September 15, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. rob

    Thankfully we do not yet have the ability to travel into deep space,not because we shouldn't, but because we would also bring with us the same mentality as we did when the Europeans first discovered the Americas. What we dont like or understand simply distroy it. Hand out plaque ladden blankets and completly wipe out entire races of people. Then naturally inforce our monetary system on them that we know will ultamitley fail so we can have 2 planets in the universe operating the same. Sure why not .But if we ever do find the technology to travel to other planets lets leave the bankers and politicians and guns at home. Keep in mind they might just have their own Paul River! The Earthlings are comming! The Earthlings are comming!!

    September 15, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    ty guys for caring my dad was a very hard working man, but kinda hard to get close too. but @ least he is no longer suffering and yea im gonna miss the physical him but hes still with me in my heart. prolly may tone me down a lil even and make me less of

    September 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    a smartazz lmao i think he just laughed at that cuz hes been tryin 4 years and knows it aint possible

    September 15, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Andreas Moser

    It's definitely not hot girls who represent intelligent life: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/why-hot-girls-are-dumb/

    September 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    @ banasy...girl u just did the impossible, my mom is still cracking up over the bad potato story and she hasnt laughed in weeks. ty ty ty

    September 15, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    and my very dear friend phillip ty and miss talkin to u but im sure we will chat soon. gotta go now its a 4 hour trip. stay safe all of u.

    September 15, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©


    I am so glad I could make your Mother laugh...laughter is a part of what will make the grieving process easier...trust me, I know.
    Much love to you and yours coming your way from me.

    September 15, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. s kel

    bansay know the chief of police in washington dc, Cathy Lener, Saw her today showed her the "bad potato "story she cracked up laughing too hard.

    September 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. s kel

    bansay I know the Police Chief

    September 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. The Dude


    September 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Haha

    After reading everything posted, I strongly believe that mass genocide isnt exactly a bad idea. *farts*

    September 16, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. justathought

    Has it ever ocured to anyone else that almost every sifi story that involves exeterestials that they are the bad guys and humans almost always seem to be smarter. Does that say anything about the real intelligence of people on this planet? In reality, I believe that there is intelligent life on other planets more intelligent than the people on earth, and I think because of their intelligence they don't want to come here.

    September 16, 2011 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. Botos barnabás

    Please, read my letter, because in my opinion my ideas could be interesting
    enoung to publish them in you magazine

    The Origin of Mankind an Animals

    I would like to announce a great sensation. After thirty years' steady search I have
    managed to solve the origin of mankind and animals and Iknow why we live here,
    on this planet called the Earth.

    Where does life come from? This is an old guestion which is still unsolved.Iread
    Plenty of scientific books and listened to scientific argumentations before
    summarizing my theori.
    In my opinion the secret of the origin has been unknown, because the wrong way
    has been chosen when the others have tried to fínd the solution.

    Iown two books with special opinions, but the authors do not pay attention to a
    fact, which could be the proper basic to the search .Why? Maybe, during their
    research, everyone has tried to find their personal profits.
    It was written thousands years ago,that when somebody would find the origin of
    life, it would have to be announced to:' everybody everybody will see and listen to

    I own three books of which I have summarized the origin of life and the fact, why
    it is not infinite. Ihave evidence that UFOs do not exist so human beings are the
    most intelligent in the Universe. I can answer guestions like: Why is the genetic
    code of human beings so similar /99,4% to the code of the chimpanzee?
    We have faulty ideas of life so we go on the wrong way.

    It would be a great pleasure for me if I could find a newspaper or magazine which
    published my ideas and aTV station which transmitted them. We could be much
    cleverer then /Although as Einstein said: The Universe and the supidity of people
    are infinite, but I am not sure about my first idea./
    So I ask for your help so that I can announce my theory, which has not been
    solved for over 11,000 years, when civilization started.

    I have been working hard in my life, but sometimes I have been robbed. I would
    like to keep the secret until I share it with everybody in a press conference. Then I
    gave the knowledge which would be about three books. Then I can be asked and I
    will do answer all the guestions, because my evidence is 100 per cent sure.

    I look forward to answering my letter.
    Yours faithfully: Barnabás Botos

    Rákóczi utca 61

    September 17, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
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