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Does anyone remember when NASA was associated with daring – but credible – ideas?

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Here’s a different riff on the “we will prove we are not alone in twenty years” story (all done by calculating probabilities without detailed information), this time from CBS:

Speaking at NASA’s Washington headquarters on Monday, the space agency outlined a plan to search for alien life using current telescope technology, and announced the launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite in 2017. The NASA administrators and scientists estimate that humans will be able to locate alien life within the next 20 years.

“Just imagine the moment, when we find potential signatures of life. Imagine the moment when the world wakes up and the human race realizes that its long loneliness in time and space may be over — the possibility we’re no longer alone in the universe,” said Matt Mountain, director and Webb telescope scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, which plans to launch the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018.

“What we didn’t know five years ago is that perhaps 10 to 20 per cent of stars around us have Earth-size planets in the habitable zone,” added Mountain. “It’s within our grasp to pull off a discovery that will change the world forever.”

Shovelling aside the hype for a moment, “signatures of life,” while very interesting, are overwhelmingly more likely to be something like bacteria than something like humans.

If bacteria are our idea of a cure for loneliness, the good news is that none of us has ever been alone. But how many people do we run into on a regular basis who feel that way about bacteria? How many would we wish to know?

See also: Scientists “very close” to finding another Earth? One would think that the Gliese 581d fiasco would result in more caution. Nah.

and

The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (cosmology), a hype speed trip to Planet They’ve Gotta Be Out There .

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27 Replies to “Does anyone remember when NASA was associated with daring – but credible – ideas?

  1. 1
    rhampton7 says:

    Cataloging extra-solar planets in detail seems to me to be credible science — as important as our exploration of the planets within our solar system. The New Horizons flyby of Pluto is just a year away and that will be quite thrilling even if it’s just a lifeless dwarf planet.

    “Daring” is subjective, and I don’t know if that adjective appropriately describes any non-human space mission.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Frank Drake (1930-present) proposed, in 1961, advanced life should be fairly common in the universe. He developed a rather crude equation called the ‘Drake equation’. He plugged in some rather optimistic numbers and reasoned that ten worlds with advanced life should be in our Milky Way galaxy alone. One estimate of his worked out to roughly one trillion worlds with advanced life throughout the entire universe. In the following video, Carl Sagan, again using rather optimistic numbers, calculates that 10 technologically advanced civilizations may exist in the milky way galaxy alone.

    Carl Sagan – Cosmos – Drake Equation – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlikCebQSlY

    Much to the disappointment of Star Trek fans, the avalanche of recent scientific evidence has found the probability of finding another planet with the ability to host advanced life in this universe (much less this galaxy) is not nearly as likely as astronomer Frank Drake had originally predicted. In fact when trying to take into consideration all the different factors necessary to make life possible on any earth-like planet, we learn some very surprising things. There are many independent characteristics, not listed in the Drake equation, that are required to be fulfilled for any planet to host advanced carbon-based life. Two popular books have fairly recently been written, and ‘Rare Earth’ by Donald Brownlee and ‘The Privileged Planet’ by Guillermo Gonzalez, indicating the earth is extremely unique in its ability to host advanced life in this universe.

    “If some god-like being could be given the opportunity to plan a sequence of events with the expressed goal of duplicating our ‘Garden of Eden’, that power would face a formidable task. With the best of intentions but limited by natural laws and materials it is unlikely that Earth could ever be truly replicated. Too many processes in its formation involve sheer luck. Earth-like planets could certainly be made, but each would differ in critical ways. This is well illustrated by the fantastic variety of planets and satellites (moons) that formed in our solar system. They all started with similar building materials, but the final products are vastly different from each other . . . . The physical events that led to the formation and evolution of the physical Earth required an intricate set of nearly irreproducible circumstances.”
    Peter B. Ward and Donald Brownlee, Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe (New York: Copernicus, 2000)

    Privileged Planet, which holds that any life supporting planet in the universe will also be ‘privileged’ for observation of the universe, has now been made into a excellent video.

    The Privileged Planet – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnWyPIzTOTw

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    As an important side note, Dr. Robin Collins has recently extended, and confirmed, Gonzalez’s observation-livability correlation thesis:

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    http://home.messiah.edu/~rcoll.....osting.pdf

    Greer Heard Forum: Robin Collins – “God and the Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Discovery” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBWmMU7BXGE

    Moreover, There is also a well researched statistical analysis of the many independent ‘life-enabling characteristics’ that gives strong mathematical indication that the earth is extremely unique in its ability to support complex life in this universe and shows, from a naturalistic perspective, that a life permitting planet is extremely unlikely to ‘accidentally emerge’ in the universe. The statistical analysis, which is actually a extreme refinement of the Drake’s probability equation, is dealt with by astro-physicist Dr. Hugh Ross (1945-present) in these following 4 papers:

    Hugh Ross – Four Main Research Papers on Habitability
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1Sl5SCBtcO6xMjwgrkKysBYIOJzjZEcXX68qZ9rwh85s

    A few of the items in Dr. Ross’s “life-enabling characteristics” list are; Planet location in a proper galaxy’s ‘habitable zone’; Parent star size; Surface gravity of planet; Rotation period of planet; Correct chemical composition of planet; Correct size for moon; Thickness of planets’ crust; Presence of magnetic field; Correct and stable axis tilt; Oxygen to nitrogen ratio in atmosphere; Proper water content of planet; Atmospheric electric discharge rate; Proper seismic activity of planet; Many complex cycles necessary for a stable temperature history of planet; Translucent atmosphere; Various complex, and inter-related, cycles for various elements etc.. etc..
    I could go a lot further in details for there are a total of 816 parameters in his updated list which have to be met for complex life to exist on Earth for any extended period of time. Individually, these limits are not that impressive but when we realize ALL these limits have to be met at the same time and same place and not one of them can be out of limits for any extended period of time, then the condition becomes much more interesting since the probability for a world which can host advanced life in this universe becomes very extraordinary. Here is the final summary of Dr. Hugh Ross’s ‘conservative’ estimate for the probability of another life-hosting world in this universe.

    Linked from Appendix C from Dr. Ross’s book, ‘Why the Universe Is the Way It Is’;
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. equals 10^-1333
    dependency factors estimate approx. equals 10^324
    longevity requirements estimate approx. equals 10^45
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. equals 10^-1054
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. equals 10^22

    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.
    http://www.reasons.org/files/c....._part3.pdf

    Hugh Ross – Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere (10^-1054) – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4347236

    Privileged Planet – Michael Strauss – video
    https://vimeo.com/91775975

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Interestingly, when Dr. Hugh Ross factors in the probability for ‘simple’ bacterial life randomly happening in this universe, which is necessary for more advanced life to exist on any planet in the first place (photosynthesis etc..), the probability for a planet which can host life explodes into gargantuan proportions:

    Does the Probability for ETI = 1?
    Excerpt: In another book I wrote with Fuz, Who Was Adam?, we describe calculations done by evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala and by astrophysicists John Barrow, Brandon Carter, and Frank Tipler for the probability that a bacterium would evolve under ideal natural conditions—given the presumption that the mechanisms for natural biological evolution are both effective and rapid. They determine that probability to be no more than 10-24,000,000.
    The bottom line is that rather than the probability for extraterrestrial intelligent life being 1 as Aczel claims, very conservatively from a naturalistic perspective it is much less than 10^500 + 22 -1054 -100,000,000,000 -24,000,000. That is, it is less than 10-100,024,000,532. In longhand notation it would be 0.00 … 001 with 100,024,000,531 zeros (100 billion, 24 million, 5 hundred and thirty-one zeros) between the decimal point and the 1. That longhand notation of the probability would fill over 20,000 complete Bibles. (As far as scientific calculations are concerned, determining how close a probability is to zero, only Penrose’s 1 in 10^10^123 calculation, for the initial phase-space of the universe, is closer as far as I know)
    http://www.reasons.org/does-probability-eti-1

    Verse, video, and Music:

    Psalm 89:11
    The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it.

    View from the ISS (International Space Station) at Night – video
    https://vimeo.com/45878034#

    The Earth is Yours – Gungor
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRUCV78IULQ

  4. 4
    rhampton7 says:

    bornagain77,

    That’s just one aspect of this mission and its expected to catalog thousands of planets, i.e. generate empirical data. While it won’t discover life, it will provide a better set of targets to be studied with even more sensitive instruments in the future. In any event, hunches will be tested and we shall see what the truth holds. Isn’t that what science is for?

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    I did not voice my opinion one way or the other, I just added a bit of background as to what we can expect,,, for instance

    Compositions of Extrasolar Planets – July 2010
    Excerpt: ,,,the presumption that extrasolar terrestrial planets will consistently manifest Earth-like chemical compositions is incorrect. Instead, the simulations revealed “a wide variety of resulting planetary compositions.
    http://www.reasons.org/composi.....ar-planets

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Seems they are still discovering ‘alien life’ right here on earth in the fossil record:

    520-Million-Year-Old Sea Monster with Preserved Brain Unearthed – July 16, 2014
    Excerpt: The 520-million-year-old creature, one of the first predators of its day, sported compound eyes, body armor and two spiky claws for grabbing prey.
    The fossils of the new species were so well preserved that the nervous system and parts of the brain were still clearly defined.,,,
    Some of the biggest of these bizarre creatures could grow to be up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) long.,,,
    the new results can’t pinpoint where on the tree of life these ancient sea monsters go, Cong said.
    http://www.livescience.com/468.....brain.html

  7. 7
    phoodoo says:

    rhampton7,

    But part of the problem is that NASA has become less and less about promoting real science and much more about pushing this agenda they have about life. Its the same thing with Seth Shostak and SETI.

    These people all take great pride in being part of the “skeptic” community. Being a skeptic means believing everything this group says and being skeptical about nothing. If they say life exists on other planets-believe it! Don’t be skeptical. If they say evolution is true, believe it, stop being so skeptical. GMO food is healthy, believe it, why do you always have to be so skeptical, you are a skeptic!

    NASA are the Seth Shostak and Steven Novellas of the world. Salesmen of an agenda.

  8. 8
    Robert Byers says:

    There simply is nothing interesting to do in space anymore with present abilities.
    mars is too far and the sun too hot. what to do?
    Maybe the first woman on the moon or a colony on a asteroid?!
    Nothing too do and so to keep public money acoming maybe SPACE ALIENS search lights is the ticket.

  9. 9
    rhampton7 says:

    phoodoo,

    The search for life is a legitimate branch of science which has directly lead to our ability to detect extra-solar planets, something that was only guessed at before. So I can’t blame many scientists from speculating that alien life exists given that they were correct in speculating that extra-solar planets were common.

    Besides, I don’t see how the notion of life on other planets (be it non-existent, rare, or common) threatens ID theory in the least.

  10. 10
    phoodoo says:

    rhampton,

    I never said the search for life threatens ID theory at all. The question is more one of is it good science. Of course these people want life on other planets to be true-but that doesn’t make it likely. They all hope to have some kind of sci-fi star wars kind of discovery, because this is their fantasy, and think think it is confirm of how easy evolution is.

    And even if its never found, they can always just keep going back to the idea of , one day we will-without any proof at all.

    So its an easy win for them, if no proof, then just say, we know its there, we just haven’t found it yet. but if we are alone in this universe, it would contradict their idea, so they never would admit to it ever.

    That is not being a skeptic, that is being a propagandist. NASA needs to continually make a justification for their money, so they always claim they are very very close to finding life!

    If life only arose ONCE on this planet, why aren’t they at least skeptical that it is so unlikely and rare, that perhaps it never happened again? Where is the skepticism in the Seth Shostaks?

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    rhampton7 you state,,

    “The search for life is a legitimate branch of science which has directly lead to our ability to detect extra-solar planets, something that was only guessed at before.”

    Actually it was advances in how our telescopes were made that led to the discovery of extra-solar planets. To say that these advances in engineering for telescopes were driven by the philosophical belief in extra-terrestrial life in the universe is a dubious claim at best. Some atheists have claimed that Theists did not expect other planets in the universe. Personally, I never doubted other planets existed in the universe, thus it is a strawman for some Darwinists to insinuate Theists did not expect other planets in the universe. In fact, one of my favorite hymns has this verse in it:

    “O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, Consider all the *worlds” thy hands have made,”
    How Great Thou Art – Carrie Underwood – music video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLLMzr3PFgk

    And has been pointed out already, when extra-solar planets were finally discovered, it has been insinuated by the press, not too subtly, that this means life is out there somewhere. This is simply disingenuous to the evidence we have in hand. Scientists can’t even form a single protein molecule by natural means. The odds of ‘simple’ life evolving are ‘astronomical’ (pun intended).

    Programming of Life – Probability of a Cell Evolving – Ch. 10 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyTUSe99z6o

    The gulf between life (as in simple self-sustained replication) and non-life, is gargantuan. To model the simplest life known to man (which is not even a free living cell but parasitic) you need 128 computers working in parallel:

    To Model the Simplest Microbe in the World, You Need 128 Computers – July 2012
    Excerpt: Mycoplasma genitalium has one of the smallest genomes of any free-living organism in the world, clocking in at a mere 525 genes. That’s a fraction of the size of even another bacterium like E. coli, which has 4,288 genes.,,,
    The bioengineers, led by Stanford’s Markus Covert, succeeded in modeling the bacterium, and published their work last week in the journal Cell. What’s fascinating is how much horsepower they needed to partially simulate this simple organism. It took a cluster of 128 computers running for 9 to 10 hours to actually generate the data on the 25 categories of molecules that are involved in the cell’s lifecycle processes.,,,
    ,,the depth and breadth of cellular complexity has turned out to be nearly unbelievable, and difficult to manage, even given Moore’s Law. The M. genitalium model required 28 subsystems to be individually modeled and integrated, and many critics of the work have been complaining on Twitter that’s only a fraction of what will eventually be required to consider the simulation realistic.,,,
    http://www.theatlantic.com/tec.....rs/260198/

    “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)

    Thus from a naturalistic perspective, should we realistically expect life on other planets with such fantastic odds against it? It simply is not reasonable to expect it from a naturalistic perspective:

    Dumb and Dumber ‘There’s a Chance’ – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5jNnDMfxA

    Thus, I find it strange that the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) organization spends millions of dollars vainly searching for signs of extra-terrestrial life in this universe, when all anyone has to do to make solid contact with THE primary ‘extra-terrestrial intelligence’ of the entire universe is to pray with a sincere heart. God certainly does not hide from those who sincerely seek Him. Actually communicating with the Creator of the universe is certainly a lot more exciting than not communicating with some little green men that in all probability do not even exist,

    “When I was young, I said to God, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the universe.’ But God answered, ‘That knowledge is for me alone.’ So I said, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.’ Then God said, ‘Well George, that’s more nearly your size.’ And he told me.”
    George Washington Carver

    “All my discoveries have been made in an answer to prayer.”
    Isaac Newton

    Isaiah 45:18-19
    For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘seek me in vain’; I, the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”

    Supplemental note;

    The Galileo Affair and “Life/Consciousness” as the true “Center of the Universe”
    Excerpt: I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3D 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, Christian Theism in particular, offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe. [15]

    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.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit

  12. 12
    rhampton7 says:

    phoodoo,

    It doesn’t matter if the most of the scientists have think life is rare or common, because the experiments will provide the evidence. Is it your opinion that we shouldn’t look for planets or for evidence of life on other planets? Why?

    bornagain77,

    What motivated advances in telescope technology? The quest to know what space is like, how common is our star and planet, and if there is alien life.

    As for SETI, it is a private organization that is funded by donors – it’s not affiliated with NASA. You can group it with BigFoot trackers and Ghost investigators if you like, but then you’ve made a backdoor argument against ID research; SETI and Intelligent Design by William Dembski

    But in fact, my criterion for design detection applies to the very signals that Shostak’s SETI Institute is looking for. Yes, as narrow bandwidth transmissions, the signals are simple to describe. But they are difficult for purely material processes to reproduce by chance. So we have simplicity of description combined with complexity in the sense of improbability of the outcome. That’s specified complexity and that’s my criterion for detecting design.

  13. 13
    Piotr says:

    Bornagain77:

    Verse and music:

    And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space,
    ‘Cuz there’s bugger-all down here on Earth!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....WVshkVF0SY

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    rhampton7,

    My gripe is that the ‘wishful thinking’ that there may be alien life ‘out there somewhere’ overrides our science telling us that it is exceedingly unlikely. The unrestrained headlines declaring habitable planets every month or so make this point clear. Our science clearly indicates a more sober approach is warranted. Even you yourself seem to dismiss the overwhelming odds, that you have been presented with, against ‘life’ forming naturally with a mere wave of the hand, and to cling to ‘unsubstantiated dreams’ that life may be out there somewhere. It is an endless game with materialists. They never concede any scientific point no matter how crushing the evidence is against their position. as far as I can tell, they would much rather cling to unrestrained imagination than ever admit that life comes only from God.

    Moreover, despite your belief that believing ‘life may be out there somewhere’ has driven advances in engineering that led to improved telescopes, the truth is that that particular erroneous belief had as much to do with those advances in telescopes as the price of tea in China did. I’m not discounting man’s thirst for knowledge, but let’s be realistic, some hard nose engineers toiling tirelessly drove those improvements in telescopes and their philosophical beliefs in design, specifically their belief that they themselves could intelligently design better telescopes, were first and foremost in the advance. Any added materialistic belief is just unwarranted narrative gloss.

  15. 15
    rhampton7 says:

    overrides our science telling us that it is exceedingly unlikely.

    bornagain77,

    Careful now – you’re making too much out of presumptions. There is no “science” that tells us if life is common or rare. Sure there are all kinds of assumptions (hypotheses if you like) but they are all untested. I understand that your opinion is that it is rare, but that’s all that it is at the moment. That’s why we send probes and rovers throughout the solar system, and build bigger and better telescopes, because we want to know more. While looking for life is not the only objective, neither is it an after thought.

    And this is not a case of materialism vs. theism. As has already been discussed, ID theory is agnostic on the matter and the Catholic Church, for example, is open to the possibility (not just bacteria, but sentience) and has already started working through the implications with respect to the Catechism.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    rhampton7 as to:

    ‘There is no “science” that tells us if life is common or rare. Sure there are all kinds of assumptions (hypotheses if you like) but they are all untested. I understand that your opinion is that it is rare, but that’s all that it is at the moment.’

    Actually rhampton7 I’ve already provided several references that indicate that our empirical evidence tells us that life, bacterial or otherwise, is exceeding unlikely given materialistic assumptions. For you to deny what was already presented to you with a unsubstantiated claim is ridiculous. You may believe you are being reasonable in all this, but I find you denial to be absurd. Here are a few more links for you deny the relevance of:

    Dean Kenyon, who was a leading Origin Of Life researcher as well as a college textbook author on the subject in the 1970s, admitted after years of extensive research:

    “We have not the slightest chance for the chemical evolutionary origin of even the simplest of cells”.

    Origin Of Life? – Probability Of Protein And The Information Of DNA – Dean Kenyon – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VhR2BHhxeo

    Probability of Simple Cell Spontaneously Forming – Jon Rittenhouse – Biola – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/9742745

    Probability Of A Protein and First Living Cell – Chris Ashcraft – video (notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/31536455

    Stephen Meyer – Proteins by Design – Doing The Math – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6332250/

    Doug Axe Knows His Work Better Than Steve Matheson
    Excerpt: Regardless of how the trials are performed, the answer ends up being at least half of the total number of password possibilities, which is the staggering figure of 10^77 (written out as 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). Armed with this calculation, you should be very confident in your skepticism, because a 1 in 10^77 chance of success is, for all practical purposes, no chance of success. My experimentally based estimate of the rarity of functional proteins produced that same figure, making these likewise apparently beyond the reach of chance.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....35561.html

    Centre for Intelligent Design Lecture 2011 by Stephen Meyer on ‘Signature in the Cell’ – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbluTDb1Nfs

    Signature in the Cell – Book Review – Ken Peterson
    Excerpt: If we assume some minimally complex cell requires 250 different proteins then the probability of this arrangement happening purely by chance is one in 10 to the 164th multiplied by itself 250 times or one in 10 to the 41,000th power. http://www.spectrummagazine.or.....ature_cell

    In fact years ago Fred Hoyle arrived at approximately the same number, one chance in 10^40,000, for life spontaneously arising. From this number, Fred Hoyle compared the random emergence of the simplest bacterium on earth to the likelihood “a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 therein”. Fred Hoyle also compared the chance of obtaining just one single functioning protein molecule, by chance combination of amino acids, to a solar system packed full of blind men solving Rubik’s Cube simultaneously.

    Professor Harold Morowitz shows the Origin of Life ‘problem’ escalates dramatically over the 1 in 10^40,000 figure when working from a thermodynamic perspective,:

    “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

    DID LIFE START BY CHANCE?
    Excerpt: Molecular biophysicist, Horold Morowitz (Yale University), calculated the odds of life beginning under natural conditions (spontaneous generation). He calculated, if one were to take the simplest living cell and break every chemical bond within it, the odds that the cell would reassemble under ideal natural conditions (the best possible chemical environment) would be one chance in 10^100,000,000,000. You will have probably have trouble imagining a number so large, so Hugh Ross provides us with the following example. If all the matter in the Universe was converted into building blocks of life, and if assembly of these building blocks were attempted once a microsecond for the entire age of the universe. Then instead of the odds being 1 in 10^100,000,000,000, they would be 1 in 10^99,999,999,916 (also of note: 1 with 100 billion zeros following would fill approx. 20,000 encyclopedias)
    http://members.tripod.com/~Black_J/chance.html

    Punctured cell will never reassemble – Jonathan Wells – 2:40 mark of video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKoiivfe_mo

    Also of interest is the information content that is derived in a cell when working from a thermodynamic perspective:

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.” – R. C. Wysong

    Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.

    “The statistical probability that organic structures and the most precisely harmonized reactions that typify living organisms would be generated by accident, is zero.”
    Ilya Prigogine, Gregoire Nicolis, and Agnes Babloyantz, Physics Today 25, pp. 23-28.

    etc.. etc..

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    rhampton7 as to:

    ‘There is no “science” that tells us if life is common or rare. Sure there are all kinds of assumptions (hypotheses if you like) but they are all untested. I understand that your opinion is that it is rare, but that’s all that it is at the moment.’

    Actually rhampton7 I’ve already provided several references that indicate that our empirical evidence tells us that life, bacterial or otherwise, is exceeding unlikely given materialistic assumptions. For you to deny what was already presented to you with a unsubstantiated claim is ridiculous. You may believe you are being reasonable in all this, but I find you denial to be absurd. Here are a few more links for you deny the relevance of:

    Dean Kenyon, who was a leading Origin Of Life researcher as well as a college textbook author on the subject in the 1970s, admitted after years of extensive research:

    “We have not the slightest chance for the chemical evolutionary origin of even the simplest of cells”.

    Origin Of Life? – Probability Of Protein And The Information Of DNA – Dean Kenyon – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VhR2BHhxeo

    Probability Of A Protein and First Living Cell – Chris Ashcraft – video (notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/31536455

    Stephen Meyer – Proteins by Design – Doing The Math – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6332250/

    Doug Axe Knows His Work Better Than Steve Matheson
    Excerpt: Regardless of how the trials are performed, the answer ends up being at least half of the total number of password possibilities, which is the staggering figure of 10^77 (written out as 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). Armed with this calculation, you should be very confident in your skepticism, because a 1 in 10^77 chance of success is, for all practical purposes, no chance of success. My experimentally based estimate of the rarity of functional proteins produced that same figure, making these likewise apparently beyond the reach of chance.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....35561.html

    Centre for Intelligent Design Lecture 2011 by Stephen Meyer on ‘Signature in the Cell’ – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbluTDb1Nfs

    Signature in the Cell – Book Review – Ken Peterson
    Excerpt: If we assume some minimally complex cell requires 250 different proteins then the probability of this arrangement happening purely by chance is one in 10 to the 164th multiplied by itself 250 times or one in 10 to the 41,000th power.
    http://www.spectrummagazine.or.....ature_cell

    In fact years ago Fred Hoyle arrived at approximately the same number, one chance in 10^40,000, for life spontaneously arising. From this number, Fred Hoyle compared the random emergence of the simplest bacterium on earth to the likelihood “a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 therein”. Fred Hoyle also compared the chance of obtaining just one single functioning protein molecule, by chance combination of amino acids, to a solar system packed full of blind men solving Rubik’s Cube simultaneously.

    Professor Harold Morowitz shows the Origin of Life ‘problem’ escalates dramatically over the 1 in 10^40,000 figure when working from a thermodynamic perspective,:

    “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

    DID LIFE START BY CHANCE?
    Excerpt: Molecular biophysicist, Horold Morowitz (Yale University), calculated the odds of life beginning under natural conditions (spontaneous generation). He calculated, if one were to take the simplest living cell and break every chemical bond within it, the odds that the cell would reassemble under ideal natural conditions (the best possible chemical environment) would be one chance in 10^100,000,000,000. You will have probably have trouble imagining a number so large, so Hugh Ross provides us with the following example. If all the matter in the Universe was converted into building blocks of life, and if assembly of these building blocks were attempted once a microsecond for the entire age of the universe. Then instead of the odds being 1 in 10^100,000,000,000, they would be 1 in 10^99,999,999,916 (also of note: 1 with 100 billion zeros following would fill approx. 20,000 encyclopedias)
    http://members.tripod.com/~Black_J/chance.html

    Punctured cell will never reassemble – Jonathan Wells – 2:40 mark of video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKoiivfe_mo

    Also of interest is the information content that is derived in a cell when working from a thermodynamic perspective:

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.” – R. C. Wysong

    Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.

    “The statistical probability that organic structures and the most precisely harmonized reactions that typify living organisms would be generated by accident, is zero.”
    Ilya Prigogine, Gregoire Nicolis, and Agnes Babloyantz, Physics Today 25, pp. 23-28.

    etc.. etc..

  18. 18
    rhampton7 says:

    bornagain77,

    Do I understand you correctly that you believe science is wasting its time and resources look alien life because it has been proven to be impossible?

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    rhampton7 you ask:

    Do I understand you correctly that you believe science is wasting its time and resources look alien life because it has been proven to be impossible?

    It is interesting to note that you, instead of admitting you were wrong in your claim that,

    ‘There is no “science” that tells us if life is common or rare. Sure there are all kinds of assumptions (hypotheses if you like) but they are all untested. I understand that your opinion is that it is rare, but that’s all that it is at the moment.’

    ,,,instead switch tactics and now try to play rhetorical games with this following question,,,

    Do I understand you correctly that you believe science is wasting its time and resources look alien life because it has been proven to be impossible?

    The question you ought to ask yourself ought to be ‘why do I rhamptom7 not accept what the science is telling me and accept that life is special?’

    The truth be told r7, there is little that you or I can personally do to encourage or prevent man from continuing to make technological advances that allow him to peer ever deeper into the cosmos. These intelligently designed technological advances will happen regardless of whether or not the sheer impossibility of the naturalistic origin of life is recognized by the larger scientific community or not. ,,, On the other hand, you refusing to deal honestly with what our science is currently telling us, i.e. that life is extremely special, is preventing you from searching for, and perhaps finding, the true source of all life which is God and God alone. Not that you will take my advice, but if you ever feel so inclined to start being honest with yourself and admitting that ‘hey, life is special’, I suggest starting with the only religion that claims God defeated death:

    Shroud Of Turin Is Authentic, Italian Study Suggests – December 2011
    Excerpt: Last year scientists were able to replicate marks on the cloth using highly advanced ultraviolet techniques that weren’t available 2,000 years ago — nor during the medieval times, for that matter.,,, Since the shroud and “all its facets” still cannot be replicated using today’s top-notch technology, researchers suggest it is impossible that the original image could have been created in either period.
    http://www.thegopnet.com/shrou.....ests-87037

    Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural – December 2011
    Excerpt: After years of work trying to replicate the colouring on the shroud, a similar image has been created by the scientists.
    However, they only managed the effect by scorching equivalent linen material with high-intensity ultra violet lasers, undermining the arguments of other research, they say, which claims the Turin Shroud is a medieval hoax.
    Such technology, say researchers from the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Enea), was far beyond the capability of medieval forgers, whom most experts have credited with making the famous relic.
    “The results show that a short and intense burst of UV directional radiation can colour a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin,” they said.
    And in case there was any doubt about the preternatural degree of energy needed to make such distinct marks, the Enea report spells it out: “This degree of power cannot be reproduced by any normal UV source built to date.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....79512.html

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words ‘The Lamb’ – short video
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=J21MECNU

    If scientists want to find the source for the supernatural light which made the “3D – photographic negative” image on the Shroud I suggest they look to the thousands of documented Near-Death Experiences (NDE’s) in Judeo-Christian cultures. It is in their testimonies that you will find mention of an indescribably bright ‘Light’ or ‘Being of Light’ who is always described as being of a much brighter intensity of light than the people had ever seen before.

    Ask the Experts: What Is a Near-Death Experience (NDE)? – article with video
    Excerpt: “Very often as they’re moving through the tunnel, there’s a very bright mystical light … not like a light we’re used to in our earthly lives. People call this mystical light, brilliant like a million times a million suns…”
    – Jeffery Long M.D. – has studied NDE’s extensively

    All people who have been in the presence of ‘The Being of Light’, while having a deep NDE, have no doubt whatsoever that the ‘The Being of Light’ they were in the presence of is none other than ‘The Lord God Almighty’ of heaven and earth.

    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    https://vimeo.com/92172680

    Verses and Music;

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    The same was in the beginning with God.
    All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made.
    In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

    1 John 1:5-7
    “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

    Acts 26:13-15
    at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

    Toby Mac (In The Light)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_MpGRQRrP0

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    Two very different ‘eternities’ revealed by physics:

    General Relativity, Special Relativity, Heaven and Hell
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_4cQ7MXq8bLkoFLYW0kq3Xq-Hkc3c7r-gTk0DYJQFSg/edit

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

    Kirsten Powers’ Reluctant Journey from Atheism to Christian – 2013
    Excerpt: Then something very unusual happened to Powers on a trip to Taiwan in 2006.
    “I woke up in what felt like a strange cross between a dream and reality. Jesus came to me and said, ‘Here I am.’,,,
    Powers doesn’t recall what Kathy Keller taught on that day, but when she left the Bible study she knew everything had changed. “I’ll never forget standing outside that apartment on the Upper East Side and saying to myself, ‘It’s true. It’s completely true.’ The world looked entirely different, like a veil had been lifted off it. I had not an iota of doubt. I was filled with indescribable joy.”,,,
    “Everywhere I turned, there He was. Slowly there was less fear and more joy.
    http://crossmap.christianpost......stian-6355

  21. 21
    rhampton7 says:

    bornagain77,

    I did not admit that I am wrong simply because I am not wrong. We do not have scientific theories that can tell us if about the existence, quantity or type of alien life. Hypotheses, like the drake equation and what you consider “proof” are arguments with little to no supporting evidence.

    And again, it’s not materialism versus theism. In searching for alien life, the instruments do not discriminate between those that may have arisen “naturally” or those that were created by divine intervention. Nor do all religions (or even Christian sects) reject the possibility — though you do.

    Lastly, I was not changing tactics, but trying to get to the heart of the issue by asking you directly about your disagreement. And thank you for doing so. I understand that you are committed to an a priori view that the only life within the entire universe exists on Earth. And while you wash your hands of the scientific efforts, you seem to be of the opinion that it is indeed a waste because we (you) already know the answer.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    rhampton7, quite the contrary, I have provided ample evidence that my position is correct, and you are the one, empirically naked so to say, clinging to your a-priori materialistic beliefs. The shoe is squarely on the other foot.

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    rhampton7, here are a few more notes for you to ignore the relevance of:

    Suzan Mazur: Origin of life shifting to “nonmaterial events”? – December 15, 2013
    Excerpt: The first paradox is the tendency of organic matter to devolve and to give tar. If you can avoid that, you can start to try to assemble things that are not tarry, but then you encounter the water problem, which is related to the fact that every interesting bond that you want to make is unstable, thermodynamically, with respect to water. If you can solve that problem, you have the problem of entropy, that any of the building blocks are going to be present in a low concentration; therefore, to assemble a large number of those building blocks, you get a gene-like RNA — 100 nucleotides long — that fights entropy. And the fourth problem is that even if you can solve the entropy problem, you have a paradox that RNA enzymes, which are maybe catalytically active, are more likely to be active in the sense that destroys RNA rather than creates RNA.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....al-events/

    Chemistry by Chance: A Formula for Non-Life by Charles McCombs, Ph.D.
    Excerpt: The following eight obstacles in chemistry ensure that life by chance is untenable.
    1. The Problem of Unreactivity
    2. The Problem of Ionization
    3. The Problem of Mass Action
    4. The Problem of Reactivity
    5. The Problem of Selectivity
    6. The Problem of Solubility
    7. The Problem of Sugar
    8. The Problem of Chirality
    The chemical control needed for the formation of a specific sequence in a polymer chain is just not possible through random chance. The synthesis of proteins and DNA/RNA in the laboratory requires the chemist to control the reaction conditions, to thoroughly understand the reactivity and selectivity of each component, and to carefully control the order of addition of the components as the chain is building in size.
    http://www.icr.org/article/che.....-non-life/

    RNA world: Chemists Propose a Seemingly Unlikely Environment for the Origin of Life – February 27, 2013
    Excerpt: Benner and his colleagues consider three major problems with the RNA-world model:
    *The “asphalt problem”: Organic reactions often produce unreactive byproducts. These byproducts are a mixture of pieces of the product or polymerization of the product, but are chemically insignificant and otherwise unpromising. Hence the metaphor of “asphalt.” Typically, avoiding the production of such byproducts requires very specific and controlled conditions, or post-reaction purification steps.
    *The “water problem”: Many of the bonds in RNA will undergo hydrolysis. This occurs when water reacts with the bond, causing it to break apart. In a lab, the problem is easily addressed by using a different solvent. However, the environment of the early Earth could not draw on the resource of various organic solvents.
    *The “impossible bond problem”: The authors refer here to the difficulty in forming certain bonds in RNA. Usually this follows from thermodynamic issues that prohibit bonds from spontaneously forming.
    Conspicuously missing from the authors’ list of critiques are the “chirality problem” and the “information problem.” Later in the paper, however, they concede that their model does not solve the enigma of chirality, and they allude to a potential “fatal flaw” in their proposition, namely that the kinds of RNA molecules that catalyze the destruction of RNA are more likely to emerge than RNA molecules that catalyze the synthesis of RNA. –
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....68661.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.....fault.html

    Homochirality and Darwin: part 2 – Robert Sheldon – May 2010
    Excerpt: With regard to the deniers who think homochirality is not much of a problem, I only ask whether a solution requiring multiple massive magnetized black-hole supernovae doesn’t imply there is at least a small difficulty to overcome? A difficulty, perhaps, that points to the non-random nature of life in the cosmos?
    http://rbsp.info/PROCRUSTES/ho.....in-part-2/

  24. 24
    rhampton7 says:

    A scientific argument without corroborating data is worthless — see string theory.

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    “A scientific argument without corroborating data is worthless”

    And exactly where is your corroborating data to support your argument that life may be common in the universe?

    I’ve supplied evidence for my position, and can supply much more, where is your evidence???

    Moreover,,,

    Mind and Cosmos – Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False – Thomas Nagel
    Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history.
    http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/pro.....9919758.do

    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.

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

  26. 26
    rich says:

    I suppose critics of ID would argue you’re just trying to suppress any research that may challenge human exceptionalism. Let’s imagine UD was in charge of NASA. What would you do, where would you take it?

  27. 27
    rhampton7 says:

    And exactly where is your corroborating data to support your argument that life may be common in the universe?

    There is no data, that’s why the search is being conducted. We don’t know what the answer is.

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