Saturday, May 28, 2005

Life... Beating the cosmic odds

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Is there life out there... yes I believe so... Is there Intelligent life? Not likely... Seems like I am not alone in this view, I think the chances on this is much more slender and that we live on a Privileged Planet... I will detail some reasons why I believe so. Bear with me as this page will be expanded upon from time to time.
The points I will cover will make things clearer. This has also been debated on Space.com.

The Cosmos is inherently hostile to life
Consider the creation of our universe, it was an extremely violent thing and early stars did not have planets at all, planet forming elements just did not exist. If one considers that stars run out of drive so to speak at the Iron stage it was many billions of years before the first protoplanet may have formed.

When one looks at most Galaxies we also see violent environments that to my mind preclude any existence of life. Supernovae and galactic centres beam out massive doses of cosmic radiation that sanitize the surrounding cosmos for thousands of light years.

The green band
Astronomers discover where to find ET
It seems that any life has only a 10% region of possible habitation in most galaxies, the outer regions are poor in elements for life and the central regions are just too hostile for life to exist let alone form.


Two is not company
Recent studies have shown that around more than 50 % of observed stars are Binary Systems and in some cases Quadruple systems. The turmoil in such systems to my logic would just be too much for any lifeforms. We are thus an exception to the rule.

DisaStars
Possible Hyper nova Could Affect Earth
Coming back to Supernovae, there is a class of Nova that spews out such radiation that even being 3000 light years away is no guarantee of safety.


How far is a light year
Then there is the distance factor, even at faster than light speeds it would take years to traverse the galaxy, at sub light speeds it is an insurmountable obstacle to my mind.


Physics or the lack thereof
If there is intelligent life they will have to overcome the laws of physics to travel from one star to another to even make it worth their while.

Do they need us
Any civilization capable of faster than light travel would to my mind find us as interesting as an elephant would an ant.

Do we need them
Here the plight of the Inca springs to mind... when they were conquered by the Conquistadors they had no answer for the technological capability of the Spaniards as well as the biological impact that European illnesses also had on them. What would happen if we were to be invaded by space traveling aliens?

Rare Earth
This is where I come back to my basic argument, when one looks at all the factors that have made this blue dot such a special planet one has to believe that we are rather unique in the Galaxy if not the Universe...
Our Solar system is in a quite backwater of the Milky Way, no big star fields or star forming areas with stars threatening to go nova or other galactic bullies.
Our planet is in the sweet spot... not too close or too far from the single sun, protected by 3 gas Giants from incoming strays.
It has a moon that contributed to setting up geologic conditions for life to evolve.
It has water in the right proportion, not so much to drown the continents and not so little that things have gone into deep freeze like Mars.
In fact the chances are so astronomical that to my mind it is not chance but very much by forethought that we are where we are in the universe. Truly we live on a Rare Earth...
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