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PAH in space, isn’t that enough to debunk the rare earth hypothesis?

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posted on May, 23 2010 @ 06:06 PM
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This is just one site talking about it. But I am wondering since these are found in almost every galaxy, wouldn’t this just show that life can arise anywhere in the universe?

www.astrochem.org...




posted on May, 23 2010 @ 07:28 PM
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Wow, I don't think I'll be able to look at another picture of the universe the same again, knowing that we've detected the presence of organic compounds all over it.



posted on May, 26 2010 @ 02:29 AM
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Isn't the picture of that the same geometric figure used in the unified theory of everything?



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 09:01 PM
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I nearly didn't read this post. PAH? What the hell is that?

I'm glad I did!

This is one of the most promising, if not THE most promising developments in the search for life.

The complex molecules that form the building blocks for life didn't form in rare special conditions on early Earth, they're EVERYWHERE!

To draw an analogy, when blue dust falls on a yellow planet, green rocks are formed.
If space is full of blue dust and yellow planets are common...........Well I'm sure you get the idea.



posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 07:12 AM
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Originally posted by Maddogkull
This is just one site talking about it. But I am wondering since these are found in almost every galaxy, wouldn’t this just show that life can arise anywhere in the universe?

www.astrochem.org...
I don't think the rare Earth hypothesis is about whether it can or can't happen, as much as it's about whether it has or hasn't happened.


Originally posted by OZtracized
To draw an analogy, when blue dust falls on a yellow planet, green rocks are formed. If space is full of blue dust and yellow planets are common...


Here's another analogy:

Buy a lottery ticket. There's evidence all over it that you CAN win big money. But the chances are say 1 in 250,000,000. You see lottery tickets everywhere and they all look the same.

Likewise we see the building blocks of life everywhere. There's evidence all over then that life CAN develop, but the chances are, let's guess 1 in 250,000,000. So in the Milky Way that's maybe 1000 places with life.

And look again, what if Mars is one of those places? Perhaps there was or perhaps IS life on Mars. It's so hard to detect we've been there and dug around in the soil but we still aren't sure if there is or was life on Mars. So if Mars is an example of one of the planets where life has developed, it's probably not "teeming" with life now though perhaps it once was.

So you say I just made up and guessed at what the chances are that the building blocks were assembled in just the right way? Actually that's not even my guess, I just made up a number for illustration purposes. The real chances could be much higher or much lower, but everyone agrees they aren't 100%.

Or an even closer analogy: Give a bunch of alphabet blocks to a bunch of young infants who have no language skills.

We can look at all those building blocks and see literally the building blocks of language everywhere. But in how many places do we actually see the blocks form words or sentences that represent language? OK holding up the block "A" doesn't count, let's say they need to build a simple sentence with 25 blocks.

Give them to enough infants and eventually some blocks will form a sentence. But the fact that we see alphabet blocks everywhere doesn't rule out a "rare language hypothesis" because it may take a bit of luck to assemble the blocks in the right order.

The same may be true with the building blocks of life. They are there, but it may take a bit of luck to assemble the blocks in the right order. My guess is, it probably does.

"since these are found in almost every galaxy...."

I noticed that even in SciFi shows, they find it hard to travel between galaxies. So while I hope we discover life in our own galaxy soon, I'm not optimistic about developing the technology to detect life in other galaxies. They are just too far away. Actually even the stuff in our own galaxy seems pretty far away.

Let's say our best chances of discovering any intelligent signals with SETI lie within a 100 light year radius. 100 light years is a huge distance, it would take the fastest spacecraft we've ever built 1,750,000 years to go that far. Yet 100 light years is only a tiny fraction of the Milky way, which is 100,000 light years across.



posted on Jun, 5 2010 @ 02:22 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


I accept that my analogy was a little simplistic and certainly optimistic and yours was, well, probably realistic.

Since it was previously thought that these complex molecules could only form in ideal conditions on an Earth-like planet but there now is strong evidence to suggest that these molecules are actually quite common, I think it's reasonable to say the chance of life (in a broad sense) evolving elswhere is much better than we thought.

I will not dispute your other points. In fact my sentiments largely mirror yours but I still feel this is a big discovery.




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