Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Life before Earth: Biological Timeline May Reach Back 9.7 Billion Years

page: 1
32
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join
+14 more 
posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 06:55 PM
link   
I just read about an interesting study on arXiv.org and thought it might be worth discussing here on ATS ...

A paper called "Life before Earth" suggests that our biological origins might reach back as far as 9.7 billion years, a point in time when Earth didn't even exist according to current paradigms (click here for the full PDF version).

How did the authors come to their conclusion?

Well, you probably all know Moore's Law which says that the processing power of computers doubles every 18 months (roughly). This means "exponential growth" in terms of processing speed. In other words: technological development is constantly accelerating.

The authors point out that Moore's law can predict the future processing capabilities/complexity of computers but that you can also use it go back in time in order to determine quite precisely when the first transistor had been invented, the first calculator, first vacuum tubes etc. (based on processing speed, which was of course much slower in the past ...).

In a nutshell, they point out that:
- biology is roughly based on the same rate of progress as Moore's law (exponential)
- instead of 18 months, organic (genome) complexity doubles every 376 million years
- Moore's law can be (reversly) applied to biology
- when calculating the reduction of organic complexity, the origins reach back 9.7 billion years
- life could therefore have originated from another place before having reached Earth


Illustration indicating the calculated biological timeline:




ABSTRACT

LIFE BEFORE EARTH
Alexei A. Sharov, Richard Gordon
(Submitted on 28 Mar 2013)

An extrapolation of the genetic complexity of organisms to earlier times suggests that life began before the Earth was formed. Life may have started from systems with single heritable elements that are functionally equivalent to a nucleotide. The genetic complexity, roughly measured by the number of non-redundant functional nucleotides, is expected to have grown exponentially due to several positive feedback factors: gene cooperation, duplication of genes with their subsequent specialization, and emergence of novel functional niches associated with existing genes.

Linear regression of genetic complexity on a log scale extrapolated back to just one base pair suggests the time of the origin of life 9.7 billion years ago. This cosmic time scale for the evolution of life has important consequences: life took ca. 5 billion years to reach the complexity of bacteria; the environments in which life originated and evolved to the prokaryote stage may have been quite different from those envisaged on Earth; there was no intelligent life in our universe prior to the origin of Earth, thus Earth could not have been deliberately seeded with life by intelligent aliens; Earth was seeded by panspermia; experimental replication of the origin of life from scratch may have to emulate many cumulative rare events; and the Drake equation for guesstimating the number of civilizations in the universe is likely wrong, as intelligent life has just begun appearing in our universe.

Evolution of advanced organisms has accelerated via development of additional information-processing systems: epigenetic memory, primitive mind, multicellular brain, language, books, computers, and Internet. As a result the doubling time of complexity has reached ca. 20 years. Finally, we discuss the issue of the predicted technological singularity and give a biosemiotics perspective on the increase of complexity.


Further they state that this might also explain the Fermi-Paradox (where are all the ETs given the amount of stars in the universe?): If it takes our species 10 billion years to develop (and the universe is about 13.8 billion years old), then we might as well be one of just a few intelligent species that have emerged up to now ...

Their findings are currently being reviewed, but I think their thought-experiment is quite mind-boggling ...
edit on 17-4-2013 by jeep3r because: formatting




posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 07:01 PM
link   
Thanks for sharing. Man, I have to admit this is trippy. It is interesting how the mysteries of our origins are as we try to understand with our melons.



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 07:39 PM
link   
reply to post by jeep3r
 

After thinking about that for a minute, the idea that life began elsewhere seems like it may be the most logical possibility. When the Earth first began forming, and before it had cooled down, wasn't it supposedly a hot fiery blob of molten rock(or molten whatever)?



I'm pretty sure you just caused a few more of my brain cells to melt, so I'll have to come back later, and read it again.






Originally posted by jeep3r

Further they state that this might also explain the Fermi-Paradox (where are all the ETs given the amount of stars in the universe?)
They are elsewhere.

IF they are out there somewhere; & IF they have the technology to locate us and know for sure that we are here; & IF they have the means to travel the distance between us and them, that wouldn't necessarily mean that they would want to.

We're probably not worthy. Heck, they may have even came here, but then after watching for a bit, they may have decided that they would probably be much better off simply by turning around and going back home.



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 07:47 PM
link   

ABSTRACT

LIFE BEFORE EARTH
Alexei A. Sharov, Richard Gordon
(Submitted on 28 Mar 2013)

An extrapolation of the genetic complexity of organisms to earlier times suggests that life began before the Earth was formed. Life may have started from systems with single heritable elements that are functionally equivalent to a nucleotide. The genetic complexity, roughly measured by the number of non-redundant functional nucleotides, is expected to have grown exponentially due to several positive feedback factors: gene cooperation, duplication of genes with their subsequent specialization, and emergence of novel functional niches associated with existing genes.

Linear regression of genetic complexity on a log scale extrapolated back to just one base pair suggests the time of the origin of life 9.7 billion years ago. This cosmic time scale for the evolution of life has important consequences: life took ca. 5 billion years to reach the complexity of bacteria; the environments in which life originated and evolved to the prokaryote stage may have been quite different from those envisaged on Earth; there was no intelligent life in our universe prior to the origin of Earth, thus Earth could not have been deliberately seeded with life by intelligent aliens; Earth was seeded by panspermia; experimental replication of the origin of life from scratch may have to emulate many cumulative rare events; and the Drake equation for guesstimating the number of civilizations in the universe is likely wrong, as intelligent life has just begun appearing in our universe.

Evolution of advanced organisms has accelerated via development of additional information-processing systems: epigenetic memory, primitive mind, multicellular brain, language, books, computers, and Internet. As a result the doubling time of complexity has reached ca. 20 years. Finally, we discuss the issue of the predicted technological singularity and give a biosemiotics perspective on the increase of complexity.


Problem is that's all based on what we have here on earth. Might get completely different figures if done from elsewhere in the universe.



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 09:40 PM
link   
reply to post by jeep3r
 


Nice find. Thanks for sharing.

S&F&



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 09:50 PM
link   
All DNA is from the cosmos and Lyra had alot to do with earth and this world.



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 09:57 PM
link   
I love the conceptual application of Moore's Law into the biological realm. Being a firm believer in "As Above So Below", it is only natural that what we see on our scale is replicated in other scales.



posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 10:13 PM
link   
www.dailygalaxy.com...

I have been trying to post this,so sorry.


Earlier studies have shown that Jupiter-sized gas giants tend to form around stars containing more heavy elements than the Sun. However, research by a team of astronomers found that planets smaller than Neptune are located around a wide variety of stars, including those with fewer heavy elements than the Sun. As a result, rocky worlds like Earth could have formed earlier than expected in the universe's history. "This work suggests that terrestrial worlds could form at almost any time in our galaxy's history," said Smithsonian astronomer David Latham (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics). "You don't need many earlier generations of stars."* Latham played a lead role in the study, which was led by Lars A. Buchhave from the University of Copenhagen.* Astronomers call chemical elements heavier than hydrogen and helium "metals."
edit on 17-4-2013 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)


It shows that it could be possible that life could have started earlier in our galaxy.
edit on 17-4-2013 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 01:28 AM
link   
This is sophistry, not science, on a par with mediaeval schoolmen trying to work out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

I fail to see the justification for performing the exercise in the first place. Anyone care to fill me in?



posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 01:56 AM
link   
edit on 18-4-2013 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)
edit on 18-4-2013 by kdog1982 because: Deleted because it will not let me post.Damn ATS



posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 07:06 AM
link   

Originally posted by Astyanax
 

This is sophistry, not science, on a par with mediaeval schoolmen trying to work out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.


Nice comparison!


I think the science part is all about tracing back the order of functional genome complexity in organisms on Earth. They argue that there's an exponential increase in this complexity leading from simple bacteria all the way up to humans which seems to confirm an exponential trend in macro-evolution.

That's not to say that the doubling of functional genome complexity always occurs exactly according to the predicted point in time. There are variations and phases where organisms remain unaltered for some time, but the next evolutionary step(s) will again bring sufficient progress. Accordingly, they identify this as being a generic trend in macro-evolution which can be traced back quite precisely.

However, I also asked myself: does that apply just to conditions on Earth? Are we, as humans, the result of such macro-evolutionary processes under ideal conditions?



I fail to see the justification for performing the exercise in the first place.
Anyone care to fill me in?


I think they want to kick off an informed discussion about the possibility of such a scenario within the scientific community. If I understood them correctly, they just take the exponential growth of functional complexity in organisms for a fact (and that this can be traced back quite consistently in the biological records).

The other arguments refer to the potential evolution of life elsewhere in the universe, but those are rather assumptions than conclusions. They indeed leave us with some open questions, no doubt. But I think their inital claims are nonetheless quite interesting and inspiring ...


P.S.: By the way, thanks for all your replies up to now ...

edit on 18-4-2013 by jeep3r because: text
edit on 18-4-2013 by jeep3r because: formatting



posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 07:24 AM
link   
I have thinking about this sort of thing for at least 10 years but as my area of specialty is not in this sort of thing I never went in to it in a serious way. I am glad someone has thought of a way to do it. I also predicted that the planet would not have been here long enough when the result was obtained. I think some scientists had an inkling this might have been the case too and came up with "punctuated equilibrium". Anyway, I see this study differently from the other people who have replied, I see it as another indication that life did not originate by chance but by design.



posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 08:50 AM
link   
www.huffingtonpost.co.uk... f=false
Physicists To Test If Universe Is A Computer Simulation


This probably pertains to the entire issue, and what being inside a computer simulation/school, would be like.



posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 08:51 AM
link   

Originally posted by Astyanax
This is sophistry, not science, on a par with mediaeval schoolmen trying to work out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

I fail to see the justification for performing the exercise in the first place. Anyone care to fill me in?


...Answers. Everybody is looking for them. This is a possibility; so is the Bible. I'll take my answers in the possibilities of science; that Bible thing is far to weird for me. You may choose as you see fit.



posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 11:36 AM
link   

Originally posted by Cinrad
 

Anyway, I see this study differently from the other people who have replied, I see it as another indication that life did not originate by chance but by design.


Let's imagine for a minute that life indeed originated 9.7 billion years ago, someplace else in the universe and that macro-evolution really follows some kind of pattern or law of exponential growth. Then this law must have been the driving force from the very beginning onwards, when the first base-pair containing lifeforms emerged.

If we agree on that, we might further ask: was such a driving force or law perhaps hard-wired in these "lifeforms" (probably not the correct expression)? The alternative question would be: is our universe somehow designed in a way that allows for or even demands evolution or development at exponential growth rates? Or could it be both?

... I'm just free-styling here, but the ramifications would probably be intriguing, to say the least!
edit on 18-4-2013 by jeep3r because: text



posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 11:51 AM
link   

Originally posted by Unity_99
 

Physicists To Test If Universe Is A Computer Simulation

This probably pertains to the entire issue, and what being inside a computer simulation/school, would be like.


An interesting approach, indeed ... !

In that case I'd of course love to know: who are those guys running that simulation! And what for?! Would it serve their own progress and do they expect something 'intelligent' to come out of it?


It would definitely raise some more mind-boggling questions!



posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 12:26 PM
link   
reply to post by BrokenCircles
 


There are different theories of how life originated on earth, but this suggests that panspermia is the culprit behind life on Earth. Basically, meteorites containing resolute lifeforms collide with planets, said life adapts and evolves on those planets.



posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 05:03 PM
link   

Originally posted by DestroyDestroyDestroy
 

There are different theories of how life originated on earth, but this suggests that panspermia is the culprit behind life on Earth. Basically, meteorites containing resolute lifeforms collide with planets, said life adapts and evolves on those planets.


... which could then lead to the following assumptions (quoted from the essay):


Extrasolar life* is likely to be present at least on some planets or satellites with in our Solar System, because (1) all planets had comparable chances of being contaminated with microbial life, and (2) some planets and satellites (e.g., Mars, Europa, and Enceladus) provide niches where certain bacteria may survive and reproduce.

If extraterrestrial life is present in the Solar System, it should have strong similarities to terrestrial microbes, which is a testable hypothesis. We expect that they have the same nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and similar mechanisms of transcription and translation as in terrestrial bacteria.

* in this context referring to life that originated outside the solar system


This means that some of their claims could be verified or rejected if any bacteria should ever be found within our solar system (and if other planets were indeed contaminated as well, that is).

edit on 18-4-2013 by jeep3r because: text



posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 07:33 PM
link   
Best thread I've seen in a long time, I highly suggest this thread for anyone who claims ET's are real or believe there is life outside our "box".


Then those very same people will have rationalize a logical solution, I'll just give a hint it involves time dilation.


Science...it works.



posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 08:16 PM
link   
I still think this planet was born way before then what they publish, this article sort of also shows little evidence towards it, i mean humans and all beings on this planet are part of the same cycle as earth... hmm makes me wonder about all the myths and tales, what if, just a what if all life including this universe was all born at the same time?? no evolution just extinction in terms that "The weak are meat and the strong do eat".

I mean is it so far fetched that evolution and creationism including other theories are all part of one big interconnected network, where a intelligent design put the right conditions into place, then evolution took it's course maybe? just a thought please continue, awesome post by the way!!






top topics



 
32
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join