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Current search for life on Mars features dramatically reduced expectations


Compared to, say, “the man from Mars” in the media who turns out to be just some weird green dude who could have been born in Grand Forks or something. In “How the hunt for Mars life evolved” (MSNBC.com, March 6, 2012), Alan Boyle reports,

“Virtually every mission to the surface of Mars provides no evidence for anything,” Caltech geologist John Grotzinger, project scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory mission, told me. “We don’t expect to see any evidence for anything that might represent macroscopic life. At this point, we understand why that is. With reference to our own planet, if you go to extreme environments on Earth, places like Antarctica … the only things that you would really ever see in these extreme places are microorganisms or other simple organisms, like lichens. We’re not asking something special of Mars, we’re just conditioning our expectations based on analogs to extreme environments here on Earth.

“You put deserts and extreme cold together, and you’re not kidding anybody,” he said. “You know you’re looking for something that’s probably going to be very small and highly specialized, with adaptation to an extreme environment.”

This sounds quite promising, actually. If we narrow our expectations to specifics, we can learn something, whether or not we find what we are looking for.

Thanks bornagain77 for the posts about quantum theory. It's more than I expected but I guess there is alot to learn on this field. Shogun
Stu7, you're not alone, man. We all love ba77, but I'm going to have to send him a bill for a new scrollwheel for my mouse soon! :) Eric Anderson
Well, for sure, later editions would have to be renamed, The Pretty Doggon Privileged Planet. jstanley01
continued shogun,, and to make universal Quantum Wave collapse much more ‘personal’ I found this,,,
“It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963. "It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality" - Eugene Wigner - (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) - received Nobel Prize in 1963 for 'Quantum Symmetries' http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/scientists/wigner/
,,,Here is Wigner commenting on the key experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries,,,
Eugene Wigner Excerpt: To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another. http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_Course/WignerBio/wb1.htm
i.e. In the experiment the ‘world’ (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a ‘privileged center’. This is since the ‘matrix’, which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is ‘observer-centric’ in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” As well, Wigner's work in elucidating consciousness's central importance in quantum symmetries has now been solidified by other work in quantum mechanics:
“I’m going to talk about the Bell inequality, and more importantly a new inequality that you might not have heard of called the Leggett inequality, that was recently measured. It was actually formulated almost 30 years ago by Professor Leggett, who is a Nobel Prize winner, but it wasn’t tested until about a year and a half ago (in 2007), when an article appeared in Nature, that the measurement was made by this prominent quantum group in Vienna led by Anton Zeilinger, which they measured the Leggett inequality, which actually goes a step deeper than the Bell inequality and rules out any possible interpretation other than consciousness creates reality when the measurement is made.” – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., Calphysics Institute, is an astrophysicist and author of over 130 scientific publications.
Preceding quote taken from this following video;
Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness - A New Measurement - Bernard Haisch, Ph.D (Shortened version of entire video with notes in description of video) http://vimeo.com/37517080
I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its 'uncertain' 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:
Psalm 33:13-15 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
So much for the Copernican mediocrity principle eh? Moreover the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality. 2. If consciousness is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality. 3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality. 4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kpDwWetu66fBRlPM7zjA5BpHzcu5wBY7AdB7gOz51OQ/edit
Also of related interest is the fact that a ‘uncollpased’ photon, in its quantum wave state, is mathematically defined as ‘infinite’ information:
Wave function Excerpt "wave functions form an abstract vector space",,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_function#Wave_functions_as_an_abstract_vector_space Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-quantcomp/#2.1
etc.. etc.. Though there is much more that could be drawn out concerning to relation to temporal and 'eternal' time that quantum actions have, hopefully this brief outline gives you a clear enough picture shogun for how consciousness precedes material reality; Music and verse:
Francesca Battistelli - This is the Stuff http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe4SckesWLE Philippians 4:8 — Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.
bornagain, do you think maybe mathematical logic, any logic, has serious limitations. I mean, it's not very tolerant, and doesn't allow for diversity of beliefs. I say it is the tool of preference of hate-filled bigots. Why couldn't we have a more rainbowy kind of logic. I think the EU will be pondering this as I write. Axel
Well Shogun, the way I found out that consciousness precedes, and is central to, material reality is a bit different from how it was arrived at by from quantum mechanics itself. It all started when Dr. Dembski posted this video on UD a few years back: ,,, I noticed that the earth mysteriously demonstrates centrality in the universe in this video Dr. Dembski posted a while back;
The Known Universe – Dec. 2009 – a very cool video (please note the centrality of the earth in the universe) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U
,,,for a while I tried to see if the 4-D space-time of General Relativity was sufficient to explain centrality we witness for the earth in the universe. And indeed, at first glance it appears as if the 4-D space-time of General Relativity is sufficient to explain the centrality we see for ourselves in the universe;
Where is the centre of the universe?: Excerpt: The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell. http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/GR/centre.html
,,,Thus from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as ‘center of the universe’ as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered ‘center of the universe’. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point is central, if that’s where you live.,,,
4-Dimensional Space-Time Of General Relativity – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3991873/
,,,yet, I kept running into the same problem for establishing the sufficiency of General Relativity to explain our centrality in this universe, in that every time I would perform a ‘thought experiment’ of trying radically different points of observation in the universe, General Relativity would fail to maintain centrality for the radically different point of observation in the universe. The primary reason for this failure of General Relativity to maintain centrality, for radically different points of observation in the universe, is due to the fact that there are limited (10^80) material particles to work with. Though this failure of General Relativity to provide sufficiency was obvious to me, I needed more proof so as to establish it more rigorously, so I dug around a bit and found this,,,
The Cauchy Problem In General Relativity – Igor Rodnianski Excerpt: 2.2 Large Data Problem In General Relativity – While the result of Choquet-Bruhat and its subsequent refinements guarantee the existence and uniqueness of a (maximal) Cauchy development, they provide no information about its geodesic completeness and thus, in the language of partial differential equations, constitutes a local existence. ,,, More generally, there are a number of conditions that will guarantee the space-time will be geodesically incomplete.,,, In the language of partial differential equations this means an impossibility of a large data global existence result for all initial data in General Relativity. http://www.icm2006.org/proceedings/Vol_III/contents/ICM_Vol_3_22.pdf
,,,and even though the preceding pretty much blew a hole in any hope I had for General Relativity sufficiently explaining the centrality we witness for ourselves in the universe, I also ‘serendipitously’ found the following which further confirmed my suspicions on the inadequacy of General Relativity to maintain our centrality in the universe,,,
THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010 Excerpt: Gödel’s personal God is under no obligation to behave in a predictable orderly fashion, and Gödel produced what may be the most damaging critique of general relativity. In a Festschrift, (a book honoring Einstein), for Einstein’s seventieth birthday in 1949, Gödel demonstrated the possibility of a special case in which, as Palle Yourgrau described the result, “the large-scale geometry of the world is so warped that there exist space-time curves that bend back on themselves so far that they close; that is, they return to their starting point.” This means that “a highly accelerated spaceship journey along such a closed path, or world line, could only be described as time travel.” In fact, “Gödel worked out the length and time for the journey, as well as the exact speed and fuel requirements.” Gödel, of course, did not actually believe in time travel, but he understood his paper to undermine the Einsteinian worldview from within.
,,,But since General Relativity is insufficient to explain the centrality we witness for ourselves in the universe, what else is? Universal Quantum wave collapse to each unique point of observation is! To prove this point I dug around a bit and found this experiment,,, This following experiment extended the infamous double slit experiment to show that the ‘spooky actions’, for instantaneous quantum wave collapse to 'uncertain' particle state, happen regardless of any considerations for time or distance in the universe:
Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment: Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory. http://www.bottomlayer.com/bottom/basic_delayed_choice.htm
Moreover, to make the preceding much more rigorous, I found something that is simply unprecedented in science. I found out that quantum mechanics has advanced to the point that a experiment was preformed that ruled out any future theories surpassing the accuracy of the current Quantum Theory's predictive power.
An experimental test of all theories with predictive power beyond quantum theory – May 2011 Excerpt: Hence, we can immediately refute any already considered or yet-to-be-proposed alternative model with more predictive power than this (quantum theory). http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.0133
Moreover, I've found that the 'Quantum wave packet', as it is called in its uncollapsed state, is 'real' instead of merely abstract, as has been held by many notable figures within quantum mechanics,, i.e. ,,,It is important to note that the following experiment actually encoded information into a photon while it was in its quantum wave state, thus destroying the notion, held by many, that the wave function was not ‘physically real’ but was merely ‘abstract’. i.e. How can information possibly be encoded into something that is not physically real but merely abstract?
Ultra-Dense Optical Storage – on One Photon Excerpt: Researchers at the University of Rochester have made an optics breakthrough that allows them to encode an entire image’s worth of data into a photon, slow the image down for storage, and then retrieve the image intact.,,, As a wave, it passed through all parts of the stencil at once,,, http://www.physorg.com/news88439430.html
The following paper mathematically corroborated the preceding experiment and cleaned up some pretty nasty probabilistic incongruities that arose from a purely statistical interpretation, i.e. it seems that stacking a ‘random infinity’, (parallel universes to explain quantum wave collapse), on top of another ‘random infinity’, to explain quantum entanglement, leads to irreconcilable mathematical absurdities within quantum mechanics:
Quantum Theory’s ‘Wavefunction’ Found to Be Real Physical Entity: Scientific American – November 2011 Excerpt: David Wallace, a philosopher of physics at the University of Oxford, UK, says that the theorem is the most important result in the foundations of quantum mechanics that he has seen in his 15-year professional career. “This strips away obscurity and shows you can’t have an interpretation of a quantum state as probabilistic,” he says. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=quantum-theorys-wavefunction The quantum (wave) state cannot be interpreted statistically – November 2011 http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1111.3328
The connections between the things bornagain writes, Stu, are there. If you don't see them, don't expect him to spoon-feed you. He does have a polymath's range of interests. I suffer from just the same problem as you with some other forum posters, but never when I am fascinated by the subject, unless - as sometimes happens with bornagain - it becomes too technical for me to even browse. But I know that's due to my deficiency, and I don't need to understand the technical details, since he, himslef, provides a digest. Axel
consciousness is found to precede material reality by breakthroughs in Quantum Mechanics
I've heard about this before and found it very interesting even though I don't know much about the topics. I remember reading something about an underlying consciousness in the universe. Can you elaborate more on the topic since I'd really love to know more about it. Shogun
All I'm saying is the message and punch of your post sometimes get's lost in between all the other stuff. Stu7
Stu7, I hate to be blunt, but please skip reading my posts if you don't like them. bornagain77
bornagain77, I don't think Mike LaFontaine's post came across as implying anything other than an honest question. On another note. Understand that I agree with much of what you say here on UD, but don't you think it's somewhat unnecessary to flood threads with unrelated info? It tends to dilute the topic on hand. I also suggest this because I enjoy your contributions here on UD and have learned quite a bit from yourself and others, but many times your post consists of reams of unrelated commentary and material in relation to the original post. I think when folks see line upon line of text and quotes their eyes start to gloss over a bit :) and so many of us simply pass over your post, which is a pity. In fact your posts are far more informative and when you just address the topic. But that's just me. Look I'm not saying don't post any of it, but sometimes it's an information onslaught if you know what I mean :) and unfortunately the actual message relating to the topic itself get's lost. Anyway, just my thoughts. No ill will intended. Stu7
How would finding life on Mars alter Dr. Gonzalez’s Privileged Planet theory?
It wouldn't Joe
But buried within your question is the implicit assumption that life can arise by material processes.
No, there wasn't. But far be it for me to stand in the way of a righteous post. Mike LaFontaine
As well, as far as 'organic molecules' being found on comets, this finding is really not very surprising at all since the heavy elements necessary for life were created in massive, short-lived, mega stars, shortly after the creation of the universe itself and then exploded out into space. The universe is literally seeded from one end to the other with the necessary elements for life. What is surprising is that it is literally a miracle that the elements necessary for life should be formed in short lived mega-stars shortly after the creation of the universe in the first place. The delicate balance at which carbon is synthesized in stars is truly a work of art. Fred Hoyle (1915-2001), a famed astrophysicist, is the scientist who established the nucleo-synthesis of heavier elements within stars as mathematically valid in 1946. Years after Sir Fred discovered the stunning precision with which carbon is synthesized in stars he stated:
From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? ... I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. - Sir Fred Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16.
Sir Fred also stated:
I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars. Sir Fred Hoyle - "The Universe: Past and Present Reflections." Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12 Michael Denton - We Are Stardust - Uncanny Balance Of The Elements - Atheist Fred Hoyle's conversion to a Deist/Theist - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003877
Further notes: For the first 400,000 years of our universe’s expansion, the universe was a seething maelstrom of energy and sub-atomic particles. This maelstrom was so hot, that sub-atomic particles trying to form into atoms would have been blasted apart instantly, and so dense, light could not travel more than a short distance before being absorbed. If you could somehow live long enough to look around in such conditions, you would see nothing but brilliant white light in all directions. When the cosmos was about 400,000 years old, it had cooled to about the temperature of the surface of the sun. The last light from the "Big Bang" shone forth at that time. This "light" is still detectable today as the Cosmic Background Radiation. This 400,000 year old “baby” universe entered into a period of darkness. When the dark age of the universe began, the cosmos was a formless sea of particles. By the time the dark age ended, a couple of hundred million years later, the universe lit up again by the light of some of the galaxies and stars that had been formed during this dark era. It was during the dark age of the universe that the heavier chemical elements necessary for life, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and most of the rest, were first forged, by nuclear fusion inside the stars, out of the universe’s primordial hydrogen and helium. It was also during this dark period of the universe the great structures of the modern universe were first forged. Super-clusters, of thousands of galaxies stretching across millions of light years, had their foundations laid in the dark age of the universe. During this time the infamous “missing dark matter”, was exerting more gravity in some areas than in other areas; drawing in hydrogen and helium gas, causing the formation of mega-stars. These mega-stars were massive, weighing in at 20 to more than 100 times the mass of the sun. The crushing pressure at their cores made them burn through their fuel in only a million years. It was here, in these short lived mega-stars under these crushing pressures, the chemical elements necessary for life were first forged out of the hydrogen and helium. The reason astronomers can’t see the light from these first mega-stars, during this dark era of the universe’s early history, is because the mega-stars were shrouded in thick clouds of hydrogen and helium gas. These thick clouds prevented the mega-stars from spreading their light through the cosmos as they forged the elements necessary for future life to exist on earth. After about 200 million years, the end of the dark age came to the cosmos. The universe was finally expansive enough to allow the dispersion of the thick hydrogen and helium “clouds”. With the continued expansion of the universe, the light, of normal stars and dwarf galaxies, was finally able to shine through the thick clouds of hydrogen and helium gas, bringing the dark age to a close. (How The Stars Were Born - Michael D. Lemonick) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1376229-2,00.html
Job 38:4-11 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched a line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth and issued from the womb; When I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band; When I fixed my limit for it, and set bars and doors; When I said, ‘This far you may come but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop!" History of The Universe Timeline- Graph Image http://www.astronomynotes.com/cosmolgy/CMB_Timeline.jpg
Moreover, every class of elements that exists on the periodic table of elements is necessary for complex carbon-based life to exist on earth. The three most abundant elements in the human body, Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, 'just so happen' to be the most abundant elements in the universe, save for helium which is inert. A truly amazing coincidence that strongly implies 'the universe had us in mind all along'. Even uranium the last naturally occurring 'stable' element on the period table of elements is necessary for life. The heat generated by the decay of uranium is necessary to keep a molten core in the earth for an extended period of time, which is necessary for the magnetic field surrounding the earth, which in turn protects organic life from the harmful charged particles of the sun. As well, uranium decay provides the heat for tectonic activity and the turnover of the earth's crustal rocks, which is necessary to keep a proper mixture of minerals and nutrients available on the surface of the earth, which is necessary for long term life on earth. (Denton; Nature's Destiny). These following articles and videos give a bit deeper insight into the crucial role that individual elements play in allowing life:
The Elements: Forged in Stars - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003861 The Role of Elements in Life Processes http://www.mii.org/periodic/LifeElement.php Periodic Table - Interactive web page for each element http://www.mii.org/periodic/MiiPeriodicChart.htm Periodic Table - with stability, and native state, of elements listed http://www.cbc.ca/news/pdf//Periodic_Table_Armtuk3-703.jpg
Music and Verse:
Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill How Great thou Art – 720P HD – Standing Ovation! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLLMzr3PFgk Isaiah 45:12 It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts.
Mike LaFontaine, I think Eric has more than properly addressed your overriding question. But buried within your question is the implicit assumption that life can arise by material processes. For instance you allude to, but don't cite, organic molecules on comets (amino acids?) to support your implicit assumption. I find it interesting that you would find comfort that life can arise spontaneously just because 'organic molecules' are present. Yet what if we allow for an entire universe full of 'organic molecules' Mike? Does this help at all you implicit materialistic premise? NO! Once again we find that science itself is against your unstated philosophical premise:
Book Review - Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell. New York: HarperCollins, 2009. Excerpt: As early as the 1960s, those who approached the problem of the origin of life from the standpoint of information theory and combinatorics observed that something was terribly amiss. Even if you grant the most generous assumptions: that every elementary particle in the observable universe is a chemical laboratory randomly splicing amino acids into proteins every Planck time for the entire history of the universe, there is a vanishingly small probability that even a single functionally folded protein of 150 amino acids would have been created. Now of course, elementary particles aren't chemical laboratories, nor does peptide synthesis take place where most of the baryonic mass of the universe resides: in stars or interstellar and intergalactic clouds. If you look at the chemistry, it gets even worse—almost indescribably so: the precursor molecules of many of these macromolecular structures cannot form under the same prebiotic conditions—they must be catalysed by enzymes created only by preexisting living cells, and the reactions required to assemble them into the molecules of biology will only go when mediated by other enzymes, assembled in the cell by precisely specified information in the genome. So, it comes down to this: Where did that information come from? The simplest known free living organism (although you may quibble about this, given that it's a parasite) has a genome of 582,970 base pairs, or about one megabit (assuming two bits of information for each nucleotide, of which there are four possibilities). Now, if you go back to the universe of elementary particle Planck time chemical labs and work the numbers, you find that in the finite time our universe has existed, you could have produced about 500 bits of structured, functional information by random search. Yet here we have a minimal information string which is (if you understand combinatorics) so indescribably improbable to have originated by chance that adjectives fail. http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/reading_list/indices/book_726.html Abiogenic Origin of Life: A Theory in Crisis - Arthur V. Chadwick, Ph.D. Excerpt: The synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids from small molecule precursors represents one of the most difficult challenges to the model of prebiological evolution. There are many different problems confronted by any proposal. Polymerization is a reaction in which water is a product. Thus it will only be favored in the absence of water. The presence of precursors in an ocean of water favors depolymerization of any molecules that might be formed. Careful experiments done in an aqueous solution with very high concentrations of amino acids demonstrate the impossibility of significant polymerization in this environment. A thermodynamic analysis of a mixture of protein and amino acids in an ocean containing a 1 molar solution of each amino acid (100,000,000 times higher concentration than we inferred to be present in the prebiological ocean) indicates the concentration of a protein containing just 100 peptide bonds (101 amino acids) at equilibrium would be 10^-338 molar. Just to make this number meaningful, our universe may have a volume somewhere in the neighborhood of 10^85 liters. At 10^-338 molar, we would need an ocean with a volume equal to 10^229 universes (100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000) just to find a single molecule of any protein with 100 peptide bonds. So we must look elsewhere for a mechanism to produce polymers. It will not happen in the ocean. http://origins.swau.edu/papers/life/chadwick/default.html
Moreover Mike, as I somewhat alluded to briefly alluded to in post 2, consciousness is found to precede material reality by breakthroughs in Quantum Mechanics. Thus virtually slam dunking a major Theistic premise to empirical validity! So why in blue blazes does any 'scientist' even entertain the materialistic/atheistic alchemy of Darwinism anymore?? It simply is ludicrous as far as the science is concerned!!! bornagain77
Sheesh, I meant my comments in #7, not #5. Apologies. Eric Anderson
Mike LaFontaine @6: See my comments to you in #5. Largely irrelevant to the Privileged Planet. It can accommodate it, and it there may well be extremophiles found elsewhere some day, such as on Mars. If you are asking a larger question about ID, not just the Privileged Planet theory, we could have that discussion as well. Eric Anderson
Mike, that is a fair question. I think the answer is it wouldn't have an impact on the Privileged Planet theory. First, the Privileged Planet is predicated largely on the concept of intelligent life -- life that can seek, explore, understand. Although some of the conditions Gonzalez and Richards outline may be necessary for any life, they are really focused on intelligent life and how the conditions of our planet facilitate that intelligent life's discoveries. Thus, finding microscopic extremophiles on Mars would not be particularly germane to their work. Second, Mars is close enough that there has been a fair amount of exchange of material between the two planets over the millenia. Many scientists think there is a real possibility that material from Earth with living organisms may well have traveled to Mars (just as we have identified Martian material here on Earth). If memory serves I believe Gonzales has discussed this as well. So finding microscopic life on Mars wouldn't do much one way or another for the Privilieged Planet theory. Now if intelligent life similar to us were found on Titan, that would probably throw a wrench into a couple of the planetary characteristics Gonzales and Richards highlight in their book . . . Eric Anderson
Bornagain, I have no opinion either way. But I have heard that organic compounds have been found in comets. So, I was wondering if the privileged planet theory would accommodate some form of organic life being found somewhere other than earth. I can only assume your answer means that the theory does not accommodate that and it doesn't matter because life won't be found anywhere other than Earth. Do I read you right? Mike1962, I am not sure what you are driving at. I asked the question because I was interested in the answer. I don't have a clue how to extract an answer from your question. Mike LaFontaine
Mike LaFontaine: How would finding life on Mars alter Dr. Gonzalez’s Privileged Planet theory?
How would finding the remnants of an ancient extra-terrestrial civilization on Mars with detailed journals on how they engineered life on earth alter your view? mike1962
Mike LaFontaine and exactly what are your scientific reasons for presupposing life will be found on Mars? i.e. That is a mighty big 'if life is found' you are riding your philosophical question on! bornagain77
Well, that doesn't really answer my question as to how the theory changes if life is found on Mars, but thank you. Mike LaFontaine
Well, other than the fact that atheists, for purely philosophical purposes, need life to be 'out there somewhere', since, according to atheists, life in this universe is not really all that special, there is no real scientific reason to presuppose even 'simple' life to be on Mars. The odds against life spontaneously forming are on any given planet (even one 'friendly' to life),, well the odds are 'astronomical'.
"The probability for the chance of formation of the smallest, simplest form of living organism known is 1 in 10^340,000,000. This number is 10 to the 340 millionth power! The size of this figure is truly staggering since there is only supposed to be approximately 10^80 (10 to the 80th power) electrons in the whole universe!" (Professor Harold Morowitz, Energy Flow In Biology pg. 99, Biophysicist of George Mason University)
Dr. Don Johnson lays out some of the probabilities for life in this following video:
Probabilities Of Life - Don Johnson PhD. - 38 minute mark of video a typical functional protein - 1 part in 10^175 the required enzymes for life - 1 part in 10^40,000 a living self replicating cell - 1 part in 10^340,000,000 http://www.vimeo.com/11706014 Programming of Life - Probability of a Cell Evolving - video http://www.youtube.com/user/Programmingoflife#p/c/AFDF33F11E2FB840/9/nyTUSe99z6o
Moreover, if that was not bad enough, there is now evidence that shows Mars to be 'toxic' to simple life for as far back as we can look:
Early Mars Water Was Salty, Toxic Stew - 2008 But data from the rover Opportunity is already suggesting that water on early Mars billions of years ago may have been fit for pickling—not supporting—life. That's because the water was thick with salt and other minerals, making it far too briny for life as we know it, according to a new study. Nicholas Tosca of Harvard University and colleagues studied mineral clues from the surface of Mars sent back by the rover and used computers to turn back the clock. "Our sense has been that while Mars is a lousy environment for supporting life today, long ago it might have more closely resembled Earth," said Andrew Knoll, a study co-author also from Harvard. But instead the team found that the soil's mineral content would have made that liquid a salty, toxic stew. "No matter how far back we peer into Mars's history, we may never see a point at which the planet really looked like Earth," Knoll said. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/05/080529-mars-salty.html
But to further confound things for atheists, even 'simple life' does not live in isolation but is interconnected in a complex biogeochemical web that must be maintained/balanced for extended periods of time for any individual 'simple lifeform' to exist for any extended period of time: On the third page of this following site there is a illustration that shows some of the interdependent, ‘life-enabling’, biogeochemical complexity of different types of bacterial life on Earth.,,,
Microbial Mat Ecology – Image on page 92 (third page down) http://www.dsls.usra.edu/biologycourse/workbook/Unit2.2.pdf
,,,Please note, that if even one type of bacteria group did not exist in this complex cycle of biogeochemical interdependence, that was illustrated on the third page of the preceding site, then all of the different bacteria would soon die out. This essential biogeochemical interdependence, of the most primitive different types of bacteria that we have evidence of on ancient earth, makes the origin of life ‘problem’ for neo-Darwinists that much worse. For now not only do neo-Darwinists have to explain how the ‘miracle of life’ happened once with the origin of photosynthetic bacteria, but they must now also explain how all these different types bacteria, that photosynthetic bacteria are dependent on, in this irreducibly complex biogeochemical web, miraculously arose just in time to supply the necessary nutrients, in their biogeochemical link in the chain, for photosynthetic bacteria to continue to survive. As well, though not clearly illustrated in the illustration on the preceding site, please note that a long term tectonic cycle, of the turnover the Earth’s crustal rocks, must also be fine-tuned to a certain degree with the bacteria and thus plays a important ‘foundational’ role in the overall ecology of the biogeochemical system that must be accounted for as well. As a side issue to these complex interdependent biogeochemical relationships, of the 'simplest' bacteria on Earth, that provide the foundation for a 'friendly' environment on Earth that is hospitable to higher lifeforms above them to eventually appear on earth, it is interesting to note man's failure to build a miniature, self-enclosed, ecology in which humans could live for any extended periods of time.
Biosphere 2 – What Went Wrong? Excerpt: Other Problems Biosphere II’s water systems became polluted with too many nutrients. The crew had to clean their water by running it over mats of algae, which they later dried and stored. Also, as a symptom of further atmospheric imbalances, the level of dinitrogen oxide became dangerously high. At these levels, there was a risk of brain damage due to a reduction in the synthesis of vitamin B12. http://biology.kenyon.edu/slonc/bio3/2000projects/carroll_d_walker_e/whatwentwrong.html
further notes as to truly 'searching for life' out there somewhere;
1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality. 2. If consciousness is a 'epi-phenomena' of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality. 3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality. 4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kpDwWetu66fBRlPM7zjA5BpHzcu5wBY7AdB7gOz51OQ/edit
Quote of interest:
“I’m going to talk about the Bell inequality, and more importantly a new inequality that you might not have heard of called the Leggett inequality, that was recently measured, it was actually formulated almost 30 years ago by Professor Leggett, who is a Nobel Prize winner, but it wasn’t tested until about a year and a half ago (in 2007), when an article appeared in Nature, that the measurement was made by this prominent quantum group in Vienna led by Anton Zeilinger, which they measured the Leggett inequality, which actually goes a step deeper than the Bell inequality and rules out any possible interpretation other than consciousness creates reality when the measurement is made.” – Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., Calphysics Institute, is an astrophysicist and author of over 130 scientific publications.
Preceding quote taken from this following video;
Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness - A New Measurement - Bernard Haisch, Ph.D - video http://vimeo.com/37517080
Personally, I think the evidence clearly indicates we must look a little higher for life than in the toxic dirt of Mars Verse and Music:
John 5:24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. "In Christ Alone" / scenes from "The Passion of the Christ" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDPKdylIxVM
I have a question. How would finding life on Mars alter Dr. Gonzalez's Privileged Planet theory? Thank you! Mike LaFontaine

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