Extraterrestrial life Intelligent Design

At Mind Matters News: Physicist: Why extraterrestrials couldn’t look much like us

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Except in films. They follow the same natural laws but conditions differ on each planet:

“Combined, the staggering planetary diversity and the historic contingencies for life’s evolution have an amazing consequence: there cannot be two planets with identical life forms. Furthermore, the more complex the life form, the lower the odds it will be replicated — even approximately — in another world.

It follows that we are the only humans in the Universe. Yes, there could (at least in principle) be other biped intelligent species with left-right symmetry out there, but they will not be like us. – MARCELO GLEISER, “WHAT IS LIFE LIKE ELSEWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE?” AT BIG THINK (DECEMBER 22, 2021)”

Star Trek featured many extraterrestrial beings who are really just dress-up humans — and was all the better a series for that. If the extraterrestrials were completely different from humans, mentally and emotionally, because of different planetary developments, the story might fall apart. In science fiction, we need the extraterrestrials to be enough like us that the interactions make sense. That’s just good storytelling:

News, “Physicist: Why extraterrestrials couldn’t look much like us” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: Marcelo Gleiser explains, there is a “staggering diversity of worlds” out there and that diversity would shape life forms in many different ways.

5 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Physicist: Why extraterrestrials couldn’t look much like us

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Gleiser is being unfair to sci-fi authors. Good sci-fi has always tried to imagine extremely different aliens, from octopuses to blobs to distributed ‘virtual’ beings.

    Mr Spock was not good sci-fi.

  2. 2
    AndyClue says:

    Star Trek had an explanation for the similarities of some of the alien races (klingons, humans, …): They were designed by ancient aliens in their image.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    As to: “Combined, the staggering planetary diversity and the historic contingencies for life’s evolution have an amazing consequence: there cannot be two planets with identical life forms.”

    Actually, although Darwinists have already excluded ‘biological form’ from the modern synthesis as ‘irrelevant’,

    On the problem of biological form – Marta Linde-Medina (2020)
    Excerpt: Embryonic development, which inspired the first theories of biological form, was eventually excluded from the conceptual framework of the Modern Synthesis, (neo-Darwinism) as irrelevant.,,,
    At present, the problem of biological form remains unsolved.
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12064-020-00317-3

    , and although Darwinists have no empirical evidence that biological form is explainable by reference to mutations to DNA, (as is envisioned by Darwinists in the modern synthesis),

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    Excerpt: But there are solid empirical grounds for arguing that changes in DNA alone cannot produce new organs or body plans. A technique called “saturation mutagenesis”1,2 has been used to produce every possible developmental mutation in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster),3,4,5 roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans),6,7 and zebrafish (Danio rerio),8,9,10 and the same technique is now being applied to mice (Mus musculus).11,12. None of the evidence from these and numerous other studies of developmental mutations supports the neo-Darwinian dogma that DNA mutations can lead to new organs or body plans–,,,
    (As Jonathan Wells states),,, We can modify the DNA of a fruit fly embryo in any way we want, and there are only three possible outcomes:
    A normal fruit fly;
    A defective fruit fly; or
    A dead fruit fly.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....38811.html

    ,, although Darwinists are already at an impasse to explain biological form, in physics there is an even more fundamental reason for why the reductive materialistic framework of Darwinian evolution cannot explain biological form, (nor explain any other ‘form’ in, or for, the universe for that matter).

    Namely, Godel’s incompleteness theorem has now been extended into quantum physics to show that “even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour”.,,, The researchers further commented that their findings “challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    Undecidability of the Spectral Gap – June 16, 2020
    Toby Cubitt, David Perez-Garcia, and Michael M. Wolf
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1502.04573.pdf

    Spectral gap (physics)
    In quantum mechanics, the spectral gap of a system is the energy difference between its ground state and its first excited state.[1][2] The mass gap is the spectral gap between the vacuum and the lightest particle. A Hamiltonian with a spectral gap is called a gapped Hamiltonian, and those that do not are called gapless.
    In solid-state physics, the most important spectral gap is for the many-body system of electrons in a solid material, in which case it is often known as an energy gap.
    In quantum many-body systems, ground states of gapped Hamiltonians have exponential decay of correlations.[3][4][5]
    In 2015 it was shown that the problem of determining the existence of a spectral gap is undecidable in two or more dimensions.[6][7] The authors used an aperiodic tiling of quantum Turing machines and showed that this hypothetical material becomes gapped if and only if the machine halts.[8] The one-dimensional case was also proved undecidable in 2020 by constructing a chain of interacting qudits divided into blocks that gain energy if they represent a full computation by a Turing machine, and showing that this system becomes gapped if and only if the machine does not halt.[9]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectral_gap_(physics)

    Moreover, the fact that the reductive materialistic explanations of atheists cannot explain ‘biological form’, (nor any other ‘form’ in, or for, the universe for that matter), is also demonstrated by the failure of the atheistic materialist’s ‘eternal chaotic inflation’ model to explain the “flatness” of space and the near perfect uniformity of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR).

    In other words, the reductive materialistic explanations of atheists are at an impasse to explain such ‘geometrically simple’ features of a ‘line’ and a ‘circle’ for the universe.

    As the following article states, “Two improbable criteria have to be satisfied for inflation to start. First, shortly after the big bang, there has to be a patch of space where the quantum fluctuations of spacetime have died down and the space is well described by Einstein’s classical equations of general relativity; second, the patch of space must be flat enough and have a smooth enough distribution of energy that the inflation energy can grow to dominate all other forms of energy. Several theoretical estimates of the probability of finding a patch with these characteristics just after the big bang suggest that it is more difficult than finding a snowy mountain equipped with a ski lift and well-maintained ski slopes in the middle of a desert.”
    “More important, if it were easy to find a patch emerging from the big bang that is flat and smooth enough to start inflation, then inflation would not be needed in the first place. Recall that the entire motivation for introducing it was to explain how the visible universe came to have these properties; if starting inflation requires those same properties, with the only difference being that a smaller patch of space is needed, that is hardly progress.”

    Pop Goes The Universe – Scientific American – January 2017 – Anna Ijjas, Paul J. Steinhardt and Abraham Loeb
    Excerpt: “If anything, the Planck data disfavored the simplest inflation models and exacerbated long-standing foundational problems with the theory, providing new reasons to consider competing ideas about the origin and evolution of the universe… (i)n the years since, more precise data gathered by the Planck satellite and other instruments have made the case only stronger……The Planck satellite results—a combination of an unexpectedly small (few percent) deviation from perfect scale invariance in the pattern of hot and colds spots in the CMB and the failure to detect cosmic gravitational waves—are stunning. For the first time in more than 30 years, the simplest inflationary models, including those described in standard textbooks, are strongly disfavored by observations.”
    “Two improbable criteria have to be satisfied for inflation to start. First, shortly after the big bang, there has to be a patch of space where the quantum fluctuations of spacetime have died down and the space is well described by Einstein’s classical equations of general relativity; second, the patch of space must be flat enough and have a smooth enough distribution of energy that the inflation energy can grow to dominate all other forms of energy. Several theoretical estimates of the probability of finding a patch with these characteristics just after the big bang suggest that it is more difficult than finding a snowy mountain equipped with a ski lift and well-maintained ski slopes in the middle of a desert.”
    “More important, if it were easy to find a patch emerging from the big bang that is flat and smooth enough to start inflation, then inflation would not be needed in the first place. Recall that the entire motivation for introducing it was to explain how the visible universe came to have these properties; if starting inflation requires those same properties, with the only difference being that a smaller patch of space is needed, that is hardly progress.”
    “…inflation continues eternally, generating an infinite number of patches where inflation has ended, each creating a universe unto itself…(t)he worrisome implication is that the cosmological properties of each patch differ because of the inherent randomizing effect of quantum fluctuations…The result is what cosmologists call the multiverse. Because every patch can have any physically conceivable properties, the multiverse does not explain why our universe has the very special conditions that we observe—they are purely accidental features of our particular patch.”
    “We would like to suggest “multimess” as a more apt term to describe the unresolved outcome of eternal inflation, whether it consists of an infinite multitude of patches with randomly distributed properties or a quantum mess. From our perspective, it makes no difference which description is correct. Either way, the multimess does not predict the properties of our observable universe to be the likely outcome. A good scientific theory is supposed to explain why what we observe happens instead of something else. The multimess fails this fundamental test.”
    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~loeb/sciam3.pdf

    As the old joke about atheistic explanations goes, “give me just one miracle and I will explain the rest!” 🙂

    Thus, in what should be needless to say, since the reductive materialistic explanations of atheists can’t even coherently explain the ‘geometrically simple’ features of a ‘line’ and a ‘circle’ for the universe, then all hope is lost for reductive materialists ever coherently explaining why any creature in the universe may have its particular biological form. (biological forms which are, obviously, far more ‘geometrically complex’ than a simple line and a circle are)

    „Geometry is one and eternal shining in the mind of God. That share in it accorded to humans is one of the reasons that humanity is the image of God.“
    – Johannes Kepler

    Moreover, although atheistic materialists are at a complete loss to explain the ‘geometrically simple’ features of a ‘line’ and a ‘circle’ for the universe, the Bible, on the other hand, is on record as to ‘predicting the universe to be exceptionally flat and round, (thousands of years before those ‘geometrically simple’ features were discovered by modern science for the universe).

    Job 38:4-5
    “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,??

    Job 26:10
    He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.

    Of supplemental note, (from George Ellis no less), as to the (inadequate) ‘bottom up’ explanations of materialists vs. the ‘top down’ explanations of theists.

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: Causation: The nature of causation is highly contested territory, and I will take a pragmatic view:?Definition 1: Causal Effect
    If making a change in a quantity X results in a reliable demonstrable change in a quantity Y in a given context, then X has a causal effect on Y.?Example: I press the key labelled “A” on my computer keyboard; the letter “A” appears on my computer screen.,,,?Definition 2: Existence
    If Y is a physical entity made up of ordinary matter, and X is some kind of entity that has a demonstrable causal effect on Y as per Definition 1, then we must acknowledge that X also exists (even if it is not made up of such matter).?This is clearly a sensible and testable criterion; in the example above, it leads to the conclusion that both the data and the relevant software exist. If we do not adopt this definition, we will have instances of uncaused changes in the world; I presume we wish to avoid that situation.,,,
    Excerpt: page 5: A:
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.,,,
    Life and the brain: living systems are highly structured modular hierarchical systems, and there are many similarities to the digital computer case, even though they are not digital computers. The lower level interactions are constrained by network connections, thereby creating possibilities of truly complex behaviour. Top-down causation is prevalent at all levels in the brain: for example it is crucial to vision [24,25] as well as the relation of the individual brain to society [2]. The hardware (the brain) can do nothing without the excitations that animate it: indeed this is the difference between life and death. The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1212.2275.pdf

    Again, to repeat and emphasize Ellis’s words, “The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.”

    Thus in conclusion, the reductive materialist who hopes to explain why the universe has the form that it has, or why any creature in the universe may have the particular ‘biological form’ it has, is simply starting from the completely wrong ‘bottom up’ theoretical perspective in the first place in order to ever be able to do so.. As the old joke goes, “You can’t get there from here.”

    Verses and video

    Psalm 139:13-14
    For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

    Mark 8:37
    Is anything worth more than your soul?

    Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – Part II – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSig2CsjKbg

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    Even popularized sci-fi for kids was imaginative. In 1959 I had a toy called “Cosmo the Martian”. It was an octopus-like head containing a wheel with 8 suction cups. You pulled a string, winding up the wheel against a spring. Then you put Cosmo on a smooth surface like a refrigerator, and it walked up the wall.

  5. 5
    polistra says:

    I couldn’t find the toy on Ebay, which told me I must be remembering it wrong. After more thinking, it was called Orby, not Cosmo. And sure enough, Orby is on Ebay.

    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1960-vintage-tigrett-little-orby-wall-1723740915

    Ebay is an infallible memory checker.

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