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Life from space?

Firstly, are you aware that Fred Hoyle and an Indian Colleague of his, had the theory that life was seeded from space via a comet?

What if micro-organisms that feed directly on minerals and have been found to live in areas lacking oxygen, are the ancestors of all life on this planet and therefore could prove this theory true?

What if civilizations are nature's ultimate goal as the highest life form available, to propagate existence on a planet? What if humanoid life forms then are drawn to instinctively create robots, to probe deep space because they can go where oxygen breathing organisms can't? What if nano technology then leads to self-repairing androids, that can go on forever and in turn manufacture cells that can survive in space as do these live organisms, only we call them viral?

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    Feb 21 2012: We've already established that
    1) Amino acids can form on asteroids
    2) Microbes can easily survive the impact from space to earth
    3) The earth is bombarded with upto several hundred asteroids/comments/meteors per year
    4) Certain Microorganisms can thrive in environments typically toxic to humans
    So its not half as implausible as the guy below me thinks (who seems to have a history of trying to force 'god did it' as an answer or simply looks at information at face value and little else when determining his conclusions.. I won't even bother getting into the whole 'earth designed for life' rhetoric again either..)
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      Feb 21 2012: Hi Xavier.
      Let's get some basics out of the way.

      A meteor is the visible path of a meteoroid that has entered the Earth's atmosphere.
      Asteroids form a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun.
      A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma (a thin, fuzzy, temporary atmosphere) and sometimes also a tail .
      A meteorite is just about anything that makes it through to earth.
      (All definitions from Wiki)

      So I guess we are talking about Asteroids, rather than Comets, as a Comet would probably have melted by the time we got to it.

      You state that amino acid can form on asteroids. Granted; that is a far cry from life. Then you go on to talk about microbes, & then microorganisms. This acid is evolving before our very eyes. It's only acid that is connected with asteroids; correct? It's fine to believe this sort of stuff, but until it can be tested in the lab that amino acids can develop into life, it must remain a faith position.

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        Feb 22 2012: can i just mention that amino acids in the primordial soups formed in random ways, and then one happened to form a protein that could read nucleic acids to generate more proteins. this over, i dunno, billions of years eventually led to a cell of sorts being created, which could make more of itself. over billions more years this made multicellular organisms. research shows that the minimal amount of proteins needed in a ribosome for its function has been conserved in the furthest removed organisms in the tree of life. so its not that hard to believe that an asteroid carried some amino acids (origin unknown) that kick started reactions on earth that over billions of years made us, and if by some freak incident the earth exploded into lots of bits, that something might survive on little rocks that hurtle through space until they hit another rock, kick starting life. i think its as good a theory as any. as for natures intention, i think the cosmos has a funny way of working itself out. Life wants to survive and create, at least on earth. if we had the opportunity to send robots into space to make 'life', i expect humanity would probably go "yeah why not. the universe is as alive as we are, we are all made of the same thing and when we turn into cosmic dust we are going to make new galaxies and solar systems. our atoms could eventually be part of several planets, and they might have the potential for life. i think the universe isnt a machine, creation and destruction is a part of life, so it is alive and dynamic in the grandest respect.
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          Feb 23 2012: Petes right,we have'nt been able to reproduce under lab conditions a self assembling amino chain that forms into a molecular he said it's a faith position for the moment.
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          Feb 23 2012: Thanks Ken.
          That's really all I'm saying. I take the Christian view on the basis that; for me; that is the most likely scenario given what we know. Others draw different conclusions, & that's cool, but none of us really knows, or can prove our view empirically. Great subject though !

  • Feb 23 2012: Where did you get the idea that I said life was created by pure chance?

    As for life in space, I've just read a piece in Metro give away paper that states microbes living 30km above the Earth exist. As for space being to too hostile for life, I'd agree but that doesn't preclude dormant organisms traveling in it. What does life do when conditions are too hostile for it? It goes to sleep / protects itself, until conditions change for the better (hibernation during the winter / frogs, toads and lung fish burying themselves deep in the mud, until the weather gets warmer / wetter - The Jericho plant, that is dry until rain turns it back into a viable plant / those ancient shrimp like creatures, that come back to life when placed in water /desert plants that burst into flower after a shower/ frogs in Australia that lie dessicated until the rains come, maybe years later - all shown on various natural history programs. Life adapts to conditions. Even we need a protective, sealed suit to survive in space and so do some microscopic life forms - the Hydra I believe does this when its pond dries up i.e. creates a cyst). If we get meteors from Mars, why not life hitching a ride in it / on it? As for Virus's they aren't even considered really alive because they need to get into the host animal to replicate. The world is a strange place, full of life creeping into and finding survival methods for all kinds of environments, so why not other planets?
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        Feb 24 2012: Hi

        I think from recent studies of meteorite fragments suggest the possibility of structures that resemble nanobacteria and the fact that they were comprised of a magnetite that here on earth is associated with certain microorganisms but those were martian meteorites.

        Scientists have found lefthand amino acids on meteorites so the possibility considering the amount they have found quite possible.We seem to be comprised of left hand amino acids.
  • Feb 22 2012: Free will means it is our choice and that makes it an adult decision, where childish blame cannot be used as an excuse for our actions. I was blatantly lied to the other day by someone wanting to sell me something. I knew it was a lie. He knew it was a lie and yet he thought I should be persuaded to disbelieve my own senses.

    Of course life has purpose and that is to exist and proliferate because we see that every day. We make God (good) in our unity and The Devil (evil) by our disunity. In other words we unite and contribute to the world's existence and when we don't (resist giving of ourselves) or no longer can, death takes us away for recycling.
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    Feb 21 2012: Hi Tony.
    So life started somewhere in space, somehow jumped onto a comet, travelled billions of miles, struck earth at colossal speed, made a nest & started evolving ?
    This is somehow more plausible than life being created on earth?
    There is another tale told with a similar ring.
    The laws of physics are fine-tuned to allow life to exist on this planet.
    This means there must be zillions of universes with random tuning, so that by pure luck this universe happens to be as it is.
    This is somehow more plausible tha earth being created to support life ?
    Is it just me, or are folks trying very hard to avoid the obvious ?

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      Feb 21 2012: Hi Peter,

      That life on Earth as we know it was introduced from space is the obvious. But then, what's life?
      Maybe you can see that the universe is a living presence that you among others call God.
      In your very essence you are the Universe, below it is as it is above.
      To say this in a naive manner: man is created in the likeness of God.
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        Feb 22 2012: Hi Frans.
        Even if life did arrive from outer space, we are still left with the problem of how it formed in the first place. All we have done is introduce a further problem of space travel.
        I agree that our bodies are made of the same atoms as the universe, but the critical thing is how these atoms are assembled. My body can take in food, make decisions & act on them, & reproduce; the universe can do none of these, it is just a machine. While our bodies are also machines, our essence is spiritual , & eternal, just like our creator. In his likeness, if you like.
        God visited us as a carpenter a couple of thousand years ago.

    • Feb 22 2012: If you are saying that life is created by pure chance, is that really scientific? (Gamblers would say it made sense but scientists?). I'd have to agree that life doesn't have to been seeded from space to exist. I'd also say that it was once proposed that life didn't exist off this planet and in fact other planets didn't exist either but this has more to do with ego than science (Man as something special). The conclusion science is now coming to is that life may not be that special and Earth may not be the only possible planet in the universe that holds life. As for this being a religious viewpoint - I'd say it was the opposite. Life is tenacious and exists in extreme conditions all over this planet, so why not in space? Microbes have been found in anaerobic conditions, living off minerals directly. Others exist in terribly acidic conditions or heat that we humans couldn't put up without losing the skin off our finders within minutes, if not seconds (hydrothermal vents, geysers, caves, under the Artic and Antartic oceans etc.).

      Logically life could have reached out to all these inhospitable areas and who is to say what is possible in space, when we've only been out there a very few times?
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        Feb 22 2012: Hi Tony
        "If you are saying that life is created by pure chance, is that really scientific? "
        I believe life needed an intelligent creator, chance, natural selection, aliens, etc. are wishful thinking.

        There appear to be two schools of thought.
        One thinks life should be common in the universe, due to the likelihood of many earth-like planets.
        The other thinks this is unlikely, due to the Anthropic Principle which tries to assess just how many variables need to be just-so in order for life to be possible. These variables turn out to be so unlikely that the odds on another planet in the universe possessing them more than cancels out any possibility.
        The only answer to this conundrum is the existence of an infinite number of universes ; the multiverse . Personally I think that's daft.

        While earth may seem to have extremes, they are as nothing compared to outer space. Earth creatures have been designed for their various habitats, complete with fine tuning driven by natural selection. Space ? You never know for sure, but why ?