Why is there a stigma around attempting to discover extraterrestrial life?

There is no stigma. All of science is dedicated to discover extraterrestrial life. We would be completely excited to find even a fossil of a microbe from space because it would be the ultimate affirmation that life can evolve from matter on another world other than Earth. Our best hope at present is to find some kind of life on one of the moons of Jupiter or Saturn, or perhaps some fossils on Mars as of yet undiscovered. We are even spending billions of dollars with the SETI program to listen for radio waves from space!

However, much to the surprise and dismay of scientists, we have yet to discover anything at all.

How did life on Earth begin? How was it formed?

We don’t know. Some people think we know, but a real scientist will agree with my first sentence.

The theory, still unproven, is that life evolves from dead matter. We’re still searching for life on other planets to prove this wet-dream of scientists, but still we have no proof of concept – just a concept – to the chagrin of science. We are frankly disappointed we haven’t found life elsewhere than Earth.

Evolution starts with creation of stars that create elements like the ones we have on Earth. We think when conditions are right that the chemicals develop amino acids (this is proven), which are the basic building blocks of life.

From there, eventually by combination and permutation it develops into something that could be called life.

Again it’s not proven but widely accepted. We don’t know for sure, hence my first sentence.

Would you say it’s a miracle that earth developed in just the right way in order for us to exist? Or Is it even more miraculous that humans could adapt and become the masters of this planet?

If not miraculous, then pretty darn incredibly fortunate for us.

So far, as we study our planet and the places we either visit directly or send our robots to, we haven’t found any other place with life on it. Finding life on another planet would be great. It would prove it wasn’t a “miracle” for life to develop, but just an inevitable developmental cycle of a planet with just the right conditions.

This is one of the main goals of all space research right now – to disprove the miracle theory.

So it might be called semantics, a miracle, or natural evolution of the universe? You tell me! Scientists would say not.

Do aliens who live on planets with natural conditions and resources similar to Earth develop technology trees similar to Human’s?

If aliens had something like hands with something like opposable thumbs and intelligence and a few hundred thousand years, then possibly they might develop technology similar to ours.

So what is an opposable thumb? According to an article on NSTA News: “Human thumbs are called opposable thumbs. They are called opposable because the thumb can be moved around to touch the other fingers, which gives people the ability to grasp things. Most primates (humans, apes, and Old World monkeys) and some other animals have opposable thumbs.”

Why hasn’t one species “won” evolution? Why hasn’t one super-species outcompeted all competitors?

Humans are the dominant species based on our technology and industry intelligence, opposable and language skills. There are creatures that eat humans, but homo-sapiens as a species won’t be wiped out because of it. Most of us just avoid being in a place where we might get eaten by a shark or a crocodile or a lion.

We have our educational institutions, Internet, electricity, cities, medicine, cellphones, transportation and so on.

In that sense, we are the super-species.

But there’s nothing saying we will improve in the future. We could devolve over a few hundred thousand years time. Dependence on technology and shopping in supermarkets doesn’t advance mean we will evolve “upwards.” For example, I wear eyeglasses, but it used to be in days of yore if you couldn’t see clearly you’d die soon enough. There’s nothing saying that our eyesight, teeth and a host of other things will improve over time.

Right now, however, we’re the pinnacle, standing at the top of the hill. Like this picture that I took in Caprock Canyon State Park in Texas and then heavily modified it inside The GIMP.

caprockcanyonstatepark

 

What will be the next major step in the evolution of the human species?

You know, evolution doesn’t always mean things get better.

It used to be if someone couldn’t see clearly they’d die of starvation. Now we have eye-glasses, so the need to have perfect eyes isn’t required by our species anymore. It used to be if someone had no teeth they’d starve. Now we have dentists that fix teeth, so having good teeth isn’t a requirement for our species anymore.

So it could be that in the future mankind will have bad vision and bad teeth.

We might devolve, which just means the rules for survival of the fittest changes.

This image might strike a point. Please excuse the vulgarity of the message. It was not my intent to offend.

devolution

Dark Perplexity: Garden of Eden or Big Bang?

So which is it? Adam and Eve or the Big Bang? It’s a dark mystery.

We all know how an atheist would answer, and we all know how a fundamentalist Christian, Jew or Muslim would answer. Trying to argue either side would therefore be fruitless, like expecting to convince a pro-lifer or pro-choicer to accept the opposing view.

Simple acknowledgment will suffice. Both communities are replete with ambiguities. For example:

  • Do we really understand how chemical evolution morphed into biological evolution? Just how did amino acids become DNA anyway?
  • What’s causing the galaxies to accelerate apart rather than slow down and collapse in on themselves? Dark energy? What’s that?  Obviously, astrophysicists don’t know. That’s why they call it dark. Not as in evil, but as in “I have no clue.” All they know is gravity should be slowing it down and it’s not. What’s really happening is a dark mystery.

It goes on and on.

  • There’s too much mass in the galaxy. They call that one dark matter. Instead of flying apart, the outer stars, like ours, remain orbiting the galactic center and we don’t understand why.
  • What is gravity anyway?

I’m sure you realize I don’t have the answers either, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

The whole quandary is a dark perplexity.