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At Mind Matters News: Earth’s weirdest life forms show that ET life is possible


Whether it’s living in boiling water, breathing sulfur, or eating radiation, we’ve found life forms that do just that right here on Earth:

● Among the life forms known as extremophiles are many creatures that no scientist expected to find. That includes the Deinococcus radiodurans bacterium which can survive “15,000 gray dose of radiation, where 10 grays would kill a human and it takes over 1,000 grays to kill a cockroach. This species, in fact, is exemplary in many ways, encompassing also the ability to survive cold, dehydration, vacuum and acid.” (LiveScience, (August 2, 2011) From the BBC (September 22, 2020),we learned that some radiodurans survived three years on the outside of a spacecraft:

News, “Earth’s weirdest life forms show that ET life is possible” at Mind Matters News (June 4, 2022)

Takehome: Many life forms eat and breathe things we used to think were lethal. Life seems to want to come into existence any way it can. Exoplanets may well offer suitable environments.

You may also wish to read: Researcher: Only 4 in 1000s of ET groups are likely malicious. Historically, sci-fi has preferred aliens to be overlords or villains. But a researcher asks us to look at the history of conflict on our own planet… Conflict specialist Alberto Caballero finds that advances in technology correlate with less likelihood of mere aggression — but they don’t rule it out.

Relatd @ 12: Since you ask, it is easy for a population of organisms to adapt to a changed environment. As BA77 reports @10 for E-coli, with a distribution of genetic variations (alleles) in a population, killing off most of the population by some environmental stressor leaves the remaining population better suited to cope with that stressor. Once the population recovers, increase the stressor a bit and repeat the process. Eventually, the entire remaining population will have the set of alleles needed to withstand the more extreme stress. That is not "origin of species" as envisioned by Darwin, it is more like "breeding" as actually witnessed by Darwin; selection (whether natural or artificial) to choose for certain traits. Thus, adaption rather than true "evolution". Such adaptation is seen in the pepper moths, the beaks of Darwin's finches, antibiotic resistance, and almost every case of "micro-evolution". No new species, just sub populations better adapted to their changed environment than the original population. Fasteddious
view of your inept support of ID,
Maybe I have been inept but there has been no stronger supporter of ID than myself.
you were actually an Evolutionist fifth columnist
Just more evidence that anti ID people haven’t a clue. Early on I separated the life debate into at least four separate areas. One of which followed Darwin’s ideas. That was micro evolution or genetics. If someone then thought I supported natural evolution they were clueless. In the last couple years I realized that Darwin’s ideas had to be very limited even within genetics because by definition improvements leave more offspring. And if the improvements are too much it would destroy the ecology and then the species itself. This fits the data not the continual improvements. Aside: I originally believed Darwin’s ideas because they sounded sensible but then realized when examined closely they were nonsense. I first heard of the controversy when an evolutionary biologist in San Francisco was fired because he questioned Darwin. Aside2: something which natural selection might do in genetics is the lighter skin of Europeans. They lived in relatively low light geographic areas so Vitamin D needs may have left more light skin offspring. Have no idea if this true but may be an explanation for skin color in Northern Europe. jerry
LoL! @ Fred Hickson, for referring to the cesspool swamp and its disbanded infantile cowards. ET
Fasteddious at 9, "...some found its way into more difficult environments and adapted to survive there." Seriously? And how does that work exactly? You are an organism and you "adapt" to a place that's too hot or otherwise dangerous to you because why? You need to adapt pretty fast to survive, right? Better to stay in your already safe environment. As far as Mars, there is liquid water about a mile underground. We might find some simple microbes there. relatd
Jerry at 6, Because no one has a real identity, and, in some cases, no obvious goal. As a moderator on another forum (hot here), I see the bored, those with no knowledge, the trolls and those for and against whatever is currently being promoted. relatd
Radiodurans, as 'extreme' as they are, are also extremely problematic for the 'gene-centric' presuppositions of Darwinian evolution Specifically, radiodurans 'after shattering of its 3.2 Mb genome into 20–30 kb pieces,,, miraculously reassembles its genome such that only 3 hr later fully reconstituted nonrearranged chromosomes are present, and the cells carry on, alive as normal.,,,'
Extreme Genome Repair - 2009 Excerpt: If its naming had followed, rather than preceded, molecular analyses of its DNA, the extremophile bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans might have been called Lazarus. After shattering of its 3.2 Mb genome into 20–30 kb pieces by desiccation or a high dose of ionizing radiation, D. radiodurans miraculously reassembles its genome such that only 3 hr later fully reconstituted nonrearranged chromosomes are present, and the cells carry on, alive as normal.,,, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3319128/
Moreover, this 'miraculous' ability to reconstitute its genome is not limited to radiodurans but is now found to be present in e-coli as well;
In the lab, scientists coax E. coli to resist radiation damage - March 17, 2014 Excerpt: ,,, John R. Battista, a professor of biological sciences at Louisiana State University, showed that E. coli could evolve to resist ionizing radiation by exposing cultures of the bacterium to the highly radioactive isotope cobalt-60. "We blasted the cultures until 99 percent of the bacteria were dead. Then we'd grow up the survivors and blast them again. We did that twenty times," explains Cox. The result were E. coli capable of enduring as much as four orders of magnitude more ionizing radiation, making them similar to Deinococcus radiodurans, a desert-dwelling bacterium found in the 1950s to be remarkably resistant to radiation. That bacterium is capable of surviving more than one thousand times the radiation dose that would kill a human. http://www.news.wisc.edu/22641
As to "Life seems to want to come into existence any way it can." Well, save, of course, for in the laboratory, and in spite of how much effort is put into trying to make life come into existence from non-life:
Origin of Life: An Inside Story - Professor James Tour – May 1, 2016 Excerpt: “All right, now let’s assemble the Dream Team. We’ve got good professors here, so let’s assemble the Dream Team. Let’s further assume that the world’s top 100 synthetic chemists, top 100 biochemists and top 100 evolutionary biologists combined forces into a limitlessly funded Dream Team. The Dream Team has all the carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleic acids stored in freezers in their laboratories… All of them are in 100% enantiomer purity. [Let’s] even give the team all the reagents they wish, the most advanced laboratories, and the analytical facilities, and complete scientific literature, and synthetic and natural non-living coupling agents. Mobilize the Dream Team to assemble the building blocks into a living system – nothing complex, just a single cell. The members scratch their heads and walk away, frustrated… So let’s help the Dream Team out by providing the polymerized forms: polypeptides, all the enzymes they desire, the polysaccharides, DNA and RNA in any sequence they desire, cleanly assembled. The level of sophistication in even the simplest of possible living cells is so chemically complex that we are even more clueless now than with anything discussed regarding prebiotic chemistry or macroevolution. The Dream Team will not know where to start. Moving all this off Earth does not solve the problem, because our physical laws are universal. You see the problem for the chemists? Welcome to my world. This is what I’m confronted with, every day.“ James Tour – a top ten world leading synthetic Chemist https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/origin-of-life-professor-james-tour-points-the-way-forward-for-intelligent-design/
Rather than looking at extremophiles and saying, "Look, life could arise anywhere!", a more realistic model would say that life arose in the best place for it and only then, as it "evolved" and distributed over time, some found its way into more difficult environments and adapted to survive there. Iterate that model several times over billions of years and you will find life everywhere on Earth, some in extreme environments. (This is not to say that the "evolution" was entirely by Darwinian means, although those processes would have played a role.) If we do find life (or past evidence of it) on Mars, it is more likely that some of the extremophiles found their way from Earth (as mentioned in another post), and settled in, slowly adapting to the new conditions (which apparently might have been more welcoming in the past). Fasteddious
Half-seriously, Jerry, there was a website, now more or less defunct, that used to monitor Uncommon Descent in a light-hearted manner. You became a sort of anti-hero there and a view developed that, in view of your inept support of ID, you were actually an Evolutionist fifth columnist. Fred Hickson
Dunno, Jerry, what's your excuse? Fred Hickson
Indeed, in combination they’re deadly
From someone who must not breathe. Nitrogen and oxygen make up about 99% of every breath that is taken by land creatures. Maybe we have a machine commenting here. That would explain a lot. Million dollar question: why are people who understand essentially nothing here? jerry
....oxygen and nitrogen have some very peculiar properties that would limit where complex life could survive.
Indeed, in combination they're deadly! Oxides of Nitrogen Fred Hickson
People should read Denton’s new book. In it he carefully explains the chemical limitations of advanced life. For starters, oxygen and nitrogen have some very peculiar properties that would limit where complex life could survive. There are many others. jerry
"Earth’s weirdest life forms show that ET life is possible" No, it does not. The most that could be said is that earth's weirdest life forms show that organisms can survive and live in many different extreme environments. If we have the same types of environments in space, you could say that it looks like they would be able to survive in certain outer space environments. But even then, you don't know what the unknowns are, so it is only a hypothesis. And, in order to have ET life, you have to have some sort of abiogenesis and that has NEVER been shown to be possible. tjguy
Given an Intelligently Designed universe, it is a given that we are not alone. ET
Sci-fi has always favored weird places far from Earth. Some writers tried to imagine weird places inside the Earth, but they were quickly and firmly tinfoiled. See Richard Shaver. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Sharpe_Shaver The same odd prejudice shapes science funding. NASA has been massively funded for 60 years. Deep-earth exploration mostly happens accidentally, when an oil driller or miner calls attention to life in the drill cores. polistra

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