Complex Life In the Galaxy (or Are We Alone?)


Brant Gaede

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That is only true if we are using conventional methods of acceleration. The warp drive is theoretically possible and while I'm not saying that THAT engine will ever be built, the point is that there are other ways for FTL while still remaining within current laws of physics.

Also I would not expect it to be completed in my lifetime. I always take the long view and being optimistic, we have thousands of years , if not millions, before us : )

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BTW, the thereotical mass of anti matter needed for the design of a warp drive was recently dropped from - a ball the size of Jupiter, to a ball the size of the voyager satellite

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We are on a spaceship already. We have powerful tools of observation we'd never have on a warp-drive spaceship off that spaceship chugging through the universe. Any human going beyond the asteroid belt will be stupid crazy. It will be nutty enough just going to Mars.

--Brant

send me a robot--right now!

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Brant, I hear you and I know people with your attitude, but I guess I'm more adventurous and optimistic.

Yes, I would personally take a trip to mars (not the first one, but the second or third)

Also, for me, it's hard to believe that with our current rate of development, we will still be stuck on earth 10,000 years from now.

Guess that's just me..... And others like me : )

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Brant, I hear you and I know people with your attitude, but I guess I'm more adventurous and optimistic.

Yes, I would personally take a trip to mars (not the first one, but the second or third)

Also, for me, it's hard to believe that with our current rate of development, we will still be stuck on earth 10,000 years from now.

Guess that's just me..... And others like me : )

Every ten thousand years of human historical existence will be of some luck going forward. This has always been true and will always be true. What matters is the preciousness and quality of your life lived now. If you have the means and wont to go to Mars go to Mars. I'll be with you in spirit, but not in space.

--Brant

not at my age, anyway

without the adventurous spirit of youth we might as well all just drop dead; there's something great to be said for the vicarious experience, but it can't be a complete fantasy or a substitute for doing nothing

if you ever give up a dream, only do it for a better one

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I don't buy the non-existence of the moon argument at all. Life evolved under conditions of the moon. It's no wonder we are dependent on it. If it weren't there, life would not require it because it would not evolve with it there. Life evolved on other planets would likely find earth a hostile environment. All you need is liquid water, some kind relatively consistent conditions (by life standards), probably some sort of atmosphere however basic, some basic elements and time.

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I don't buy the non-existence of the moon argument at all. Life evolved under conditions of the moon. It's no wonder we are dependent on it. If it weren't there, life would not require it because it would not evolve with it there. Life evolved on other planets would likely find earth a hostile environment. All you need is liquid water, some kind relatively consistent conditions (by life standards), probably some sort of atmosphere however basic, some basic elements and time.

You need to differentiate simple life from complex life and as to life itself we do not yet know how it started. Lightning hitting the primordal soup does not account for the incredible complexity of basic DNA.

--Brant

(I just saved the moon)

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We will probably have to learn a cool trick like folding space instead of traveling through it...

A very interesting speculation currently unsupported by any facts observed in laboratories.

I suspect manipulating the space-time manifold will be the only way to beat the speed of light.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I don't buy the non-existence of the moon argument at all. Life evolved under conditions of the moon. It's no wonder we are dependent on it. If it weren't there, life would not require it because it would not evolve with it there. Life evolved on other planets would likely find earth a hostile environment. All you need is liquid water, some kind relatively consistent conditions (by life standards), probably some sort of atmosphere however basic, some basic elements and time.

You need to differentiate simple life from complex life and as to life itself we do not yet know how it started. Lightning hitting the primordal soup does not account for the incredible complexity of basic DNA.

--Brant

(I just saved the moon)

Are you trolling or are you serious? :unsure:

The current working theory of abiogenesis is roughly - and this is just a tentative estimation - 10,000 times more sophisticated, complex, deep and verified than that. The principle of natural selection explains not only increase in complexity and variation once life has begun but how complex molecules can increase in variation and complexity before they are distinctly alive, becoming proto-cells, which are borderline not even alive. It's important to remember, in biology we don't consider viruses to be living.

I also think complex life would evolve almost inevitably. If you study biochemistry, you will see, given enough time, the splendidly complex ways life exploits chemistry and physics. The way it does it here, it does because of this environment. I think once life gets started on a vaguely similar planet, complexity is inevitable. I would go so far as to say intelligence is inevitable since it's such a good niche. Given competition, superior behaviour is an advantage. But I'm not an expert on evolutionary biology.

If you're bringing up 'the complexity of DNA' in reference to 'we don't know how life started', then I have to ask this before I bother engaging you further. Do you believe in god?

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I don't buy the non-existence of the moon argument at all. Life evolved under conditions of the moon. It's no wonder we are dependent on it. If it weren't there, life would not require it because it would not evolve with it there. Life evolved on other planets would likely find earth a hostile environment. All you need is liquid water, some kind relatively consistent conditions (by life standards), probably some sort of atmosphere however basic, some basic elements and time.

You need to differentiate simple life from complex life and as to life itself we do not yet know how it started. Lightning hitting the primordal soup does not account for the incredible complexity of basic DNA.

--Brant

(I just saved the moon)

Are you trolling or are you serious? :unsure:

The current working theory of abiogenesis is roughly - and this is just a tentative

If you're bringing up 'the complexity of DNA' in reference to 'we don't know how life started', then I have to ask this before I bother engaging you further. Do you believe in god?

Any combination of natural replication, variation and natural selection is an evolutionary process. Think of it as a four dimensional sieve. Many sorts of variations occur but only a subset make it through to the next replication phase. Nature has only one standard of "fitness". Does the organism get to replicate its kind under the ambient conditions of the environment.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I don't buy the non-existence of the moon argument at all. Life evolved under conditions of the moon. It's no wonder we are dependent on it. If it weren't there, life would not require it because it would not evolve with it there. Life evolved on other planets would likely find earth a hostile environment. All you need is liquid water, some kind relatively consistent conditions (by life standards), probably some sort of atmosphere however basic, some basic elements and time.

You need to differentiate simple life from complex life and as to life itself we do not yet know how it started. Lightning hitting the primordal soup does not account for the incredible complexity of basic DNA.

--Brant

(I just saved the moon)

Are you trolling or are you serious? :unsure:

The current working theory of abiogenesis is roughly - and this is just a tentative estimation - 10,000 times more sophisticated, complex, deep and verified than that. The principle of natural selection explains not only increase in complexity and variation once life has begun but how complex molecules can increase in variation and complexity before they are distinctly alive, becoming proto-cells, which are borderline not even alive. It's important to remember, in biology we don't consider viruses to be living.

I also think complex life would evolve almost inevitably. If you study biochemistry, you will see, given enough time, the splendidly complex ways life exploits chemistry and physics. The way it does it here, it does because of this environment. I think once life gets started on a vaguely similar planet, complexity is inevitable. I would go so far as to say intelligence is inevitable since it's such a good niche. Given competition, superior behaviour is an advantage. But I'm not an expert on evolutionary biology.

If you're bringing up 'the complexity of DNA' in reference to 'we don't know how life started', then I have to ask this before I bother engaging you further. Do you believe in god?

I don't believe in God. You are mostly talking about life after life came into any existence. I'm only wondering where and how DNA managed its way into existence.

--Brant

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I don't believe in God. You are mostly talking about life after life came into any existence. I'm only wondering where and how DNA managed its way into existence.

--Brant

That is the Big Open Question in biology. No one has an answer.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I don't buy the non-existence of the moon argument at all. Life evolved under conditions of the moon. It's no wonder we are dependent on it. If it weren't there, life would not require it because it would not evolve with it there. Life evolved on other planets would likely find earth a hostile environment. All you need is liquid water, some kind relatively consistent conditions (by life standards), probably some sort of atmosphere however basic, some basic elements and time.

You need to differentiate simple life from complex life and as to life itself we do not yet know how it started. Lightning hitting the primordal soup does not account for the incredible complexity of basic DNA.

--Brant

(I just saved the moon)

Are you trolling or are you serious? :unsure:

The current working theory of abiogenesis is roughly - and this is just a tentative estimation - 10,000 times more sophisticated, complex, deep and verified than that. The principle of natural selection explains not only increase in complexity and variation once life has begun but how complex molecules can increase in variation and complexity before they are distinctly alive, becoming proto-cells, which are borderline not even alive. It's important to remember, in biology we don't consider viruses to be living.

I also think complex life would evolve almost inevitably. If you study biochemistry, you will see, given enough time, the splendidly complex ways life exploits chemistry and physics. The way it does it here, it does because of this environment. I think once life gets started on a vaguely similar planet, complexity is inevitable. I would go so far as to say intelligence is inevitable since it's such a good niche. Given competition, superior behaviour is an advantage. But I'm not an expert on evolutionary biology.

If you're bringing up 'the complexity of DNA' in reference to 'we don't know how life started', then I have to ask this before I bother engaging you further. Do you believe in god?

I don't believe in God. You are mostly talking about life after life came into any existence. I'm only wondering where and how DNA managed its way into existence.

--Brant

You seem to be implying that DNA must first come into existence for life to come into existence. That's not it at all. In fact, the current evidence shows that genetic information was likely originally carried by RNA. And before that, simpler molecules and so on and so forth. The only logical explanation is that there was some progression towards higher complexity. It was a gradual and gradient progression towards fully fledged DNA molecules inside living cells. It wasn't that DNA arose and then cells arose. That would be backwards.

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I don't believe in God. You are mostly talking about life after life came into any existence. I'm only wondering where and how DNA managed its way into existence.

--Brant

You seem to be implying that DNA must first come into existence for life to come into existence. That's not it at all. In fact, the current evidence shows that genetic information was likely originally carried by RNA. And before that, simpler molecules and so on and so forth. The only logical explanation is that there was some progression towards higher complexity. It was a gradual and gradient progression towards fully fledged DNA molecules inside living cells. It wasn't that DNA arose and then cells arose. That would be backwards.

We know much more about how life got from a single-celled self-replicating organism to us than how what got to the life of that single-celled organism with its incredibly complex DNA. The DNA and the cell go together. It's not a chicken or the egg first argument. There is little more than speculation, some religious. When evidence shows only "likely," it likely isn't very much.

--Brant

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Brant,

You might find this site interesting. Stuart Kauffman argues that autocatalytic activity led to the development of nucleic acids. Not a mainstream view, but Kauffman is a well-respected gadfly associated with the Santa Fe Institute. His book At Home in the Universe was interesting. I haven't yet had time to read Origins of Order.

http://edge.org/conversation/the-adjacent-possible

Jim

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You seem to be implying that DNA must first come into existence for life to come into existence. That's not it at all. In fact, the current evidence shows that genetic information was likely originally carried by RNA. And before that, simpler molecules and so on and so forth. The only logical explanation is that there was some progression towards higher complexity. It was a gradual and gradient progression towards fully fledged DNA molecules inside living cells. It wasn't that DNA arose and then cells arose. That would be backwards.

The increase in complexity was not a process of "perfection". It was a processes that made the more complex molecules more fit at replication. Nature only cares how organisms replicate. Those organisms with greater fitness at replication will make more copies of themselves at the expense of those organisms that have less fitness at replication.

Mother Nature knows nothing about Platonic perfection.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Brant,

You might find this site interesting. Stuart Kauffman argues that autocatalytic activity led to the development of nucleic acids. Not a mainstream view, but Kauffman is a well-respected gadfly associated with the Santa Fe Institute. His book At Home in the Universe was interesting. I haven't yet had time to read Origins of Order.

http://edge.org/conversation/the-adjacent-possible

Jim

Many more words than facts to go with them. Interesting enough, though.

--Brant

where's his laboratory?

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Brant,

You might find this site interesting. Stuart Kauffman argues that autocatalytic activity led to the development of nucleic acids. Not a mainstream view, but Kauffman is a well-respected gadfly associated with the Santa Fe Institute. His book At Home in the Universe was interesting. I haven't yet had time to read Origins of Order.

http://edge.org/conversation/the-adjacent-possible

Jim

Many more words than facts to go with them. Interesting enough, though.

--Brant

where's his laboratory?

He's a professor at the University of Calgary and originally did a bunch of biochemistry work at the university of Pennsylvania.

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