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Author Topic:   Life could be abundant in the Universe
Posts: 9724
Joined: 03-06-2009
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Message 8 of 32 (663111)
05-21-2012 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Vanessa
05-20-2012 2:21 PM

I think one of the biggest reasons why people believe life on Earth is a 'lucky one-off' is that we don't see life on other planets. We appear to be alone in the universe. This gives support to the notion that life is arbitrary, without intent, without a plan. But could there be another explanation?
I think there is probably life elsewhere in then universe. I also think that there is no plan for life. It simply exists. What plans we do have are the ones we invent for ourselves. It is quite apparent to me that the universe ticks away without really caring if we exist or not. Past mass extinctions are a good example of this.
Science has discovered that we only perceive 4% of our universe. That means 96% we don't perceive!
How do we know this? The only way you can come up with such a figure is if we are able to perceive, through whatever means, the entire 100%. You forget that we have made tools that allow us to measure the entire EM spectrum, as one example. The limitations of the senses we are born with is not a limitation of science.
There could be life on other planets in our solar system, on other planets in other solar systems that exist alongside us but within different density spectra.
No one disagrees that it may be difficult to discover life on other planets if it differs greatly from the life we are used to. For example, there could be life on Titan that is based on liquid methane. This life could move so slowly that it would be difficult for us to detect, but not impossible. Also, there are some that are hoping to find life on Europa.
With that said, there is one fundamental concept that should help us find life: the existence of high energy molecules where they should not be. For example, the oxygen in our atmosphere. If there were no life it would not be there. If all life vanished from the face of the Earth it would only take a few thousand years for the oxygen to combine with rocks and other elements. What you look for when looking for life is its metabolic waste, such as oxygen. No metabolism, no life. I really don't see a fundamental hurdle that would stop us from finding life using this very basic tool.

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 Message 1 by Vanessa, posted 05-20-2012 2:21 PM Vanessa has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Vanessa, posted 05-22-2012 12:56 PM Taq has replied

Posts: 9724
Joined: 03-06-2009
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Message 15 of 32 (663225)
05-22-2012 1:10 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Vanessa
05-22-2012 12:56 PM

I assume you mean the mass extinctions that are used to explain the punctuations in our fossil record (i.e. the extinction of the dinosaurs from an alleged meteor strike).
I am talking about the disappearance of 95% of species, such as the P/T extinction event.
Mass extinctions do not explain how life came back more evolved.
Where did I say that they did? The mass extinctions are just that, mass extinctions. Life comes back "more evolved" because evolution continues in the species that survived the mass extinctions.
If we did not know that caterpillars transform into butterflies we would never put the two together. If we saw hundreds of caterpillars in a cabbage patch, then went away and returned a few days later and found all the caterpillars gone and a collection of webs, we would assume there was a mass extinction of caterpillars - spiders ate them all. If we returned a few days later and saw a cloud of butterflies, we would say the spiders moved on after consuming all the caterpillars and the butterflies were free to move in.
Actually, all we would need to do is compare the DNA of the caterpillar and butterfly. We would find that the two populations are one in the same. We would then study the caterpillar in the lab and witness the transformation of the caterpillar into a butterfly.
What we see in our fossil record is better explained as transformation . . .
How so? Are you saying that modern species have identical genomes as species from the Cambrian just as caterpillars and butterflies have identical DNA?
What we are looking at in our fossil record is strikingly similar to this procedure.
No, it isn't. With development the changes occur over a lifetime. In the fossil record, changes occur over millions of years over thousands and thousands of generations. They are very different.
Many dinosaurs could not exist on the Earth now, they were too big and would be crushed by gravity.
Say what? Do you really think that the Earth's mass has changed that much over the last 65 million years? What are you smoking?
It is premature to believe that "the universe ticks away without really caring if we exist or not". This is the consequence of accepting an explanation that, at its core, says life is all for nothing.
Does the presence of life on a planet somehow cause a force field to develop around a planet that prevents meteors from crashing into it? Is there some force field that protects planets with life from massive gamma ray bursts? Please explain to us how nature stops disasters from happening on planets that have life.

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 Message 14 by Vanessa, posted 05-22-2012 12:56 PM Vanessa has not replied

Posts: 9724
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1

Message 24 of 32 (663240)
05-22-2012 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Vanessa
05-22-2012 1:57 PM

Pixels on a computer screen only form an image if they are close enough to be perceived as one entity, otherwise they are simply a bunch of dots. The more dense the pixels the more obvious the image. The less dense the image the more likely we do not perceive it.
This does not pose a problem for detecting life. We could use plankton as an example. We can not see these lifeforms with the naked eye. They are the diffuse dots you speak, and dots that are too small to see with the naked eye. However, we can still detect that there is life by the oxygen that they produce and the carbohydrates found in layers on the bottom of the ocean. Again, it is metabolism that gives life away. It is the chemistry of life that makes it detectable.
So we have organisms we can't see with the naked eye who produce a gas that does not absorb in the light frequencies that our eyes detect, YET WE ARE STILL ABLE TO DETECT THIS LIFE.

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