Life as we know it


Recommended Posts

Live here on earth is very abundant.  So abundant that perhaps our understanding of life in this universe is skewed beyond realistic possibilities.   The Drake Equation would indicate that intelligent life is so abundant that we should have discovered intelligent life already.  Currently, it is roughly believed that life will exist anywhere it is possible.  This is how things seem to pile up here on earth.  I am of a different thought – Earth is extremely rare, perhaps even a statistical improbability.

There are 4 planets in our solar system that could harbor life in the Goldilocks zone from the sun – that is according to the theories we have concerning life.  But life as we know it only exists on our earth.  But even on earth life is not easy.  Every organism must struggle unceasingly for survival.  Over 99% of the species of life that have evolved on earth are now extinct.   Intelligent life is even rarer.  As an intelligent species we have barely evolved literacy and yet it is widely circulated and believed that our intelligent species on earth will likely destroy itself (and perhaps lots of other life) within the next 15 years.  The point here is that even on this planet life as we know it is very fragile.

But there is even more.  Earth is unusually oriented for life as we know it.  It is relatively abundant in heavy elements beginning with carbon all the way through plutonium.   These elements are only created (as far as we know) when a star goes supernova.   Because of the half life of very heavy elements, we know that the earth could not have been created here in our solar system.  The best explanation is that the earth was created somewhere closer to the interior of the Milky Way Galaxy and then very quickly flung out to be captured by our sun.  But that is somewhat of a stretch because of the near circular orbit of the earth around the sun. 

Recent discoveries point to more uncertainties for life.  Our sun gives off powerful solar winds.  There is not a clear indication of how our earth was set up with a magnetic sphere protecting the earth from the sun’s powerful solar winds.  Never-the-less the solar winds are necessary for life to exist even though it is because of the solar winds that the other planets in the Goldilocks zone have lost their atmosphere and the water they were created with.  But beyond the reaches of our solar system, beyond the Oort cloud and the Kuiper belt and into deep space there is deadly cosmic (gamma) radiation.  In addition, our solar system is traveling at a high rate of speed into this cosmos.  At the outer edge of our solar system that is a war going on with that cosmos and the solar winds are our front-line soldiers keeping the gamma rays from destroying the DNA of every living thing on earth.

It does not look like the Drake Equation takes all that is necessary into account.  If there is intelligent life anywhere else in our universe – statistically it will not be anything like life here on earth.  There is no way for life as we know it to evolve anywhere else – the universe is far to hostel.  Both for any possible generation of life as well as the evolution of such life.  Thus, the technology of any such intelligent life will be indistinguishable from magic or divine miracles.  If we are to continue to survive and evolve we are completely dependent of the intelligence that engineered this extremely slim probable opportunity.   Hopefully such intelligence is a merciful G-d because if it is not then we are doomed along with all our hope and potential.

 

The Traveler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/19/2024 at 10:54 PM, Traveler said:

But beyond the reaches of our solar system, beyond the Oort cloud and the Kuiper belt and into deep space there is deadly cosmic (gamma) radiation.

Do we know this for certain? It would have to be inferred indirectly because no radiation detector has ever been placed that far out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

Do we know this for certain? It would have to be inferred indirectly because no radiation detector has ever been placed that far out.

Think about it.  Nearly everything is indirectly inferred.  How do we even know we're not in The Matrix?  How do we know how hot the sun is?  How do we know the mass of the moon and other celestial bodies?

We don't really know anything for certain.  But we have pretty good guesses that tend to reliably predict future events.

That said, we have recorded bursts of energy through (using a very broad definition) "visual means".  Then because of interaction with other stellar bodies, we are able what strength and frequencies we're looking at.  That is essentially using the universe itself as a type of radiation detector because that's how a hand-held radiation detector works on earth -- just replace the celestial bodies with terrestrial bodies.

I don't know what source Traveler is referencing.  And he probably has more data than I do at the moment.  But what I understand is that these bursts happen all the time (considering cosmic time scales).  And it tends to go all over the universe.  But for some reason, the effects of the solar wind and other forces in this solar system (which, admittedly, I don't understand all of it) tend to repel dangerous radiation to levels that are less damaging to carbon-based life.

But is this unique to earth?  I have no idea.  It is possible that any system of planets centered on a large enough star with sufficient stellar dust circling around it will be sufficient to provide this protective zone.  Or it is possible that it is unique to earth because it is a culmination of so many traits that are found to be unusual throughout the universe that it is highly unlikely for such balanced conditions to exist.

 

Edited by Carborendum
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

But we have pretty good guesses that tend to reliably predict future events.

All I have to say to that is: "weatherman".

Or:

 

Lyrics, for those who don't want to listen:

Quote

Her daddy hated his tattoos
But she was in love with a baby due in
September, early September
So they called the kinfolk, set up the barn
Threw some chairs out in the yard
And got a preacher, a Pentecostal preacher
And the man on the evening news
Promised sunny and 72, but

You can't trust the weatherman
Makes his livin' off a lucky chance
Whole crowd was soakin' wet
Mud all over Mama's dress
No sign of the sun
But a surefire sign of things to come
One thing you can plan
You can't trust the weatherman

Six months after the knot got tied
There were diapers and a double wide
They couldn't pay for
And one day they had a brainstorm
She held the gun he cracked the safe
They pulled it off and they pulled away
They were laughin' till they saw lights flashin'
Forecast on the radio
Never ever mentioned snow, but

You can't trust the weatherman
Makes his livin' off a lucky chance
Cop car hit a patch of ice
Spun around, flipped on its side
That couple got away
Cops only had one thing to say
They shook off the snow, threw up their hands
Said, You can't trust the weatherman

They hid the cash under the bed
Of a condo in Club Med
Where the chance of sunshine is
One hundred percent, but

You can't trust the weatherman
Makes his livin' off a lucky chance
Hurricane came rippin' through
Tore that condo right in two
Stuff scattered everywhere
And stolen money flyin' through the air
If you wonder how the story ends
They're back out in the sticks again
So remember when you're makin' plans
You can't trust the weatherman

Can't trust the weatherman, no no

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

You know, they tend to get a bad rap.  But they are actually a lot more accurate than pop culture acknowledges.

These days they're a lot better.  I think when you and I were children, they were nowhere near as accurate.  Still, there are days - like at the beginning of this month - when the forecast never, ever mentioned snoooooow, but... :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Vort said:

Can you imagine getting your bachelor's degree in meteorology so that you can be a TV weatherman?

In So. Cal. we had a weatherman dubbed "Dr. George".  He had a master's degree which he parlayed into a teaching gig and then became part of several "science-based" events and programs.  He was later given an honorary doctorate from which he justified his title "Dr."

All that so he could be a weatherman.

He was very popular.  He published his autobiography shortly after Los Angeles honored him with "Dr. George Day" in the city.  He passed away a couple of years later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Jamie123 said:

Do we know this for certain? It would have to be inferred indirectly because no radiation detector has ever been placed that far out.

We have information from Voyager 1 and 2.  Here is a fun link to NASA https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status/  (note that the Cosmic ray detection system is still operating.)

 

The Traveler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/19/2024 at 4:43 PM, zil2 said:

I feel like I should be insulted, but I'm not sure... 

That would depend on how you see yourself in comparison to other species here on earth.

 

The Traveler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

I don't know what source Traveler is referencing.  And he probably has more data than I do at the moment.  But what I understand is that these bursts happen all the time (considering cosmic time scales).  And it tends to go all over the universe.  But for some reason, the effects of the solar wind and other forces in this solar system (which, admittedly, I don't understand all of it) tend to repel dangerous radiation to levels that are less damaging to carbon-based life.

and

Also one of the big issues we have to overcome before we can travel to Mars and beyond.

Edited by mikbone
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Jamie123 does have a point.  There seems to be so much conflicting information lately that our models of the universe are having problems.  One very important premise is that the universe is isotropic.  Well, it is, and it isn’t – sort of.   In effort to resolve discrepancies it has been determined that about 95% of our universe is made up of Dark Energy and Dark Matter.  It appears that this dark stuff is not consistent.  I find it quite interesting that a theory gaining traction is that the universe itself is kind of a living thing with intelligence. 

It is my perception that when the Messiah returns that the knowledge of the universe will be opened up and made known – like the opening of a scroll or book.  That the inconsistencies of our evolving understanding will be resolved.  I believe what is currently being manifested and the acceleration of our knowledge of things is a sign of the times.

I would add that it is quite astonishing to me that with all that we are learning and the information available – that the most simple observable things about humanity that we have easy access to everyday and that has been known for millennia (such as reproduction and sustainability of our species) is being needlessly confused with stuff that is utter nonsense.  And the excuse is that we should not hurt the feelings of those being the most confused.

It is rather interesting to me what we are willing to sacrifice on the alters of the g-ds we worship.

 

The Traveler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Traveler said:

That would depend on how you see yourself in comparison to other species here on earth.

 

The Traveler

Trav, one of the signs of low intelligence is when you think everyone else is stupid.    
 

If you are so advanced and the rest of us are stupid, what are you doing around here? 

Edited by LDSGator
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The moment someone says how stupid everyone else is it shows they lack the intellectual abilities to understand how that sounds and how they come across. If you really were smarter than everyone you wouldn't have to say it. You’d simply know it. 
 

It’s like someone trying to say they are humble. Humble people don’t tell you how humble they are.  PR 101. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Traveler said:

We have information from Voyager 1 and 2.  Here is a fun link to NASA https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/status/  (note that the Cosmic ray detection system is still operating.)

Coolest thing I've seen all month!

Interesting to see NASA tracking something going almost as fast as I do when there's no idjits in the passing lane.

Edited by NeuroTypical
Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, Traveler said:

I find it quite interesting that a theory gaining traction is that the universe itself is kind of a living thing with intelligence. 

Kinda Jibes with John 1:1

30 minutes ago, Traveler said:

And the excuse is that we should not hurt the feelings of those being the most confused.

It is rather interesting to me what we are willing to sacrifice on the alters of the g-ds we worship.

As an example: If we are expecting people to abandon all their beliefs and change their method of speech and behavior to ensure that they do not offend us.  Command others in what to think, what to say, what to do, what to sacrifice... we're setting ourselves up as gods.  And if they should ever offend us or hurt us, that it such a grave sin that we must be cancelled ... er... uhm excommunicated...

That is an interesting take.  But where on earth do we see such behavior?  I can't think of anything like that... 

Edited by Carborendum
Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

Trav, one of the signs of low intelligence is when you think everyone else is stupid.   

If you are so advanced and the rest of us are stupid, what are you doing around here? 

I don't think that's what Traveler was trying to say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

But where on earth do we see such behavior?  I can't think of anything like that... 

Please tell me you're being sarcastic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

If it wasn’t, then my mistake. 

I believe the sentence you quoted was meant as an indirect way of saying, "If you're human, you're intelligent; if you're one of the other species (like a cat or a fish or a wombat), then you're not."

(I also believe he didn't get my joke in all its subtle glory. :( )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, zil2 said:

Please tell me you're being sarcastic.

Well, let's see...

25 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

And if they should ever offend us or hurt us, that it such a grave sin that they must be cancelled ... er... uhm excommunicated...

10 minutes ago, zil2 said:

(I also believe he didn't get my joke in all its subtle glory. :( )

Edited by Carborendum
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...