Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

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Spiral Out
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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Spiral Out » November 27th, 2016, 9:47 pm

Obi1 wrote:I always think intelligent life "must" exist elsewhere in the cosmos if it is true that the cosmos is infinitely large and filled with infinite matter. Assuming both are true why do I assume this? I always tell myself that all the permutations of matter and events exist somewhere out there but that can't be true. For an extreme example there can't be a world where a person wakes up every morning and does one head-stand in each room, repaints his kitchen, and buys 10 new pet dogs. I say this because it is against intelligent behavior so like we would say something is "physically impossible" that scenario would be against intelligent life-form behavior.

So why should I assume that there must be life out there if I don't really believe that every thing that can exist would exist in an infinite universe?
Why would life, even so-called "intelligent" life, be required to conform to our own particular paradigm of what we conceive of as intelligent, or even life, for that matter?
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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Renee » November 28th, 2016, 8:58 am

Spiral Out wrote: Why would life, even so-called "intelligent" life, be required to conform to our own particular paradigm of what we conceive of as intelligent, or even life, for that matter?
Because life, and "intelligent" life is possible, and the universe is infinitely large.

There may be other intelligentsia out there, you're right. But our kind is possible, that's for sure. And space is infinitely expansive. Although we are not sure of the same being true fo' matter. That's an assumption you need to make.
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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Platos stepchild » November 29th, 2016, 8:11 am

Spiral Out wrote:Why would life, even so-called "intelligent" life, be required to conform to our own particular paradigm of what we conceive of as intelligent, or even life, for that matter?
I've heard speculation that extraterrestrial-life might be so exotic that we'd never be able to recognize it. While this might be possible, that possibility does nothing to establish the criteria for such exotic life-forms. And, if we're talking about intelligent life, there'd be absolutely no basis for communicating with it. And, without communication, we might as well be alone in the cosmos.

Furthermore, once we've posited the existence of exotic cosmic intelligences, we've opened the door to other extreme possibilities, such as the oceans and even the earth, itself being organisms in their own right. But, any definition of life which is so inclusive undercuts what it means to live. It's only within a dead, or inanimate context that we can truly understand and appreciate life.

The unique valance of carbon atoms probably means that life based on some other element is highly unlikely. Even so, exotic life is still possible within a carbon-context. The helix of "normal" DNA is right-handed. But, there's no reason why "left-handed" DNA couldn't thrive, elsewhere in the cosmos. Nevertheless, any life evolving from such DNA would still be constrained by the same evolutionary pressures as life on Earth.

Intelligent-life springing from left-handed DNA should still share enough in common with us to allow at least a formal, mathematical rapport. Bilaterally symmetrical bodies would give rise to a mathematically rigorous understanding of symmetry, which is an essential aesthetic of mathematics. Being carbon-based means that intelligent aliens would eat as we eat, and survive as we survive. The helical orientation of their DNA wouldn't affect their rapport with us.

Now, when I say "rapport", I don't mean to imply that we'd be natural allies. I'm only saying there'd be some basis for understanding. Still, their technology might be sufficiently advanced so as to be incompatible with our own. Regardless though, whether friend, foe or something in between, we'd share enough in common to recognize each other as friend, foe or something in between. And that's why extraterrestrial-life, intelligent or not would follow a terrestial paradigm.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Renee » November 29th, 2016, 5:18 pm

Platos stepchild wrote:... And, without communication, we might as well be alone in the cosmos. ...
The unique valance of carbon atoms probably means that life based on some other element is highly unlikely.
I concur on the first point. That's why I hold SETI pointless.

Second point: I wish to add that the element Silicone (or silicon?) under high temperatures (higher than in our biosphere) has valental similarities to carbon. Thus, in the Earth's mantle there may be silicon-based life forms.

This assumes that complexity is required for life or for intelligence. However, this assumption is not completely founded, although it has its merits: For intelligence, one must be able to create a mental image of the world, in order to use it as a road map in navigating one's self in the reality world. Therefore the mental image must bear enough semblance to reality to be a reasonably reliable model. This requires complexity.

Complexity is required if reality is to be interpreted or imagined. There may be life forms that experience reality directly, without a need of translation; these forms may be simple, as the brain's overwhelming functionality is spent on interpretation, imaging, and planning. These are not needed for a being that needs to do no interpretation of the sensual feed of the environment. They would act intelligently, mightily so, but they would not use interpretive and planning intelligence, most of which is what makes human intelligence. Therefore these non-interpretive beings may be simple in their structure.

Going back to silicon, we may have life underneath the surface of earth, many hundreds of kilometres down. This life form would not know stars, the sun. Although it may learn about the rotation of the earth. God only knows (figure of speech) how it lives and operates. Only it can produce helical DNA forms aside from carbon.
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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Whisper Wizard » November 30th, 2016, 4:44 am

Because all possibilities and all potential possibilities are two different things. It sounds like you are confusing infinite universe with infinite dimensions where rules of physics and rationality can very. In a universe, everything has to abide by the sound logic of how it works. Everything comes from the same concept of matter, energy, and all that good stuff. Reason far in the universe you aren't likely to see some material Gargaungeltik that is completely foreign to everything we know that exists. We believe everything is matter and energy so it is reasonable to assume that atleast this universe also is fully constructed by matter and energy without differing at a certain point. Same thing applies with culture, pre-destiny, mentality, whatever you would apply to intelligent life. Your comparison might sound silly when said and it most likely is. Though, let's not forget those comparisons of a normal life to someone buying ten dogs in a day is still similar in the fact it is a person doing things we understand.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Platos stepchild » November 30th, 2016, 10:24 am

Renee wrote:
Plato's stepchild wrote:... And, without communication, we might as well be alone in the cosmos. ...
The unique valence of carbon atoms probably means that life based on some other element is highly unlikely.
I concur on the first point. That's why I hold SETI pointless.

Second point: I wish to add that the element silicon, under high temperatures (higher than in our biosphere) has valence similar to carbon. Thus, in the Earth's mantle there may be silicon-based life forms.

This assumes that complexity is required for life or for intelligence. However, this assumption is not completely founded, although it has its merits: For intelligence, one must be able to create a mental image of the world, in order to use it as a road map in navigating one's self in the reality world. Therefore the mental image must bear enough semblance to reality to be a reasonably reliable model. This requires complexity.

Complexity is required if reality is to be interpreted or imagined. There may be life forms that experience reality directly, without a need of translation; these forms may be simple, as the brain's overwhelming functionality is spent on interpretation, imaging, and planning. These are not needed for a being that needs to do no interpretation of the sensual feed of the environment. They would act intelligently, mightily so, but they would not use interpretive and planning intelligence, most of which is what makes human intelligence. Therefore these non-interpretive beings may be simple in their structure.

Going back to silicon, we may have life underneath the surface of earth, many hundreds of kilometres down. This life form would not know stars, the sun. Although it may learn about the rotation of the earth. God only knows (figure of speech) how it lives and operates. Only it can produce helical DNA forms aside from carbon.
Yes, it's true; silicon does belong to group 14 (along with carbon) of the periodic table of elements. Silicon, however (unlike carbon) doesn't form "double bonds", and therefore isn't nearly as chemically active. This is why I said that "life based on some element [other than carbon] is highly unlikely" (though not impossible).

Regarding complexity as being necessary for life, it just seems reasonable (to me, at least) that there must exist a threshold, such that anything less is too simple. Of course, defining just where that "threshold" lies is quite slippery. Therefore, the importance of complexity as a precursor of life is equally slippery.

It's interesting that you're allowing an alien intelligence might experience reality, directly. If so, then the complexity of that intelligence need only be as "complex" as the reality it's experiencing. A consequence of your assumption is that reality might possibly "experience" itself, without an intermediate intelligence. As I said, interesting.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Renee » November 30th, 2016, 4:49 pm

Platos stepchild wrote: Yes, it's true; silicon does belong to group 14 (along with carbon) of the periodic table of elements. Silicon, however (unlike carbon) doesn't form "double bonds", and therefore isn't nearly as chemically active.
https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/dou ... 49.article

In a landmark for silicon chemistry, US researchers have reported the first stable silicon (0) compound to contain a silicon-silicon double bond.

’What baffles me is that this complex is a truly stable, "bottleable" species, not just a molecule which is observed in a low-temperature matrix,’ comments Gernot Frenking, professor of theoretical chemistry at the Philipps-Universit?t in Marburg, Germany.

(Sorry!!) (-;
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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Diego_tentor » December 1st, 2016, 5:12 am

I always think intelligent life "must" exist elsewhere in the cosmos if it is true that the cosmos is infinitely large and filled with infinite matter. Assuming both are true why do I assume this? I always tell myself that all the permutations of matter and events exist somewhere out there but that can't be true. For an extreme example there can't be a world where a person wakes up every morning and does one head-stand in each room, repaints his kitchen, and buys 10 new pet dogs. I say this because it is against intelligent behavior so like we would say something is "physically impossible" that scenario would be against intelligent life-form behavior.

So why should I assume that there must be life out there if I don't really believe that every thing that can exist would exist in an infinite universe?
The trouble here is that you (like any of us) do not know or have exactly defined that it is "life" and that it is "intelligence", so really what you are looking for is not life or intelligence but anthropomorphic mirages or geomorphic life.

That is similar to, in a square full of people, just consider 'people' to someone who has my stature, speak my language and have my own scars.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Renee » December 1st, 2016, 5:23 pm

Diego_tentor wrote: The trouble here is that you (like any of us) do not know or have exactly defined that it is "life" and that it is "intelligence", so really what you are looking for is not life or intelligence but anthropomorphic mirages or geomorphic life.

That is similar to, in a square full of people, just consider 'people' to someone who has my stature, speak my language and have my own scars.
I don't believe that not defining life and intelligence is trouble. These are two words that are undefinable. (Undefiably undefinable, at that.) Much like some math functions with continuous curves don't have an integral function.

We don't define "life", "intelligence", "god", "time", but we all understand the same thing with little variation what the other means when says some of these words.

This is not my objection. Wittgenstein pointed this out to the world, when the logical positivists wanted to write the "Big Encyclopedia" back in the early 1900s. The LPs had the idea that all we needed to do to fix philosophy and knowledge was to finely and precisely define each term in the language. They hung up, though, and did not know what hit them until Wittgenstein came along and explained it to them.
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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Diego_tentor » December 2nd, 2016, 5:47 am

I don't believe that not defining life and intelligence is trouble. These are two words that are undefinable. (Undefiably undefinable, at that.) Much like some math functions with continuous curves don't have an integral function.

We don't define "life", "intelligence", "god", "time", but we all understand the same thing with little variation what the other means when says some of these words.
This is not my objection. Wittgenstein pointed this out to the world, when the logical positivists wanted to write the "Big Encyclopedia" back in the early 1900s. The LPs had the idea that all we needed to do to fix philosophy and knowledge was to finely and precisely define each term in the language. They hung up, though, and did not know what hit them until Wittgenstein came along and explained it to them.


Obviously it is not a problem to seek intelligence, if it is a problem to find it, because what it seeks is defined only by its appearance, not by its function.

It is similar to looking for a needle in a haystack, without knowing what a needle is, there (metaphorically speaking) a doctor will discard any needle that does not look like a syringe, a seamstress will discard any needle that does not have an eye on the needle. And a weaver will discard any needle that does not have its corresponding pair.

Then such a search will be no different from that of a man seeking God, or that of a ufologic looking for humanoids, each establishing a search based on a subjective desire. It would not be very different from the Spanish settlers arriving to the americas and considering animal anything that was not baptized.

You will find 'intelligence' as far as the search criteria are concerned, with the current criteria we are still alone in space.
They hung up, though, and did not know what hit them until Wittgenstein came along and explained it to them.
What does wittgenstein explain?

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by gimal » December 2nd, 2016, 8:37 pm

How can you talk about life when biologists don't even know what life is -they may know what life does but they don't know what life is.


gamahucherpress.yellowgum.com/wp-conten ... cience.pdf




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life

take this definition from wiki
"Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have self-sustaining biological processes ("alive," "living"), from those which do not"

this is a blantaly circular definition all it says is life is a characteristic of things that are alive ie have life and as such totally meaningless

now even apart from not telling us what it is that gives life to an organism scientist cant even agree on their definition of life
To define life in unequivocal terms is still a challenge for scientists


with out being able to agree on what life does- let alone not being able to tell us what LIFE IS - the whole foundation of biology collapses


1) Biology is the study of life but Biologists don’t know what life is
biology tells us what life does but it cant tell us what it is that makes an organism alive ie the life force


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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Renee » December 2nd, 2016, 10:17 pm

gimal wrote:How can you talk about life when biologists don't even know what life is -they may know what life does but they don't know what life is.
Gimal, you don't know what life is, but you talk about it. What sort of a hypocritical superiority complex gives you the alleged and self-appointed right to stop others from talking about life?

-- Updated December 2nd, 2016, 10:21 pm to add the following --
Diego_tentor wrote:
I don't believe that not defining life and intelligence is trouble. These are two words that are undefinable. (Undefiably undefinable, at that.) Much like some math functions with continuous curves don't have an integral function.

We don't define "life", "intelligence", "god", "time", but we all understand the same thing with little variation what the other means when says some of these words.
This is not my objection. Wittgenstein pointed this out to the world, when the logical positivists wanted to write the "Big Encyclopedia" back in the early 1900s. The LPs had the idea that all we needed to do to fix philosophy and knowledge was to finely and precisely define each term in the language. They hung up, though, and did not know what hit them until Wittgenstein came along and explained it to them.


Obviously it is not a problem to seek intelligence, if it is a problem to find it, because what it seeks is defined only by its appearance, not by its function.

It is similar to looking for a needle in a haystack, without knowing what a needle is, there (metaphorically speaking) a doctor will discard any needle that does not look like a syringe, a seamstress will discard any needle that does not have an eye on the needle. And a weaver will discard any needle that does not have its corresponding pair.

Then such a search will be no different from that of a man seeking God, or that of a ufologic looking for humanoids, each establishing a search based on a subjective desire. It would not be very different from the Spanish settlers arriving to the americas and considering animal anything that was not baptized.

You will find 'intelligence' as far as the search criteria are concerned, with the current criteria we are still alone in space.
They hung up, though, and did not know what hit them until Wittgenstein came along and explained it to them.
What does wittgenstein explain?
Diego tentor, you nicely backpedalled and changed the nature and substance of your question.

If I answer your current question, what are the chances that you will not apply the same "tactic"? In strict numerical terms.
Ignorance is power.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Platos stepchild » December 3rd, 2016, 6:49 pm

I believe we must first recognize that which we wish to explain. What this means is, we must first recognize intelligence before attempting to explain it. If we define intelligence prematurely, we risk defining something so exotic that we'll never know it for what it is. That's when we get entangled in philosophical conundrums which have no resolution.

But, how can we be so sure that our gut will recognize exotic intelligences? That's just a chance we have to take. Otherwise, we risk those troublesome conundrums. Besides, if something is too out there, then what does it matter, anyway? All that really matters is whether they'd be an asset or a threat. Are we their food, or friends?

We don't know, for sure that extraterrestrial intelligences exist, much less whether we'd recognize them. But, who can say for sure, whether in the vastness of space an intelligence, similar to ourselves might lurk? I believe it's better to assume the worst, than to hope for the best. We should anticipate attacks from deep space just as we should anticipate killer asteroids.

Let's make E.T the 21st century bogeyman. It'd give us the chance to rally around our mutual survival. If we don't, then sectarian violence will destroy us. Surely it's better to fear the alien menace than to fear the Muslims, or to hate the decadent West. But, what if an alien intelligence turns out to be benevolent? So what? They probably don't even exist. Just let the nonexistent threat ensure our survival.

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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by Chasw » January 9th, 2017, 10:35 am

An interesting topic. The genesis of life on Earth is still unknown. So, we speculate. Here is what we know so far: The oldest fossil evidence of lifeforms dates from early in the planet's history, about 3.5 million years ago. Since I don't subscribe to abiogenesis, my working hypothesis is that the Earth's oceans were seeded with bacterial lifeforms, probably via comets impacting the planet, as soon as the surface cooled sufficiently and the oceans acquired enough dissolved minerals. Among those lifeforms were cyanobacteria which immediately went to work "terraforming" the Earth's atmosphere from primarily carbon dioxide to primarily nitrogen and oxygen. This then opened the door, through evolution, to higher forms of life, including animals.

If comets carried the seeds of life here, as I speculate, then the genesis must have begun elsewhere. One possible speculation is, there once was a fertile planet in another system that was blown apart by a dying star. The planet's teeming oceans were instantly frozen by the cold of space and drifted to the place where our solar system formed out of the remnants. If you don't believe life can survive in the cold of space, consider how bacterial spores entombed in rock salt formations have survived for hundreds of million years.

Valid evidence supporting my hypothesis would be signs of life, such as fossils, on Mars or the moons of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. In fact, the primary driver for mankind's current exploration of Mars is the possibility of finding such evidence. - CW
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Re: Life "must" exist elsewhere but why?

Post by JamesOfSeattle » January 9th, 2017, 8:34 pm

ChasW, I'm curious as to why you think abiogenesis could occur somewhere else, but not here. Actually, I think the timing of things might be strong evidence that it did happen here. My understanding (which could easily be wrong) is that there was very little time between when life could exist on earth and when it did exist on earth. To say it again, just about as soon as the earth was cool enough for liquid oceans, it had life.

So either there was an astronomically unlikely (ahem) coincidence in timing, or there was a bombardment of extraterrestrial life over a long period of time and we should expect to find the results of that bombardment all over our solar system.

*
(Or it started here)

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