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Life on Mars!
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dot23Offline
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PostPosted: 20-11-2001 16:05    Post subject: Life on Mars! Reply with quote

new dispute over Martian meteorite

it seems this bit of rock has a good press agent Wink

What would knowing that life had existed on Mars do to our understanding of science, of religion and of our place in the Universe? Answers on a postcard please...
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 20-11-2001 16:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think to most people a few bacteria won't matter. It is not untill we find plants or animals they will care. And if it is on Mars, people will just claim that God created life here on Earth and meteors just transfered some bacterias to Mars.
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dot23Offline
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PostPosted: 20-11-2001 16:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wouldn't it put more weight behind the Xenogenesis (or whatevr it's called) theory that life came from elsewhere and found ideal conditions on Earth? IF that's the case, the garden of eden's in outer space, and Noah came on a spaceship (where's LeavitJoshua when you need him?)
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mikelegsOffline
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PostPosted: 20-11-2001 19:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that it would lend a great deal of support to panspermia/cosmic ancestry. It would prove beyond a doubt that earth is a biologically open system. It would prove that the conditions for creating life don't need to come about separately on each planet, and that maybe earth never had or needed to have conditions capable of creating life.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 20-11-2001 19:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it me, or does the idea of life being created elsewhere and finding its way across the cosmos to here, seem less likely than developing from a local primordial soup?
I hate to keep banging on about probability (particularly as I know so little about it), but....Smile
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dot23Offline
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PostPosted: 21-11-2001 10:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

DD, the chances are about as improbable. When you take into account the random nature of life's development the linking of certain chemicals under ideal conditions is pretty unlikely. I go for the 'seed' theory where alien races look for planets with life sustaining qualities and drop 'spores' into the ocean. O and magic mushrooms come from outer space Wink
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 21-11-2001 10:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xanatic wrote:

I think to most people a few bacteria won't matter.


If they find just one microbe on Mars that is/was alive then it means that life is all over the place just waiting to be found. It might not be a plant or animal in structure but life is life and that one bacteria just throws open the doors of what could possibly be 'out there'...........
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 22-11-2001 10:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
DD, the chances are about as improbable. When you take into account the random nature of life's development the linking of certain chemicals under ideal conditions is pretty unlikely.


Not as unlikely as you would think, if you investigate the chemistry of RNA. Check it out - it starts with very simple chemistry in relatively uncomplicated surroundings.

And, of course, if it didn't happen, you wouldn't be here - it's pointless to say after the fact "the odds against this were so large, it couldn't have happened".

If it didn't happen, you wouldn't be here on this board to discuss it. In this case, the only reason that you are able to speculate on the odds of something happening is because you are a direct result of that happening. To say that it cannot possibly have happened because of the probability against it is denying the flow of causality.

It's like a child who has been born as a result of the failure of both a condom and the contraceptive pill saying that the odds against it happening were so large, they must have been conceived by some other means.
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dot23Offline
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PostPosted: 22-11-2001 14:36    Post subject: drake equation Reply with quote

drake equation

It's all a bit tenuous, but there is good reason to believe that other forms of life have evolved on other planets, well before we did. The Universe is over 15 billion years old, with the first life-supporting solar systems coming about around 1 billion years after the big bang. It's possible that life could have started to evolve soon after that, although some people think the conditions would have been too chaotic to sustain it. That leaves us with 14 billion years of possible evolution, and remember we've only been arounf in our present form for 100,000 years, with advanced civilization (or proof of such) available only in the last 8-6 thousand.

I think it's only our anthropocentrism which blinds us to the possibility that we're not alone. We find it hard enough to credit other animals on the earth with intelligence, or even worth.
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harlequin2005Offline
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PostPosted: 22-11-2001 16:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea of panspemia is actually a little more likely than the 'closed system' theory of the genesis of life here. Bear in mind that Earth has limited resources for chemical combination, and energy to drive it. If you remove the Earth from the equation you have a lot more chemicals,in more interesting and ill explored states, to go at, and considerably more complex interactions of light and matter than you do in what is, to all intents and purposes, a muddy puddle getting struck by lightening.

Just my take on the matter

8¬)
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 26-11-2001 17:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess we will never know how and where the first bit of life started.

Not a problem really. Wink
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mikelegsOffline
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PostPosted: 26-11-2001 18:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if there could exist life that is self-aware, but defies all our common definitions of life. I wonder if these creatures could look at earth and consider it devoid of any life (by their definition of the term, of course). Just a thought, please don't ponder it too deeply. I didn't.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 26-11-2001 18:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the evolution of RNA is a series of chemical reactions between simple groups, why haven't we been able to synthesise it yet in a lab? Or have we?
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 27-11-2001 10:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, we have - it has also been demonstrated that certain structures present in proto-cells are replicable by chemical processes.

The view that lightning has to be involved was based on Stanley Miller's experiments in the 1950's - subsequent research has suggested that it doesn't need to be involved at all - there is similar sulphur-based chemistry that can be activated by light.

For all you trekkies, there is also some information on the Murchison Meteorite, which has some interesting Amino Acids on board.

Check out this page :

http://www.resa.net/nasa/origins_life.htm#stanley

it also has some useful links for those who haven't been keeping up on their protein chemistry.


Last edited by Guest on 27-11-2001 10:20; edited 1 time in total
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Ronson8Offline
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PostPosted: 05-04-2002 22:03    Post subject: Life on Mars? Reply with quote

Is this another tantalizing pointer to life on Mars, or just another dead end? the report here.
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