Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-26 Thread Telmo Menezes
On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 9:19 PM, meekerdb meeke...@verizon.net wrote:
 On 9/25/2013 8:54 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:

 On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 6:45 PM, meekerdb meeke...@verizon.net wrote:

 On 9/23/2013 3:00 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:

 On Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 12:11 AM, John Mikesjami...@gmail.com  wrote:

 Telmo:

 would you have (by any chance...) a brief identification of something
 that
 comes to your mind when speaking about   l i f e   ? (And please,
 forget
 about thebio of this Earthbound Terrestrial Biosphere).
 (To identify  live  is a bit easier I think.)

 Hi John,

 If I understand your question, I think I do have a general idea of
 what I, informally, associate with life. I always tend to imagine some
 self-contained system that is capable of procuring sources of energy
 in its environment and use that energy to, more or less, maintain it's
 structure.


 For 'life', in contrast to 'being alive', I'd add reproduction. That's
 the
 real defining characteristic of life.

 I tend to agree, but maybe we're on the verge of transcending that. If
 we clone some organism is it still reproduction? What if we tweak the
 DNA?


 Sure. It doesn't even have to involve DNA.  As Bruno pointed out cigarettes
 reproduce too.

Ok!



 None of the robots that I've seen so far fit this ideal. Even if they
 can look for an outlet and recharge their batteries, they are not
 capable of deeply fixing themselves. They cannot use that energy to
 rebuild some part of themselves that is damaged.


 And your ability to do that is quite limited.  So if a robot could
 replace a
 damaged limb with one from a supply cabinet it'd be one up on us.

 Sure, but I feel there's something to the deep mechanisms of living
 organisms, as I stated in my reply to John. I'm waxing poetic a bit
 here, sorry!


 What's 'deep' is that there's a whole complex interdependent system of life.
 You couldn't maintain your body if there were not all those plants and
 animals from which you can get pre-built proteins. Just like cigarettes
 couldn't reproduce without tobacco farmers.

Also ok :)

Telmo.

 Brent


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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-25 Thread Telmo Menezes
On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 9:16 PM, John Mikes jami...@gmail.com wrote:
 Telmo, thanks for your effort of replying.
  However... (there is always one):
 You haven't seen ALL and the BEST robots, have you?

I admit my ignorance, of course.

 Batteries are some
 primitive gadgets for a starting line of development. What is deeply?

It's akin to fractal in the sense I'm thinking. Organs, tissues,
cells, mitochondria -- or whatever the equivalent of these things are.

 And
 what is that 'energy' you invoke? (And: YES, they CAN rebuild damaged parts
 from their environment (Rosen's MR) if they have the tools. (Just arrived
 Brent's similar remark to the list).

Sure, but life is organised in a way that is almost recursive. It
rebuilds across scales. I'm not being very rigorous here, but I get
the sense you're asking about what I feel life to be.

 Why do you hold 'computational resources' as fundamental to being alive?

Some limited resource, otherwise there's no creative tension. No
adaptive niches, for example.

 Computation is a human mental peculiarity - an 'evolved resource' by 'being
 alive' (whatever that means). How 'bout Bruno's Universal Machine?

I like Bruno's Universal Machine. If he's right, I think this machine
is at a meta level in relation to what we're discussing. But are you
asking perhaps if I think this machine is alive?

 There are so many misconceptions about 'life' (mainly HUMAN) floating
 around. Religious ones e.g. fix the beginning of it at conception of an
 egg and a sperm, (my question to that: show me a dead sperm and a dead egg
 the combining of which will START a human life - consequently those
 ingredients have to be 'alive' = having that darn 'life' in them to go on
 with it).

Not sure I agree here, but they are seeds for sure. And seed are very
interesting things.

 So I do not see an answer to my question in your reply. Try again?

I can keep trying.

Best,
Telmo.

 John M


 On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 6:00 AM, Telmo Menezes te...@telmomenezes.com
 wrote:

 On Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 12:11 AM, John Mikes jami...@gmail.com wrote:
  Telmo:
 
  would you have (by any chance...) a brief identification of something
  that
  comes to your mind when speaking about   l i f e   ? (And please,
  forget
  about thebio of this Earthbound Terrestrial Biosphere).
  (To identify  live  is a bit easier I think.)

 Hi John,

 If I understand your question, I think I do have a general idea of
 what I, informally, associate with life. I always tend to imagine some
 self-contained system that is capable of procuring sources of energy
 in its environment and use that energy to, more or less, maintain it's
 structure.

 None of the robots that I've seen so far fit this ideal. Even if they
 can look for an outlet and recharge their batteries, they are not
 capable of deeply fixing themselves. They cannot use that energy to
 rebuild some part of themselves that is damaged.

 Simulation environments don't convince me either (and I've built a few
 myself), because there's not real energy at stake. Now, if someone
 created a program that was capable of programming itself in an effort
 to try to maximise it's ability to achieve it goals by making the best
 possible use of the available computational resources, then I might
 eventually see it as being alive.

 If you meant something else, please tell me.

 Best,
 Telmo.

  John M
 
 
  On Sat, Sep 21, 2013 at 8:46 AM, Telmo Menezes te...@telmomenezes.com
  wrote:
 
  Unfortunately this appears to be bs:
 
 
  http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/09/20/136220/alien-life-story-of-dubious-provenance-goes-viral
 
  (but what do I know!)
 
  Best,
  Telmo.
 
 
  On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:53 PM, Chris de Morsella
  cdemorse...@yahoo.com wrote:
   Seems like the Pangea hypothesis might have gotten some evidence...
   wouldn't
   say this is conclusive though, but it is intriguing.
   -Chris
  
   Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space
   Scientists from the University of Sheffield believe they have found
   life
   arriving to Earth from space after sending a balloon to the
   stratosphere.’
   After it landed, scientists discovered that they had captured a
   diatom
   fragment and some unusual biological entities from the stratosphere,
   all
   of
   which are too large to have come from Earth.
   Other scientists disagree, as noted here: New Alien Life Claim Far
   from
   Convincing, Scientists Say
   The team, led by Professor (Hon. Cardiff and Buckingham Universities)
   Milton
   Wainwright, from the University’s Department of Molecular Biology and
   Biotechnology found small organisms that could have come from space
   after
   sending a specially designed balloon to 27km into the stratosphere
   during
   the recent Perseid meteor shower.
   Professor Wainwright said: “Most people will assume that these
   biological
   particles must have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth,
   but
   it
   is generally accepted that a 

Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-25 Thread Telmo Menezes
On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 9:43 PM, meekerdb meeke...@verizon.net wrote:
 On 9/23/2013 12:16 PM, John Mikes wrote:

 Why do you hold 'computational resources' as fundamental to being alive?
 Computation is a human mental peculiarity - an 'evolved resource' by 'being
 alive' (whatever that means).


 In the sense of writing equations and numbers down or doing arithmetic.  But
 in the more general sense of information processing, then computation is an
 essential part of metabolism.  It means taking stuff that's not you, and
 using code that describes your stuff, transform it into stuff that is you.

Nice.

 Brent

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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-25 Thread Telmo Menezes
On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 6:45 PM, meekerdb meeke...@verizon.net wrote:
 On 9/23/2013 3:00 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:

 On Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 12:11 AM, John Mikesjami...@gmail.com  wrote:

 Telmo:
 
 would you have (by any chance...) a brief identification of something
  that
 comes to your mind when speaking about   l i f e   ? (And please,
  forget
 about thebio of this Earthbound Terrestrial Biosphere).
 (To identify  live  is a bit easier I think.)

 Hi John,

 If I understand your question, I think I do have a general idea of
 what I, informally, associate with life. I always tend to imagine some
 self-contained system that is capable of procuring sources of energy
 in its environment and use that energy to, more or less, maintain it's
 structure.


 For 'life', in contrast to 'being alive', I'd add reproduction. That's the
 real defining characteristic of life.

I tend to agree, but maybe we're on the verge of transcending that. If
we clone some organism is it still reproduction? What if we tweak the
DNA?



 None of the robots that I've seen so far fit this ideal. Even if they
 can look for an outlet and recharge their batteries, they are not
 capable of deeply fixing themselves. They cannot use that energy to
 rebuild some part of themselves that is damaged.


 And your ability to do that is quite limited.  So if a robot could replace a
 damaged limb with one from a supply cabinet it'd be one up on us.

Sure, but I feel there's something to the deep mechanisms of living
organisms, as I stated in my reply to John. I'm waxing poetic a bit
here, sorry!

 Brent



 Simulation environments don't convince me either (and I've built a few
 myself), because there's not real energy at stake. Now, if someone
 created a program that was capable of programming itself in an effort
 to try to maximise it's ability to achieve it goals by making the best
 possible use of the available computational resources, then I might
 eventually see it as being alive.

 If you meant something else, please tell me.

 Best,
 Telmo.


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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-25 Thread Chris de Morsella
A cell's ribosome computes. it receives input sets of mRNA and uses these to 
assemble specific amino acid chains. Change the input mRNA and you get a 
different folded protein chain as the product.
 


 From: Telmo Menezes te...@telmomenezes.com
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:46 AM
Subject: Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space
  

On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 9:43 PM, meekerdb meeke...@verizon.net wrote:
 On 9/23/2013 12:16 PM, John Mikes wrote:

 Why do you hold 'computational resources' as fundamental to being alive?
 Computation is a human mental peculiarity - an 'evolved resource' by 'being
 alive' (whatever that means).


 In the sense of writing equations and numbers down or doing arithmetic.  But
 in the more general sense of information processing, then computation is an
 essential part of metabolism.  It means taking stuff that's not you, and
 using code that describes your stuff, transform it into stuff that is you.

Nice.

 Brent

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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-25 Thread meekerdb

On 9/25/2013 8:54 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:

On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 6:45 PM, meekerdb meeke...@verizon.net wrote:

On 9/23/2013 3:00 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:

On Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 12:11 AM, John Mikesjami...@gmail.com  wrote:

Telmo:

would you have (by any chance...) a brief identification of something
that
comes to your mind when speaking about   l i f e   ? (And please,
forget
about thebio of this Earthbound Terrestrial Biosphere).
(To identify  live  is a bit easier I think.)

Hi John,

If I understand your question, I think I do have a general idea of
what I, informally, associate with life. I always tend to imagine some
self-contained system that is capable of procuring sources of energy
in its environment and use that energy to, more or less, maintain it's
structure.


For 'life', in contrast to 'being alive', I'd add reproduction. That's the
real defining characteristic of life.

I tend to agree, but maybe we're on the verge of transcending that. If
we clone some organism is it still reproduction? What if we tweak the
DNA?


Sure. It doesn't even have to involve DNA.  As Bruno pointed out cigarettes 
reproduce too.




None of the robots that I've seen so far fit this ideal. Even if they
can look for an outlet and recharge their batteries, they are not
capable of deeply fixing themselves. They cannot use that energy to
rebuild some part of themselves that is damaged.


And your ability to do that is quite limited.  So if a robot could replace a
damaged limb with one from a supply cabinet it'd be one up on us.

Sure, but I feel there's something to the deep mechanisms of living
organisms, as I stated in my reply to John. I'm waxing poetic a bit
here, sorry!


What's 'deep' is that there's a whole complex interdependent system of life.  You couldn't 
maintain your body if there were not all those plants and animals from which you can get 
pre-built proteins. Just like cigarettes couldn't reproduce without tobacco farmers.


Brent

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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-23 Thread Telmo Menezes
On Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 12:11 AM, John Mikes jami...@gmail.com wrote:
 Telmo:

 would you have (by any chance...) a brief identification of something that
 comes to your mind when speaking about   l i f e   ? (And please, forget
 about thebio of this Earthbound Terrestrial Biosphere).
 (To identify  live  is a bit easier I think.)

Hi John,

If I understand your question, I think I do have a general idea of
what I, informally, associate with life. I always tend to imagine some
self-contained system that is capable of procuring sources of energy
in its environment and use that energy to, more or less, maintain it's
structure.

None of the robots that I've seen so far fit this ideal. Even if they
can look for an outlet and recharge their batteries, they are not
capable of deeply fixing themselves. They cannot use that energy to
rebuild some part of themselves that is damaged.

Simulation environments don't convince me either (and I've built a few
myself), because there's not real energy at stake. Now, if someone
created a program that was capable of programming itself in an effort
to try to maximise it's ability to achieve it goals by making the best
possible use of the available computational resources, then I might
eventually see it as being alive.

If you meant something else, please tell me.

Best,
Telmo.

 John M


 On Sat, Sep 21, 2013 at 8:46 AM, Telmo Menezes te...@telmomenezes.com
 wrote:

 Unfortunately this appears to be bs:

 http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/09/20/136220/alien-life-story-of-dubious-provenance-goes-viral

 (but what do I know!)

 Best,
 Telmo.


 On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:53 PM, Chris de Morsella
 cdemorse...@yahoo.com wrote:
  Seems like the Pangea hypothesis might have gotten some evidence...
  wouldn't
  say this is conclusive though, but it is intriguing.
  -Chris
 
  Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space
  Scientists from the University of Sheffield believe they have found life
  arriving to Earth from space after sending a balloon to the
  stratosphere.’
  After it landed, scientists discovered that they had captured a diatom
  fragment and some unusual biological entities from the stratosphere, all
  of
  which are too large to have come from Earth.
  Other scientists disagree, as noted here: New Alien Life Claim Far from
  Convincing, Scientists Say
  The team, led by Professor (Hon. Cardiff and Buckingham Universities)
  Milton
  Wainwright, from the University’s Department of Molecular Biology and
  Biotechnology found small organisms that could have come from space
  after
  sending a specially designed balloon to 27km into the stratosphere
  during
  the recent Perseid meteor shower.
  Professor Wainwright said: “Most people will assume that these
  biological
  particles must have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth, but
  it
  is generally accepted that a particle of the size found cannot be lifted
  from Earth to heights of, for example, 27km. The only known exception is
  by
  a violent volcanic eruption, none of which occurred within three years
  of
  the sampling trip.
  “In the absence of a mechanism by which large particles like these can
  be
  transported to the stratosphere we can only conclude that the biological
  entities originated from space. Our conclusion then is that life is
  continually arriving to Earth from space, life is not restricted to this
  planet and it almost certainly did not originate here.”
  Professor Wainwright said the results could be revolutionary: “If life
  does
  continue to arrive from space then we have to completely change our view
  of
  biology and evolution,” he added. “New textbooks will have to be
  written!”
  Professor Wainwright said stringent precautions had been taken against
  the
  possibility of contamination during sampling and processing, and said
  the
  group was confident that the biological organisms could only have come
  from
  the stratosphere.
  The group’s findings have been published in the Journal of Cosmology
  (open
  access) and updated versions will appear in the same journal, a new
  version
  of which will be published in the near future. Professor Chandra
  Wickramasinghe of the Buckingham, University Center for Astrobiology (of
  which Professor Wainwright is an Honorary Fellow) also gave a
  presentation
  of the group’s findings at a meeting of astronomers and astrobiologists
  in
  San Diego last month.
  Professor Wainwright added: “Of course it will be argued that there must
  be
  an, as yet, unknown mechanism for transferring large particles from
  Earth to
  the high stratosphere, but we stand by our conclusions. The absolutely
  crucial experiment will come when we do what is called ‘isotope
  fractionation’. We will take some of the samples which we have isolated
  from
  the stratosphere and introduce them into a complex machine – a button
  will
  be pressed. If the ratio of certain isotopes gives one number then our
  organisms are from 

Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-23 Thread Craig Weinberg


On Monday, September 23, 2013 12:45:00 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:



 For 'life', in contrast to 'being alive', I'd add reproduction. That's the 
 real defining 
 characteristic of life. 


You don't have to reproduce to be alive though, and any chain reaction can 
be considered reproduction. To me, life is more about a quality of 
sensitivity which can produce intentionally sustained action against 
entropy.

Craig

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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-23 Thread meekerdb

On 9/23/2013 11:49 AM, John Mikes wrote:
Brent - REPRODUCTION - in our 'biology' there is only one strain that reproduces: 
the prokaryotes by mitosis. In most(?) heterosex procreation you take TWO DIFFERENT 
ENTITIES and by combining some products of them you CREATE a third one, not identical to 
any of the procreating parents. Biologist friends were surprised, but finally agreed.


Dawkins would point out that it's genes that get reproduced.

There was ONE smartAlec who changed my topic to 'reproduction of the SPECIES' - which is 
fine, as long as we know much enough of the details of that 'specie' - what we usually 
don't. (Cf: drug-resistence of microbes).

For an alien all humans are identical, even many animal kinds included.
I would not deny the Robert Rosen characteristics-cryterion: his  M  R  the Metabolism 
and Repair. I don't find it a definitive description, but in most cases it works fine as 
main attribute.

Reproduction? no way. A mule is alive.


Did you miss that I was making a distinction between 'life' (as in 'Is there life on 
Mars?') and 'being alive'.  Sure a mule is alive. But mules don't constitute life.


Brent


JohnM



On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM, Craig Weinberg whatsons...@gmail.com 
mailto:whatsons...@gmail.com wrote:




On Monday, September 23, 2013 12:45:00 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:



For 'life', in contrast to 'being alive', I'd add reproduction. That's 
the real
defining
characteristic of life.



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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-23 Thread John Mikes
Telmo, thanks for your effort of replying.
 However... (there is always one):
You haven't seen ALL and the BEST robots, have you? Batteries are some
primitive gadgets for a starting line of development. What is deeply? And
what is that 'energy' you invoke? (And: YES, they CAN rebuild damaged parts
from their environment (Rosen's MR) if they have the tools. (Just arrived
Brent's similar remark to the list).

Why do you hold 'computational resources' as fundamental to being alive?
Computation is a human mental peculiarity - an 'evolved resource' by '*being
* alive' (whatever that means). How 'bout Bruno's Universal Machine?

There are so many misconceptions about 'life' (mainly HUMAN) floating
around. Religious ones e.g. fix the beginning of it at conception of an
egg and a sperm, (my question to that: show me a dead sperm and a dead egg
the combining of which will START a human life - consequently those
ingredients have to be 'alive' = having that darn 'life' in them to go on
with it).
So I do not see an answer to my question in your reply. Try again?

John M


On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 6:00 AM, Telmo Menezes te...@telmomenezes.comwrote:

 On Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 12:11 AM, John Mikes jami...@gmail.com wrote:
  Telmo:
 
  would you have (by any chance...) a brief identification of something
 that
  comes to your mind when speaking about   l i f e   ? (And please,
 forget
  about thebio of this Earthbound Terrestrial Biosphere).
  (To identify  live  is a bit easier I think.)

 Hi John,

 If I understand your question, I think I do have a general idea of
 what I, informally, associate with life. I always tend to imagine some
 self-contained system that is capable of procuring sources of energy
 in its environment and use that energy to, more or less, maintain it's
 structure.

 None of the robots that I've seen so far fit this ideal. Even if they
 can look for an outlet and recharge their batteries, they are not
 capable of deeply fixing themselves. They cannot use that energy to
 rebuild some part of themselves that is damaged.

 Simulation environments don't convince me either (and I've built a few
 myself), because there's not real energy at stake. Now, if someone
 created a program that was capable of programming itself in an effort
 to try to maximise it's ability to achieve it goals by making the best
 possible use of the available computational resources, then I might
 eventually see it as being alive.

 If you meant something else, please tell me.

 Best,
 Telmo.

  John M
 
 
  On Sat, Sep 21, 2013 at 8:46 AM, Telmo Menezes te...@telmomenezes.com
  wrote:
 
  Unfortunately this appears to be bs:
 
 
 http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/09/20/136220/alien-life-story-of-dubious-provenance-goes-viral
 
  (but what do I know!)
 
  Best,
  Telmo.
 
 
  On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:53 PM, Chris de Morsella
  cdemorse...@yahoo.com wrote:
   Seems like the Pangea hypothesis might have gotten some evidence...
   wouldn't
   say this is conclusive though, but it is intriguing.
   -Chris
  
   Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space
   Scientists from the University of Sheffield believe they have found
 life
   arriving to Earth from space after sending a balloon to the
   stratosphere.’
   After it landed, scientists discovered that they had captured a diatom
   fragment and some unusual biological entities from the stratosphere,
 all
   of
   which are too large to have come from Earth.
   Other scientists disagree, as noted here: New Alien Life Claim Far
 from
   Convincing, Scientists Say
   The team, led by Professor (Hon. Cardiff and Buckingham Universities)
   Milton
   Wainwright, from the University’s Department of Molecular Biology and
   Biotechnology found small organisms that could have come from space
   after
   sending a specially designed balloon to 27km into the stratosphere
   during
   the recent Perseid meteor shower.
   Professor Wainwright said: “Most people will assume that these
   biological
   particles must have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth,
 but
   it
   is generally accepted that a particle of the size found cannot be
 lifted
   from Earth to heights of, for example, 27km. The only known exception
 is
   by
   a violent volcanic eruption, none of which occurred within three years
   of
   the sampling trip.
   “In the absence of a mechanism by which large particles like these can
   be
   transported to the stratosphere we can only conclude that the
 biological
   entities originated from space. Our conclusion then is that life is
   continually arriving to Earth from space, life is not restricted to
 this
   planet and it almost certainly did not originate here.”
   Professor Wainwright said the results could be revolutionary: “If life
   does
   continue to arrive from space then we have to completely change our
 view
   of
   biology and evolution,” he added. “New textbooks will have to be
   written!”
   Professor Wainwright said stringent 

Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-23 Thread John Mikes
Brent - REPRODUCTION - in our 'biology' there is only one strain that
reproduces: the prokaryotes by mitosis. In most(?) heterosex procreation
you take TWO DIFFERENT ENTITIES and by combining some products of them you
CREATE a third one, not identical to any of the procreating parents.
Biologist friends were surprised, but finally agreed.
There was ONE smartAlec who changed my topic to 'reproduction of the
SPECIES' - which is fine, as long as we know much enough of the details of
that 'specie' - what we usually don't. (Cf: drug-resistence of microbes).
For an alien all humans are identical, even many animal kinds included.
I would not deny the Robert Rosen characteristics-cryterion: his  M  R
 the Metabolism and Repair. I don't find it a definitive description, but
in most cases it works fine as main attribute.
Reproduction? no way. A mule is alive.
JohnM



On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM, Craig Weinberg whatsons...@gmail.comwrote:



 On Monday, September 23, 2013 12:45:00 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:



 For 'life', in contrast to 'being alive', I'd add reproduction. That's
 the real defining
 characteristic of life.


 You don't have to reproduce to be alive though, and any chain reaction can
 be considered reproduction. To me, life is more about a quality of
 sensitivity which can produce intentionally sustained action against
 entropy.

 Craig

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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-23 Thread John Mikes
I have a profound respect to Dawkins, but why should I believe him?
Why would you restrict the 'genes' to those (physical worldly -
conventional scientific) measurements that show a 'match' to the 'parents'
similarly superficially mapped genes? All 'networks' go infinite with
branching further and further into more and more aspects (the genes not
exempted) - it is a likely (human?) vision of the infinite complexity we
have only a small glimpse of.
Your distinction: can something be alive without life? Then my question
stands. Could you describe 'being alive' without the concept of 'life'?
Mules don't constitute life - no, mules constitute animals - a transition
between a horse and an ass. Both rife with life - except for the progeny?
JM


On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM, meekerdb meeke...@verizon.net wrote:

  On 9/23/2013 11:49 AM, John Mikes wrote:

 Brent - REPRODUCTION - in our 'biology' there is only one strain that
 reproduces: the prokaryotes by mitosis. In most(?) heterosex procreation
 you take TWO DIFFERENT ENTITIES and by combining some products of them you
 CREATE a third one, not identical to any of the procreating parents.
 Biologist friends were surprised, but finally agreed.


 Dawkins would point out that it's genes that get reproduced.


   There was ONE smartAlec who changed my topic to 'reproduction of the
 SPECIES' - which is fine, as long as we know much enough of the details of
 that 'specie' - what we usually don't. (Cf: drug-resistence of microbes).
 For an alien all humans are identical, even many animal kinds included.
 I would not deny the Robert Rosen characteristics-cryterion: his  M  R
  the Metabolism and Repair. I don't find it a definitive description, but
 in most cases it works fine as main attribute.
 Reproduction? no way. A mule is alive.


 Did you miss that I was making a distinction between 'life' (as in 'Is
 there life on Mars?') and 'being alive'.  Sure a mule is alive.  But mules
 don't constitute life.

 Brent


  JohnM



 On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM, Craig Weinberg whatsons...@gmail.comwrote:



 On Monday, September 23, 2013 12:45:00 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:



 For 'life', in contrast to 'being alive', I'd add reproduction. That's
 the real defining
 characteristic of life.


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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-23 Thread meekerdb

On 9/23/2013 12:32 PM, John Mikes wrote:

I have a profound respect to Dawkins, but why should I believe him?
Why would you restrict the 'genes' to those (physical worldly - conventional scientific) 
measurements that show a 'match' to the 'parents' similarly superficially mapped genes?


That's an outdated conception of genes.  Genes are coding sequences in DNA.  They are not 
'superficially mapped' measurements.  They can be moved from one animal to another - c.f. 
rabbits that glow in the dark.


All 'networks' go infinite with branching further and further into more and more aspects 
(the genes not exempted) - it is a likely (human?) vision of the infinite complexity 
we have only a small glimpse of.


So what?  We don't know a lot, but we know somethings.

Your distinction: can something be alive without life? Then my question stands. Could 
you describe 'being alive' without the concept of 'life'?


Being alive is well described by metabolism for maintenance and homeostasis.  So mules are 
definitely alive.  But there's no sharp distinction.  A robot that can recharge itself is 
a little bit alive too.  And a virus that can only metabolize by hijacking the mechanism 
of a cell is a little bit alive too.  But to have life you need reproduction - which is 
just maintenance at a species level.


Mules don't constitute life - no, mules constitute animals - a transition between a 
horse and an ass.


Between a jackass and a mare.  But they're not a transition, they're a hybrid.

Brent


Both rife with life - except for the progeny?
JM


On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM, meekerdb meeke...@verizon.net 
mailto:meeke...@verizon.net wrote:


On 9/23/2013 11:49 AM, John Mikes wrote:

Brent - REPRODUCTION - in our 'biology' there is only one strain that
reproduces: the prokaryotes by mitosis. In most(?) heterosex procreation 
you take
TWO DIFFERENT ENTITIES and by combining some products of them you CREATE a 
third
one, not identical to any of the procreating parents. Biologist friends 
were
surprised, but finally agreed.


Dawkins would point out that it's genes that get reproduced.



There was ONE smartAlec who changed my topic to 'reproduction of the 
SPECIES' -
which is fine, as long as we know much enough of the details of that 
'specie' -
what we usually don't. (Cf: drug-resistence of microbes).
For an alien all humans are identical, even many animal kinds included.
I would not deny the Robert Rosen characteristics-cryterion: his  M  R  the
Metabolism and Repair. I don't find it a definitive description, but in 
most cases
it works fine as main attribute.
Reproduction? no way. A mule is alive.


Did you miss that I was making a distinction between 'life' (as in 'Is 
there life on
Mars?') and 'being alive'.  Sure a mule is alive.  But mules don't 
constitute life.

Brent



JohnM



On Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM, Craig Weinberg whatsons...@gmail.com
mailto:whatsons...@gmail.com wrote:



On Monday, September 23, 2013 12:45:00 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:



For 'life', in contrast to 'being alive', I'd add reproduction. 
That's the
real defining
characteristic of life.





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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-23 Thread meekerdb

On 9/23/2013 12:16 PM, John Mikes wrote:

Why do you hold 'computational resources' as fundamental to being alive?
Computation is a human mental peculiarity - an 'evolved resource' by '_being_ alive' 
(whatever that means).


In the sense of writing equations and numbers down or doing arithmetic.  But in the more 
general sense of information processing, then computation is an essential part of 
metabolism.  It means taking stuff that's not you, and using code that describes your 
stuff, transform it into stuff that is you.


Brent

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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-23 Thread meekerdb

On 9/23/2013 3:00 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:

On Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 12:11 AM, John Mikesjami...@gmail.com  wrote:

Telmo:

would you have (by any chance...) a brief identification of something that
comes to your mind when speaking about   l i f e   ? (And please, forget
about thebio of this Earthbound Terrestrial Biosphere).
(To identify  live  is a bit easier I think.)

Hi John,

If I understand your question, I think I do have a general idea of
what I, informally, associate with life. I always tend to imagine some
self-contained system that is capable of procuring sources of energy
in its environment and use that energy to, more or less, maintain it's
structure.


For 'life', in contrast to 'being alive', I'd add reproduction. That's the real defining 
characteristic of life.




None of the robots that I've seen so far fit this ideal. Even if they
can look for an outlet and recharge their batteries, they are not
capable of deeply fixing themselves. They cannot use that energy to
rebuild some part of themselves that is damaged.


And your ability to do that is quite limited.  So if a robot could replace a damaged limb 
with one from a supply cabinet it'd be one up on us.


Brent



Simulation environments don't convince me either (and I've built a few
myself), because there's not real energy at stake. Now, if someone
created a program that was capable of programming itself in an effort
to try to maximise it's ability to achieve it goals by making the best
possible use of the available computational resources, then I might
eventually see it as being alive.

If you meant something else, please tell me.

Best,
Telmo.



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RE: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-22 Thread Chris de Morsella
Lol, of course thanks for catching that.

-Original Message-
From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Russell Standish
Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2013 7:30 PM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

On Sat, Sep 21, 2013 at 10:52:41AM -0700, Chris de Morsella wrote:
 Damn there goes pangea lol
 

Just to be persnickety, Pangaea is the name given to the last
supercontinent, ca 300Mya. What you are thinking of is panspermia, the idea
that life was seeded from space.

Cheers

-- 


Prof Russell Standish  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics  hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-21 Thread Telmo Menezes
Unfortunately this appears to be bs:
http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/09/20/136220/alien-life-story-of-dubious-provenance-goes-viral

(but what do I know!)

Best,
Telmo.


On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:53 PM, Chris de Morsella
cdemorse...@yahoo.com wrote:
 Seems like the Pangea hypothesis might have gotten some evidence... wouldn't
 say this is conclusive though, but it is intriguing.
 -Chris

 Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space
 Scientists from the University of Sheffield believe they have found life
 arriving to Earth from space after sending a balloon to the stratosphere.’
 After it landed, scientists discovered that they had captured a diatom
 fragment and some unusual biological entities from the stratosphere, all of
 which are too large to have come from Earth.
 Other scientists disagree, as noted here: New Alien Life Claim Far from
 Convincing, Scientists Say
 The team, led by Professor (Hon. Cardiff and Buckingham Universities) Milton
 Wainwright, from the University’s Department of Molecular Biology and
 Biotechnology found small organisms that could have come from space after
 sending a specially designed balloon to 27km into the stratosphere during
 the recent Perseid meteor shower.
 Professor Wainwright said: “Most people will assume that these biological
 particles must have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth, but it
 is generally accepted that a particle of the size found cannot be lifted
 from Earth to heights of, for example, 27km. The only known exception is by
 a violent volcanic eruption, none of which occurred within three years of
 the sampling trip.
 “In the absence of a mechanism by which large particles like these can be
 transported to the stratosphere we can only conclude that the biological
 entities originated from space. Our conclusion then is that life is
 continually arriving to Earth from space, life is not restricted to this
 planet and it almost certainly did not originate here.”
 Professor Wainwright said the results could be revolutionary: “If life does
 continue to arrive from space then we have to completely change our view of
 biology and evolution,” he added. “New textbooks will have to be written!”
 Professor Wainwright said stringent precautions had been taken against the
 possibility of contamination during sampling and processing, and said the
 group was confident that the biological organisms could only have come from
 the stratosphere.
 The group’s findings have been published in the Journal of Cosmology (open
 access) and updated versions will appear in the same journal, a new version
 of which will be published in the near future. Professor Chandra
 Wickramasinghe of the Buckingham, University Center for Astrobiology (of
 which Professor Wainwright is an Honorary Fellow) also gave a presentation
 of the group’s findings at a meeting of astronomers and astrobiologists in
 San Diego last month.
 Professor Wainwright added: “Of course it will be argued that there must be
 an, as yet, unknown mechanism for transferring large particles from Earth to
 the high stratosphere, but we stand by our conclusions. The absolutely
 crucial experiment will come when we do what is called ‘isotope
 fractionation’. We will take some of the samples which we have isolated from
 the stratosphere and introduce them into a complex machine – a button will
 be pressed. If the ratio of certain isotopes gives one number then our
 organisms are from Earth, if it gives another, then they are from space. The
 tension will obviously be almost impossible to live with!”
 The research was conducted by Professor (Hon. Cardiff and Buckingham
 Universities) Milton Wainwright from the University of Sheffield, Chris Rose
 and Alex Baker from the University of Sheffield’s Leonardo Centre for
 Tribology and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe Director of the Centre for
 Astrobiology, University of Buckingham.
 http://www.kurzweilai.net/scientists-claim-discovery-of-life-coming-to-earth-from-space?utm_source=KurzweilAI+Daily+Newsletterutm_campaign=60630eb1c2-UA-946742-1utm_medium=emailutm_term=0_6de721fb33-60630eb1c2-281942553

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RE: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-21 Thread Chris de Morsella
Damn there goes pangea lol

I saw this yesterday on Kurzweil's blog and went back to the post to check
it and saw they had put out this UPDATE to the original, which I am pasting
below.
-Chris

UPDATE Sept. 21, 2013 1:00 EDT

In a blog post on KurzweilAI, theoretical biologist Dr. Richard Gordon
called these conclusions into question, noting that just one broken diatom
shell was found (not statistically impressive), no controlled experiment was
reported in a dusty environment, collection methods and lab conditions were
unspecified, and the study failed to provide data on the condition of the
balloon-borne equipment.

He also noted that there is literature on how hurricanes and storms move
diatoms through the atmosphere, and that there have been several mechanisms
suggested for the transfer of particles to the upper atmosphere. For
example, bacteria and other biological materials are common components of
cloud condensation nuclei.

Professor Wainwright said: Most people will assume that these biological
particles must have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth, but it
is generally accepted that a particle of the size found cannot be lifted
from Earth to heights of, for example, 27km. The only known exception is by
a violent volcanic eruption, none of which occurred within three years of
the sampling trip.

In the absence of a mechanism by which large particles like these can be
transported to the stratosphere we can only conclude that the biological
entities originated from space. Our conclusion then is that life is
continually arriving to Earth from space, life is not restricted to this
planet and it almost certainly did not originate here.

Professor Wainwright said the results could be revolutionary: If life does
continue to arrive from space then we have to completely change our view of
biology and evolution, he added. New textbooks will have to be written!

Professor Wainwright said stringent precautions had been taken against the
possibility of contamination during sampling and processing, and said the
group was confident that the biological organisms could only have come from
the stratosphere.

The group's findings have been published in the Journal of Cosmology (open
access) and updated versions will appear in the same journal, a new version
of which will be published in the near future. Professor Chandra
Wickramasinghe of the Buckingham, University Center for Astrobiology (of
which Professor Wainwright is an Honorary Fellow) also gave a presentation
of the group's findings at a meeting of astronomers and astrobiologists in
San Diego last month.

Professor Wainwright added: Of course it will be argued that there must be
an, as yet, unknown mechanism for transferring large particles from Earth to
the high stratosphere, but we stand by our conclusions. The absolutely
crucial experiment will come when we do what is called 'isotope
fractionation'. We will take some of the samples which we have isolated from
the stratosphere and introduce them into a complex machine - a button will
be pressed. If the ratio of certain isotopes gives one number then our
organisms are from Earth, if it gives another, then they are from space. The
tension will obviously be almost impossible to live with!

The research was conducted by Professor (Hon. Cardiff and Buckingham
Universities) Milton Wainwright from the University of Sheffield, Chris Rose
and Alex Baker from the University of Sheffield's Leonardo Centre for
Tribology and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe Director of the Centre for
Astrobiology, University of Buckingham.

-Original Message-
From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Telmo Menezes
Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2013 5:47 AM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

Unfortunately this appears to be bs:
http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/09/20/136220/alien-life-story-of-dubiou
s-provenance-goes-viral

(but what do I know!)

Best,
Telmo.


On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:53 PM, Chris de Morsella cdemorse...@yahoo.com
wrote:
 Seems like the Pangea hypothesis might have gotten some evidence... 
 wouldn't say this is conclusive though, but it is intriguing.
 -Chris

 Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space 
 Scientists from the University of Sheffield believe they have found 
 life arriving to Earth from space after sending a balloon to the
stratosphere.'
 After it landed, scientists discovered that they had captured a diatom 
 fragment and some unusual biological entities from the stratosphere, 
 all of which are too large to have come from Earth.
 Other scientists disagree, as noted here: New Alien Life Claim Far 
 from Convincing, Scientists Say The team, led by Professor (Hon. 
 Cardiff and Buckingham Universities) Milton Wainwright, from the 
 University's Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology found 
 small organisms that could

Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-21 Thread John Mikes
Telmo:

would you have (by any chance...) a brief identification of something that
comes to your mind when speaking about   l i f e   ? (And please, forget
about thebio of this Earthbound Terrestrial Biosphere).
(To identify  live  is a bit easier I think.)

John M


On Sat, Sep 21, 2013 at 8:46 AM, Telmo Menezes te...@telmomenezes.comwrote:

 Unfortunately this appears to be bs:

 http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/09/20/136220/alien-life-story-of-dubious-provenance-goes-viral

 (but what do I know!)

 Best,
 Telmo.


 On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:53 PM, Chris de Morsella
 cdemorse...@yahoo.com wrote:
  Seems like the Pangea hypothesis might have gotten some evidence...
 wouldn't
  say this is conclusive though, but it is intriguing.
  -Chris
 
  Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space
  Scientists from the University of Sheffield believe they have found life
  arriving to Earth from space after sending a balloon to the
 stratosphere.’
  After it landed, scientists discovered that they had captured a diatom
  fragment and some unusual biological entities from the stratosphere, all
 of
  which are too large to have come from Earth.
  Other scientists disagree, as noted here: New Alien Life Claim Far from
  Convincing, Scientists Say
  The team, led by Professor (Hon. Cardiff and Buckingham Universities)
 Milton
  Wainwright, from the University’s Department of Molecular Biology and
  Biotechnology found small organisms that could have come from space after
  sending a specially designed balloon to 27km into the stratosphere during
  the recent Perseid meteor shower.
  Professor Wainwright said: “Most people will assume that these biological
  particles must have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth, but
 it
  is generally accepted that a particle of the size found cannot be lifted
  from Earth to heights of, for example, 27km. The only known exception is
 by
  a violent volcanic eruption, none of which occurred within three years of
  the sampling trip.
  “In the absence of a mechanism by which large particles like these can be
  transported to the stratosphere we can only conclude that the biological
  entities originated from space. Our conclusion then is that life is
  continually arriving to Earth from space, life is not restricted to this
  planet and it almost certainly did not originate here.”
  Professor Wainwright said the results could be revolutionary: “If life
 does
  continue to arrive from space then we have to completely change our view
 of
  biology and evolution,” he added. “New textbooks will have to be
 written!”
  Professor Wainwright said stringent precautions had been taken against
 the
  possibility of contamination during sampling and processing, and said the
  group was confident that the biological organisms could only have come
 from
  the stratosphere.
  The group’s findings have been published in the Journal of Cosmology
 (open
  access) and updated versions will appear in the same journal, a new
 version
  of which will be published in the near future. Professor Chandra
  Wickramasinghe of the Buckingham, University Center for Astrobiology (of
  which Professor Wainwright is an Honorary Fellow) also gave a
 presentation
  of the group’s findings at a meeting of astronomers and astrobiologists
 in
  San Diego last month.
  Professor Wainwright added: “Of course it will be argued that there must
 be
  an, as yet, unknown mechanism for transferring large particles from
 Earth to
  the high stratosphere, but we stand by our conclusions. The absolutely
  crucial experiment will come when we do what is called ‘isotope
  fractionation’. We will take some of the samples which we have isolated
 from
  the stratosphere and introduce them into a complex machine – a button
 will
  be pressed. If the ratio of certain isotopes gives one number then our
  organisms are from Earth, if it gives another, then they are from space.
 The
  tension will obviously be almost impossible to live with!”
  The research was conducted by Professor (Hon. Cardiff and Buckingham
  Universities) Milton Wainwright from the University of Sheffield, Chris
 Rose
  and Alex Baker from the University of Sheffield’s Leonardo Centre for
  Tribology and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe Director of the Centre for
  Astrobiology, University of Buckingham.
 
 http://www.kurzweilai.net/scientists-claim-discovery-of-life-coming-to-earth-from-space?utm_source=KurzweilAI+Daily+Newsletterutm_campaign=60630eb1c2-UA-946742-1utm_medium=emailutm_term=0_6de721fb33-60630eb1c2-281942553
 
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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-21 Thread Russell Standish
On Sat, Sep 21, 2013 at 10:52:41AM -0700, Chris de Morsella wrote:
 Damn there goes pangea lol
 

Just to be persnickety, Pangaea is the name given to the last
supercontinent, ca 300Mya. What you are thinking of is panspermia, the
idea that life was seeded from space.

Cheers

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Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

2013-09-20 Thread Chris de Morsella
Seems like the Pangea hypothesis might have gotten some evidence... wouldn't 
say this is conclusive though, but it is intriguing.
-Chris
 
Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space
Scientists from the University of Sheffield believe they have found life 
arriving to Earth from space after sending a balloon to the stratosphere.’
After it landed, scientists discovered that they had captured a diatom fragment 
and some unusual biological entities from the stratosphere, all of which are 
too large to have come from Earth.
Other scientists disagree, as noted here: New Alien Life Claim Far from 
Convincing, Scientists Say
The team, led by Professor (Hon. Cardiff and Buckingham Universities) Milton 
Wainwright, from the University’s Department of Molecular Biology and 
Biotechnology found small organisms that could have come from space after 
sending a specially designed balloon to 27km into the stratosphere during the 
recent Perseid meteor shower.
Professor Wainwright said: “Most people will assume that these biological 
particles must have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth, but it is 
generally accepted that a particle of the size found cannot be lifted from 
Earth to heights of, for example, 27km. The only known exception is by a 
violent volcanic eruption, none of which occurred within three years of the 
sampling trip.
“In the absence of a mechanism by which large particles like these can be 
transported to the stratosphere we can only conclude that the biological 
entities originated from space. Our conclusion then is that life is continually 
arriving to Earth from space, life is not restricted to this planet and it 
almost certainly did not originate here.”
Professor Wainwright said the results could be revolutionary: “If life does 
continue to arrive from space then we have to completely change our view of 
biology and evolution,” he added. “New textbooks will have to be written!”
Professor Wainwright said stringent precautions had been taken against the 
possibility of contamination during sampling and processing, and said the group 
was confident that the biological organisms could only have come from the 
stratosphere.
The group’s findings have been published in the Journal of Cosmology (open 
access) and updated versions will appear in the same journal, a new version of 
which will be published in the near future. Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe of 
the Buckingham, University Center for Astrobiology (of which Professor 
Wainwright is an Honorary Fellow) also gave a presentation of the group’s 
findings at a meeting of astronomers and astrobiologists in San Diego last 
month.
Professor Wainwright added: “Of course it will be argued that there must be an, 
as yet, unknown mechanism for transferring large particles from Earth to the 
high stratosphere, but we stand by our conclusions. The absolutely crucial 
experiment will come when we do what is called ‘isotope fractionation’. We will 
take some of the samples which we have isolated from the stratosphere and 
introduce them into a complex machine – a button will be pressed. If the ratio 
of certain isotopes gives one number then our organisms are from Earth, if it 
gives another, then they are from space. The tension will obviously be almost 
impossible to live with!”
The research was conducted by Professor (Hon. Cardiff and Buckingham 
Universities) Milton Wainwright from the University of Sheffield, Chris Rose 
and Alex Baker from the University of Sheffield’s Leonardo Centre for Tribology 
and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe Director of the Centre for Astrobiology, 
University of Buckingham.
http://www.kurzweilai.net/scientists-claim-discovery-of-life-coming-to-earth-from-space?utm_source=KurzweilAI+Daily+Newsletterutm_campaign=60630eb1c2-UA-946742-1utm_medium=emailutm_term=0_6de721fb33-60630eb1c2-281942553

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