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 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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