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Author Topic:   Life on Mars? C'mon!
Supergenius
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 21 (98523)
04-07-2004 6:59 PM


Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum and having read many threads, I can see
> there's quite a collective knowledge at my fingertips: the question: How,
> when one considers the absolutely ridiculous odds of a single-celled,
> self-replicating organism spontaneously evolving on this little planet some three bill
> ion years ago, can we even contemplate it happening right next door to us on
> Mars? We can trace our line back to algae- we have a relatively complete
> record. Life evolving on Earth has been compared to a twister going through a
> junk yard and leaving in its wake a fully operational 747 airplane (complete
> with cupholders!)......are we to believe that this has happened on Mars as
> well....or do we believe in a "seed" from Mars landing on primordial Earth? I
> think one would almost have to drag religion into the equation to make this
> plausible. Would love to entertain any further thoughts!

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by JonF, posted 04-07-2004 8:32 PM Supergenius has responded
 Message 3 by Lammy, posted 04-07-2004 10:49 PM Supergenius has responded
 Message 7 by Brad McFall, posted 04-08-2004 6:22 PM Supergenius has not yet responded
 Message 8 by Phobos, posted 05-18-2004 6:42 PM Supergenius has not yet responded

  
JonF
Member
Posts: 5767
Joined: 06-23-2003
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 2 of 21 (98548)
04-07-2004 8:32 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Supergenius
04-07-2004 6:59 PM


Sigh ... here we go again?

when one considers the absolutely ridiculous odds of a single-celled, self-replicating organism spontaneously evolving on this little planet some three billion years ago

Nobody has ever succeeded in calculating or even estimating realistic odds for this happening. We just don't have the information required. However, there certainly is nothing known that would prevent it from happening.

It's worthwhile noting that the first self-replicating organism is thought by all serious researchers to be a lot simpler than a cell.

Life evolving on Earth has been compared to a twister going through a junk yard and leaving in its wake a fully operational 747 airplane (complete with cupholders!)

That was Sir Fred Hoyle (although I don't think he included the cupholders). Alas, Sir Fred was a qualified and noted scientist in astronomy and cosmology, but his knowledge of abiogenesis and evolutionary theory was sadly lacking. That is, he just didn't know what he was talking about.

Life evolving (or, actually, we're talking about life initially appearing) on Earth is not at all comparable to a twister going through a junkyard and leaving in its wake a fully operational 747, cupholders or not, for several reasons. First, the laws of chemistry have a strong effect on the possibilities and potential for abiogenesis, but the action of a twister is not significantly affected by chemistry. Second, the difference between the initial self-replicator and the "parts" from which it came is far, far less than the difference between a pile of parts in a junkyard and an operational 747. Third, whatever process produced the first replicator was not aiming for a specific target (as the analogy "aims" for a specific airplane); nobody knows how many different types of self-replciators could have arisen on the early Earth and given rise to some sort of life.

Abiogenesis research is ongoing, and we're still pretty far from a widely accepted theory of how it happened; but anyone claiming to know the probability of whether or not it happened is just blowing smoke. (Unless, as do many on the evolution side, you define abiogenesis to include the possibility of supernatural intervention, making the probability 1.0; I don't approve of this definitional trick.)

See Probability of Abiogenesis FAQs and the varous entries at Index to Creationist Claims: Biology: Abiogenesis


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Supergenius, posted 04-07-2004 6:59 PM Supergenius has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Supergenius, posted 04-08-2004 3:43 PM JonF has not yet responded

  
Lammy
Member
Posts: 3616
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 3 of 21 (98567)
04-07-2004 10:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Supergenius
04-07-2004 6:59 PM


Just an observation I have. There's no doubt that this is another hit and run, although you could argue that it is too early for that. However, these hit and run people seem to always pick the most arrogant names.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Supergenius, posted 04-07-2004 6:59 PM Supergenius has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by SRO2, posted 04-07-2004 11:02 PM Lammy has not yet responded
 Message 6 by Supergenius, posted 04-08-2004 3:49 PM Lammy has not yet responded
 Message 10 by mogur, posted 05-18-2004 7:13 PM Lammy has not yet responded

  
SRO2 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 4 of 21 (98573)
04-07-2004 11:02 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Lammy
04-07-2004 10:49 PM


I don't know Lam
sometimes those screen names are sarcasm or juxta-position names (opposite of how people see themselves)...mine sounds kind of arrogant, but it's really what I do for a living (rocket science)...screen names are a bazzar thing...people seem to get to be somebody else with them...but mostly, that seems to be who they really are (things we dare not e in real life)...a troll, an intellectual, a dirty old man, a teenager, somebody just trying to find their way etc...I think sometimes the screen name personna's are actually closer to meeting the real person than it would be in real life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Lammy, posted 04-07-2004 10:49 PM Lammy has not yet responded

  
Supergenius
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 21 (98722)
04-08-2004 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by JonF
04-07-2004 8:32 PM


Thanks for the reply, JonF; sorry for the bad analogy- but as you said yourself, we really have nothing to go on in this regard; I'm just really surprised there isn't a little more cynicism within the community regarding Life evolving on Mars.....I'll try the links you provided. Cheers- S

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by JonF, posted 04-07-2004 8:32 PM JonF has not yet responded

  
Supergenius
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 21 (98724)
04-08-2004 3:49 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Lammy
04-07-2004 10:49 PM


Lam- My screenname is Supergenius- as in Wile E Coyote (Supergenius)! It's self-deprecating humour; Rocket gets it. Relax. I'm here to learn.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Lammy, posted 04-07-2004 10:49 PM Lammy has not yet responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3418 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 7 of 21 (98761)
04-08-2004 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Supergenius
04-07-2004 6:59 PM


If I can think of plants deriving from Edicarian like lichens by death of jelyfish INSIDE the figure of a coral reef impaled by the moons shifting relative to earth positions then I like wise have no problem schemeing up engineerred adaptations by moving biomass up hill and into the deserts I have little problem with life in two places. After all that is the experience of the biogeography here on earth. Predicting the form of such life is another matter altogether.Of course more of my time would not be spent making evolutionary speculations.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Supergenius, posted 04-07-2004 6:59 PM Supergenius has not yet responded

  
Phobos
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 21 (109114)
05-18-2004 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Supergenius
04-07-2004 6:59 PM


quote:

How, when one considers the absolutely ridiculous odds of a single-celled, self-replicating organism spontaneously evolving on this little planet some three bill ion years ago, can we even contemplate it happening right next door to us on Mars?

Two thoughts...
(1) As was said, we don't know the probability of abiogenesis, so it's an open question (although I think many scientists would be surprised to see evidence of independent life having formed on Mars).

(2) Martian life need not be independent. Bits of rocks from Mars and Earth are periodically exchanged and it is feasible that microbes could hitch a ride from one planet to the other. Large asteroid/comet impacts can send debris from a planet into space & eventually they can find their way to other planets. Remember the news about the Martian "SNC" meteorites found in Antarctica a few years ago? And I'm pretty sure NASA has found that some microbes can survive long periods in space (e.g., through forming a cyst stage).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Supergenius, posted 04-07-2004 6:59 PM Supergenius has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by jar, posted 05-18-2004 6:51 PM Phobos has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 32028
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 9 of 21 (109117)
05-18-2004 6:51 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Phobos
05-18-2004 6:42 PM


But everyone knows how rapidly bunnies mutiply and so this photo recently taken from the Martian Surface should resolve any disputes.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Phobos, posted 05-18-2004 6:42 PM Phobos has not yet responded

  
mogur
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 21 (109122)
05-18-2004 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Lammy
04-07-2004 10:49 PM


Lam writes:

There's no doubt that this is another hit and run, although you could argue that it is too early for that. However, these hit and run people seem to always pick the most arrogant names.

Being a new member, myself, I find your response very discourteous, unfair, judgmental, self-serving, and self-fulfilling. Not to mention just plain rude. Why would you think a personal attack on a new member is a reasonable thing to do? I'm sure you've been through the ropes here and have had many an intellectual battle, but is this a frat house? Abu Ghraib? Do you personally think that new member have to 'show their mettle' before they are entitled to basic etiquette?

What if I, oh, I don't know, let's say that your penis size is inversely related to your arrogance? Of course, I would have too much class to actually accuse you of that, but was just wondering what your reaction would be.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Lammy, posted 04-07-2004 10:49 PM Lammy has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by NosyNed, posted 05-18-2004 7:38 PM mogur has responded

  
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8893
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 11 of 21 (109127)
05-18-2004 7:38 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by mogur
05-18-2004 7:13 PM


You're right of course
You're right about that Mogur. It was premature of Lam.

Howver, one should note that Lam was right also. It was, yet another, drive by posting.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by mogur, posted 05-18-2004 7:13 PM mogur has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by mogur, posted 05-18-2004 8:01 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
mogur
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 21 (109131)
05-18-2004 7:46 PM


Supergenius (if you're still here), we only have been able to study one planet, so far. And the score is one for one, the Earth. That doesn't give us much background for prediction, but it sure doesn't give us an overwhelming sense that two for two is out of the question.

Whatever the odds of abiogenesis, I do know that the planets of our solar system are partly composed of puked out remnants of older star systems. Although unlikely that some form of life itself was able to survive the billions of years that is required for the accretion of inter-stellar dust into the planets of our solar system, it still provides the possibility of significant precursors to abiogenesis surviving from material ejected from previous solar systems. Plus, as Phobos mentioned, there may be more inter-planetary (and inter-stellar) exchange of material than we currently acknowledge.


  
mogur
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 21 (109133)
05-18-2004 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by NosyNed
05-18-2004 7:38 PM


Re: You're right of course
Sorry, Ned, if I shot off at the mouth, there. As soon as I posted, I noticed the dates on Super's posts. Doh.

But, I guess we'll never know if he would have stayed around if he hadn't been trashed within 4 hours of posting. I just have seen a lot of the disparaging 'hit-and-run' comments and took it out on Lam. I'm new here, but I've seldom seen a forum not welcome new members. It's a shock to see them treated with distain. Other than that, I agree with Mrs. Lincoln. (Lam, that means I love the play.)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by NosyNed, posted 05-18-2004 7:38 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Lammy, posted 05-18-2004 10:38 PM mogur has responded

  
Lammy
Member
Posts: 3616
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 14 of 21 (109153)
05-18-2004 10:38 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by mogur
05-18-2004 8:01 PM


Re: You're right of course
Let just say that I have little tolerance for people that just want to post nothing but crap and then leave. It was probably premature of me, but I trust my instinct. I'll be more careful next time.

I've seen enough posts to be able to tell if someone just wants to post nothing but big piles of crap and someone that genuinely want a good debate or to learn something. However, I guess I need to work on my patience.

By the way, I'm very proud of my size if you know what I mean


The Laminator


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by mogur, posted 05-18-2004 8:01 PM mogur has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by mogur, posted 05-18-2004 10:45 PM Lammy has responded

  
mogur
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 21 (109154)
05-18-2004 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Lammy
05-18-2004 10:38 PM


Re: You're right of course
I'm very proud of my size

I respect that. Me, I have a small penis, so I guess I'll just have to take the back side of that argument. Maybe I'm a woman and I like that I'm small. You just never know.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Lammy, posted 05-18-2004 10:38 PM Lammy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Lammy, posted 05-18-2004 11:37 PM mogur has not yet responded

  
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