-- Odds on aliens by PHILIP BALL; 14 May 2002; Nature News Service
Under conditions like those of deep undersea hydrothermal vents, chemistry will automatically transform into biochemistry-- i.e., the first stirrings of life. Formation of organometallics is the first step.
-- Hard Evidence Shows Life Could Have Evolved Naturally, The Carnegie Institution of Washington
[Contact: George Cody, Tina McDowell, Kathleen Burton],25-Aug-2000, http://unisci.com/
It may be that simple or primitive life itself is common across the universe-- but higher lifeforms are not, due to their more stringent requirements in terms of development time, as well as other resources and circumstances. Specifically, worlds highly similar to Earth and its history may be quite rare in space.
-- We Could Be All Alone In Space, Book Declares By Vince Stricherz, http://unisci.com, 19-Jan-2000
Simple lifeforms appear to be virtually an inevitable development anywhere in the Universe where conditions mimic those of the Earth of 4 billion BC.
-- Scientific American:
Feature Article: Where Are They?: July 2000 by Ian Crawford
The phenomena enabling quantum computing
may be the same one responsible for creating the very first living things from non-living molecules in any given evolutionary scenario as well. In other words, life developing from lifelessness may be a given universe-wide, wherever certain minimal environmental conditions are met.
-- New Scientist | Is anybody out there? | By Paul Davies, From New Scientist, 18 September 1999, found on or about February 27, 2000
The new book Quantum Evolution by Dr. Johnjoe McFadden observes that the DNA of life imposes order down to the very level of the molecular structure itself. Which means that the essence of life also may reach into the strange realm of quantum mechanics.
"In quantum mechanics, everything that can happen will happen."
The quote above offers profound implications for any system based upon or interacting with the universe on the quantum level. Elementary particles like electrons and photons act as both waves and particles, and when offered a choice of paths take them all simultaneously. Only when they are measured or otherwise interfered with do their wave functions collapse, coalescing into a single particle and its determinate path in our spacetime.
It may be that there are many universes-- parallel realities to our own-- with such multiple personality particles/waves occupying them all simultaneously until forced to choose only one.
Only recently did scientists discover that objects larger than elementary particles could also participate in this strange multi-universe existence. Namely, molecules like fullerenes. The diameter of fullerene molecules is comparable to that of the double helix of DNA, or basic constituent of life itself. Thus, it appears DNA may also be able to inhabit multiple universes simultaneously.
It may be that at least some mutations in life within our reality come about due in some way to the multiversal experiences of our DNA. But if so, how exactly does the DNA slip into and out of the multiversal state? Apparently it would enter the multiverse at times when it is adequately isolated from our own reality, and exit again after it has interacted somehow with the multiverse itself.
The isolated state appears to involve at least at times some sort of desperate condition on the part of the DNA, such as stymied growth or reproduction: perhaps stemming from a shortage of food. The DNA might then go multiversal, sampling many possible genetic combinations until it finds one which will dissolve the roadblock in its native universe, then return to affect the change.
Experiments with bacteria seem to show just such preferential mutations in action-- at least in some cases.
Such preferential mutations would also offer a neat solution to the mathematics that seem to prove the probability of life arising in the universe at random to be nil. Quantum accelerated evolution could be the loophole allowing life to bypass the obstacles suggested by the math.
-- Is Quantum Evolution The New Science Of Life? (Katie Minton possible author), 04-Feb-2000, unisci.com
One of the amino acids necessary for life (glycine) has been found to be present in space in the molecular cloud Sagittarius B2.
-- IT'S ACCORDING TO HOYLE AND WICKRAMASINGHE From Science Frontiers Digest of Scientific Anomalies #95, SEP-OCT 1994 by William R. Corliss, citing John Travis; "Hints of First Amino Acid outside Solar System," Science, 264:1669, 1994 and Jeff Hecht; "'Molecule of Life' Is Found in Space," New Scientist, p. 4, June 11, 1994
Water vapor (an essential element to life as we know it) can be found throughout interstellar space-- though it is more common in warmer regions (such as gas clouds where stars are being formed) than colder ones.
-- Cosmic Gas Clouds Yield Puzzling Concentrations Of Water, 8/21/2000, Source: National Aeronautics And Space Administration (http://www.nasa.gov); http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/cfa/oir/Research/swas.html http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/ApJ/front.html and ftp://ftp.hq.nasa.gov/pub/pao/pressrel/2000/00-126.txt are related addresses
-- Comets could have seeded life on Earth
By Dr David Whitehouse; BBC News Online; 5 April, 2001
-- Self-Made Cells Show Life Could Come From Space By Maggie Fox; Yahoo!/Reuters; January 29, 2001
-- Scientific American: News In Brief: Are We Alien Life? by Kristin Leutwyler: January 30, 2001
-- Are We All Aliens? The New Case for Panspermia
By Robert Roy Britt; 30 October 2000; SPACE.com
Living bacteria unlike anything known on Earth was apparently dropped into the Earth's atmosphere by a passing comet, to be collected by a high altitude scientific balloon sampling equipment (verification efforts for this conclusion are currently underway).
-- Scientists report 'alien' life By United Press International; November 22, 2000
Apparently around 250,000,000 BC a bacterium got trapped in salt and went into a form of living suspension, to eventually wake up in 2000 AD, stunning human science.
This finding in 2000 AD regarding an organism named Bacillus permians indicates that at least some bacterial spores, under certain conditions, may be effectively immortal. The process in this instance involved the bacterium in a drop of water becoming trapped within a forming salt crystal (fluid inclusion). The biggest difference so far found between this organism and typical modern bacillus is a slightly thicker cell wall.
-- Eternal life by Andy Coghlan, from New Scientist, 18 October 2000, citing Nature vol 407, p 897
Apparently entities such as Bacillus strain 2-9-3 could travel through space within meteorites or crystals. Our nearest neighboring galaxy is some 2.2 million lightyears distant from our own-- but organisms as long lived as this might still survive such a trip, even at speeds far below that of light. Independent verification of this finding is still underway.
-- Alive...after 250 million years, possibly by Christine McGourty, 18 October, 2000, BBC News Online
Circa mid-2002 it appears virtually certain (95% probability) that life would develop within one billion years on at minimum 33% of those planets in the universe and galaxy which offered conditions suitable for same.
-- Probability of alien life rises by Jeff Hecht; 15 May 02; Special Report; New Scientist
-- Life Seems To Be Inevitable Consequence Of Existence;
30-May-2002; unisci.com (Daily University Science News)
-- Life Found in 'Unlivable' River By Robert Cooke; Newsday; May 9, 2002; http://www.newsday.com/news/printedition/ny-hstoxi092699745may09.story
-- Life's building blocks created in space simulator by Philip Cohen; 27 March 02; NewScientist.com news service, citing Nature (vol 416, p 401, p 403)
Bacteria have been found which do not require oxygen, sunlight, or carbon dioxide to survive, and live as much as 800 meters underneath the sea bottom on Earth.
-- Life found 'on margin of existence' By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online; 5 March, 2002
Microbes living in 200 meter deep hot springs in Idaho live by converting a mix of carbon dioxide with hydrogen drawn from rocks to produce methane.
-- Life, as it was in the beginning? by JOHN WHITFIELD; 17 January 2002; Nature News Service / Macmillan Magazines Ltd
Microbes may pass between planets and even between solar systems riding within meteorites launched from their home worlds by impacts with other bodies.
In our local neighborhood, an alien star system would likely receive one meteorite every one hundred million years from our system.
-- Life will find a way by Jeff Hecht; New Scientist magazine, 17 March 2001
-- New Analysis Of Meteorite Shows Key Ingredients For Life On Earth May Have Been Delivered By Comets; ScienceDaily Magazine; 2/28/2001; Source: Scripps Institution Of Oceanography (http://sio.ucsd.edu/); http://scrippsnews.ucsd.edu/releases2001/bada_comet.html
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Earth life can even be found at the South Pole, reproducing at -17 degrees C.
-- Life in extreme conditions by Joanna Marchant; EurekAlert!; 8 NOVEMBER 2000; New Scientist issue: 11 November 2000; UK Contact: Claire Bowles firstname.lastname@example.org 44-0-207-331-2751 US Contact: New Scientist Washington office email@example.com 202-452-1178
-- Life in the clouds by Joanna Marchant; New Scientist magazine, 26 August 2000
-- Geophysicist studies life in the early solar system By Etienne Benson ; 14-Dec-2001; Contact: Mark Shwartz
Stanford University; http://geo.stanford.edu/GP/sleep.html