Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Defining Life

I seem to be in documentary mode at the moment, I am watching one called the Privileged Planet; it talks about life, and finding life on other worlds. They talk to SETI, and how there must be at least a few thousand intelligent species in the vastness of our galaxy let alone the Universe. I have no doubt they are right, but I don’t believe in the idea it will be an intelligence or biology like our own. We seem to cloud the issue by using Earth as a standard model on what life is. We have no choice but to do this, since it is the only planet we know with life. But that’s like saying English is the language of Planet Earth and that all languages must be the same or similar. We know this is not true, even if we just look at written language there are many different types. Then there is body language, oral language, emotional language, and sign language, I am sure it is the same with life. We know English but there is also Chinese, and many other forms. The standard model for determining life should be evolution and the ability of atoms, and sub atomic particles to take advantage of the environment they exist in. Nearly everyone would say it is extremely unlikely that intelligent life may live in Jupiter, but we don’t know that for sure, we believe using our standard model of life, our English Language that it is impossible, and maybe it is. It is impossible for our type of life to live there, but it is not impossible to Jupiter’s standard of life to live there, if you see what I mean. Could a life from Jupiter live on Earth, highly unlikely, but we shouldn’t diminish its chances of having life because we feel it is unlikely. Continued survival through a set of rigid laws is what we should classify as life, it may open our eyes to other avenues.

I should have started this post after watching the whole documentary, instead of in the middle, oh well my mistake, I am always too eager. The rest of the doc was about the amazing good fortune we enjoy on Planet Earth. It bases its facts on a book called Rare Earth, which I have read, and it makes it abundantly clear how incredibly wonderful, lucky and special we all are. Every form of life, humans, animals, birds, trees, plants etc, we are all special and not insignificant; they quote Carl Sagan talking about the pale blue dot.

“Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.” Carl Sagan

But I think they are missing the point, as I read into Sagan’s meaning is that in cosmological terms we are insignificant, in the grand scheme of the Universe. I think I may add the whole quote in a later blog.

They quote the number of conditions for our survival to occur; I think I may have written them in an earlier post.

Right Distance from the Sun            Correct type of Sun                Liquid Water

Magnetic Core                                Oxygen rich Atmosphere        A large Moon

Massive Outer Planets                    Quiet part of the Galaxy         Size & Weight

They mention them periodically throughout the doc, and if I am honest when I read the book I thought the same as they do; that it is not by chance. That everything was just too perfect, the Laws of Physics, the natural order, how come this is so perfect. This is one of the reasons I started my quest, to understand the Universe. And my conclusion is no different from the one Richard Dawkins may give, explaining evolution. They are looking at it from the wrong perspective, since we are the ones alive noticing the fact we exist in perfection; we are the culmination we are the present moment. All my ideas started to gel together, and I realised that it is only our perception, our viewpoint, our perspective that gives us this illusion, the Universe, Planet Earth, is perfect for only us, alive now.

If the world is perfect for us, then it might also be perfect for other things. We know it is perfect for everything on this planet, we know this because if it wasn’t they would not exist. We can deduce that any object, part of the Planet Earth exists, and since it exists, it must be because of the conditions it exists in. Meaning if they were not perfect then they would not exist. If this applies to everything on planet Earth, and Planet Earth was part of the same debris, which was the formation of the solar system, it might apply to the solar system, and since the solar system is part of the Milky Way Galaxy, then it may follow these laws also. We could go on forever backwards; everything is part of everything else. The Infinitiverse, the everything, mutated, evolved, multiplied, recreated, and constantly changed until what we see today, which is a tiny part of the original. When we look at Earth and say we are lucky to have all those conditions mentioned above, they are mute; because that is the way it is meant to be. If it were different then we would not exist and some other being would be asking these questions. It would not stop or change the definite constant that everything exists in constant change and environmental adaptability. Imagine there are intelligent beings on Jupiter (I know you it’s a stretch but try to imagine). And they are saying the same things we are saying, how come everything is perfect for Jupiter, we have all these moons, we are well away from the rocky dangerous planets, we are massive and can sustain massive impacts. We have a large magnetic field; they could say the same arguments, why they are the privileged planet. We are a special planet because we are unique, no matter how many times people will fantasise about the fact, we will probably never find other life similar to us, in appearance, in size, in intellect, in substance. But this does not mean there is no other life in the universe.

No comments:

Post a Comment