reply to post by BogieSmiles
OK, we don't agree that life is improbable or that the best explanation is that life was seeded here from elsewhere somehow.
I think that, as time goes on, we'll begin to accept a different concept of "origins."
Obviously - the probability of life in the universe we inhabit is unity - it's going to happen... because we are here.
See Schrodinger's cat in quantum mechanics. In any isolated system, both the past and present state of the system exist in super positions. Once
you open the fabled box, the history fills in appropriately to the observed current state.
This works fine in terms of short term isolation. But when considering long-term isolation, the very nature of quantum mechanics makes history,
Let's presume there is a pocket of space the size of our own universe that has been isolated from our own since... well - it's never been in contact
with ours. Suppose we have a device able to peer into this universe that we can hypothetically prove the existence of (but cannot peer into). Prior
to looking into this universe - it exists in a superposition. We can make a number of rudimentary estimates about it - how much total energy is in
it, for example - but we don't know what's in it. It could be the spitting image of our own universe - or it could be an absolutely chaotic system
filled with exotic particles that have no way of existing in our own universe.
We take a look, and find arrangements of galaxies much like our own - except in a grid-like lattice pattern that is far more ordered than our own
It could have been anything up until the point at which we peered inside. We can theorize all we want to about how those galaxies came to exist in
that pattern - but the simple fact is that we observed them being in that pattern. Some would argue that the universe had no form at all until we
took a look at it (and, indeed, the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics would say it's functionally useless to presume it did) - any pasts
we infer from it are merely a sort of "back-filling" we insist upon doing.
Even though we can infer a past - we can only infer from a possible range of pasts knowing the properties of the universe and the rules it functions
It's no different than walking in on a chess board with pieces arranged in a random pattern. Knowing the rules of the game, you can postulate on how
the game was played before you entered the room. You assume that, because there is a chess board and the pieces are arranged upon it - that a game
was being played. But the pieces could have merely been placed that way with no game having been played. Sure - you can infer that there was a game,
and that it could have started any number of different ways... but you don't know - and it's not really important to try to argue how the pieces
came to be in the positions they are.
In a round-about way - life could very well exist because 'we' exist (or the conscious process we identify as our own). Because something
'looked' at our universe, and cells existed then (or perhaps entire life forms) - a sort of history was 'created' for it... but it becomes
increasingly hazy as we turn back the clock (just as the probable locations of pieces in a game of chess increase exponentially with each turn).
Thus - it's a pragmatic look at what actually can be known. Call it the "hand of god" - call it "chance" - Science cannot effectively make the
I'm thinking that the lowest level living self replicating molecule is relatively simple chemically.
DNA is a simple molecule.
The problem is that it requires various compounds to replicate... compounds that only exist as information encoded into DNA.
Presently, DNA is the only fully self-replicating molecule known to science. We can argue about RNA chains that make up many viruses - but since
those require the replicating systems of other life forms (that cannot be found in nature) - they don't exactly qualify.
The problem is that A requires B to produce C that is responsible for reading A to produce B and C. It's a hurdle that people tackle the only way
they know how: Faith.
Faith that there were simple biological compounds that could arrange into a self-replicating molecule or system (it's impossible to prove this one
way or the other - but no one has been able to demonstrate it to be possible).
Or faith that some higher power created said system.
Of course - this problem exists because people believe the 'origin' of our universe to have come into existence from a single event or point. If
you take my above "origin" concept based on prior existence in a super-position combined with an "observation" that included many of the systems
we see - then the problem evaporates.
Though I'm sure many would consider it a cop-out.