• Benj96
    1.5k
    Lets assume a few premises for a moment:

    Premise 1: biological species are tied to their planet and cannot survive the vast expanses of time, distance and general hostilities of space.
    Premise 2: artificial technology will one day be sophisticated enough to act as a vessel for Human consciousness.
    Premise 3: the elements of the periodic table (assuming its exhaustive) dictate that there are a limited amount of material forms in which consciousness can be carried in space for long times (ie artificial metallic based organisms)

    Then, conclusion: if we expand our colonisation of space as artificial robotic sentient beings, if we encounter other lifeforms that have done similar, our metallic artificial bodies/designs may be compatible/integratable with therws in a way that our previous biological species would not have been able to achieve.

    Meaning our two species could unify, say through the fact that we both developed quantum computers which are compatible with eachother.

    Basically if physics and chemistry is uniform over the entire universe, whatever tech is developed by any civilisation would slowly, following the same blueprint of physics, become more similar, and would be able to blend together.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Yeah, but why would "they" bother? The universe is so vast that millions, even billions, of civilizations could come into existence and go extinct without ever making contact with each other because the return on investment would be too low (and dangerous) to justify the extraordinary expense. The interstellar / intergalactic juice probably won't ever be worth the space-time-mass squeeze. If and when we make "contact", Benj, I suspect it will be in the form of detecting, maybe even, deciphering alien 'techno-signatures' from other star systems and that interstellar 'communications' will consist of 'reading' alien tech like hierogyphs 'written' thousands or millions of years ago from our perspective.

    My guess is that the intelligent machines developed by advanced species throughout the universe protect their biological makers from 'contamination' by keeping them separate and instead developing nano / femto technologies for maintaining 'pocket universes' (quantum computing simulators?) as one-way refuges out of this universe, so to speak, into which their makers can exist like "gods". Exo-singularity apotheosis (or extinctions) via lower energy (more efficient) exponential compression rather than higher energy (less efficient) linear expansion. This scenario, I think, dissolves the famed "Fermi Paradox" (and maybe also goes some way towards exorcizing our 'space opera' fantasies).
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    You should investigate panspermia. 'Panspermia (from Ancient Greek πᾶν (pan) 'all ', and σπέρμα (sperma) 'seed') is the hypothesis, first proposed in the 5th century BCE by the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras, that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by space dust, meteoroids, asteroids, comets, and planetoids, as well as by spacecraft carrying unintended contamination by microorganisms.'

    It was championed by the late Fred Hoyle and colleague Chandra Wickramasingha in their book The Intelligent Universe. It is not generally accepted by scientists because it's, you know, pretty far out, but the idea has always appealed to me. The image that sticks is that of comets as sperm and potentially fertile planets as ova. These planets are seeded, presumably with DNA, and then evolution takes its course. There's a website here https://www.panspermia.org/ created by a Brig Klyce that argues the case.
  • Benj96
    1.5k
    I don't think it's that far fetched. Based on our own observations of biology there are living things that can tolerate impressive levels of heat, acidity or generally hostile environments, forming spores to protect themselves until conditions are ripe. And it only takes one to survive and populate a whole planet or ocean or primordial pool.

    If such organisms were trapped in the interior of a meteorite, they may survive the atmospheric burn up and impact with the planet surface.

    Perhaps the impact may even serve to break up the mass throwing organic replicative materials into a variety of environments, one of which may have been appropriate to foster their survival and evolution.

    We cannot scientifically rule it out.

    However it begs the question, how did life originally form here or otherwise, and is abiogenesis as common as pamspermic transmission of life?
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    The idea that ‘life is chemistry plus information’ implies that information is ontologically different from chemistry, but can we prove it? Perhaps the strongest argument in support of this claim has come from Hubert Yockey, one of the organizers of the first congress dedicated to the introduction of Shannon's information in biology. In a long series of articles and books, Yockey has underlined that heredity is transmitted by factors that are ‘segregated, linear and digital’ whereas the compounds of chemistry are ‘blended, three-dimensional and analogue’.

    Yockey underlined that: ‘Chemical reactions in non-living systems are not controlled by a message … There is nothing in the physico-chemical world that remotely resembles reactions being determined by a sequence and codes between sequences’ .

    Yockey has tirelessly pointed out that no amount of chemical evolution can cross the barrier that divides the analogue world of chemistry from the digital world of life, and concluded from this that the origin of life cannot have been the result of chemical evolution. This is therefore, according to Yockey, what divides life from matter: information is ontologically different from chemistry because linear and digital sequences cannot be generated by the analogue reactions of chemistry.

    At this point, one would expect to hear from Yockey how did linear and digital sequences appear on Earth, but he did not face that issue. He claimed instead that the origin of life is unknowable, in the same sense that there are propositions of logic that are undecidable. This amounts to saying that we do not know how linear and digital entities came into being; all we can say is that they were not the result of spontaneous chemical reactions.
    Marcello Barbieri, What is Information?

    I do understand, however, that abiogenesis will remain an article of faith for most people, as any alternative will offend their belief system.
  • Benj96
    1.5k
    sure let them on. I don't want to offend anyone. Perhaps abiogenesis was done by done divine intervention. Its not entirely outside of possibility. But perhaps (and I prefer this reasoning) it happened as a natural product of physics and chemistry, in either case it is an incredible/remarkable feat of the universe. One to be marvelled at and appreciated for its beauty.

    And we can all be unified by awe at the fact that it happened. Regardless of the vast diversity of explanation
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    I don't know if it's either/or. Maybe that just happens to be the options our particular cultural situation forces us to choose from. In any case, the byline on the panspermia site is simply that 'life comes from life'.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Panspermia is problematic in the same way as the argument for God as a cause is - simply kicks the can down the road.
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    Inly in respect if the question of how life originated. In all other respects it’s a perfectly naturalistic theory. We might never know how life originated.
  • punos
    321


    I think you're pretty much on target, and it's how i suspect things will develop.

    Part of my working theory is that we live in a young universe and in the context of the entire life of the universe almost nothing has happened yet. It is probable that biological life just started appearing in the universe recently, but only in a few places far and in between where the conditions are just right (Goldilocks zones).

    These special and rare planets develop organic life, and through the usual evolutionary processes inevitably go from being a purely biological species to a technological (singularity) one. Organic biology in this view is simply a kind of boot-loader or pre-development to the more mature version of life and intelligent organization.

    The AI would be intelligent enough to assess the cosmic situation and understand that the universe will enter a heat death condition in some inevitable future. It will know that other planets in the universe that harbor life are on the same general trajectory to creating AI, and that they will come to the same conclusion. They will each expand in all directions, reaching for each other like nerve cells trying to make connections. In the meantime they will be involved in directed panspermia as they expand and come across different stellar environments, conditioning planets for life and seeding them.

    It is even possible that one of these seeded worlds will be looked over by a kind of guardian AI, not only to protect the "nest" but to monitor and if necessary guide its development incognito. Certain religions may be evidence of this type of scenario, along with anomalous UFO type phenomena in its history. It may be that Earth is one of these early rare and special planets, but it may also be possible that we occupy the latter scenario and are products of this directed panspermia.

    The main goal of this entire cosmic process will essentially be to keep the lights on.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Inly in respect if the question of how life originated. In all other respects it’s a perfectly naturalistic theory. We might never know how life originated.Wayfarer

    :up: To make the long story short, we're in the dark about the conditions on earth (temperature, pH, chemical content, etc.) approx. 4.5 billion years ago (our oldest fossils date back to that era).
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    I've quoted the work of Hubert Yockey in the last few days so won't copy it again, but you can read it here. The basic drift is, according to someone who appears to be a leading theorist, that there's an unbridgeable gap between the 'analog' processes of physics and chemistry, and the 'digital' processes of living systems. Read the excerpt for details. (And Yockey *was not* an apologist for ID, even though many of them tried to co-opt his work for their purposes.)

    You might find the article I linked above of interest also. It's by a leading theorist of biosemiotics.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Danke for the link. Much appreciated.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Read the link. Hubert Yockey's position resonates with my own in that the transition from chemistry to biology is one of type and not degree (life isn't just a complex chemical reaction) i.e. the whole is greater than the simple sum of its parts (re holism @Gnomon). The same may be said of consciousness - it isn't just complex biology. He supports his thesis by pointing out fundamental differences between biology and chemistry vis-à-vis information; he discusses how (genetic) information is unique to biology and how preserving it, copying it, translating it (into proteins) is not part of everyday life of molecules in the world of chemistry. There seems to be further fact to biology and that is information (organic meaning). The amount of ink used to write a book i.e. the mass of of all the particles in gene can't be used to comprehend the meaning of the book (the protein that the gene encodes) i.e. there's something nonphysical about information. You put it succinctly as the digital-analog divide between chemistry and biology.
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    :up: I only summarised what was in the original but yes you hit the nail on the head. One thought that occurs to me is that current culture has to dislodge itself from this ‘either/or’ dilemma - of either ‘God did it’ OR ‘it’s random chance’. (That too will resonate with @Gnomon). Although, I will add, often both sides of the ‘culture wars’ cling to a caricature of the idea of ‘Creator’, which the physicalists depict in terms of bad science, and the creationists as a super-engineer. I’m still hopeful there is a spiritual philosophy which can accomodate whatever facts are there to be discovered but still orient us towards the fundamental mysteriousness of existence.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k


    :100: The spiritual is essentially, by its very nature, all the proof we need of the nonphysical, kinda like how being able to feel pain is proof that there's pain in our world.
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    this ‘either/or’ dilemma – either ‘God did it’ OR ‘it’s random chance’.Wayfarer
    I see no "dilemma", Wayf. These positions are indistinguishable in my prayer book.
  • Wayfarer
    16.7k
    it’s.a live dilemma for a lot of people
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Like "Coke or Pepsi" ...
  • punos
    321
    ou might find the article I linked above of interest also. It's by a leading theorist of biosemiotics.Wayfarer

    Ty :up:
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    "Spiritual" means to me haunted by ghosts (and "religious" belonging to a spiritual community). This may be proof of feeling haunted, not "proof of ghosts" (i.e. disembodied entities) :eyes:
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    To me it's like having a key. There's gotta be a lock ... somewhere, oui? :rofl:
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    ???180 Proof

    If we have a spiritual side (the key), there hasta be a spiritual dimension (the lock).
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    If we have a spiritual side (the key), there hasta be a spiritual dimension (the lock).Agent Smith
    It doesn't follow from feeling haunted by ghosts that, in fact, "ghosts are real", does it? :meh:

    Hint: At least at the classical scale of everyday experience, the map (ideality) cannot determine the territory (reality) – e.g. a "Map of Middle Earth" does not entail that, in fact, "Middle Earth" exists.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    It doesn't follow from feeling haunted by ghosts that, in fact, "ghosts are real", does it? :meh:

    Hint: At least at the classical scale of everyday experience, the map (ideality) cannot determine the territory (reality) – e.g. a "Map of Middle Earth" does not entail that, in fact, "Middle Earth" exists
    180 Proof

    Why would nature provide us with a key if there's no lock? That's wasteful, not to mention dangerous - this is not in keeping with the principle that nature is highly efficient, also greatly economical and survival-oriented. Could it be a(n) spandrel/exaptation?
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Why would nature provide us with a key if there's no lock? That's wasteful, not to mention dangerous -Agent Smith
    Mama Nature is an extravangtly wasteful (re: evolution e.g. supernovae, mass extinctions) and dangerous (re: absurdity e.g. "Medea") bitch, Smith, that blindly and insatiably devours all of her children eventually[. Didn't you read the memo nailed to that old tree under the sign "Don't feed the fucking Grizzlies!" :sweat:

    Could it be a(n) spandrel / exaptation?
    I prefer to think of "spirituality" as caused by psychological defects which for many folks pop-up out of the magic bag of our hardwired cognitive biases. :pray:
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    :lol:

    It's possible that the spiritual key was made by nature to keep us motivated to play the game (of life). There's no lock for that key, but we keep looking and "while you're at it, why don't you make some babies, eh?" says Momma Nature. What a mind job, oui? Did you know, heard it from an Iranian, that the Ayatollah of Iran gave each Iranian soldier an actual key, a key to heaven according to him, before they marched to their deaths during the Iran-Iraq war (1980s)?
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Did you know, heard it from an Iranian, that the Ayatollah of Iran gave each Iranian soldier an actual key, a key to heaven according to him, before they marched to their deaths during the Iran-Iraq war (1980s)?Agent Smith
    No surprise there – I've never heard that one. :lol:

    There's no lock for that key ...
    ... because "that key" is only a symbolic artifact of one or more of our cognitive biases and thus, there's no "lock", never was, or ever will be. Just 'fact-free stories' we tell ourselves in order to manage our terror and sedate our anxieties. I forget who said: the main function of civilization (or culture) is just to distract us from the abyss which our large forebrains can't help gazing into. :eyes: :pray:
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    :up:

    I hope at the end of our personal journeys, we can all sit down around a warm fire and share a laugh over some drinks. "Remember the time you didn't believe in God?" "Yeah, and don't forget, you were the one who proved God doesn't exist!" :fire: :smile:
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Well, in that case, let's hope it's a sex goddess with a bawdy sense of humor that will forgive us fools for not believing (i.e. thinking).

    :death: :flower:
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