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Can Evolution Have a ‘Higher Purpose’?

Red

Paranormal Adept
Long ago Sagan suggested seeding Venus with bacteria to break apart its CO2 and help cool the planet. It might be part of a terraforming scheme someday.



Mars has ample frozen water, which might be liquified if the planet can be warmed.
Venus has little to no water and no magnetic fields. It would never be a good terraforming candidate. Plus it's atmosphere is not just CO2, it has sulphuric acid, too. And I think that Sagan reconsidered his proposal in the '90s as we had better information as to the composition of Venus and it's atmosphere. Mars would be a much better candidate for terraforming, but what we were talking about was seeding a planet to kick start an evolutionary process as a sort of long term science experiment at the very least. I consider the two to be very different things as terraforming would the implicit engineering of a planet in order for it to support earth based life-forms indefinitely.
 
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Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
Venus has little to no water and no magnetic fields.
Terraforming schemes have envisaged importing hydrogen to mix with oxygen (from the breakup of CO2 by bacteria) to form water. Venus would also have to be shaded to an extent.

It would never be a good terraforming candidate. Plus it's atmosphere is not just CO2, it has sulphuric acid, too. And I think that Sagan reconsidered his proposal in the '90s as we had better information as to the composition of Venus and it's atmosphere.
Oh it would be tough but IMO still better than Mars. It has more Earthlike gravity, so bone deterioration may not be such a problem. In addition it gets far more solar energy than Mars.

.... but what we were talking about was seeding a planet to kick start an evolutionary process as a sort of long term science experiment at the very least. I consider the two to be very different things as terraforming would the implicit engineering of a planet in order for it to support earth based life-forms indefinitely.
They're different but if we can assume, as DuDuve did, that life will arise wherever conditions are hospitable enough, seeding would be superfluous. Almost certainly, the main issue throughout the Universe is not an inability of life to arise where it can evolve but a lack of requisite, habitable conditions.
 

USI Calgary

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
Some really great points back and forth on the Venus discussion. About 50 Km up, Venus has a more Earth like environment, but the problems @Red mentions are huge. But then, the idea @Trajanus suggests, which is to shade the planet, would have a huge effect. So huge problems with huge scientific solutions. I love it. I can imagine a sci-fi story where we begin terraforming by placing a huge space-borne shield out at L1. Over time the planet cools, the bacteria begin to do their job, life evolves, becomes intelligent and one day their first astronomers discover the huge shield in space. In time an expedition is launched to study it and they find that it is an alien artifact. All manner of theory and conspiracy breaks out, their scientists saying no life could exist elsewhere in the solar system. But one rogue scientist bucks the establishment, suggesting the outlandish theory that the shield was placed there by an ancient race from the third planet ... Earth :cool: .
 
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Red

Paranormal Adept
They're different but if we can assume, as DuDuve did, that life will arise wherever conditions are hospitable enough, seeding would be superfluous. Almost certainly, the main issue throughout the Universe is not an inability of life to arise where it can evolve but a lack of requisite, habitable conditions.
I was merely talking about the conditions under which I felt a planet would be a candidate for seeding purely in the hypothetical realm. DuDuve might be end up being correct, but at this point we don't have enough hard physical data on exoplanets falling within that Goldilocks zone.

Over time the planet cools, the bacteria begin to do their job, life evolves, becomes intelligent and one day their first astronomers discover the huge shield in space. In time an expedition is launched to study it and they find that it is an alien artifact. All manner of theory and conspiracy breaks out, their scientists saying no life could exist elsewhere in the solar system. But one rogue scientist bucks the establishment, suggesting the outlandish theory that the shield was placed there by an ancient race from the third planet ... Earth
I am very amused by this. Since typically we are the ones being portrayed as the cosmic newbies. :D
 

Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
Some really great points back and forth on the Venus discussion. About 50 Km up, Venus has a more Earth like environment, but the problems @Red mentions are huge. But then, the idea @Trajanus suggests, which is to shade the planet, would have a huge effect. So huge problems with huge scientific solutions. I love it. I can imagine a sci-fi story where we begin terraforming by placing a huge space-borne shield out at L1. Over time the planet cools, the bacteria begin to do their job, life evolves,


I have another neat scenario. After Venus becomes habitable, put a wide variety of plant and animal life there but nothing more advanced than crocodiles. Over the course of millions of years, the crocs, lacking competition for terrestrial niches, gradually adapt to land (including bipedalism in some cases) and the Age of Dinosaurs stats all over again. With at least one difference. Since Venusian gravity is a little less, they grow even bigger. :)

 

Red

Paranormal Adept

I have another neat scenario. After Venus becomes habitable, put a wide variety of plant and animal life there but nothing more advanced than crocodiles. Over the course of millions of years, the crocs, lacking competition for terrestrial niches, gradually adapt to land (including bipedalism in some cases) and the Age of Dinosaurs stats all over again. With at least one difference. Since Venusian gravity is a little less, they grow even bigger. :)
Wait, didn't someone already make the claim the reptilians came from Venus? :D
 

blowfish

Whittingham
Pluto has a ocean underneath in parts and Mars has large underground glaciers ideal for life forms maybe exist in parts. Therefore the odds of other life gone through evolution (Darwinism/Religious) makes the numbers of different lifeforms to evolve which moved off planet very plausible which the evidence is growing every year from micro life inhabiting extreme temperatures to near freezing in our universe.
 
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Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
Pluto has a ocean underneath in parts
Pluto in addition to Europa?

and Mars has large underground glaciers ideal for life forms maybe exist in parts.
Underground water ice, yes, dunno about glaciers existing underground. And frozen water i.e. lack of a good energy source, is hardly ideal.

Therefore the odds of other life gone through evolution (Darwinism/Religious) makes the numbers of different lifeforms to evolve which moved off planet very plausible which the evidence is growing every year from micro life inhabiting extreme temperatures to near freezing in our universe.
I think it's one thing for life to evolve on a generally hospitable planet, and some of it adapt to extreme environments. It may be fallacious to assume life can arise under harsh conditions just because it can adapt to them, in some cases. After all, there's no evidence of lunar, martian or Venusian life, even if microbes from earthly probes might survive in a few of their environments.
 

blowfish

Whittingham
Good points though let's wait and see more space missions on space mineral mining no doubt by China and Russia. Waiting to read Dr Brandenburgs next book and evolution might work different on other planets we can't assume it be like Earth environment all the same way .
 

Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
Good points though let's wait and see more space missions on space mineral mining no doubt by China and Russia.
I wish them the best of luck--India too. Sometimes, though, it seems only the US has the knack--look what happened to Japanese and European Mars craft in 2004, when Sprit and Opportunity landed safely.

Waiting to read Dr Brandenburgs next book
Hope it's more credible than Death on Mars.

and evolution might work different on other planets we can't assume it be like Earth environment all the same way .
Of course we cant assume an Earthlike environment--an extreme rarity no doubt. But as for evolution working differently, based on the various environments in our solar system, it seems either there are Earthlike conditions, or no life period, which suggests a similar evolutionary outcome for ET.
 

blowfish

Whittingham
I wish them the best of luck--India too. Sometimes, though, it seems only the US has the knack--look what happened to Japanese and European Mars craft in 2004, when Sprit and Opportunity landed safely.



Hope it's more credible than Death on Mars.



Of course we cant assume an Earthlike environment--an extreme rarity no doubt. But as for evolution working differently, based on the various environments in our solar system, it seems either there are Earthlike conditions, or no life period, which suggests a similar evolutionary outcome for ET.
Going on the science community debating (not including fake news by elements main stream media ) the odds of finding life forms in micro sense getting higher every year ( we would be naive to discount higher life forms as we could be lowest to them in our expanding universe ) and would not be surprised that some is found on Cerse and Pluto in the next coming years. Speculative speaking Dr Brandenburg theory on Mars is as good as any other theory well respected Rocket Scientist which his books are worth a read and lets not through out the baby with bath tub yet using ridicule tones . Once the competing space groups land on Mars then we see and then Cerse with micro nano robotics drone systems just look at the annoucments today on new launch space race is here and growing. Yes India, UK, Australia, EU, US and don't forget South Armerica / China.
 

Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
some is found on Cerse
Ceres?

Speculative speaking Dr Brandenburg theory on Mars is as good as any other theory well respected Rocket Scientist which his books are worth a read and lets not through out the baby with bath tub yet using ridicule tones .
To my knowledge, no serious Mars scientist believes the planet had an indigenous civilization. Typical is the view of Hansson in Mars and the Development of Life: "Like on Mars, if it ever existed, almost certainly never evolved beyond the level of microorganisms."
 

blowfish

Whittingham
Ceres?
Stand corrected.



To my knowledge, no serious Mars scientist believes the planet had an indigenous civilization. Typical is the view of Hansson in Mars and the Development of Life: "Like on Mars, if it ever existed, almost certainly never evolved beyond the level of microorganisms."
One question have you been to Dr Brandenburg lectures? and why would the DOD listen to his theory, agree to disagree. :)
 
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Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
One question have you been to Dr Brandenburg lectures?
No, but just because he's a physicist doesn't make him a Mars expert. I can't believe anyone with a modicum of knowledge on this subject would take the notion of an indigenous Martian civilization seriously. Among the better informed that notion died a century ago with Lowell. The more recently discovered "face" and other alleged artifacts aren't convincing. And btw, from what I've seen, Xenon 129 can have an natural origin.

and why would the DOD listen to his theory, agree to disagree. :)
I wouldn't rule out they pretend to listen to back up a disinfo agent. :)
 
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Trevor Wozny

Paranormal Novice
DNA this, DNA that... None of it matters. We as dumb old barely conscious primates in our entry level science have no way to determine if anything is alien or not. Certainly, no way to differentiate alien modified sequences of A.C.G.T from the ones good old mother nature provided. There is no comparative model to compare against. We would need a piece of known alien DNA to compare against. See the problem. Supercomputer or not it is impossible to tell. It is not going to glow green under the microscope. The only thing that can be drawn is a hypothesis at best and true believer fervor at worst.

There is absolutely no reason to think that the base pairs of A.C.G.T are the only ones of life. Assuredly the form, function, and syntax of a true expression of alien life will be unknown to us. Based on chemistry unexpected and unknown. That unknown will not be interpreted by our narrow vision machines of scientific sight. Unreadable samples at best. Undeserved belief in a null result at worst.

As to the Annunaki being the architect of the human condition. I say why not the spaghetti men from Uranus. There is zero evidence that supports the existence of any specific race of ET's. Yet again certainly nothing as grandiose as to enlighten us to motivations, passions, pains, or the reason they would do anything at all. We just do not know. At this time it is all unknowable knowns.

I am a firm believer that we humans are nothing special. We hold no place of exaltation, no place of uniqueness worthy of such cosmic consideration. I see no higher purpose to evolution other then it just is. That is an answer that comes up in science a lot. Seems to be troubling and unsettling to some. To infer that evolution has a higher purpose would elude to an understanding of what a normal purpose is. Another unknowable known. Purpose used in this loose context is a non-sequitur. It has no more logical consistency than the question "What is the color of sadness?" Not all questions have to make sense. Most do not.

Anyway, when you look at evolution throughout our tumultuous planetary past there are far, far, far, far more losers than winners. More life forms have died and gone extinct due to not being a good fit in their environment than ones that did. Evolution, has a terrible track record of success when looked wholly at statistics. There is no grandiosity in such a low success rate. No guiding hand required. No reason to think we deserve any special consideration at all. After all, we are just discreet packets of the Universe which have evolved to sentience. We are the Universe trying to understand itself.

Does the Universe pull favors for itself... Hmmm.

Peace.
 
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Trajanus

Paranormal Adept
Anyway, when you look at evolution throughout our tumultuous planetary past there are far, far, far, far more losers than winners. More life forms have died and gone extinct due to not being a good fit in their environment than ones that did. Evolution, has a terrible track record of success when looked wholly at statistics. There is no grandiosity in such a low success rate.
Well, many extinctions have been pseudoextinctions; lineages persisted even if many taxa did not.

No guiding hand required.
Of course not.

No reason to think we deserve any special consideration at all. After all, we are just discreet packets of the Universe which have evolved to sentience. We are the Universe trying to understand itself.
Considering that Universes capable of giving rise to life are probably very rare (1 in trillions?) and even within one, such as ours, indigenous life advanced to our level is extremely rare relative to the number of planets, we may appear to be quite special after all. :) In addition, intelligent life or its machine descendants may be able to significantly modify the Universe to enhance its survival prospects and power.
 


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