Where are they?
Share things from this site
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Fermi’s Paradox : Biogenesis, Abiogenesis and Design & The Origin of Life on Earth

Introduction to the origin of life on earth

Fermi’s Paradox is inevitably confronted when asking basic cosmological questions concerned with the origins of life on earth. Has life on earth arisen spontaneously from a universe full of life (perhaps even from extraterrestrial seeds), has it developed from terrestrial non-life (an event common or uncommon on earth-like planets throughout the universe), or has it arisen on specifically on earth by design. Is it even possible that alien life coexists with us on earth 1?

Astrobiology

The study of life on earth and beyond is called astrobiology.

This paper will briefly examine the origin of life on earth from a broad astrobiological 2 viewpoint which incorporates the Christian perspective. Exobiology is the study of life beyond the earth. It is a purely theoretical discipline because there is no empiric evidence to support it or subject matter for it to study. The foundational premise of astrobiology contains three elements. Firstly, the life on earth is nothing special (an element of the mediocrity principle). Secondly, there are many planets like the earth throughout the universe (proven by the inferred presence of exoplanets beyond our solar system 3). Thirdly, abiogenesis 4 as a reality (still uproven).

Exoplanets

A proportion of exoplanets are expected to be within the “Goldilocks zone 5” for the existence of liquid water – an essential pre-requisite for carbon-based lifeforms.

Goldilocks Zone

Exoplanets in the Goldilocks Zone

 

 

 

 

Biogenesis

Biogenesis is the production of new living organisms or organelles. The law of biogenesis, attributed to Louis Pasteur, is the observation that living things come only from other living things, by reproduction 6. This used to be called the Law of Spontaneous Generation by the ancient Greek philosopher and naturalist Aristotle7. Though Darwinian notions of the origins of life suggest life came from non-life, the complexity of life has made modern versions of biogenesis involving ‘naturalistic panspermia’ from outer space more likely in the minds of many scientists[the ‘stars are God’s sperm’ stated George Coyne8. If biogenesis occurred extra-terrestrially then the obvious question becomes, “What is the origin of extraterrestrial life”.

Abiogenesis

There is actually no known mechanism to explain how the origin of life from non-life has occurred. The complexity that has to be overcome is enormous and the probabilities are impossibly low. There are many examples which help illustrate this point. Many molecules essential for life, such as sugars and amino acids, can exist in ‘right’ and ‘left’ mirror images (isomers)9. Any random chemical process which creates them would create equal numbers of left and right images. Such chirality10 is extremely important in the assembly of proteins and sugars essential for life because the molecules of living creatures contain only ‘left-handed’ amino acids and ‘right-handed’ sugars. How a random process could result in such homochirality remains unexplained and appears insurmountable11.

Therefore, at this time, the proponents accept ‘accidental’ abiogenesis by ‘faith’. This might be intellectually satisfying and reasonable to many, but it is unscientific and irrational to accept ‘accidental’ abiogenesis as the origin of life to the exclusion of other possibilities. Many atheistic explanations therefore, prefer a form of panspermia.

Fermi’s Paradox

The Fermi Paradox is the apparent contradiction between the high probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations, and the lack of evidence of, or contact with, such civilizations.

The Earth should already have been visited by extraterrestrial aliens there is no convincing evidence of this, nor any signs of alien intelligence anywhere in the observable universe. The more common name for this paradox is the Fermi-Hart Paradox 12.

Enrico Fermi 1943-49

Enrico Fermi 1943-49

Basis of Fermis Paradox

Essentially Enrico Fermi and Michael H. Hart, argue:

  • Our Sun is a typical star, amongst billions of stars in the galaxy, vast numbers of which are billions of years older.
  • It is highly likely that some of these stars will have Earth-like planets13 14, and if the earth is typical of these planets, some might develop intelligent life and civilisation.
  • Some of these civilisations will develop interstellar travel
  • Even if interstellar travel is ‘slow’, the Milky Way galaxy could be completely traversed in about a million years.

Based on terrestrial observations, it is assumed that any civilization would inevitably end up seeking to spread itself beyond its planet of origin 15 for three reasons:

  1. Exploration 16
  2. Colonization 17
  3. Survival 18
The Drake Equation

First proposed by radio astronomer Frank Drake in 1961, the equation calculates the number of communicating civilizations by multiplying several variables.

N = R* • fp • ne • fl • fi • fc • L

  • N = The number of civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable.
  • R* =The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life.
  • fp = The fraction of those stars with planetary systems.
  • ne = The number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life.
  • fl = The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears.
  • fi = The fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges.
  • fc = The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space.
  • L = The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

Taking the historical values given by Drake and his colleagues in 1961:

  • N = 10 × 0.5 × 2 × 1 × 0.01 × 0.01 × 10,000 = 10 civilizations in our galaxy.

Based on current lower estimates:

  • R* = 6/year, fp = 0.5, ne = 2, fl = 0.33, fi = 1×10-7, fc = 0.01, L = 420 years :
  • N = 6 × 0.5 × 2 × 0.33 × 1×10-7 × 0.01 × 420 = 8.316×10-7 = 0.0000008 civilizations in our galaxy. 19 20

So Where are they?

Fermis Paradox

 

 

 

 

Other common names for this question are include: the “Great Silence”21, and silentium universi (Latin for “silence of the universe”).

Many explanations have been provided. They include :

  • Intelligent life tends to get destroyed

It destroys itself

Life evolves in the context of competition. Technological civilisations may usually or invariably destroy themselves before or shortly after developing radio or spaceflight technology for a multitude of reasons including conflict, pollution and accident. as many argue for inevitable  human extinction 22 23. 24

Intelligent life will destroy other intelligent life

Once an intelligent species passes beyond a certain point of technological capability will destroy other intelligent species as they appear 25 26

Life is periodically destroyed by naturally occurring events

Numerous major extinction events that destroyed the majority of complex species alive at the time have been observed on earth 27.  Such extinction events may be common enough throughout the universe to periodically destroy civilisations prior to communication with other species 28.

  • The Great Filter Hypothesis

There is some kind of absurdly difficult step in the evolution of life — one that precludes it from becoming interstellar 29. Some suggest humans may be at the filter. The universe, while giving the appearance of bio-friendliness, may in reality be extremely hostile to intelligent life.

  • They’re chilling out on the edge of the galaxy

11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

The reason for this is that sophisticated intelligent communities will tend to migrate outward through the Galaxy as their capacities of information-processing increase, because machine-based civilizations, with their massive supercomputers, will have huge problems managing their heat waste. They’ll have to set up camp where it’s super cool. And the outer rim of the Galaxy is exactly that. 30

  • It is explained by Statistics

    A Multiverse Inflation hypothesis combined with statistical “youngness”

In this multiverse model, young universes exceedingly outnumber older ones (by a factor of e1037 for every second of age). Young universes with civilizations will almost always have just one, the first to develop. Statistically, ours is likely to be a young one and have only one civilisation at this time. This may not be the case in other universes.31.

  • Intelligent civilizations are too far apart in space or time

Alien civilizations exist but are simply too far apart for two-way communication, becoming extinct before communication can be established. Signals (and probes) may be being transmitted but have not arrived yet 32.  However, This is considered highly unlikely in the paradox 33. 

  • It is too expensive to spread physically throughout the galaxy

Interstellar travel is technologically feasible, even without the possibility of faster-than-light travel. However, the cost of materials and energy for such ventures may be so high as to make it unlikely that any civilization could afford to attempt it.

  • Human beings have not existed long enough

Humanity’s ability to detect intelligent extraterrestrial life has existed for only a very brief period—from 1937 onwards, if the invention of the radio telescope is taken as the dividing line— and radio transmissions have only been propagated since 1895.

  • Humans are not listening properly

Extraterrestrials might transmit signals that have a very high or low data rate, or employ unconventional data compression, frequencies, or modulations. They might be using lasers, extra-ordinary large geometrical structures or  electromagnetic signals, gravitational signals, particle signals, tachyon signals, or something completely beyond our understanding of physics. It’s also quite possible that they are in fact using radio signals, but we don’t know which frequency to tune into (the EM spectrum is extremely broad). More conceptually, we may eventually find a message buried in a place where we least expect it — like within the code of our DNA. Signals might be sent from non-main sequence star systems that SETI searches with lower priority; current programs assume that most alien life will be orbiting Sun-like stars. Challenges also include : the sheer size of the search area (the entire visible universe); the sensitivity of modern instruments; detectors must be listening to an appropriate range of frequencies, and be in that region of space to which the beam is being sent.

  • Civilizations broadcast detectable radio signals only for a brief period of time

Perhaps civilizations outgrow radio through technological advance or, resource depletion cuts short the time in which a species broadcasts, or advanced alien civilizations evolve beyond broadcasting at all in the electromagnetic spectrum and communicate by principles of physics not yet understood by humans (eg neutrino signals 34 35.

  • Alien civilisations don’t want to reveal themselves (self-imposed quarantine)

11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

Alien Civilisations tend to isolate themselves

Some advanced beings may divest themselves of physical form, 36. Perhaps they are disinterested in their outside world being only motivated by “social and entertainment technologies”, including virtual reality . 

It is dangerous to communicate

An alien civilization might feel it is too dangerous to communicate, either for us or for them 3738 39.

The Fermi paradox itself is what prevents communication

Others are silent and they must have a reason. That is, perhaps every civilization keeps quiet because of the possibility that there is a real reason for other civilisations to avoid contact 40.

Everyone is listening, no one is transmitting (Radio Silence hypothesis)

Alien civilizations might be technically capable of contacting Earth, but are only listening instead of transmitting 41 42.

  • Alien Civilisations are too alien

Aliens may be psychologically unwilling to attempt to communicate with human beings due to differences in scientific methodology (eg human mathematics), physiology, thought processes or communication processes. There may be a different galactic habitable zone for post-Singularity ETIs than for flesh-based life and advanced extraterrestrial civilisations would have no interest in exploring the bio-friendly habitable zone, such as earth.

  • Alien Civilisations are non-technological

It may be that at least some civilizations of intelligent beings are not technological and therefore difficult to detect 43 44. 

  • Alien Civilisations have already come and Gone 

And that they don’t find us interesting enough to stay.

  • We are the Aliens (Directed Panspermia)

Or least, extraterrestrials our ancestors. Driven by doubt that random evolutionary processes could account for the complexity of their recent discovery of the DNA Molecule Dr Francis Crick and Dr Leslie Orgel  posited the modern hypothesis of ‘Directed Panspermia’45 – effectively, that aliens spark life on other planets (like sending spores to potentially fertile planets), and then leave, perhaps forever. It is immensely popular in Hollywood46. This view is popularised by religiously atheistic science writers such as Richard Dawkins who wrote “The God Delusion”. By appealing to such mechanisms, Dawkins appears to argue for the ‘aliens of the gaps‘ to counter his criticism of the theistic ‘God of the gaps‘.

  • The Earth is actually a Zoo Hypothesis

11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

Image: ssi.org.

The zoo hypothesis states that intelligent extraterrestrial life exists and does not contact life on Earth to allow for its natural evolution and development 47. This requires a uniformity of motive of alien civilizations within range and is unlikely 48.

  • The Earth is a simulation (the planetarium hypothesis)

Beyond a certain distance, the perceived universe is a simulated reality and the simulation isn’t generating any extraterrestrial companions for us.. Alien civilisations may have created this simulation so that the universe appears to be empty of other life 49.

  • They are actually here

undetected

It is possible that a civilization advanced enough to travel between the stars could visit or observe our world while remaining undetected 50.

unacknowledged (UFO conspiracy theory)

The consensus scientific view is that although UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) may be unexplained, they do not rise to the level of convincing evidence of spacecraft piloted by aliens 51. Perhaps SETI groups are not reporting positive detections, or governments have been blocking signals or suppressing publication.

  • The Phase Transition Hypothesis

    The universe is still evolving and changing and the conditions to support advanced intelligence have only recently fallen into place52 – an astrophysical explanation for the Great Silence.

    11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

    A possible regulatory mechanism that can account for this is the frequency of gamma-ray bursts — super-cataclysmic events that can literally sterilize large swaths of the galaxy. In other words, gamma-ray bursts are too frequent, and intelligent life is constantly getting wiped out before it develops the capacity to go interstellar. Looking to the future, however, given that gamma-ray bursts are decreasing in frequency, things are set to change.

  • The rare Earth hypothesis  is true

The origin of life and the evolution of biological complexity such as sexually reproducing, multicellular organisms on Earth (and, subsequently,human intelligence) required an improbable combination of astrophysical and geological events and circumstances. The hypothesis53 argues that complex extraterrestrial life is a very improbable phenomenon and likely to be extremely rare54.

It’s important to note that Ward and Brownlee are not implying that it’s one or two conditions that can explain habitability, but rather an entire array of happy accidents. These include :

  1. the right location in the right kind of galaxy (large parts of the galaxy are “dead zones” and unable to support complex life)
  2. orbiting at the right distance from the right type of star to be safe (Goldilocks Zone)
  3. with the right arrangement of planets, including the presence of gas giants to protect inner rocky earth-like planets from bombardment by asteroids
  4. a continuously stable orbit (ie, no large planets close to their sun)
  5. of the right size (if too large gravity would be problematic, if too small holding onto atmosphere would be a problem)
  6. with a large moon (stabilising the planet’s tilt, giving seasons, and protecting from ateroids)
  7. plate tectonics (possibly the key feature enabling the recycling of carbon, supplying the world with water, providing nutrients, maintaining the atmosphere
  8. adequate metallicity
  9. evolution from simple cells to complex life (assuming the remarkably low probability of abiogenesis occurs, the likelihood of moving onto complex life using the current proposed mechanism natural selection is very unlikely)
  • No other civilizations have arisen (The improbability of Life)

The Great Filter theory suggests humans have already conquered the threat of extinction

The scientific evidence supports this view. Scientific hypothesis doesn’t.

The conditions needed for the evolution of  complex multicellular life — or at least the evolution of biological complexity — are rare or even unique to Earth. This is closely related to the rare Earth hypothesis, and represents a rejection of the mediocrity principle 55 . Even if complex life is common, intelligence and technological civilizations are not56. Furthermore, the history of life on the Earth demonstrates that only one species has developed a civilization to the point of being capable of spaceflight and radio technology 57.

The improbability of life is a very difficult problem. In addition to all the cosmological and chemical prerequisites for life, there were at least three critical stages :

  1. the emergence of reproductive molecules (abiogenesis and the emergence of RNA)58,
  2. simple single-celled life (prokaryotes)59, and
  3. complex single-celled life (eukaryotes) 61

The Christian Perspective

Classical young earth ‘Creationism”62 is only one extreme end of the spectrum of  theistic and Christian thought. There are a wide variety of theistic and Christian perspectives on abiogenesis, biogenesis and the origin of life. For example, some believe that God guided the seeds of life to earth from space (directed panspermia), followed by theistic evolution using a Darwinian-like process as an expression of intelligent design 63.

It is important for atheists to find the existence of extraterrestrial life to confirm their world view, particularly to overcome the uniqueness of man, to affirm the mediocrity principle and to justify a naturalistic panspermic biogenetic explanation for the origin of life on earth. However, the existence of extra-terrestrial life does not undermine the Christian world-view, or prove atheism. The underlying assumption that randomness explains life is both unproven and unlikely scientifically. Christians believe that human life is created by God and special in the universe. Perhaps the earth is special too as the vehicle for this life.

Rather than accidental abiogensis as the explanation for life on earth, Christians believe in a deliberate abiogenesis by a Creator God. Discovery of extraterrestrial civilisations does not change this view. Many Christians are just as excited to find extraterrestrial civilisations as non-Christians. But the scientific evidence is that extraterrestrial civilisations don’t exist. In fact, there is no evidence for extra-terrestrial life at all at this time.

Not only are humans special, but the existence of life is evidence of design 

Terrestrial life itself is based on a complex DNA/RNA code which implies design.

The chemistry of life implies design.

The astrophysics required as well as the specific qualities of the earth for life suggest design.

Life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range. If any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is understood 64. The mathematical nature of the physical laws of the universe suggest design by a mathematician with the existence of life in mind65.This ‘fine-tuning’ of the universe is evidence of design. Though there are many gaps in the scientific knowledge around the nature of life, the notion of ‘design’ is about the scientific evidence, not about the gaps. Many scientists believe that design means intelligence66 67 68 . Christians believe that intelligence is God.

Christians see teleology inherently in design. Such teleology explains why the dependency on randomness makes ‘natural selection’ unable to explain the convergence into complex life that actually has occurred. Too many obstacles need to be overcome for randomness to be the likely explanation. For example, once the astrobiological improbabilities are overcome, simple biological improbabilities need to be overcome, such as the very high likelihood that mutations are likely to be harmful rather than beneficial. Biogenesis is far more likely to result in complex life if it is directed or designed with a goal or purpose in mind. So intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology. These causes should be empirically detectable. Certain biological features defy the standard Darwinian random-chance explanation, because they appear to have been designed. Since design logically necessitates an intelligent designer, the appearance of design is cited as evidence for a designer69. Many Christians would hold to some form of Intelligent Design Theory70: 1) irreducible complexity71, 2) specified complexity72, and 3) the anthropic principle.

The anthropic principle73 74 75 . is really a philosophical construct arising from astrophysical empiric evidence and calculations for ‘fine-tuning’76. It is a very powerful argument for design77. The Christian view is that this principle is an expression of God’s providential engineering of the universe to suit mankind’s specific needs which led to a change of heart in one of the twentieth century’s most influential atheists78.

There is no evidence that other universes exist79. Yet it is really only in the context of a multiverse that randomness can explain the anthropic principle without design80. And the multiverse is an unproven81 and untestable product of attempts to achieve harmony between mathematical probability models and the actual apparent single set of mathematical outcomes describing the reality of our universe.

Other naturalistic arguments avoiding the implication of design include ‘Top-down cosmology’82, ‘Bubble universe theory’83

Christians believe that evidence for the Creator’s handiwork can be found by scientific enquiry. The Bible actually teaches that not only is this so, but it should result in people acknowledging and worshipping God For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Conclusion

It is right and good that all things be questioned. However, there is enough evidence to make the possibility that God created the universe and life within it to be reasonable. At best, exclusion of this possibility is an expression of atheistic faith rather than scientific equipoise. .

About the Author
James Fratzia

James Fratzia

He's not the Messiah - he's just a very naughty boy!

Share this Post

(additional commentary :Fermi’s Paradox Blog)

Feel free to add your comments after the footnotes.

Footnotes

  1. for example, Paul Davies’ discussion of “shadow life” “If life arises readily in earthlike conditions, as many astrobiologists contend, then it may well have started many times on earth itself, raising the question of whether one or more shadow terrestrial biospheres of alternative life forms have existed in the past or still exist today.” – lecture titled “Shadow Life: Life As We Don’t Yet Know It” on Feb. 15 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His presentation is part of the symposium “Weird Life.”
    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2009-02-cosmologist-paul-davies-explores-notion.html#jCp
  2. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe: extraterrestrial life and life on Earth.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrobiology
  3. The main techniques used to detect exoplanets include Direct imaging, Radial velocity,Transits, Microlensing, Transit timing variations:
  4. Abiogenesis is the process by which life arises naturally from non-living matter. Scientists speculate that life may have arisen as a result of random chemical processes happening to produce self-replicating molecules.rationalwiki.org/wiki/Abiogenesis
  5. The Goldilocks Zone, Habitable Zone, or Life Zone is the relatively narrow range of distance from a star within which an orbiting planet (or in some cases a planet’s moons) may be able to sustain life, at least the carbon-based forms we know and love, because the temperature is right for water to remain liquid.rationalwiki.org/wiki/Astrobiology
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogenesis
  7. André Brack (1998). “Introduction” . In André Brack. The Molecular Origins of Life. Cambridge University Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-521-56475-5. Retrieved 2009-01-07. Aristotle gathered the different claims into a real theory.
  8. George V. Coyne, S.J. is a Jesuit priest, astronomer, and former director of the Vatican Observatory and head of the observatory’s research group which is based at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona
  9. Isomerism, the existence of molecules that have the same numbers of the same kinds of atoms (and hence the same formula) but differ in chemical and physical properties. The roots of the word isomer are Greek—isos plus meros, or “equal parts.” Stated colloquially, isomers are chemical compounds that have the same parts but are nonetheless not the same – http://www.britannica.com/science/isomerism
  10. An object or a system is chiral if it is distinguishable from its mirror image; that is, it cannot be superposed onto it – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chirality
  11. Richard Dawkins seems to argue the notion that natural selection applies to non-life as an explanation The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evloution Reveals a Universe without Design (New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996),5
  12. Hart, Michael H. (1975). “Explanation for the Absence of Extraterrestrials on Earth”. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 16: 128–135
  13. Schilling, G. (June 13, 2012). “ScienceShot: Alien Earths Have Been Around for a While”. Science
  14. Buchhave, L. A.; et al. (June 21, 2012). “An abundance of small exoplanets around stars with a wide range of metallicities”. Nature 486: 375.Bibcode:2012Natur.486..375B
  15. http://www.fermisparadox.com/index.htm
  16. Exploration consists of sending a mission towards other stars once the necessary technological level are reached.
  17. Extrapolating from observations of terrestrial civilizations since the beginning of time.
  18. The lifespan of a star in a stable form is limited. Under these conditions, sooner or later, space flights and interstellar flights will prove to be essential to survival.
  19. The current pessimistic fi parameter is much lower than the original Drake estimate due to the rare low radiation present on Earth. Taking into account the original estimate, the result rise to 0.08 civilizations in our galaxy.While these calculations result in N<<1, some observers believe this is still compatible with observations due to the anthropic principle:no matter how low the probability that any given galaxy will have intelligent life, the galaxy that we are in must have at least one intelligent species by definition.There could be hundreds of galaxies in our galactic cluster with no intelligent life whatsoever, but of course we would not be present in those galaxies to observe this fact.Enrico Fermi assumed the existence of only one extraterrestrial civilization capable of intersidereal travel (at a speed lower than the speed of light). He assumed that this civilization would be interested in the conquest of the Galaxy and that it progressed by jumps, colonizing a planet during a few hundred or thousands years, then sending tens of vessels towards new conquests.The problem is that after only a few million years, the whole of the Galaxy is under the influence of this extraterrestrial civilization (the low rate of travel being largely compensated by the exponential increase of the vessels number).Simulations of an expansion show that it is possible for one civilization to colonize the whole galaxy in about 10 million years, a short time compared to the age of the Galaxy (ten billion years).The question then arising, and famously formulated by physicist Enrico Fermi in 1950: since only one extraterrestrial civilization could spread in a relatively short time, how is it possible that that we never saw the extraterrestrial ones and that our radio telescopes never collected signals of suspect origin?
  20. http://www.fermisparadox.com/Fermi-paradox.htm
  21. is the contradictory and counter-intuitive observation that we have yet to see any evidence for the existence of aliens.http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/2007/08/fermi-paradox-back-with-vengeance.html
  22. . In 1966, Sagan and Shklovskii speculated that technological civilizations will either tend to destroy themselves within a century of developing interstellar communicative capability or master their self-destructive tendencies and survive for billion-year timescales. Sagan, Carl. “Cosmic Search Vol. 1 No. 2”. Cosmic Search Magazine
  23. Self-annihilation may also be viewed in terms of thermodynamics: insofar as life is an ordered system that can sustain itself against the tendency to disorder, the “external transmission” or interstellar communicative phase may be the point at which the system becomes unstable and self-destructs : Hawking, Stephen. “Life in the Universe”. Public Lectures. University of Cambridge. Archived from the original on April 21, 2006.
  24. Stephen Hawkings warns humanity about it’s own destined disaster in http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/humans-will-cause-disaster-on-earth-must-escape-to-stars-stephen-hawking-warns-20160119-gm9lna.html.
  25. .  Brin, Glen David (1983). “The ‘Great Silence’: The Controversy Concerning Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life”.Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 24: 283–309. Bibcode:1983QJRAS..24..283B 
  26. . Archer, Michael (1989). “Slime Monsters Will Be Human Too”.Aust. Nat. Hist 22: 546–547
  27. . eg the extinction of the dinosaurs. Causes include impact from a large meteorite, massive volcanic eruptions, or astronomical events such as gamma-ray bursts
  28. Nick Bostrom, Milan M. Ćirković. Global catastrophic risks.Section 12.5 – The Fermi Paradox and Mass Extinctions
  29. Conceived in 1998 by Robin Hanson,http://io9.com/5970501/the-great-filter-theory-suggests-humans-have-already-conquered-the-threat-of-extinction.
  30. “We suggest that the outer regions of the Galactic disk are the most likely locations for advanced SETI targets,” Milan M. Ćirković and Robert Bradbury George Dvorsky SUPERLIST3/20/13 http://io9.com/11-of-the-weirdest-solutions-to-the-fermi-paradox-456850746
  31. Guth, Alan (2007). “Eternal Inflation and its Implications”(PDF). Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical 40(25): 6811–6826. arXiv:hep-th/0702178.Bibcode:2007JPhA…40.6811G. doi:10.1088/1751-8113/40/25/S25
  32. Newman, W.T. and Sagan, C. (1981). “Galactic civilizations: Population. dynamics and interstellar diffusion”. Icarus 46 (3): 293–327. Bibcode:1981Icar…46..293N. doi:10.1016/0019-1035(81)90135-4
  33. Brin, Glen David (1983). “The ‘Great Silence’: The Controversy Concerning Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life”. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 24: 287, 298.Bibcode:1983QJRAS..24..283B
  34.  “Cosmic Search Vol. 1 No. 3”. Bigear.org. September 21, 2004
  35. Learned, J; Pakvasa, S; Zee, A (2009). “Galactic neutrino communication”. Physics Letters B 671 (1): 15–19.arXiv:0805.2429. Bibcode:2009PhLB..671…15L.doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2008.11.057
  36. by creating massive artificial virtual environments, transfer themselves into these environments through mind uploading, and exist totally within virtual worlds, ignoring the external physical universe Bostrom, Nick (22 April 2008). “Where Are They?”. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  37. Carrigan, Richard A. (2006). “Do potential SETI signals need to be decontaminated?”. Acta Astronautica 58 (2): 112–117.Bibcode:2006AcAau..58..112C.doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2005.05.00
  38. Marsden, P. (1998). “Memetics and social contagion: Two sides of the same coin”. Journal of Memetics-Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission 2 (2): 171–185.
  39. Beatriz Gato-Rivera (1970). “A Solution to the Fermi Paradox: The Solar System, Part of a Galactic Hypercivilization?”.arXiv:physics/0512062.
  40.  Brin, Glen David (1983). “The ‘Great Silence’: The Controversy Concerning Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life”.Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 24: 283–309. Bibcode:1983QJRAS..24..283B
  41. Webb, Stephen (2015-05-18). If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens … WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life.ISBN 978-0-387-95501-8.
  42. the so-called SETI Paradox ;Alexander Zaitsev (2006). “The SETI paradox”.arXiv:physics/0611283
  43. . Cook, Stephen P. “SETI: Assessing Imaginative Proposals”.Life on Earth and other Planetary Bodies. p. 54. ISBN 978-94-007-4966-5.
  44. sometimes referred to as the “algae vs. alumnae” problem :Tarter, Jill (2006). “What is SETI?a”. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 950 (1): 269–75.Bibcode:2001NYASA.950..269T. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2001.tb02144.x. PMID 11797755
  45. F.G Crick and L. E. Orgel, “Directed Panspermia,” Icarus 19 (1973), 341-348
  46. Knowing (2009), Mission to Mars (2000) and Prometheus (2012). In Expelled : No Intelligence Allowed, Promise Media (2008) Ben Stein the narrator explains that (faced with the scientific evidence) Richard Dawkins was not against Intelligent Design, just certain types of designers such as God
  47.  Ball, J (1973). “The zoo hypothesis”. Icarus 19 (3): 347–349.Bibcode:1973Icar…19..347B. doi:10.1016/0019-1035(73)90111-5
  48. 34. Crawford, I.A., “Where are They? Maybe we are alone in the galaxy after all”, Scientific American, July 2000, 38–43, (2000)
  49. Baxter, Stephen (2001). “The Planetarium Hypothesis: A Resolution of the Fermi Paradox”. Journal of the British Interplanetary Society 54 (5/6): 210–216.Bibcode:2001JBIS…54..210B
  50. Tough, Allen (1986). “What Role Will Extraterrestrials Play in Humanity’s Future?” (PDF). Journal of the British Interplanetary Society 39 (11): 492–498.Bibcode:1986JBIS…39..491T
  51. Shermer, Michael (2011). “UFOs, UAPs and CRAPs”.Scientific American (Nature Publishing Group) 304 (4): 90–90.doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0411-90
  52. cosmologist James Annis refers to as the phase transition model of the universe
  53. Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe is a 2000 popular science book about xenobiology by Peter Ward, a geologist and paleontologist, and Donald E. Brownlee, an astronomer and astrobiologist, both faculty members at the University of Washington. Ward, Peter D.; Brownlee, Donald (January 14, 2000). Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe (1st ed.). Springer. p. 368. ISBN 978-0-387-98701-9.
  54. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_Earth_(book)))((Gonzalez, Richards, The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery, Regnery Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-89526-065-4
  55. nothing very unusual about the evolution of the Solar System, Earth’s history, the evolution of biological complexity, human evolution, or any one nation.Given the existence of life on Earth, that life typically exists on Earth-like planets throughout the universe][42. Goodwin, Gribbin, and Hendry’s 1997 Hubble Parameter measurement relying on the mediocrity principle The authors call this the ‘Principle of Terrestrial Mediocrity’ even though the assumption they make is that the Milky Way Galaxy is typical (rather than Earth). This term was coined by Alexander Vilenkin (1995)
  56. Lineweaver, Charles H (2008). Paleontological tests: human-like intelligence is not a convergent feature of evolution. From fossils to astrobiology. Springer. pp. 353–368
  57.  “The Intelligent-Life Lottery”. New York Times. Aug 18, 2014
  58. Chemists and biologists are still not entirely sure how the first self-replicating molecules came into existence. Unlike its big brother, DNA, RNA is a single-stranded molecule that has a much shorter chain of nucleotides. Moreover, it usually needs DNA to reproduce itself — which would have been a problem given the absence of DNA in those early days. That said, scientists know that RNA is capable of reproducing through autocatalysis. It does this by storing information similar to DNA, which allows it to become its own catalyst (a ribosome). This so-called RNA World Model suggests that RNA can function as both a gene and an enzyme — a pre-DNA configuration that eventually became the basis for all life.
  59. Given that we’ve never detected life elsewhere, it’s difficult to know how difficult this initial step was. But that said, this form of life emerged super-early in the Earth’s history — about a billion years after its formation, and immediately after the cooling of rocks and the emergence of oceans.
  60. The leap from single-celled life to complex single-celled life — was exceedingly difficult, if not highly improbable. The process of copying a genetic molecule is extremely complex, involving the perfect configuration of proteins and other cellular components. Here’s how it likely happened: Once a self-replicating molecule emerged, the presence of RNA allowed for the formation of protobionts, a theoretic precursor to prokaryotic cells. These tightly bound bundles of organic molecules contained RNA within their membranes — which could have evolved into proper prokaryotic cells. And here’s where it gets interesting. After the formation of prokaryotes —about 3.5 billion years ago — nothing changed in the biological landscape for the next 1.8 billion years. Life in this primitive form was completely stuck. But what we do know is that the next few steps —  Imagine that — no evolution for almost two billion years. It was only after the endosymbiosis of multiple prokaryotes that complex single-cell life finally emerged — a change that was by no means guaranteed, and possibly unlikely.And it’s this highly improbable step, say some scientists, that’s the Great Filter. 60George Dvorsky  DAILY EXPLAINER12/21/12 2:00pm 
  61. Creationism is the religious belief that the Universe and life originated “from specific acts of divine creation.” For young Earth creationists, this includes a biblical literalist interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative and the rejection of the scientific theory of evolution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creationism
  62. eg NASA physicist Dr. Robert Sheldon in Dr Michael Heiser, “Panspermia,” in How to Overcome the Most Frightening Issues You Will Face this Century (Crane: Defender 2009)
  63. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe
  64. Hugo de Garis “From Cosmism to Deism,” Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence, January 18, 2011, http://www.kurzweilai.net/from-cosmism-to-deism
  65. not presuming to identify the source of intelligence (whether it be God or UFOs or something else), the vast majority would be theists recognising the design which pervades the biological world as evidence for the existence of God
  66. a few atheists cannot deny the strong evidence for design but are not willing to acknowledge a Creator God. They tend to interpret the data as evidence that earth was seeded by some sort of master race of extraterrestrial creatures (aliens). Without addressing the origin of the aliens  they return to the original problem with no credible answer.
  67. Much modern Research is hampered by the cognitive inconsistency of recognising that life cannot arise by chance, but that this is not purposeful and intelligently designed – Roger White, “Does Origins of Life research Rest on a Mistake?” Nous 41, No. 3 (2007), 453-577
  68. http://www.gotquestions.org/intelligent-design.html
  69. “The Intelligent Design Theory is not biblical creationism. There is an important distinction between the two positions. Biblical creationists begin with a conclusion that the biblical account of creation is reliable and correct, that life on Earth was designed by an intelligent agent—God. They then look for evidence from the natural realm to support this conclusion. Intelligent Design theorists begin with the natural realm and reach the conclusion that life on Earth was designed by an intelligent agent (whoever that might be).”http://www.gotquestions.org/intelligent-design.html
  70. “life is comprised of intertwined parts that rely on each other in order to be useful. Random mutation may account for the development of a new part, but it cannot account for the concurrent development of multiple parts necessary for a functioning system”.http://www.gotquestions.org/intelligent-design.html
  71. “since specified complex patterns can be found in organisms, some form of guidance must have accounted for their origin. The specified complexity argument states that it is impossible for complex patterns to be developed through random processes.”http://www.gotquestions.org/intelligent-design.html
  72. http://101.0.115.80/~thedebri.routing.yourhost.co/articles/natural-theology/life-in-the-cosmos/
  73. The principle was formulated as a response to a series of observations that the laws of nature and parameters of the universe take on values that are consistent with conditions for life as we know it rather than a set of values that would not be consistent with life onEarth. The anthropic principle states that this is a necessity, because if life were impossible, no living entity would be there to observe it, and thus would not be known. That is, it must be possible to observe some universe, and hence, the laws and constants of any such universe must accommodate that possibility https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
  74. The Anthropic Principle is the Law of Human Existence. It is well known that our existence in this universe depends on numerous cosmological constants and parameters whose numerical values must fall within a very narrow range of values. If even a single variable were off, even slightly, we would not exist www.gotquestions.org/anthropicprinciple.html
  75. Mark Isaak (ed.) (2005). “CI301: The Anthropic Principle”.Index to Creationist Claims. TalkOrigins Archive.  2007-10-31.
  76. The strong anthropic principle (SAP) as explained by John D. Barrow and Frank Tipler states that this is all the case because the universe is compelled to eventually have conscious and sapient life emerge within it.
  77. Anthony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese, There Is a God; How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind (New York, NY: HarperOne,2008), 114
  78. Anthony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese argue that “the multiverse theory is vacuous because….it explains everything and nothing“, p. 118 There Is a God; How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind (New York, NY: HarperOne,2008)
  79. Some critics of the SAP argue in favor of a weak anthropic principle (WAP) similar to the one defined by Brandon Carter, which states that the universe’s ostensible fine tuning is the result of selection bias: i.e., only in a universe capable of eventually supporting life will there be living beings capable of observing and reflecting upon fine tuning. Most often such arguments draw upon some notion of the multiverse for there to be a statistical population of universes to select from and from which selection bias (our observance of only this universe, compatible with life) could occur.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
  80. George F. R. Ellis, “Does the Multiverse Really Exist?”Scientific American
  81. Hawking, S. W.; Hertog, Thomas (February 2006). “Populating the Landscape: A Top Down Approach” (PDF). Phys. Rev.D73 (12): 123527. arXiv:hep-th/0602091v2
  82. Stenger, Victor J. (1999-07-03). “The Anthropic Coincidences”. Colorado.edu.
Do you like this material?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.