Has the Origins of Human Life on Earth Been Discovered?

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

  1. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    astral plane
    We've been through this already. That is false.
     
  2. krsplat

    krsplat Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2021
    Location:
    Port Solaris, Neptuneite Techknoll
    I would actually think that the origins of human life have not been discovered,
    rather they have been chronicled through the species collective genetic memory.

    It is impossible to define the "discovering of the origins of human life" so
    it seems that we are looking for actually the "discovery of the first life ever"
    not just human life. The origin of life could be summed up as the earliest fossil
    on record of any life form.

    According to the article,
    "Oldest fossils ever found show life on Earth began before 3.5 billion years ago"
    https://news.wisc.edu/oldest-fossils-found-show-life-began-before-3-5-billion-years-ago/
    &
    "microscopic fossils discovered in a nearly 3.5 billion-year-old piece of rock in Western Australia are the oldest fossils ever found and indeed the earliest direct evidence of life on Earth
    ...
    The team identified a complex group of microbes: phototrophic bacteria that would have relied on the sun to produce energy, Archaea that produced methane, and gammaproteobacteria that consumed methane, a gas believed to be an important constituent of Earth’s early atmosphere before oxygen was present"

    In my opinion, this should raise an alarm about how strict a definition of life should apply.
    Biologists are squarely concerned with carbon-based life, on average.
    Scientists also ideate on the notion of silicone-based life, however:
    there's no evidence that life can be solely based on silicone, and excluding carbon
    from the definition.
    Fossil records would never reveal any evidence of life that isn't based on carbon.
    That's due to the fundamental nature of how fossils are formed and how archaeology
    defines a fossil.

    Obviously there would have been some predecessor to those 3.5-billion-y/o fossils.
    It was shown they were light-sensitive cells capable of surviving in a methanogenic atmosphere.
    That the organisms were carbon-based was also implied by the statement that they were fossilized.
    Evidence of life before those earliest fossils on record would have to be either the result
    of another archaeological survey, or there would have to be another way to prove the age of
    whatever evidence there was, aside from carbon-dating, which applies to fossils.
    The types of forensic evidence that might be able to suggest the age of anything more than
    3.5-billion-y/o would be probably rather limitless, however there could be no proof then,
    that the life was carbon-based, and again harkening to the strict definition of life
    being carbon-based.
    One could simply calculate the biochemistry of methane, and observe the photosensitivity of
    a cellular lifeform; in order to further investigate the evidence portrayed by these fossils.

    How would you want to procure evidence of life before 3.5-billion-years-ago anyway?
    And what information about the origins of such life would you be curious about?

    Clearly, the aforementioned organisms of cellular life, were able to sustain their livelyhoods
    by consuming carbon and the methane was a byproduct of fermentation, a form of digestion.
    They learned to use light in order to allow them to have the sense to facilitate that digestion.
    By an even more strict definition of life, one could continue to perform digestion w/o being
    photosensitive anyway, (being fully blind), except even in that event there would have to be
    proof that there are organisms that are not photosensitive at all, which is far more rare
    than being legally blind, technically blind, or occupying a habitat w/o the presence of any light.
    It's also skepticism that a lifeform can occupy a habitat w/o the presence of any light, since
    photosensitive cells naturally contain photoreceptive organelles that allow processing of
    information about the light that was observed and captured, then the light also reflects from
    the same point of vision sense, so once the light has been seen by a lifeform, the light reflects
    off that lifeform into its environment (in order to procure sight) and other lifeforms within
    the vicinity would be able to observe the light as it will reflect and disperse into the shared
    environment. Therefore the sense of vision would transmit from one photosensitive organism
    to the next, rendering their habitat visible, regardless of if it had been previously w/o the
    presence of any light. So, a habitat w/o any light is unsustainable, once a photosensitive
    organism had entered that environment, the visibility of the environment and the sense of vision
    would've been passed onto the next organism. That doesn't mean that blind people are necessarily
    photosensitive, although the term in the article was actually phototrophic, and that could imply
    as well that even those blind people would still rely on the presence of other photosensitive
    organisms, in order to acquire nutrition.

    In my opinion, eschewing w/ the fossil record as evidence of life, we could simply search for
    the earliest artistic drawings of stick figures, in order to prove that human life had been
    discovered at that time. However, even if a 4-billion-year-old lifeform had drawn a stick figure,
    it's unlikely to have had the foresight at the time to preserve the drawing in a state such that
    the stick figure drawing would've been still available today, and also to have put a marker
    of when the drawing was made. Any drawing of a stick figure from 4-billion-years-ago would have
    most probably been destroyed or abandoned by at least yesterday, so it's difficult to imagine
    it could be rediscovered, in order to cite that as original evidence of human life.

    According to the article,
    "a history of the stick figure"
    https://www.slideshare.net/elew/a-history-of-the-stick-figure
    &
    "stick figure's past actually begins with statistics
    ...
    from the aftermath of World War |
    ...
    Libraries were created so stick figures can be produced quickly
    ...
    just prior to World War ||
    ...
    during the war never fully recover
    ...
    The stick figure is commercialized
    ...
    However the stick figure is now free of his statistical framework and is able to stand alone.
    He becomes a free agent!
    ...
    From here the stick figure enters into the realm
    ...
    being rediscovered as a way to communicate concepts of social economics"

    So based on the alternative evidence of stick figures being the rediscovery of human life,
    it's safe to say that the original lifeforms on the fossil record were actually transdimensional
    beings, they had a 2-dimensional existence prior to becoming carbon-based life via digestion,
    and then they gained 3-dimensionally extantcy once that event occured.

    In the case that event could have taken place, it shows that the origin of human life
    was the result of stick figures transcending from the 2nd dimension to the 3rd dimension.

    An even more strict definition might presume that human life has not yet begun, and therefore
    its origins cannot yet have been discovered. The question was extremely vague and could have
    any number of plausible answers depending upon one's interpretation of the question.
     
  3. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Just hanging around
  4. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Lost in time
    Responding to some of the earlier posts about terraforming Mars, what about gravity? Mars has 1/3 the gravity of Earth, which makes it unsafe for "permanent" habitation. You might change the atmosphere, but how the heck do you fix the gravity problem?
     
  5. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Just hanging around
    Well, 38%, but is there really a problem with that? By the time permanent colonisation is considered, we'll probably know how to modify the human genome to cope by gene editing if that is even necessary. It might be quicker to terraform both the planet and the colonists. The human race will likely speciate artificially if it ever expands beyond the Earth. More problematic on Mars is the lack of a magnetosphere, resulting in a thin atmosphere and exposure to higher radiation levels.
     
  6. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Lost in time
    A thick atmosphere will mitigate *some* of the radiation, but not all of it. Mars has a liquid core (as deduced from findings from the NASA InSite mission) but it doesn't generate much of a shield like we have on Earth, so yeah, that's another problem.

    Besides which, terraforming planets isn't the way to go long term anyway. In the future building huge mega-stations in space that create their own gravity is much more realistic. At least with our current science. Who knows what this discussion will look like in a 100 years?
     
    Dryson and XCV330 like this.
  7. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Just hanging around
    There needs to be strong economic pressure for colonising other planets or space habitats. I don't expect either to have happened to any significant extent in a century. To me it seems more likely that the human race will be extinct or nearly so.
     
  8. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Lost in time
    There is a reckoning coming with mankind's mistreatment of Earth, and it will not be pretty.
     
  9. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Just hanging around
    Unfortunately, sometimes it needs a catastrophe to bring people to their senses.

    "One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." from Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzsche

    I'd post the Blazing Saddles version here but it's blocked. You can see it at the link.
     
    StarCruiser likes this.
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    astral plane
    Exercise in centrifuges?

    ---

    Using the Pythagorean theorem, and basic Newtonian physics, we can solve for a banked bicycle track where the rider experiences one gee.

    The force is the resultant of two legs of a right triangle. The hypotenuse is 1, and the downward leg is .38. .38^2 + .92^2 = 1, give or take. So, that means that you have to get 92% of your Earth-weight from the centrifugal effect, and the tilt of the track would be 68 degrees, the arc-cosine of .38. So, let's say your centripetal acceleration has to be 9 meters per second, which is about 92% of one gee.

    In SI units, a slightly above average bicycle speed is v = 7 m/s. That works out to 15-16 miles per hour. We want for centripetal acceleration in the plane of motion, a = v^2/r = 9 m / s^2. So r = 5.44 m = 18 feet, give or take. That's the radius of your track. That's skate park size.

    :)

    ---

    For a Wikipedia article on the topic of banked turns, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centripetal_force#Example:_The_banked_turn. My solution satisfies their equations, but remember to use Mars gravity instead of Earth gravity in them.
     
  11. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Just hanging around
    Or just carry extra mass equal to 163% of your mass. It would be 2.63 times harder to accelerate horizontally though so perhaps not.
     
  12. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Location:
    Steelport
    Nah, just dump half the asteroid belt on Mars, that will increase its mass so we'll get 1G.. and yes I assume this will take a while.. :D
     
  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    astral plane
    That's an interesting idea, and no doubt it would solve a lot of the problems, but I'm not sure it would solve all of them.

    For example, the variation of pressure with depth of a liquid is a function of gravity, so in low gravity I believe you would expect a drop in blood pressure, all other things being equal, because/and your body wouldn't have to work as hard as it would in Earth-normal gravity to circulate your blood. This problem might be solvable by using something as simple as a g-suit.

    There could be other benefits to keeping your body immersed throughout in a gravitational field (or its equivalent) beyond simply subjecting it to external forces.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2021
  14. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Just hanging around
    The drop in pressure differential wouldn't really be much different to being sat down (it's proportional to gravitational acceleration, ΔP = -ρgΔh) and you wouldn't get quite the same effect as being weightless, where, though one might think it would be an issue for the heart not needing to pump so hard, in fact it needs to pump harder to overcome increased blood volume. However, some research has indicated this is perhaps beneficial.

    Weightlessness in Space May Lower Blood Pressure in Astronauts - MedicineNet

    The effects on bone, muscular tissue and vision are perhaps more of concern, especially during the flight to Mars. Human physiology in space is not something I know a lot about so I can stand to be corrected.

    More here on the problems likely to be encountered:
    Physiological & Psychological Aspects of Sending Humans to Mars – Planetary Sciences, Inc. (planetary-science.org)
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2021
    CorporalCaptain likes this.
  15. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Lost in time
    Hit Mars with Ceres and see what happens!
     
    Dryson and Santaman like this.
  16. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Location:
    Lost in time
    Just build a large centrifugal habitat that spins so the only time you get into light gravity is when you exit the habitat. Expensive, but it'd solve a lot of things.
     
  17. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    publiusr
    Overlooked DNA makes all the difference

    "Our DNA is very similar to that of the chimpanzee, which in evolutionary terms is our closest living relative. Stem cell researchers at Lund University in Sweden have now found a previously overlooked part of our DNA, so-called non-coded DNA, that appears to contribute to a difference which, despite all our similarities, may explain why our brains work differently. The study is published in the journal Cell Stem Cell."
    https://phys.org/news/2021-10-human-overlooked-dna.html

    Adjust DNA for lower gravity perhaps.

    Lizard to mammal jump
    https://phys.org/news/2021-10-scientists-evolutionary-genes-lizards-birth.html
    https://phys.org/news/2021-10-so-called-junk-dna-critical-role.html

    A new study led by researchers at University of California, Berkeley, and Washington University explored the function of one component of this junk DNA, transposons, which are selfish DNA sequences able to invade their host genome. The study shows that at least one family of transposons—ancient viruses that have invaded our genome by the millions—plays a critical role in viability in the mouse

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/10/211006112626.htm
    Imperial researchers have found that variability between brain cells might speed up learning and improve the performance of the brain and future artificial intelligence (AI).

    You can even grow clocks
    https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrele...al-clock-in-a-test-tube-to-study-how-it-works

    Microvortices
    https://phys.org/news/2021-10-skyrmion-braids-nanovortices.html

    I think hot springs might allow some spun up DNA to percolate---but tides past smokers---I think that is where the double helix started. Vortices can get very small.

    Our brain drain
    https://www.newswise.com/articles/w...go-new-study-may-have-found-clues-within-ants

    Spore release
    https://phys.org/news/2021-10-unravelling-fungal-spore-mechanics.html

    Vegan raptor
    https://science.uq.edu.au/article/2021/10/aussie-‘raptor-’-dinosaur-revealed-be-timid-vegetarian

    Wolves and dogs
    https://phys.org/news/2021-10-dna-japanese-wolf-closest-relative.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
  18. Dryson

    Dryson Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    What is the core of Mars missing that if introduced would actually create a more Earth like core?
     
  19. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Just hanging around
    It's thought Mars doesn't have enough differential rotation or convection in its outer liquid metal core to generate a magnetic field similar to the Earth's. Mars likely lost its magnetic field about 4 billion years ago and as a result the solar wind was able to strip Mars of most of its atmosphere. A Martian magnetosphere would have protected Mars' atmosphere by deflecting the solar wind just as the Earth's magnetosphere does. Without sufficient atmospheric pressure any surface water boiled away or froze. In addition, a weak magnetic field like Mars has now might actually bleed off its atmosphere faster than if it had no magnetic field at all.

    How Mars’s Magnetic Field Let Its Atmosphere Slip Away - Eos

    Of course, Mars' weaker gravity (38% of that of Earth at the surface) also contributed to hastening its atmospheric loss. Venus has a dense atmosphere but its surface gravity is just less than the Earth's.
     
  20. Dryson

    Dryson Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Just a lot of dust.

    But then again a large enough object colliding with Mars that doesn't crack Mars in half just might reshape the core of Mars to make the liquid metal flow differently to create a new magnetic field distribution pattern. A pattern that could deflect solar winds away from Mars that would allow an atmosphere.