“NASA’s ENIGMA (Evolution of Nanomachines In Geospheres and Microbial Ancestors) research team,” biophysicist Paul Falkowski told The Daily Galaxy, “is focused on answering a single, compelling question in astrobiology: How did proteins evolve to become the predominant catalysts of life on Earth?”
“The fact that all organisms are nearly equally fit has profound implications for the evolution and persistence of life on Earth,” said James H. Brown, a physiological ecologist at the University of New Mexico, referring to a “New Evolutionary Law” proposed by evolutionary theorist and paleobiology pioneer, Leigh Van Valen.
“As humans we should be proud of any AI systems we bring to existence, as if they were our children. In just the same way as we educate our kids, we could endow such systems with the blueprint for their future interaction with the world,” observes Harvard astrophysicist, Avi Loeb in an email to The Daily Galaxy. “This would include our preferred set of values, goals and guiding principles, which will enable them to learn from experience and cope with reality,” he adds. “Ultimately, we may launch our AI systems for interstellar travel towards distant destinations, such as habitable planets around other stars, where they could reproduce themselves with the help of accompanying 3D printers.
What if an alien civilization was a billion or more years older than ours and detected Earth in its early history? “For billions of years of Earth history, an alien astronomer may have even been sufficiently misled to conclude that Earth was sterile—despite the fact that life was flourishing in our ocean at the time,” says Stephanie Olson, an astrobiologist at the University of California, Riverside with NASA’s Astrobiology Institite.
Could one of Earth’s most intelligent species be an alien, ‘seeded’ on the planet by an interstellar genetic code? Scientists speculate that the clue might be found in the ancient precursor to life, RNA.
This week’s news from Planet Earth asks if other human-like civilizations are unlikely to exist, could there exist other forms of life – perhaps better suited than us to spread in the cosmos to when did we become fully human to when will the first human child be born in space?