From: J. Maynard Gelinas <j.maynard.gelinas.nul> Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 07:37:25 +0800 Archived: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 20:51:36 -0500 Subject: Sampling Earth's Biodiversity Speculative: On sampling Earth's biodiversity In Search For Novel Reactive Compounds Hello list, Given there is so little hard information on this subject, sometimes unfounded speculation is the only tool available. Here's something that just occurred to me over the weekend: Core assumptions (and I note that I in no way assert that these assumptions are true, just that they are necessary to follow this argument): - Some minority of UFO phenomena represent visitation by extraterrestrial probes and/or species in manufactured craft. - UFO phenomena has been noticed and recorded since antiquity. It may well predate even the arrival of humans. - UFO phenomena has shown little interest in human activity beyond minor curiosity. - All complex species, of greater or lessor intelligence, act with intent and purpose. Even lower animals act with basic intent to forage food and reproduce. Thus, complex species not from Earth would as well. Assuming these are true, what is the intent? - Unrelated species on earth behave toward another in one of three ways: 1) Predators find, kill, and eat prey. a) There is no recorded history of UFO phenomena representing some kind of hunting activity. b) For Earth species, food is raw materials and electrons bound in hydrocarbon bonds. It is energy. c) Advanced technology would offer a range of alternative energy sources, from solar collection to fusion to potentially alternatives not recognized by humans. Therefore: These hypothetical extraterrestrials would not come to earth for food or energy. 2) Species competing for the same resources engage in various levels of organized warfare. a) From herbivores fighting over similar patches of grass for reproductive success to lower apes fighting over the same constrained resources, this pattern repeats itself across Earth's evolutionary history. b) We should assume such evolutionary principles are universal and therefore whatever biological Extraterrestrial creatures we encounter will behave in the same manner. 3) Noncompeting species ignore one another. a) UFO reports seems to indicate little to no interaction with humans beyond minor curiosity. Therefore: hypothetical extraterrestrials view human beings and human activity as non-threatening and non-competitive. The next question to ask: - What is special about Earth? 1) It is not raw resources. a) Saturn has plenty of available water in its rings. Water has been found on the moon, and indications of such on Mars. b) It is widely assumed that throughout the asteroid belt there is an abundance of raw metals and other trace elements. c) Extrapolating from this solar system, one might assume such abundance of raw materials are available throughout the galaxy and likely the universe. Thus: terrestrial raw materials do not make Earth special. 2) Life is highly conserved. a) We may well find life on Mars, but it will almost certainly be bacterial and not of complex organisms. b) There may be life in the seas of Europa, but this is highly speculative and there's no evidence yet to support that expectation. c) It is unlikely that life will be found anywhere else in this solar system. Thus: Life is rare; complex multicellular life is likely _extremely_rare_. Thus: what makes Earth a local jewel in this region of space is not its water, but its extensive and vast biodiversity. - Why does biodiversity matter? 1) Pharmaceutical companies exploring the Amazon and other remote areas to search out new molecular compounds of medical benefit. a) Extreme biodiversity creates a tremendous wealth of novel molecular reactive agents that may be potentially useful. Thus: self-replicating systems - Life - has value as a molecular assembly system and discovery tool for novel compounds. 2) Complexity theory and directed evolution suggest that manipulating a fitness function of an evolutionary system for practical purpose is a useful way to find novel 'emergent' solutions to complex problems. Thus: Life may be tailored to find complex molecular compounds over time similarly to what is envisioned by Drexleresque nanotechnology proponents. Earth Is A Closed System Suitable For Controlled Experimentation. - But what have humans been doing since the industrial revolution? a) We've dumped vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, shifting climate globally. b) We've deployed dangerous nuclear weapons throughout the globe, threatening nearly the entire biosphere with potential annihilation. c) Humans left the planet and begun exploring outer space, akin to a lab rat escaping its cage. Thus: humanity may well now represent a threat to the primary goals of an extraterrestrial species visiting earth to harvest its biodiversity for novel compounds and new solutions. I doubt I'm the only one who has thought along these lines. What do List members think, and do any list members have references to other discussions like this? Thanks, --M Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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