Has the Origins of Human Life on Earth Been Discovered?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Dryson, Aug 17, 2021.

  1. Timtamttime

    Timtamttime Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Perhaps we’ll be the ones to seed life on other planets, if we ever figure out how to travel in space in a reasonable amount of time. The light barrier poses a bit of a problem, though. But theoretically we could send mini spaceships travelling nearly the speed of light to some of our nearer neighbours. However, if it takes a few billion years for our Cyanobacteria to evolve on those planets, we won’t know if we’ve succeeded or not because we won’t be human anymore.
     
  2. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    That's why I think we'll just stick with simulations rather than explore, terraform or colonise - at least for several billion years. No Man's Sky is perhaps one of the first iterations, demonstrating what procedural generation can do. Eventually, using quantum computers, which can simulate quantum systems directly given a wave function, suitable Hamiltonian and boundary conditions(*), we might be able to generate a vast number of possible universes with alternate Earths and lifeforms - both sapient and non-sapient. Perhaps there will even be a way to dwell on and explore these worlds by downloading into avatars. When the Sun's white dwarf phase cools to a black dwarf, we might have to move on although the simulations could run slower in real time as less energy became available. The passage of time inside a simulation would not be affected.

    * The Wheeler-DeWitt equation suggests this is possible although the implementation is far beyond our current capabilities. The Wave Function of The Universe George-Flinn-Dissertation.pdf (imperial.ac.uk)
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  3. Dryson

    Dryson Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Biologically and Chemistry will prove your theory before mathematics will.

    Back to the Seed.

    Before the Earth had life, it was like seed pod. A hard exterior with the components to create a plant inside. When the shell of the seed opens, the volume of the interior of the shell becomes greater then if the shell had been closed. With the shell around the seed opening up, water and nutrients can have direct access to the seed in side.

    When asteroids collided with Earth, prior to life forming, the impact caused the Earth to gain more mass as well as the asteroids partially cracking open the Earth, much like shell on the seed opening. With the layers of the Earth being cracked open and the core of the planet, where gases dominate, being exposed to water at the upper layers the chemical soup of life could have started to mix.

    As the Earth cooled and the shell became stable, more water would have been able to be present on Earth in the cups of the shell or the locations on Earth where mountain ranges are very tall as a result of asteroids pushing the plates of Earth upwards after an impact.
     
  4. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    Talk of cracking a shell reminds me of a fairy-tale.

    Nuts or crackers?
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
  5. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Commodore Commodore

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    Why not both? Or, a little from column A and a little from column B...
     
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  6. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Last edited: Sep 11, 2021
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  7. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

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    Well, if they could give them the ability to reproduce, they could be used to terraform planets (like Mars for example).
     
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  8. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    If we find life on Mars, do we try to preserve it or can we take it upon ourselves to erase it to make the planet more suitable for human habitation? I think it would be a pity to destroy it as there would likely be valuable science to be discovered. However, any probe we land on Mars is probably contaminated with Earth microbes not matter how much care was taken to guard against this. If (a big if) Mars and Earth microbes are allowed to perform lateral gene transfer, assuming their DNA is sufficiently compatible, there is the possibility of developing strains that are potentially extremely dangerous or perhaps able to kickstart or accelerate terraforming. There are certainly ethical questions that need to be addressed.
     
  9. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Mars is dying…so you keep it on a shelf and warm things up. Most of our biomass is below the surface percolating without regard to what we do anyway.

    BTW…SURVIVING MARS: BELOW & BEYOND is on YouTube…game release. I confused it with Saving Mars
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
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  10. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

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    The terraforming of Mars would take hundreds of millennia, by then we will know everything we need to know about the Martian monocellular life, assuming it exists at all.
     
  11. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    NASA [https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/goddard/2018/mars-terraforming]:

    Taken together, the results indicate that terraforming Mars cannot be done with currently available technology. Any such efforts have to be very far into the future.​

    Since processes that could terraform Mars are presently unknown, I do not believe that we know whether it would in fact take hundreds of millennia to do it (once beginning the undertaking using methods that would be thought to succeed). Perhaps "very far into the future" when it becomes possible, it will take no more than 500 years.
     
  12. oldtrekkie

    oldtrekkie Captain Red Shirt

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    One solution would be to deviate comets from the Kuiper belt so that they would crash on Mars increasing the planet's water and oxygen level, the energy from the crash would also elevate the surface temperature. However, it would take several billion of these comets to make a difference. It's likely to take much more than 500 years to accomplish that.
     
  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Again, no. If it ever becomes feasible to redirect a Kuiper belt comet to impact into Mars, that won't be any time in the foreseeable future. Ergo, we can't know how technology would scale at such a time. Arguing what would or wouldn't also be feasible at such a time is largely just a variation on arguments regarding how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. It easily might take more than 500 years. But there is no basis to assign how likely that is, simply because our perspective now is from a time when it isn't even possible at all.

    Perhaps it will take millennia before terraforming Mars becomes feasible, assuming it ever does. The clock on how long the project would take doesn't start today. It would start when the first device tasked to carry out the mission gets deployed. If you asked anyone 2000 years ago how to get to the Moon, they wouldn't have a clue how we actually did it. We know a lot now, but to assume that we can predict all the limits of technology several thousand years in the future or more is pretty darn arrogant.
     
  14. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    I'll be arrogant. F*ck the Martians. The Humans are coming - specifically, Elon and his brood mares. Life on Earth gets wiped out and his descendants scatter to the stars.
     
  15. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    I would like to argue that.. but then I realized maybe 3 years ago, I landed on what was, for me, the perfect planet on No Man's Sky after leaving the first galaxy and going to a better one. I set up a nice base, lovely farm and I never went off world again.
     
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  16. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    I keep meaning to buy No Man's Sky when it's on special offer on Steam for £20 but I never seem to get around to it. It looks kind of pretty in a garish sort of way but far from realistic. I do like Space Engine but it does reveal how vast and empty the universe is and existential dread sets in. There is also no gameplay element, of course. Four decades ago I played Elite on the BBC Micro for more hours than were probably healthy. The modern incarnation doesn't look much fun and it gets a lot of criticism. There's also Star Citizen but you're confined to a miniature solar system I believe (for now) and there are supposedly a lot of bugs. In any case, I'm way past enjoying shooting at stuff. I got tired of Kerbal Space - another miniature solar system (mods could be used to fix this). The astronautical engineering and astronavigation elements are interesting and fun but the former especially is very simplified.
     
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  17. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    I bought it when i was recovering from heart surgery and could do nothing but sit around. I hear it is improved a lot now, but I found it to be a very lonely game. If it was not multiplayer i would not have felt like that but knowing there were other people i could not find in the galaxy was a bit too much like RL. I once saw a sign there had been another player in a solar system I was in and tried to find them for hours.
     
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  18. Dryson

    Dryson Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Earth is dying.

    In years the caldera under Yellowstone will erupt and cause total decimation to Canada, the U.S. and South America.

    Once the markets fail and wars for resources begin, the power grid will offline causing very nasty viruses and diseases held in containment facilities to be released into the world. Then the nuclear power plants will fail. Not much left.

    Could Mars have suffered a similar fate?

    Another question that struck me as interesting is this. When the dino killing roid collided with Earth, did the impact cause subsurface material to become very hot and then bubble under Yellowstone to create the caldera?
     
  19. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    You have almost reached the trooth, Dryson. Be careful. they will try to stop you now.
    Yellowstone caldera zone has existed since the asteroid strike that almost ended lizardmen civilization. But the more recent instabilities were caused by the nefarious drilling of 19th century geological engineer Daniel Plainview.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

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    The Columbia River large igneous province (LIP) and the associated Yellowstone hotspot and Oregon high lava plains are in an unusual location not linked to continent separation and do not appear to be directly associated with either the Jason or the Tuzo large-low-shear-wave-velocity (LLSVP) provinces near the mantle-outer core boundary under the Pacific and Africa (theorised to be piles of subducted oceanic crust accumulated over the history of the Earth). It's likely due to a separate deep mantle plume that has become separated from the Jason LLSVP by subduction.

    The age of the Columbia River LIP is about 17Ma, which postdates the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event by about 49Ma. It has been proposed that the antipodal Deccan Trap eruptions were affected by the Chicxulub impact but this has been contested because even this impact is considered to have been too seismically ineffective and the eruptions were in progress before the impact occurred in any case. Although the very upper portion of the mantle was deformed by the Chicxulub impact, I doubt it would have given rise to a deep mantle plume. It's not impossible though due to the effects of seismic waves at the boundary between the mantle and the liquid outer core, where P waves can pass but S waves are reflected.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
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