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Thread: The Early Universe Was Unkind to Life's Building Blocks

  1. #1
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    The Early Universe Was Unkind to Life's Building Blocks

    SUMMARY: By studying distant galaxies with the Spitzer space telescope, researchers have come to the conclusion that the intense radiation of infant galaxies was very destructive to life's building blocks. Shortly after the Big Bang, these young galaxies blazed in star formation, but they had very few organic molecules - which are quite common in older galaxies. Even through these organic molecules will be forming in young stars, their intense radiation destroys them again.

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  2. #2
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    Part of the problem may be that not enough carbon had been generated in those early galaxies to form large populations of PAHs in the first place. This is more data in support of our being among the first technical competents to arise in the universe. We could remain a few million years behind others though.

  3. #3
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    Or the others could be a few million years behind us... And eventually we could be the aliens in Independence Day.

  4. #4
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    While life on Earth is several billion years old, the universe is more than twelve billion years old. So, it is very possible that ten billion years ago at least several hundred (in our galaxy) and several million (in the universe) intelligent races developed. This would put them all six billion years ahead of us, provided that civilizations dont die on their own. At the same time, civilizations all over the universe are seeing their dawn all the time, so we have many who have come before and many who have come after. The more we discover, the more we realize that we are the most run of the mill. This should be reassuring to us, almost guaranteeing that we are not alone.

  5. #5
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    I don't think man has the intelligence or ability to survive a million years.
    I'm afraid the history of life on Easter Island is an omen to future of intelligent life on Earth. When the first settlers arrived on this isolated island some 1600 years ago, they found a lush island forested with palm and toromiro trees populated with sea birds and marine life. As their population grew, so did their culture. In time, their population may have peaked at 20,000. In time, they had consumed all their forest, and exterminated much of the wildlife that had provided food. Their civilization declined into civil war and the population decreased to a level that the meager island resources could support.
    Is this an omen to the future of mankind on earth?

    http://www.greatchange.org/footnotes...er_island.html

    Jack

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JESMKS
    Is this an omen to the future of mankind on earth?
    Not necessarily. For starters, we are aware of this (and related) potential problem, while East Islanders were not.

    Not that I believe for a moment there will be anything resembling human beings a million years from now. But our descendants -- memetic if not genetic, -- will be around.

  8. #8
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    We do not know enough about alien races to say that.
    Man may or may not last a million years. But humans are also the only creature made on earth that actively destroys its own ecological niche, so our particular race can be likened more to a virus than an intelligent species.
    Despite all this, it has absolutely no bearing on whether or not a civilized race can or cannot exist for a million years or more. There is no good reason why not, as earth is over four billion years old and we have almost become extinct at least three times, which has set us back a bit. We also should have another four billion years to last a million.

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