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Author Topic:   Has there been life for 1/4 of the age of the Universe?
JavaMan
Member (Idle past 870 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 1 of 114 (335730)
07-27-2006 12:31 PM


Universe started: 13.7 billion years ago
Solar system formed: 4.6 billion years ago
First life on earth: 3.5 billion years ago

Unless I'm mistaken about those figures, that means that the earth has existed for about 1/3 the age of the Universe, and life for about a quarter. Does anybody else find that a bit strange?

I've always assumed that the universe has been exanding for aeons, and millions of universes have been born and died on the way. But it actually looks like we're in at the beginning (relatively speaking, of course).

Edited by JavaMan, : No reason given.


'I can't even fit all my wife's clothes into a suitcase for travelling. So you want me to believe we're going to put all of the planets and stars and everything into a sandwich bag?' - q3psycho on the Big Bang

Replies to this message:
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 Message 8 by Modulous, posted 07-31-2006 8:44 AM JavaMan has responded
 Message 10 by U can call me Cookie, posted 07-31-2006 10:25 AM JavaMan has responded
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JavaMan
Member (Idle past 870 days)
Posts: 475
From: York, England
Joined: 08-05-2005


Message 2 of 114 (336822)
07-31-2006 3:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by JavaMan
07-27-2006 12:31 PM


Bump for admin
Hello. I know I'm not a very exciting post - not very controversial, no axe to grind, no personal insults - but I would appreciate some kind of a response, even if it's a rejection. (Although obviously I'd rather be loved ;))


'I can't even fit all my wife's clothes into a suitcase for travelling. So you want me to believe we're going to put all of the planets and stars and everything into a sandwich bag?' - q3psycho on the Big Bang

This message is a reply to:
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AdminFaith
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 114 (336825)
07-31-2006 4:03 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by JavaMan
07-31-2006 3:53 AM


Re: Bump for admin
OK I'll bite. I think it's kind of an interesting topic myself, though I think you should say more about your thinking on the subject, about why you find it so surprising, what you think the implications are.

And which forum you would like it sent to.

Edited by AdminFaith, : No reason given.

Edited by AdminFaith, : No reason given.


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  • This message is a reply to:
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    AdminModulous
    Administrator (Idle past 655 days)
    Posts: 897
    Joined: 03-02-2006


    Message 4 of 114 (336826)
    07-31-2006 4:06 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by JavaMan
    07-27-2006 12:31 PM


    Sorry about that.

    Your last sentences are confusing. Do you mean to say it is odd that we are in the first universe to have been born? If so this could a Big Bang/Cosmology issue.

    Or is the subject that it is odd that life started so early in the life of any given universe. In which case it could be a'Origin of life' topic.

    Or perhaps the argument is a sort of 'fine tuning' based discussion. In which case, Intelligent Design might be the forum for it.

    Where you going with it?


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    This message is a reply to:
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    JavaMan
    Member (Idle past 870 days)
    Posts: 475
    From: York, England
    Joined: 08-05-2005


    Message 5 of 114 (336839)
    07-31-2006 7:50 AM
    Reply to: Message 3 by AdminFaith
    07-31-2006 4:03 AM


    Re: Bump for admin
    I think it's an Origin of Life topic. I left the opening post a bit loose because I want to know what other people feel about it. (And also because I was expecting a virtual ear-bashing from one of the expert astrophysicists or cosmologists for getting my figures wrong :)).

    If the figures are correct, I'm really staggered that I've never heard anyone mention it before. In discussions about the origin of life one gets the impression that the odds against life developing are astronomical, but the timeline I've outlined in the opening post suggests to me either that the universe is far older than suggested by Big Bang theory, or that life is far more likely to develop than we customarily assume.

    Maybe I'm over-reacting because I've only just figured this timeline out, but it does seem worth a bit of discussion to me.


    'I can't even fit all my wife's clothes into a suitcase for travelling. So you want me to believe we're going to put all of the planets and stars and everything into a sandwich bag?' - q3psycho on the Big Bang

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    AdminFaith
    Inactive Member


    Message 6 of 114 (336841)
    07-31-2006 7:54 AM
    Reply to: Message 5 by JavaMan
    07-31-2006 7:50 AM


    Re: Bump for admin

    This message is a reply to:
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    AdminFaith
    Inactive Member


    Message 7 of 114 (336844)
    07-31-2006 7:55 AM


    Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

      
    Modulous
    Member (Idle past 655 days)
    Posts: 7789
    From: Manchester, UK
    Joined: 05-01-2005


    Message 8 of 114 (336857)
    07-31-2006 8:44 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by JavaMan
    07-27-2006 12:31 PM


    10 billion years is a long time
    Sure, life has been around for at least 25% of the life of the universe. It may have been around longer.

    In discussions about the origin of life one gets the impression that the odds against life developing are astronomical

    Nobody knows what the odds are. The odds that life has existed for 25% of the age of the universe are very very close to one, but that's about all we can say. It may be inevitable that life forms under certain circumstance, or it may be 1% per ten years of certain circumstances. Who can honestly say?


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    Parasomnium
    Member (Idle past 1247 days)
    Posts: 2191
    Joined: 07-15-2003


    Message 9 of 114 (336859)
    07-31-2006 8:45 AM
    Reply to: Message 5 by JavaMan
    07-31-2006 7:50 AM


    The odds of life are unknown
    JavaMan writes:

    I've always assumed that the universe has been exanding for aeons, and millions of universes have been born and died on the way.

    Shouldn't that be: "millions of galaxies have been born and died on the way"?

    [...] the timeline I've outlined in the opening post suggests to me either that the universe is far older than suggested by Big Bang theory, or that life is far more likely to develop than we customarily assume.

    It's a bit tenuous to conclude anything about the likelihood of life from our only known example of it. Suppose there is a vase with red and blue marbles in it, in unknown quantities. You draw one marble. Upon finding that your marble is red, can you conclude anything about the likelihood of drawing a red marble?


    "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

    Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

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    U can call me Cookie
    Member (Idle past 3504 days)
    Posts: 228
    From: jo'burg, RSA
    Joined: 11-15-2005


    Message 10 of 114 (336883)
    07-31-2006 10:25 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by JavaMan
    07-27-2006 12:31 PM


    I've always assumed that the universe has been exanding for aeons, and millions of universes have been born and died on the way. But it actually looks like we're in at the beginning (relatively speaking, of course).

    Is there any evidence that millions of universes have not come and gone?
    IIRC, if string theory (and i know near zilch about it so i apologise if i'm mistaken) provides for the possibility of millions of universes existing (think i read this in Nature or Science sometime ago), which we can't really say is the case or not, how can we conclude that there were no universes prior to ours?

    Or was paras right, and are you just referring to galaxies within this universe?


    "The good Christian should beware the mathematician and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of hell." - St. Augustine

    This message is a reply to:
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    JavaMan
    Member (Idle past 870 days)
    Posts: 475
    From: York, England
    Joined: 08-05-2005


    Message 11 of 114 (337141)
    08-01-2006 4:26 AM
    Reply to: Message 9 by Parasomnium
    07-31-2006 8:45 AM


    Re: The odds of life are unknown
    I've always assumed that the universe has been exanding for aeons, and millions of universes have been born and died on the way.
    Shouldn't that be: "millions of galaxies have been born and died on the way"?

    Ooops! Yes, I got carried away by hyperbole. I'm sure it might be possible for millions of universes to have been born and to have died in millions of bangs and crashes, but that wasn't what I was trying to say.

    It's a bit tenuous to conclude anything about the likelihood of life from our only known example of it. Suppose there is a vase with red and blue marbles in it, in unknown quantities. You draw one marble. Upon finding that your marble is red, can you conclude anything about the likelihood of drawing a red marble?

    No, of course not. And I didn't consider the fact that this star system is just one amongst millions (or is it billions?) that have developed since the beginning of the universe.

    But ... it still intrigues me that there has been life for 1/4 of the lifetime of the universe. It's not really a scientific thing, and I'm sure if you do a statistical job on it it won't seem very surprising at all. But personally I don't view the world through a statistical prism - it's really the way this information changes the way I view the universe that interests me.


    'I can't even fit all my wife's clothes into a suitcase for travelling. So you want me to believe we're going to put all of the planets and stars and everything into a sandwich bag?' - q3psycho on the Big Bang

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    RickJB
    Member (Idle past 3541 days)
    Posts: 917
    From: London, UK
    Joined: 04-14-2006


    Message 12 of 114 (337142)
    08-01-2006 4:44 AM
    Reply to: Message 11 by JavaMan
    08-01-2006 4:26 AM


    Re: The odds of life are unknown
    javaman writes:

    But ... it still intrigues me that there has been life for 1/4 of the lifetime of the universe.

    At the least, perhaps. For all we know it might be a common consequence of the formation of heavy elements.


    This message is a reply to:
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    JavaMan
    Member (Idle past 870 days)
    Posts: 475
    From: York, England
    Joined: 08-05-2005


    Message 13 of 114 (337155)
    08-01-2006 7:16 AM
    Reply to: Message 12 by RickJB
    08-01-2006 4:44 AM


    Re: The odds of life are unknown
    But ... it still intrigues me that there has been life for 1/4 of the lifetime of the universe
    At the least, perhaps. For all we know it might be a common consequence of the formation of heavy elements.

    Yes, I think that is what's intriguing me. The notion that the formation of life might not be a very uncommon thing at all. All you need is some heavy elements joining together and starting to replicate, and hey presto, you've got life.


    'I can't even fit all my wife's clothes into a suitcase for travelling. So you want me to believe we're going to put all of the planets and stars and everything into a sandwich bag?' - q3psycho on the Big Bang

    This message is a reply to:
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    JavaMan
    Member (Idle past 870 days)
    Posts: 475
    From: York, England
    Joined: 08-05-2005


    Message 14 of 114 (337156)
    08-01-2006 7:20 AM
    Reply to: Message 10 by U can call me Cookie
    07-31-2006 10:25 AM


    One universe or many?
    Or was paras right, and are you just referring to galaxies within this universe?

    Parasomnium was right. I wouldn't be surprised if there were multiple universes, but that wasn't what I was intending to say.


    'I can't even fit all my wife's clothes into a suitcase for travelling. So you want me to believe we're going to put all of the planets and stars and everything into a sandwich bag?' - q3psycho on the Big Bang

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     Message 10 by U can call me Cookie, posted 07-31-2006 10:25 AM U can call me Cookie has not yet responded

      
    RickJB
    Member (Idle past 3541 days)
    Posts: 917
    From: London, UK
    Joined: 04-14-2006


    Message 15 of 114 (337157)
    08-01-2006 7:23 AM
    Reply to: Message 13 by JavaMan
    08-01-2006 7:16 AM


    Re: The odds of life are unknown
    JavaMan writes:

    The notion that the formation of life might not be a very uncommon thing at all.

    Well, last I read, animo acids had been detected in the gaseous remains of supernovae.

    It's all out there for us to learn...

    Edited by RickJB, : No reason given.


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