Frank2112 Twitter Feed

    Follow Frank2112 on Twitter

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    Phoenix Mars Lander

    Phoenix Mars Lander site

    This is the good stuff right here.

    For me the question is not; 'is there life on Mars?' or 'was there life on Mars?'. I strongly suspect that there is or was.
    In any case, as our artifacts are currently there, one can safely say, there is now.
    The real question for me is, if we find life elsewhere in our own solar system (Mars, Europa, or wherever), is that life the result of a separate genesis? If we find that life throughout our solar system is all related and therefore the result of a single genesis event, that will tell us something about the robust nature of life and it's ability to proliferate. If we find, however, that life occurs in our own solar system as a result of more than one, completely separate genesis events, that will tell us something entirely different about the likelihood of life existing elsewhere in our galaxy and the universe beyond.

    The question after that will be, if life is abundant in the universe, how rare is intelligence?

    Which of course kicks off that old conversation about what intelligence really is?
    What if an alien life form conceptualizes the universe in a completely different way than we do? How would we be able to recognize each other as intelligent, let alone communicate? After all dolphins and whales are widely regarded as intelligent and are related to us, but we can't even really communicate with them yet. So the question then becomes, if life is abundant in the universe, how rare is intelligence that conceptualizes the universe in a similar manner to the way we do?
    My feeling is, probably very rare indeed.
    On the other hand, look at it this way, we begin here, extending our reach through our solar system, first with machines and bacteria, and then later with ourselves, as we surely must. Add to this our increasing ability to adapt ourselves both technologically and genetically to the environments we discover, and through our increasing mastery of nanotechnology to alter those environments to better suit us. I believe we will one day see alien life forms, bred from the life around us and ourselves, living everywhere we can reach.

    1 comment:

    Brigid_Fitch said...

    Wow, what an existentialist post! Take it from an evolutionary theist--there is/was most certainly life on other planets/galaxies. Intelligent life.

    But to say that life on another planet is the result of a completely independent genesis is a bit of a stretch. The likelihood of the perfect conditions required to create life on two separate planets in the same solar system are too immense to calculate. I prefer to believe that certain planets (Mars) and moons (Titan) had the basic components for the formation of lifeforms, but only Earth had just the right qualities at the time for life to FLOURISH.

    As to the question if life is abundant throughout the universe, I say YES. But it depends on your definition of "life": Amoebic life vs. Intelligent life.

    Is there "Intelligent Life" outside our galaxy? The sheer odds tell us that there should be. And I believe they're out there. But to wade into the depths of whether or not they conceptualize life as we do strays into the realm of Science Fiction.

    Science Fiction has its place in th e Jungian consciousness. As for our galaxy, we're the only ones who evolved with a brain. Are there other galaxies with the same perfect conditions to allow the evolution of intelligent lifeforms? Probably. But the odds of any others contacting us are astronomical.

    Conclusion: We're definitely not alone in the universe. To think so would be too egomaniacal to contemplate. But in our Solar System, we lucked out and became the dominant species.