View Full Version : Life from space

2003-Dec-16, 03:24 AM
I've got to say, the more I think about it, the more the theory of bacteria traveling through space is starting to ring true. Scientists have demonstrated that some strains of bacteria can survive every stage of the trip from Earth to Mars thanks to asteroid strikes, and it's pretty clear that bacteria is traveling on rocks out of our solar system. Over the course of billions of years, it's got to end up landing on other potentially habitable worlds in our galaxy, and then those worlds are getting hit by asteroids and spreading bacteria even further.

What's your opinion?

2003-Dec-16, 10:11 AM
Does this mean you're changing your tune on whether there is other intelligent life out there, Fraser?

2003-Dec-16, 04:33 PM
When i wear my other hat as a geologist (I have the hat rack from at least the 14th dimension). I read an article of bacterioform microbes thriving in deep hot semi-molten rocks as found by the fossil record (although this can be a bit dodgy)...it appears life can just about proliferate everywhere!

2003-Dec-16, 04:38 PM
I still think we have to assume it doesn't exist until we can actually confirm they're out there.

2003-Dec-16, 04:53 PM
fair enough too, fraser

2003-Dec-17, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by fraser@Dec 16 2003, 03:24 AM
it's pretty clear that bacteria is traveling on rocks out of our solar system.
Not that clear to me. 'Course, I'm not doubting you, but I've never heard this before.

How is it clear? Are there rocks, measurably leaving Earth and going to space?

If so, I'd be quite amazed. But, more importantly, I'd be pretty happy to add that kind of knowledge to my brain.

2003-Dec-17, 10:19 AM
That's right. Researchers have determined that during an asteroid strike, a certain amount of material is propelled out of the atmosphere but not actually heated so high that it sterilizes any bacteria on board.

Bacteria is fully able to survive for long periods of time in total vaccuum, and it's capable of surviving re-entry back throught the Earth's atmosphere inside rocks.

So, each step of the journey is possible. Scientists estimate that kilograms of material from other planets in the Solar System is hitting our planet every day, so it almost seems inevitable.

2003-Dec-17, 05:54 PM
Now that is an interesting thought! By that token, it would be almost possible for life to potentially proliferate everywhere!

2003-Dec-17, 10:42 PM
I wonder if these rocks in space could go to other solar systems. Maybe somehow they're sent to the outer oort cloud and then pulled totally out of the solar system, for another solar system to pick up. If these rocks could do this, then many solar systems could potentially have life. Not necissarily intelligent life, but maybe life (eg. plants, bacteria).

2003-Dec-18, 01:12 AM
Its a great thought matthew!

2003-Dec-18, 01:29 AM
Originally posted by fraser@Dec 16 2003, 03:24 AM
I've got to say, the more I think about it, the more the theory of bacteria traveling through space is starting to ring true. Scientists have demonstrated that some strains of bacteria can survive every stage of the trip from Earth to Mars thanks to asteroid strikes, and it's pretty clear that bacteria is traveling on rocks out of our solar system. Over the course of billions of years, it's got to end up landing on other potentially habitable worlds in our galaxy, and then those worlds are getting hit by asteroids and spreading bacteria even further.

What's your opinion?
That maybe be ture :lol: thinking going back to the past like the earth was born, there is a huge asteroid crash into Earth's Ocean which carry bacteria within, then day after day, those little cells slowly moving to the land and then turn into something else :lol:
For example : Dinosour and Plants

2003-Dec-18, 02:46 AM
and then evolve to used car salesmen

2003-Dec-19, 12:18 AM
Yes, the pinnacle of evolution! :lol:

2003-Dec-19, 04:11 AM
Originally posted by fraser@Dec 16 2003, 04:38 PM
I still think we have to assume it doesn't exist until we can actually confirm they're out there.
That hardly seems fair to me ... that's like saying that we have to assume that humans can't land on mars until someone does it. If we're not allowed to have faith in certain things without proof, then what's the point of being human? Of course I understand your view of things, I just don't agree with it for myself.

2003-Dec-19, 10:11 AM
That's not what I'm saying. A better analogy would be "why get insurance? The chances of anything happening to me or my stuff is pretty remote."

Even though the chance of your house burning down is a pretty rare occurence, the consequences are catastrophic, and that's why you buy insurance.

There's a possibility that there's no life in the Universe except on the Earth. If true, when the Earth dies in 500+ million years, it would be a shame, considering humans had the opportunity to spread life into the stars. If we have faith that life is already out there, then we might not have enough incentive to get off the planet.

So, I believe we should work as hard as we can to become a spacefaring species. If intelligent life comes along and tells us "no pressure, life's everywhere", that would be a handy. Humans can be life's insurance policy.

2003-Dec-19, 01:53 PM
I'm somewhat ambivalent about whether to assume life exists elsewhere in the universe. On the one hand we should not claim there is life until we have definite proof; however I appreciate the effort being put forth by SETI. Such effort obvioulsy assumes there is a reasonable chance of finding evidence of life. Consequently, it seems that the assumption of life is contextually dependent...as most things are.

From our limited exposure to how living organisms behave, we have evidence that

2003-Dec-19, 02:37 PM
[somehow I inadvertantly interrupted myself out of my last post on this subject]

From our limited exposure to how living organisms behave, we have evidence that
1. They continuously modify their environment not necessarily for their own good.
2. They mutually annihilate one another in order to survive and evolve. Intelligence mildly moderates (read controlled modulation) this behavior.

As cold as it may seem, we need to be prepared for malevolence while hoping for benevolence. We'll probably get a mixture of both from each discovery.

I subscribe to the belief in the probability of microbes being transferred from planet to planet across stellar systems, which, if so, guarantees panspermia and "common life" at the DNA level (more generally "carbon and water" level). Remember, malevolent behavior is not absent from human behavior even within the same cultures much less across cultures. I also subscribe to the belief that intelligence (technological prowess) grants a considerable edge to its practioneers for survival purposes.

There is some value in assuming that there are intelligent critters out there and planning how to deal with them and ourselves while dealing with them is essential. The developing of our spacefaring expertise is urgent whether or not there are others out there. :ph34r:

2003-Dec-19, 02:50 PM
I like the cut of your jib, fraser. It is a very profound and very true statement, and the consequences won't be necessarily bad.

2003-Dec-20, 12:26 AM
I find it hard to Believe that Life did come from Outer Space.. I mean, There is intelligent Life in Outer Space. Unfortunately, There's no intelligent life here on Earth so I don't think Life did come from Outer Space..I wish it did, Maybe then we might have been able to SAVE our Planet or maybe not destroyed it in the First Place...


2003-Dec-20, 12:42 AM
Excellent! a fellow omen :lol:

Well I am of the belief that we'll see where life is from. Also I am of the belief, along the same lines of fraser's comments that we can be the flagship of life, an insuarance policy. B)

But, gah! no intelligent life here?? :blink: :blink: :blink: we each have to be the change we want to be....my better half says i am intelligent ;)

2003-Dec-20, 02:34 AM
the ancients said, Mother Earth; Father Sky. Earth being the womb of life and the sky providing the seed.

2003-Dec-20, 07:35 AM
The ancients also thought that the world was flat.

2003-Dec-20, 09:43 AM
Hey Damienpaul.... :D

I have a question for you...Do you have a Birthmark/Tatoo on your forehead? I have one on mine.. It's sort of arranged in a triangle and I can make out three 9's..

I guess if you look at it in the mirror it says 999 but in an odd formation...I once looked at it upside down and it looks just like three 6's..

I wonder if there's any meaning to it...

(Spooky) :unsure:

2003-Dec-20, 01:51 PM
nah, but i do have a birth mark on my forehead that says ytliug (guilty in the mirror)...REAL spooky :blink: :blink: :blink: :blink:

2003-Dec-20, 07:51 PM
damienpaul, u must be a alien :lol: :lol: :lol:

2003-Dec-20, 08:10 PM
'tis true

that reminds me of a funny story.....

the students that i used to teach back in Victoria were all convnced that i was an alien who used non-existent multisyllabic words as mind control :lol: and for the edible students..... :blink: :lol: :lol: :lol:

2003-Dec-20, 08:52 PM
:lol: :lol: Psychic power :lol: part of alien's skill :lol: :lol: :lol: :P

2003-Dec-20, 08:56 PM
...and the devouring of little students... :lol:

2003-Dec-21, 05:26 AM
Life in space? Most definately so. Reproduction, insurance...? How 'bout compassion? Whether it be from the love of mother nature to spread her seeds or the hand of father time to a;;ow the process of re-intoduction. :)

2003-Dec-21, 06:23 PM
Originally posted by kashi@Dec 20 2003, 07:35 AM
The ancients also thought that the world was flat.
From what I understand , it was only the shallow, selfcentered peoples that dictated a flat Earth policy. Not the deeper, everything has life, all life is sacred peoples. (Just my personal opinion.) While their understanding of the mechanics of the Universe was understandably lacking, ours, also,will be thought of as quaint in the future. Was it not only 500 years ago or so, in the opening pages of this age of enlightenment, that Galileo was deemed a heritic by the church for claiming the Earth was not the center of the universe (or was it his embracing of the Copernican theories)? Either way, they knew better and yet suppressed him. It is people questioning the known truths that push foreward and expand our knowledge of our surroundings.

The ancients had many different ways of expressing or passing along truths or history. Myths contain much knowledge that can be gleaned from them. Religions, such as the Hindu, and their "Breath of the Brahma" which discribes the continual expansion and contraction of the universe. Perhaps we are coming full circle. Perhaps we have just forgotten the lessons that were taught so long ago, kind of like when our parents tried to impart a bit of wisdom on us when we were younger and we said "Yeah. Right."; only to find out, much later, how right they truly were.

We know so little. Maybe the 90 percent of our unused brain is reserved for what is to come.

2003-Dec-21, 07:33 PM
A question FRASER:
First a statement -
As I understand, planet-earth's evolution must have been seeded by a tiny scrap of crude DNA and gone on from there to what we see around us today. Therefore your bacteria, riding the universe on the back of an asteroid, fits in well with that hypothesis.

The DNA must have come from somewhere; and to THERE from somewhere else; and to THERE from somewhere else; and so on ...; and to THERE from the ORIGINAL source.

Question -
Under what miraculous conditions was the ORIGINAL DNA made?

Cool! B)

2003-Dec-21, 08:00 PM
there are many legends from the past that parallel modern science quite nicely.

2003-Dec-21, 09:28 PM
But, but as an afterthought - DNA (as in bacteria) HAD to originate somewhere sometime.

Why not on our little (centre of the universe LOL) planet?

A philosophical, but reasonable. question.

Fraser ... ? :huh:

2003-Dec-21, 11:01 PM
It's definitely possible, but it's strange that moments after conditions on Earth were possible for life... life arose. It didn't take billions of years, it was pretty much instantaneous. And the earliest life is single-cell bacteria, not some precursor to that. If bacteria was raining down on the Earth for millions of years and then the moment it could get a foothold here, it was off to the races. Subsequent life obviously evolved here, but it really looks like bacteria could have come from out there.

2003-Dec-22, 01:50 AM
then again as we established - life could just about propogate anywhere.

2003-Dec-22, 02:31 AM
I know, Alice (forgive me); but what I'm getting at is that some time after the Big Bang Fraser's bacteria must have been created from its simpler constituents somehow, somewhere, to get here in Planet Earth (in order for us to be what we are today).

So the questions I am asking are:

(1) How could the original DNA have existed (before evolvement)?; and
(2) Why must life have come from elsewhere (i.e. why not have the evolution done here on earth?

I ask (1) because I believe that even the most primative DNA defies the probability of spontaneous creation (and I am NOT getting into religion here!)

As micro-organisms have been found in such hostile conditions as would have been present in the early days of the earth - surely they could have been evolving for the past 4 billion years since the earth was young.


2003-Dec-22, 02:45 AM
Yes, Red Rooster, I see what you mean, in fact you make quite a plausible argument, as it appears that bacteria and other microbes (eg many world leaders - NOT getting into politics) have been evolving for that time - this has been found in the fossil record in Greenland and in Western Australia...on the question of spontaneous creation - thats a tricky one, a student came up with a blunt, clinical yet sensible answer - "twas a lucky chemical reaction, sir"

Damo a.k.a. Alice :blink: :lol:

2003-Dec-22, 04:53 AM
Alice - I'm getting out of my depth here (hense my HELP! plea);
but I devoured a book by Paul Davis, a few years ago, who addressed this Evolution matter that we are currently discussing and he took us, bit by bit, back to "the primative scrap of DNA" (I think it was a distant DNA relative, like R**) that was the absolute simplest building block that had the sense to do anything for itself.

But even this "simple building block", in his considered and knowledgeable opinion, must have immigrated to earth from space - backing up Fraser's point.

But I can fully appreciate Paul Davis's assertion that it (the R**) HAD to be intelligently designed and created as a "seed" to begin the evolution process.

Referring back to my previous posts - I see no objection to this "design and creation" process being done here, can you? Why, necessarily, some other point in space.

As an aside - IF the bacteria (R**) did come from space - at the speed the asteroid would have been travelling (several thousand kph) it must have originated somewhere from within our own galaxy to get here some 3 billion years ago. IF it originated from another galaxy it would be still travelling.

2003-Dec-22, 05:05 AM
There's a topic about biological systems evolving from chemical ones here:

http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.p...p?showtopic=980 (http://www.universetoday.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=980)

You might want to check it out.


2003-Dec-22, 05:11 AM
i agree, that life could have had its beginnings here, there is really no reason why not - its a tricky one to get one's head around....Definitely check out the thread that kashi has kindly supplied.

It appears quite plausable that early earth had just the right conditions for the systems to turn from chemical to biological with energy (heat and electricity) as a catalyst.

As there is little evidence taht can conclusively point to an answer, I guess both answers are still plausable.

2003-Dec-29, 06:21 PM
I read that not only might life here on earth come from the stars, but perhaps things like the SARS virus too. See it here. (http://www.space.com/searchforlife/seti_panspermia_030724.html)

Kind of radical...but no more than the panspermia idea!

2003-Dec-30, 04:56 AM
So we could have virus' (which are more likely to come to a planet through space because they can survive harsher conditions) coming to Earth all the time. Virus's that our immune system doesn't know and so doesn't fight it.

2003-Dec-30, 05:24 AM
If SARS came from space, doesn't this imply that there are other mammal or human-like life forms out there? There would have to be because SARS survives in mammals.

2004-Jan-02, 12:39 PM
all of this is indeed plausible but how to prove it?

2004-Jan-03, 05:56 AM
Since SARS is DNA based, much like life on Earth, you can't really prove that it's terrestrial or not. It's merely a matter of belief. Especially if you believe in the spore theory.

The only way to PROVE that it might be extra-terrestrial would be to find more of it in space.

Personally, I'd prefer people focus on more worth space theories ... I'd like to be more public money put into space development, but not at the expense of reasonableness.

2004-Jan-04, 02:35 AM
what is the spore theory?

2004-Jan-05, 12:53 AM
I have also read that glycine, an animo acid, was found in space. Hmm....

2004-Jan-05, 12:55 AM
Another form of energy? Compounds...?

2004-Jan-05, 01:09 AM
To what are you referring? If you are asking about amino acids, they are the building blocks of proteins, which make up us! There are only 20 (I think) different amino acids that build all the organic life on earth. I do think I read that a synthetic amino acids was made that was different than the regular ones. If it is about the spore theory, I have no idea. :rolleyes:

2004-Jan-05, 01:16 AM
Glycine...? I understand Amino Acid (poquito). Glycine, I can't even begine to define. Unless it is :unsure: like glycerine.

2004-Jan-05, 01:32 AM
Let me see if I can remember some biology. Acids are made out of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. There is another element also sometimes found in amino acids. I think glycine is the only amino acid that your body can reproduce on its own. I'm not sure what glycine does in the body, but I do know proteins are need for your cells to function and lots of other stuff I can't remember. I think the discovery was important because it could be evidence of life out there or maybe that life on earth come form out there.

2004-Jan-05, 01:49 AM
All natural. So maybe, that would be a good find for (genesis) to catch and bring back in a few years. Found in particles of dust? I like the thought I read up earlier about how planets have more to them than of what you can see on the outside and even though Mars looks so Barren and Jupiter is so cold, maybe if we dig al little deeper, we would find more answers to these riddles.

2004-Jan-05, 11:29 AM
all natural ingredients! but what is the spore theory?