“The Radio Species” –Scientists Doubt ‘Human Niche’ Would Be Filled If We Go Extinct

 

ESO

 

For what purpose did the human brain evolve is a question that has puzzled scientists for decades.In 2010 Colin Blakemore, an Oxford neurobiologist argued that a mutation in the brain of a single human being 200,000 years ago turned intellectually able primates into a super-intelligent species that would conquer the world. Homo sapiens appears to be a genetic accident.

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Stephen Hawking’s Great Question –“Why Isn’t the Milky Way Crawling With Mechanical or Biological Life?”

GalaxyEvolution_Final_Papovich

 

“If the argument about the time scale for the appearance of life on Earth is correct”, Stephen Hawking observed, echoing Enrico Fermi’s infamous question–Where is Everybody– “there ought to be many other stars, whose planets have life on them. Some of these stellar systems could have formed 5 billion years before the Earth. So why is the galaxy not crawling with self-designing mechanical or biological life forms?”

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Jupiter’s Great Red Spot –“Could It Be a Way Station on the Long Road to Life?”

Jupiter's Great Red Spot

 

 

Many scientists believe that it is, suggests Paul Davies, theoretical physicist at Arizona State University and director of the Beyond Center, in The Demon in the Machine. Davies suggests that the Great Red Spot is an example of a “dissipative structure” first recognized in the 1970’s by the chemist Ilya Prigogine, who defined life as operating far from equilibrium with its environment and supporting a continued throughput of matter and energy.

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Alien Rain –“A Key to Revealing the Ancient Climate on Planets like Mars and Potentially Habitable Exoplanets”

 

Raindrops

 

“The insights we gain from thinking about raindrops and clouds in diverse environments are key to understanding exoplanet habitability,” said Robin Wordsworth, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) about a new study of the behavior of raindrops on other planets that is key to not only revealing the ancient climate on planets like Mars but identifying potentially habitable planets outside our solar system. “In the long term, they can also help us gain a deeper understanding of the climate of Earth itself.”

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Carbon–“Survived Vast Journeys from Cold, Dark Molecular Clouds in the Interstellar Medium”

 

Interstellar Medium

 

Can all life as we know it be traced back to the interstellar medium (ISM)? This March 2021, Michael McCarthy, an astrochemist and Acting Deputy Director of  Harvard Center for Astrophysics (CfA), commented about the discovery of a vast, previously unknown reservoir of carbon as well as new molecules in a cold, dark molecular cloud in the interstellar medium for the first time “It makes you wonder,” he exclaimed, “what else is out there that we just haven’t looked for.” 

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“Is There Life There, HAL?” –In a Visionary Step, NASA Plans to Install Artificial Intelligence Systems on Probes of Distant Planets

ExoMars Landing Map

 

In Space Odyssey 2001, HAL 9000, the Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic Computer, consigned the crew commander to his death by refusing to open the pod bay doors. Leaping forward to June, 2020, NASA announced a visionary step: that intelligent computer systems will be installed on space probes to direct the search for life on distant planets and moons. The AI program will start with the 2022/23 ESA ExoMars mission before moving beyond to moons such as Jupiter’s Europa and of Saturn’s Enceladus and Titan.

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