Seeding life in the universe

From: David Barrett-Lennard <>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 09:21:57 +0800

Although the initial experiments to create life in the laboratory looked
promising (with creation of some important organic molecules) little
else has been achieved despite all sorts of cocktails of basic compounds
and energy sources. It has been argued that life is extremely unlikely
to come about accidentally. The chance of accidentally creating a cell
has been compared to a hurricane creating a Boeing 747 when it hits a
junk yard. The defense is that there are as yet important but unknown
self sustaining chains of reactions and other building blocks that
provide a path to create the first cell.

But maybe we have no reason to believe that life will happen so easily.
Given the idea of the ensemble for a TOE, it is only necessary that
SAS's can exist - no matter how improbable. That they exist is of
course an empirical fact. An SAS will find the universe is fine tuned
in order for that SAS to exist. Presumably this fine tuning can take
two forms - in the laws of physics, and in unusual earlier states of the
universe. It would appear reasonable for life to be "seeded" if it
otherwise would be unlikely to form by accident. Furthermore, Darwinian
evolution could be given a "push" in the right direction where it would
otherwise have trouble making the necessary jumps.

If life indeed is extremely unlikely to form accidentally, then we
would have high probability that the only planet supporting life in our
universe is the Earth. Presumably there will be an economy of effort in
the seeding of life. It is highly unlikely that life will be seeded
twice in the same universe.

- David
Received on Wed Nov 12 2003 - 20:45:37 PST

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