From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul> Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2012 21:22:20 -0400 Archived: Sun, 01 Jul 2012 21:22:20 -0400 Subject: Widen The Goal In The Search For Alien Life Source: NewScientist.Com http://tinyurl.com/bsytnus 24 May 2012 Widen The Goal In The Search For Alien Life by Bob Holmes We need to cast off our biological blinkers in the search for life beyond Earth and turn to physics, says cosmologist Charley Lineweaver What's wrong with the definition of "life"? Almost everything. For a start, we don't really have one. When you ask a biologist, "Are viruses alive?", half of them will say yes, and half will say no. We don't want a terrestrial-life-only definition. We want one that could apply elsewhere in the universe. This is important because NASA is trying to build an instrument to detect life elsewhere. So we can't just head off and look for the molecules of life as we know it? Imagine if some historian wanted to know about the origin of France. Most French people now have passports. So imagine the historian went out on an archaeological dig to look for French passports. That would be ridiculous. France as a nation has evolved over time, and only in the modern version do you get passports. Same for life. You could say all life today has DNA, but in the past, who knows? Many biologists define life as anything that undergoes Darwinian evolution. [More at site... thanks to Diana Cammack for the lead] 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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