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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Jun > Jun 26

Re: Could Aliens Have Created Life On Earth?

From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 11:46:19 -0700
Archived: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 17:28:21 -0400
Subject: Re: Could Aliens Have Created Life On Earth?


>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
>Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 08:02:53 +0100
>Subject: Re: Could Aliens Have Created Life On Earth?

>b) an 'intervention' which changed the local (observable)
>universe to contain stars which generate carbon, nitrogen,
>oxygen and other life-necessities;

>c) an 'intervention' which directly manipulated complex
>molecules to 'kick-start organic life on Earth;

>Quick analysis:

>b) Lee Smolin's odds against life-friendly stars were 10^229 (1
>followed by 229 zeros), but that assumed a homogenous universe;
>however the concepts of a multiverse and/or of bubble-universes
>allows us to apply the anthropic principle and say that we are
>bound to live in a life-friendly bubble or local universe
>because that's where our kind of organic life can develop.

No different than the "Goldilocks" reason for why Earth is
"just-right" to harbor life. Divine intervention is not needed
to explain it. The reason is if enough people play the lottery,
somebody will inevitably win the lottery, even if the odds are
hugely against it. Earth is a lottery winner. Out of the
godzillion planets out there amongst a godzillion earth-like
stars, there are going to be lottery winners that are just the
right size at just the right distance from just the right star,
etc.

So our Universe may be another lottery winner in the theoretical
Multiverse. If the odds against life-friendly stars were truly 1
in 10^229, but there are roughly 10^450 different type of
universes predicted by string/membrane theory, that is still a
helluva lot of universes (~10^220) which would have the right-
type stars.

The law of large numbers can make seemingly staggeringly
improbable things a virtual certainty, such as somebody winning
the lottery. And somebody will also win the lottery after that,
and the next one, etc., etc.

What is truly staggeringly improbable would be the SAME person
winning the lottery every time, which brings us to the basic
logical flaw in the next argument.

>c) Hoyle and Wickramasinghe's odds against life-processes were
>10^40,000 (1 followed by 40,000 zeros) but that's in a 'one-off'
>setting; however the 'panspermia' hypothesis (rapidly becoming a
>solid theory - see updates to
>www.perceptions.couk.com/panspermia.html) allows us to extend
>the operating area to the whole of our observable universe and
>over many billions of years which, although non-computable just
>now, probably brings those odds down to maybe even to a positive
>'certainty'.

In a previous post, I asked what the fundamental logical flaw in
Hoyle/Wickramasinghe's argument was? Like the same person
always winning the lottery, it is the assumption that there is
only one unique way that life can arise.  I compared it to the
argument saying that the genetically unique Ray Dickenson could
not possibly exist with all the other unique people on Earth at
this time. The odds against this happening are staggeringly
small. But that is assuming only one possible outcome. If it
hadn't been Ray and me and everybody else, it would have been
another group of genetically unique individuals.

Similarly, nobody knows how many combinations of enzymes there
might be, besides the ones that did give rise to life here, that
could also give rise to life. There are probably a staggeringly
huge number of possibilities. We only see the particular one
that led to us, just like by chance the unique genetic
combination of Ray Dickenson is here against all odds. But
there are a huge number of genetic combinations that will create
a human being.

The H/W argument of high improbability would only apply if one
asked what are the odds of two Ray Dickenson's randomly arising
at the same time, or everybody being genetically identical to
RD, just like the same person winning the lottery every time.
That would not be chance but would require deliberate
intervention. Somebody was rigging the lottery, or somebody was
deliberately cloning Ray Dickenson.

There are other logical flaws in the H/W argument, such as the
assumption of total randomness, neglecting such things as the
"guiding hand" of evolution by natural selection, which includes
chemical evolution. Not all outcomes are equally likely.
Certain chemical processes in certain environments of
temperature, pressure, pH, etc., are favored over others.

Also there is the principle of spontaneous self-assembly which
is seen over and over again in biochemical systems. E.g., the
double lipid (fat) membrane of a cell membrane spontaneously
arises through dumb chemical forces. Take the same soup of
lipids in water and shake them up like a salad dressing and they
will spontaneously form innumerable simple proto membranes,
simply because it is thermodynamically favorable that this
happen. This is easy to do in a lab (or your kitchen) and the
little sacs created even have a name--liposomes. Your
emulsified salad dressing is full of them.

If there are various random proteins in the salad dressing, a
number of them will inevitably get trapped inside the liposomes,
and even demonstrate some simple enzymatic activity of a fully
living cell. These aren't truly living living cells, in that
they can't do necessary things that a living cell can do, like
reproduction, but it gives you a basic idea of how simple cell-
like processes could easily arise without some intelligent
intervention or against all odds that millions of lipids could
"randomly" assemble into a cell membrane with enzymatic proteins
inside. No, it happens inevitably and spontaneously through
chemical forces.

Now imagine on a proto-Earth a godzillion such liposome-like
sacs over hundreds of million of years, and one finally hitting
on the right combination of enzymes, plus maybe RNA/DNA inside
the sac, to be self-sustaining, maybe even reproducing itself
through simple mitosis. It would quickly come to dominate
(natural selection) over its competition. Again, we have the
law of large numbers at play: a huge number of systems acting
over a tremendous amount of time. These are the basic
ingredients for the spontaneous creation of life and evolution
of same.

This doesn't rule out panspermia, but just argues that
panspermia is not required. Also it doesn't lead you back to
the inevitable question that if life was truly so damn
improbable, then how could it ever arise anywhere in our
universe to even get panspermia going? (Hoyle's 1 in 10^40,000
is so staggeringly small, he is basically arguing absolute
impossibility against life arising anywhere at any time in our
Universe by chance.)

Hoyle was an astrophysicist, not a biochemist or molecular
biologist. His arguments against the improbability of
spontaneous creation of life are based on flawed logic and lack
of understanding of life processes. He was arguing outside of
his field of expertise. Of course, he was also making this
argument about 60 years ago, before the modern revolution in the
life sciences that started with Watson and Crick's elucidation
of the structure of DNA in the early 1950s. Since then a
tremendous amount has been learned about the molecular basis of
life that were previously dark mysteries.


David Rudiak



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