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Thread: Life on mars?

  1. #17
    Capslock's Avatar
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    I've read the alleged calculations before, and have to say that they are on very shaky ground. There are so many unaccounted-for variables, and so many things we don't know about how life started that it's impossible to calculate. Further, the book Darwin's Black Box is written by Michael Behe (not Berthe) , and he is a big proponent of ID, which, in MY opinion, is nothing but a subversion of pseudo-science by creationists. His goal, in other words, is to disprove the notion life arose from matter, and was not "created."

    It's clear from a quick look around our known universe, though, that life is at minimum very uncommon. While I doubt we're the only life in the universe, it's clear that proper conditions have to exist, and that those conditions are rare.

    Earth is actually a uniquely good candidate, clearly posessing the conditions necessary to sustain and evolve life.

    Capslock
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]PS - Titan is a moon. I believe it is a moon of... Saturn?
    titan is one of saturn's moons. it's also the largest. Many astronomers believe that titan is just like the earth was some billions of years ago before life began so they want to analyze it and get a better picture of what the earth might have looked like.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Titan, and one of her sister moons, (is it Ganymede?)
    I think ganymede is the largest moon in our solar system and I'm sure it's one of jupiter's moon. ... but I'm pretty sure you meant europa. I'm not sure where europa is (I thought it was jupiter too :P) but it is believed to have liquid water under the thick layer of ice and some also believe that it has underwater volcanoes and stuff where life could exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]You can read all about it, just do a search on combinatorics and evolutionary biology I'm certain you'll be able to find the kinds of mathematical models I'm thinking of. At the moment I don't have time to put up any internet sources, but the books Quantum Evolution
    argh... evolution has nothing to do with the origins of life.
    Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish-Euripides
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    and by the way, odds don't mean much. Life only had to happen once (in earth) and probably did... since it looks like all organisms came from common ancestors.
    What are the odds that a certain rock would end up in a certain back yard? they're astronomical... but that happens all the time because the world is such a huge place.
    oh.... and many people's claims about the odds of life beginning are completely fake. (like the one about a tornado passing through a junk yard and forming a car or something... or throwing the components of a clock in the air and it forming a clock... that's just ridiculous)

    so besides there being probably billions of "slime" puddles and billions of them being struck by lightning, etc. etc., you also have to give them billions of years. ...
    Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish-Euripides
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  4. #20
    apple rings.. what more can i say? FlytrapGurl's Avatar
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    Dude, I saw this coming. The odds going for other life in the universe are HUGE! It's inevitable that we will eventually find life elsewhere. There's no way we're the only speck of life in a universe that never ends. And just because there might not be water doesn't mean there's no life there. Oh, sure, all life needs water. ON THIS PLANET. Just because our life needs water doesn't mean that there isn't life elsewhere that can thrive without water. There could freaking-well be life somewhere in this universe that drinks liquid nitrogen and breathes ammonia gas. And there's the possibility that there are other elements in this universe that do not exist on this planet. The laws of this planet do not bind the whole universe.

    Scully: "Mulder, it is such a gorgeous day outside. Have you ever entertained the idea of looking for life on this planet?"
    Mulder: "I've seen the life on this planet, Scully, and that is exactly why I'm looking elsewhere."
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    we're talking about the odds of life originating in this planet. I think there's a 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
    9999999999999999999999999999999999...+ % chance of life in other planets.
    Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish-Euripides
    wikipedia rocks! (except for species info)(CPers-add your vast knowledge of CPs to wikipedia&#33
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  6. #22
    apple rings.. what more can i say? FlytrapGurl's Avatar
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    That's what I'm sayin'.
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  7. #23
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Well, Darwin's Black Box is one I haven't broken into quite yet, as I don't have to write a paper about it for several weeks. Your review has got me on pins and needles, Capslock [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] And yes, the origins of life are not really in the domain of evolutionary biology, but I do see them lumped together all the time, in the sense of evolving metabolic chemical pathways, which is not to say they evolved so much in the ecological sense, but in the more classical sense of evolution as gradual change. I'm fuzzy on the estimates I was speaking of, but I do believe that they're more on the conservative side... I'll see if I can't find anything about the margin of error, because I'd be interested in seeing that myself. Anyhow, I'm about to drop $3000 in tuition on 12 credits of "The Mathematical Origins of Life" and by the end of Spring I should have more information on this topic than any of us might ever want to know, so I suppose I'll see...
    ~Joe
    PS - Abiogenesis, that's the name of the topic. Here's a little on it:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/abioprob.html
    This is kind of biased for abiogenesis - they don't seem to address mutation and other issues of variance in the part I skimmed but I doubt they'll skip it altogether - but it gets the point across. I think that the numbers I was remembering are definitely erring on the side of unlikelihood, whereas this is not. I'm not sure this paper addresses the recent changes in our models of Earth's early atmosphere, however, which has made the probability of organic structures emerging much less hopeful than the Miller-Urey experiment days.
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  8. #24
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    Seed and Caps, the problem I have with assigning probabilities to life arrising (on earth or elsewhere) is that a) we don't know (and maybe can't know) EXACTLY what the environment was like, nor exactly where it occurred. For all we know, there was a small area of the earth that made everything just PERFECT for life. Until there's a time machine, it will remain at least partially a mystery. b) Defining what "life" is can become a tricky, when is something just a chemical reaction, and when do we concider it alive? Where is the line? and c) Based on a and b, the probablities become a little like enron accounting. You can make them what you want them to be by (even unconciouly) making certain assumptions.

    Now Seed, I have a small issue with what you said. While it may be true that a reaction isn't certain between any TWO atoms...we'll even say a 1 in 100 chance for argument's sake....when two chemicals are mixed, how often is it only one atom? Two ittsy bittsy gass bubbles contain more atoms that any normal person can fathom...so what if only 1% react? There is still a reaction and a product thereof.

    I do notice, however, that it's only creationists of one form or another who argue that life is almost impossible, and therefore it must have been created.

    Huh.

    Well, I know someone who won the lotto, too. Jerk didn't share a penny....
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