Life Elsewhere
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Transcript: In terms of life beyond Earth and life beyond the solar system, what are the prospects? Astronomers have learned that long-lived stars, planets, and carbon chemistry seem to be universal phenomenon. We know that planets exist around many nearby stars. We know that carbon is readily produced by many stars throughout the Milky Way galaxy and in all the hundred billion galaxies beyond the Milky Way. In drawing conclusions from the history of life on Earth, scientists may surmise that primitive life or microbial life forms may be common in the universe whereas complex life and intelligence may be rare. However, the possible modes of life are essentially unknown. Although the traditional debate is framed in terms of biochemistry, if the minimum requirement for life is only thermal disequilibrium and information storage, then there are other possible modes for life that we have not yet discovered. Either way, the next few decades will probably show us the answer to the question, “Is there life in the universe?” and the new knowledge we gain will change us forever.
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Transcript: In terms of our speculation about life in the universe, what can we conclude with all the information we have learned about the history of life on Earth. We have learned that life formed very early in extreme conditions. We’ve learned that carbon chemistry offers many different...
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