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

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posted on Apr, 18 2013 @ 08:34 PM
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edit on 18-4-2013 by liejunkie01 because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by jeep3r
 


Very interesting paper but it actually supports life being abundant throughout the universe. Even life that's more intelligent than us. I have been a long supporter of Panspermia.

This paper basically says the universe is filled with life. This life that formed 9.7 billion years ago was seeded throughout the universe not just earth. The conditions of the planet that formed then dictated how life on that planet evolved. Things like gravity and temperature. Some planets had better conditions than others and that's even a statement that has to come with the caveat that we can't measure which conditions are better or worse just based on life on earth. Can life evolve in more efficient ways on other planets and in other conditions?

Also, the earliest planets found are 12.8 billion years old.


Two huge planets found orbiting a star 375 light-years away are the oldest alien worlds yet discovered, scientists say.

With an estimated age of 12.8 billion years, the host star—and thus the planets—most likely formed at the dawn of the universe, less than a billion years after the big bang.

"The Milky Way itself was not completely formed yet," said study leader Johny Setiawan, who conducted the research while at the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany.


news.nationalgeographic.com...

So first, you would have to look at all the planets that formed between 12.8 to 9.7 billion years ago. The Milky Way is 13.2 billion years old.

So based on this paper, life can be traced back to zero complexity 13 billion years ago. The paper gives no reason why life began seeding the universe 9.7 billion years ago. The only way this can be accomplished is if you take an egocentric view of the universe and then say well all life in the universe can only be traced to life on earth. That makes no sense.

There's no reason life at zero complexity couldn't exist 13 billion years ago or 9.7 billion years ago. So the paper actually makes it look like the Drake equation underestimated how many intelligent life forms may be out there.

So if life started 13 billion years ago, that means it would take 5 billion years to become simple bacteria according to this paper. So that would put the first seeds of life at around 8 billion years ago. So a civilization could be anywhere from 3 billion to 1 year ahead of us.

A civilization 1,000 years ahead of us would be a type 1 civilization and much more advanced than we are now.
edit on 19-4-2013 by neoholographic because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 12:09 AM
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reply to post by dondrews
 


Answers. Everybody is looking for them.

How does taking a law of exponential growth first identified in the world of computer manufacturing, applying it to the evolution of life on Earth and getting a result that is conflict with known facts about the age of the planet answer anything at all?

What justifies the application of this 'law' outside the field in which it was first identified? Is the justification so strong that an apparently obvious wrong result must be accepted as correct?

In what other areas has Moore's Law shown to be applicable? Since when did it become some kind of universal physical law?


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.

Who said anything about the Bible?

This is not science until the questions above are satisfactorily answered. Perhaps they are addressed in the original paper. Have you read it?



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 12:52 AM
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reply to post by Knives4eyes
 


Funny I was just reading Richard J. Frietas excellent book XENOLOGY: An Introduction to the Scientific Study of Extraterrestrial Life, Intelligence, and Civilization, written in 1979.

Here's a bit from chapter 20.1 - Evolutionary rates:

"A wide variety of different factors operate collectively to increase or decrease the rate of evolution of species on any given planet. It is true that modern geneticists recognize evolution is primarily a function of genetic variation stored in the species’ general gene pool. Evolution advances by reshuffling previously accumulated gene types by a process known as "recombination." Nevertheless, the primary and ultimate source of all genetic variation is mutation.

The average background level of radiation at the Earth’s surface is about 0.12 roentgens/year. About one-third of this is cosmic rays from space. Among smaller organisms, often as much as 100-1000 times the background is required just to double the natural mutation rate. Among larger organisms, as little as 3-10 times above background may produce a similar effect over the whole body. It would appear that on Earth today natural radiation accounts for only a small fraction of all spontaneous mutations.

The situation may have been much different in the past. I.S. Shklovskii and V.I. Krassovskii, two distinguished Russian astrophysicists, have calculated that Earth may have passed within 10 parsecs of a supernova event perhaps a dozen times since its formation 4.6 eons ago. In each case, the scientists believe, the intensity of cosmic radiation must have risen at least by a factor of 30. This should have caused an increase of one order of magnitude in the natural background, which would at least double the mutation rate (and so the maximum rate of evolution) for the largest creatures on Earth.

Extraterrestrial creatures inhabiting a planet in the outer Core regions of the Galaxy should experience such a supernova event far more often -- perhaps once every 10 million years. Over the course of geological history more than 500 local supernovae might occur. This would double mutation rates at regular intervals and keep the pace of evolution high -- especially during the very early stages in the evolution of life on the planet when gene inventories were still small. We might hypothesize that species "turnover rates" may be significantly higher near Core regions than in the Disk of the Galaxy...

Many other factors may influence the rate of evolution on other worlds. For example, stellar class of the primary sun may be important. The hottest stars for which habitable planets are thought to exist are the F5 suns. ...

Another factor which may quicken the pace of evolution is the presence of moons. By raising tides on the planetary shores, natural satellites may assist chemical mixing and catalysis during the early phases of prebiotic evolution in alien seas....

Planetary factors may also have a decisive effect on the rate of evolution. Perhaps the most influential of these is the relation between land mass distribution and the diversity of species -- a part of the science of biogeography...

There are many other planetary factors which may affect the rate of evolution. For instance, smaller planets generally may have higher mutation rates because the levels of background radiation should be higher.

Another major factor that is often overlooked is planetary surface temperature. For any given biochemical basis, the reactions involved in life chemistry should proceed at faster rates on warm worlds than on colder ones..."

I rest my case.



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 01:13 AM
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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.



Couldn't agree more.

I can imagine them observing our continuing pathway of destruction of our planet, and each other, and thinking:

"Better not drop in and say hello as these humans will just start shooting at us! Let's come back in a few thousand years and see what they are up to. If they, and the planet, are still around!".



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 02:32 AM
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reply to post by AlienDeathSpider
 

I agree with you. The factors impinging on the rate of evolution of life are complex and highly variable. The kind of statistical manipulation referred to in the OP will have to be rigourously justified if we are to accept it.



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 06:58 AM
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Originally posted by AlienDeathSpider
reply to post by Knives4eyes
 

There are many other planetary factors which may affect the rate of evolution. For instance, smaller planets generally may have higher mutation rates because the levels of background radiation should be higher.

Another major factor that is often overlooked is planetary surface temperature. For any given biochemical basis, the reactions involved in life chemistry should proceed at faster rates on warm worlds than on colder ones..."


Thanks for bringing this to our attention ...


After having gone through the paper, I also had a couple of questions that call for answers. I think that's the purpose, though, to make us think about it from a different perspective.

The core argument is that a doubling rate of genetic complexity (in our biological timeline) can be observed. The extrapolation exercise they did seems to be a logical step when you have sufficient evidence to trace back the turnover rate/doubling over a period of time that's long enough.

However, the farther you go back in time (prior to the exponential evolution) the more you have to deal with unknowns. This is especially true for the transition from inorganic chemical processes up to the emergence of self-replicating entities with heritable functions:


Attempts to reproduce the origin of life in laboratory conditions (Damer, et al., 2012) may prove more difficult than it is generally expected because such experiments have to emulate many cumulative rare events that occurred during several billion years before organisms reached the complexity of the RNA world (...)


I think that what they are trying to say is the following: reaching a phase where organisms are able to replicate in an exponential manner is probably very difficult and a rare event. But once heritable functions are obtained, a constant macroevolution (like our own) is more likely to unfold and persist over time (given the right conditions).

As far as I understood, they don't explicitly exclude the possibility that there may have been multiple origins elsewhere in the universe, but they rather see our timeline as the ideal way of how macro-evolution can produce complex organisms with not a lot of leeway to accelerate the process even more. But that's where they might as well be wrong ... I'd say more people need to look into this and provide further evidence, but it's at least a start for discussing an interesting observation.

Ultimately, I agree with you and some of the previous posts in that they probable didn't factor in every possible scenario & process that might speed up or slow down the evolution of life apart from our special case of emergence as an intelligent species. But they definitely got me looking at this from a completely different perspective ...
edit on 19-4-2013 by jeep3r because: text
edit on 19-4-2013 by jeep3r because: spelling



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 07:07 AM
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I just wanted to point out you said exponential growth yet the graph is linear.

An exponential graph would show a curved line not a straight one.



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 07:15 AM
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Originally posted by Eonnn
 

I just wanted to point out you said exponential growth yet the graph is linear. An exponential graph would show a curved line not a straight one.


Yes, that's deceptive at first, but it's actually a logarithmic scale, the values for the genome size on the vertical axis indicate a certain order of magnitude.

In that way you can show the exponential relation as well while using a graph that doesn't require too much space!



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 08:05 AM
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Here goes an article on the topic from Huffington Post:
Life Before Earth? Moore's Law Research Suggests Living Things Predate Our Planet

In the article, one of the authors (Alexei Sharov) says:


"It's 99 percent true that life started before Earth — but we should leave 1 percent for some wild chance that we haven’t accounted for."

So I guess that's the key message they are trying to convey ...



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 12:56 PM
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The Fermi-Paradox is subject to the same scrutiny that every other hard-to-grasp concept to humans is...

We are limited by our own understanding of the sciences and the universe.

Perhaps we haven't detected other life, because we are only looking in the mediums that make sense to US.

We are so smug, thinking that we understand everything. Life could be teaming ALL around us without us ever even knowing because it exists in a [dimension, medium, format, insert-criteria here] that we simply cannot comprehend.

I DO like this article using least lines regression to extrapoloate back showing that it likely developed the same, simultaneously all across the universe. Somewhere, it developed slower, other places faster. No one messes with us because they either can't (not advanced enough) or see no value-add to it (when was the last time you tried to have a conversation with a goldfish?! In the grand scheme of things... NOT that primitive to us)

Thanks for the thought. S&F for that, at least.



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 03:10 PM
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At the start of the universe space dust slowly
Comes together and makes comets and asteroids.
They are slowly pulled together by gravity.

Eventuality they make a star.
Then the star goes Nova.
This makes other elements & chemicals.

the elements & chemicals are the base for life.
the dust from a Nova is drawn back to make a star and planets.

But microbial life starts in asteroids from a Nova.
the asteroids travel in a very big egg type orbit around the sun.
as it passes the sun it warms up deep in its core.

Over tens of billions of years or more.
the chemicals interact and make microbial life.
they eventually hit a planet that can sustain life.

And they evolve.
Next they make up conspiracies.



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 05:03 PM
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Originally posted by buddha
At the start of the universe space dust slowly
Comes together and makes comets and asteroids.
They are slowly pulled together by gravity.

Eventuality they make a star.
Then the star goes Nova.
This makes other elements & chemicals.

the elements & chemicals are the base for life.
the dust from a Nova is drawn back to make a star and planets.

But microbial life starts in asteroids from a Nova.
the asteroids travel in a very big egg type orbit around the sun.
as it passes the sun it warms up deep in its core.

Over tens of billions of years or more.
the chemicals interact and make microbial life.
they eventually hit a planet that can sustain life.

And they evolve.
Next they make up conspiracies.


And people know that that is 100% how a planet from's? and what dust clouds? those clouds are all plasma, a very large amount of electricity in a vacuum. I wonder who witnessed this planet form and then had the time to write it all down? And the have yet to witness what you just described, so it's all just a bunch of guesses.



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 05:11 PM
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I'm not 100% convinced by this 'science' by any means, but 9.7 billion would potentially have been the last solar system occupying this space, right?



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 07:07 PM
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Originally posted by CyningSaeward
 

I'm not 100% convinced by this 'science' by any means, but 9.7 billion would potentially have been the last solar system occupying this space, right?


I think their main argument (origin of evolution likely to predate Earth) is quite strong based on their methodology and approach.

It's interesting to look at evolution as being some kind of information processing on a biological basis similar to what we see happening in technological development (see Moore's Law), but on a much bigger scale of time. When looking at the genome size in relation to the time biological mechanisms need to evolve and develop, it actually starts making sense, at least in my view ... but the peer-reviews of other scientists will show whether they are likely to make a strong case for this or not.

Regarding your question:
What they assume is that it is almost certain that life came to Earth via Panspermia, meaning that it originated elsewhere in the universe and then spread via meteorites throughout space while potentially contaminating planets with bacteria along their way ... on certain planets (like Earth) with the right conditions, these early lifeforms would then have evolved exponentially (in terms of genome complexity) leading to more complex organisms, then worms, fish, mammals, humans etc.

edit on 19-4-2013 by jeep3r because: text



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 07:20 PM
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Originally posted by jeep3r

Originally posted by CyningSaeward
 

I'm not 100% convinced by this 'science' by any means, but 9.7 billion would potentially have been the last solar system occupying this space, right?


I think their main argument (origin of evolution likely to predate Earth) is quite strong based on their methodology and approach.

It's interesting to look at evolution as being some kind of information processing on a biological basis similar to what we see happening in technological development (see Moore's Law), but on a much bigger scale of time. When looking at the genome size in relation to the time biological mechanisms need to evolve and develop, it actually starts making sense, at least in my view ... but the peer-reviews of other scientists will show whether they are likely to make a strong case for this or not.

Regarding your question:
What they assume is that it is almost certain that life came to Earth via Panspermia, meaning that it originated elsewhere in the universe and then spread via meteorites throughout space while potentially contaminating planets with bacteria along their way ... on certain planets (like Earth) with the right conditions, these early lifeforms would then have evolved exponentially (in terms of genome complexity) leading to more complex organisms, then worms, fish, mammals, humans etc.

edit on 19-4-2013 by jeep3r because: text


That's what I thought (rather than the suggestion that the Earth is actually more than twice its established age.) I too am rather more swayed towards the idea of Panspermia rather than the theory that a correct mixture of random amino acids and minerals will suddenly create DNA or RNA. It does however only move the argument along further back in time....where did the first life come from?

Considering the given age of life on this planet at over 9 billion, it would I suppose imply that life actually began not long after the universe had cooled sufficiently to allow heavier base elements to be existence throughout the universe. Its a huge head-frack however you look at it.



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by jeep3r
 


I agree with you and some of the previous posts in that they probable didn't factor in every possible scenario & process that might speed up or slow down the evolution...

That is a problem that might render an accurate computation impossible. However, it is not the real difficulty.

The real difficulty is explaining why anyone thinks applying Moore's Law to biological evolution makes any sense at all. What is the justification for that? Does anyone here know the answer?

On a side note, I'd like to know what this 'macroevolution' you keep mentioning is. Isn't it a term of abuse popular with creationists?



posted on Apr, 19 2013 @ 11:38 PM
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Staphylococci never come singly.



edit on 19/4/13 by Astyanax because: inadvertent double post.



posted on Apr, 20 2013 @ 12:33 AM
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Excellent post OP.


Don't be intimidated by fake 'science' thrown around as if you were submitting a research paper or something - What the authors are doing is part of the process. It may not stand in finality, but if we do not challenge our own thinking, we fail.




posted on Apr, 20 2013 @ 01:04 AM
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What if black holes lead to other universes, that would be cool, then it wouldn't matter how old ours is. And maybe if its possible the life in those other universes had a way to travel through black holes into ours.





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