Sigurd shared – “Is life a bizarre fluke or is it a cosmic imperative”?
Paul Davies on the Origins of Life
Checked out both links.
It is highly unlikely that we will be able to determine exactly how life started on earth, it is too long ago, and the evidence is so polluted by random noise.
It is impossible to say if life arose only once on earth, or many times (over a period of a few hundred million years).
Impossible to say if it arose only in one place on earth, or many places.
What would be interesting, is being able to model any particular environment that can generate life.
It seems very probable to me that such a thing is possible.
The search space is very large (near infinite).
From database theory we have the knowledge that the fastest possible search is a fully random search (for any unstructured collection, and it is always more energetic to maintain structure than do a random searches). So that pushes the domain space of search up a couple of levels of abstraction.
And it does seem entirely possible (even probable) that all life that we have thus far genetically sequenced shares a common ancestor – so the single improbable event hypothesis seems most probable to me at this time (but far from certain – just a 70/30 sort of thing).
And I have been interested in evolutionary biology and biochemistry for over 50 years, so an amateur and one with a long history.
And in a very real sense, it matters not.
What matters is that we are here, now.
What matters is staying alive, and having reasonable degrees of freedom in terms of both resources and options to use them.
That is a very real problem space.
We need our exponential tech to solve many of the old and well recognised problems, but that very technology exposes us to many risks that most are blind to due to unquestioned and accepted assumptions embedded in the culture and conceptual milieu in general use.
So while we have the potential for radical abundance and security, achieving that security demands changes that many will be unable to see the need for; which is itself a threat (not that I’m into infinite recursion or anything like that 😉 ).