Other life in the Solar System?
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04-03-2013, 06:36 AM
RE: Other life in the Solar System?
Hey, Proboscis.

I'd love for it to be true, but we do need to wait on the proof; of which we have precisely none so far.

I was thinking about the life question the other day.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Every single Sun in the universe is basically a giant ball of burning hydrogen right? And there's maybe a billion galaxies with a billion stars each. If that's the case, then we have to assume that the process for creating stars is simply a natural process that is quite mundane. It happens all the time. A little gravity, a little hydrogen, light a match, POOF! You got yourself a sun.

I can only imagine that the same is true of life. I don't buy this idea that life is some precious miracle that only happened on one planet out of gazillions. It seems to me that this notion is an artifact from religious worldviews. The creation of life is really nothing more than the coming together of atoms to form chemical compounds. We don't know exactly how it works, but our lack of understanding doesn't make it exotic. I can only imagine that it's a mundane process that occurs wherever it can. That seems to be the way the universe works generally.

Anyhoo, silicone life would be cool. But I'd really like to meet Martian Manhunter Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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04-03-2013, 06:56 AM
RE: Other life in the Solar System?
There are real problems with silicon-based life: Alternate chemistries. Doesn't mean it can't happen, just that it's less likely.

The relative abundance of elements in the universe closely matches the elements in known lifeforms.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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04-03-2013, 01:21 PM
Re: Other life in the Solar System?
http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/ext...index.html

Thermopiles may explain early life on earth
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04-03-2013, 01:32 PM
RE: Other life in the Solar System?
You describe life in unlikely places (deepest ocean, Antarctica, arid deserts).

But don't forget, life on Earth certainly did not START in those places.

Life began elsewhere, much more hospitable for life, and then spread out, carried by wind and currents and eventually by its own locomotion, evolving, spreading to other, still-hospitable locations, and continued to spread, finding less and less hospitable locations and evolving to find ways to survive in poorer conditions, until eventually filling even the most unlikely niches in the most inhospitable locations. On Earth.

But if you pick a chunk of rock in space (yes, even a planetary chunk of rock) without a hospitable locale for life to begin, the likelihood of life existing there at all diminishes to vast improbability.

That is, life as we know it.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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04-03-2013, 10:44 PM
RE: Other life in the Solar System?
(04-03-2013 04:01 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(03-03-2013 07:59 PM)My proboscis sucks Wrote:  What are your thoughts on this?

There is a free course at Coursera that deals with this topic.....Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life. I took the course and I think its content would strongly appeal to you.
https://www.coursera.org/#course/astrobio
The course ended yesterday, but all the content is still up. I think you could still enroll and watch the video lectures and read the discussion board. Because the deadline on the quizzes has past, you might not be able to take them so I don't think at this point you could actually earn a certificate. But are you really interested in a certificate or learning something about the search for life in our solar system and beyond?

Awesome website, thanks for the link. I joined.

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