Hi All:

In my view life is a component of the fastest path to heat death (equilibrium) in universes that have suitable thermodynamics. Thus there would be a built in "pressure" for such universes to contain life. Further I like Stephen Gould's idea that complex life arises because evolution is a random walk with a lower bound and no upper bound.

The above "pressure" will always quickly jump start life at the lower bound in such universes by rolling the dice so to speak as much as necessary to do so.

Hal Ruhl

At 10:13 PM 5/31/2005, you wrote:
Norman Samish wrote:

[Responding to Russell Standish]
This article, as you point out, asserts "that the rapidity of biogenesis on
Earth suggests that life is common in the Universe."   This assertion is
shown to be probably correct with some reasonable assumptions.  One of the
assumptions is that if life occurs here, it must also occur on other
terrestrial planets.  However, the part that I have trouble with is figuring
out exactly how that first living organism was created.  ("Living" means it
has the ability to take in energy from the environment and transform the
energy for growth and reproduction.)  "Living" requires a highly organized
and complex mechanism - that humans, so far, have not been able to create.
I can't imagine how such an organism could occur accidentally.  I would call
that first living organism a miraculous circumstance.

I don't see how anyone could say that life is or isn't common in the Universe on the basis of current evidence. It taxes astronomers to the limit at present to discover the existence of enormous gas giants orbiting stars relatively close to Earth. Even in our own solar system, how could we possibly know whether simple or even relatively complex lifeforms are not living in, for example, the huge and hugely complex atmosphere of Jupiter?

--Stathis Papaioannou

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