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Did life arise?


Tristan L
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Many scientists, philosophers, and people of religion have sought to find the answer to the question: How did life arise? However, isn’t that question loaded? Shouldn’t we first ask: Did life arise?

Mightn’t it be the case that the Universe is everlasting, and that life has always existed in this Universe?

For instance, if Roger Penrose’s conformal cyclic cosmology is true, then isn’t it possible that intelligent living beings in each aeon manage to seed the next aeon with life, perhaps with signals of some sort?

Something similar could be asked about other cyclical models.

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I think evidence is that life did arise. Complex life comes from much, much simpler life. Why would beings from another cosmic cycle send seeds in the form of amino-acids and simple nucleotides, when these can be formed from simpler substances? --Miller-Urey experiment and others.

And how would these molecules survive a re-collapsing universe and a new big-bang?

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Good points. I also think that life did arise. However, I think that we shouldn’t take this as a given fact without questioning it. Arguments such as yours are one of the things that I was searching for.

Has the question of whether life did arise in the first place been discussed in the scientific literature?


 
19 hours ago, joigus said:

Why would beings from another cosmic cycle send seeds in the form of amino-acids and simple nucleotides, when these can be formed from simpler substances? --Miller-Urey experiment and others.

But what if those beings influenced life in our cycle more subtly? For example, maybe they knew that amino-acids and nucleotides would arise naturally, so they rather wrote the genetic code and sent it to our cycle’s raw materials. I don’t really believe such things; I’d just like to know whether there are good arguments against it (or perhaps for it for that matter).

 

19 hours ago, joigus said:

And how would these molecules survive a re-collapsing universe and a new big-bang?

They likely couldn’t. Bear in mind, though, that according to Roger Penrose’s CCC, there is no collapse; rather, the (if you ask me boring) future time-like infinity of one cycle is the big bang of the next cycle. Mightn’t seeds survive that way, in the shape of EM signals, perhaps?

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3 hours ago, Tristan L said:

But what if those beings influenced life in our cycle more subtly? For example, maybe they knew that amino-acids and nucleotides would arise naturally, so they rather wrote the genetic code and sent it to our cycle’s raw materials. I don’t really believe such things; I’d just like to know whether there are good arguments against it (or perhaps for it for that matter).

The genetic code is not fixed. It suffers genetic drift, mutations; some good, some bad, some neutral. And for about three billion years most anything that lived on Earth were bacteria and archaea, or similar. Where was our genetic code written all that time? Genetic code is not a fixed thing.

3 hours ago, Tristan L said:

They likely couldn’t. Bear in mind, though, that according to Roger Penrose’s CCC, there is no collapse; rather, the (if you ask me boring) future time-like infinity of one cycle is the big bang of the next cycle. Mightn’t seeds survive that way, in the shape of EM signals, perhaps?

Bear in mind, the rebound, if you prefer that term, goes to about a billion K degrees. Never mind collapse is not reached. What nucleotide can survive that? EM signals? Radiation in the universe doesn't hold information. In fact, in cosmological calculations, the entropy of the universe (the disorder) is about the number of photons.

Crystals can hold information, not radiation.

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The relic radiation that we detect as the CMB is the oldest electromagnetic radiation we can ever detect as it arises from the epoch of recombination.
Prior to this all was plasma, and electrons couldn't stick to ions; IOW, there were no atoms.
But life, consisting of atoms, and molecules, in various combinations ( some which we haven't even begun to imagine ) does exist, therefore it must have arisen.
As Mr. Spock used to say
"Once you eliminate the impossible …"
( or was that Sherlock Holmes ? )

Edited by MigL
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11 hours ago, MigL said:

The relic radiation that we detect as the CMB is the oldest electromagnetic radiation we can ever detect as it arises from the epoch of recombination.
Prior to this all was plasma, and electrons couldn't stick to ions; IOW, there were no atoms.
But life, consisting of atoms, and molecules, in various combinations ( some which we haven't even begun to imagine ) does exist, therefore it must have arisen.
As Mr. Spock used to say
"Once you eliminate the impossible …"
( or was that Sherlock Holmes ? )

It must have been Mr. Spock quoting Sherlock Holmes.

CMCs or space-like translations between parallel fantasy universes aside. ;)

Anyway. Radiation thermalises very easily. Unless in cosmic expanding spaces, in which it rather vanishes into a stretched-out red-shifted mantle of quasi nothingness. In between those extremes, the only chance I can see for the OP's hopes is the crackling sound of an old radio frequency trying to tell someone out there how to build an amino acid.

Trying to end on a poetic note. 🖖

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17 hours ago, Tristan L said:

Has the question of whether life did arise in the first place been discussed in the scientific literature?

My recollection is that for a Steady State, eternal universe, life was presumed to have always existed. Since Steady State has been "dead" for half a century there will be very little, if anything, in recent literature discussing the point. (And its apt to be found in philosophy rather than science.)

Edited by Area54
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Yes, those are some good points for life having arisen rather than always been there.

 

19 hours ago, MigL said:

The relic radiation that we detect as the CMB is the oldest electromagnetic radiation we can ever detect as it arises from the epoch of recombination.

But the properties of the CMB depend in part on those of the Big Bang, which in turn might be influenced by a previous aeon, I think. Is that right? For instance, see here for the possibility of the CMB containing info from an aeon before ours.

 

19 hours ago, joigus said:

The genetic code is not fixed. It suffers genetic drift, mutations; some good, some bad, some neutral. And for about three billion years most anything that lived on Earth were bacteria and archaea, or similar. Where was our genetic code written all that time? Genetic code is not a fixed thing.

As far as I know, the genetic code is very similar across all Earthly living beings and hasn’t changed much over billions of years. I don’t mean individual genomes or sets of genomes, but rather the genetic speech.  Could our genetic speech have been written by organisms of the last aeon?

 

19 hours ago, joigus said:

Bear in mind, the rebound, if you prefer that term,

In conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC), there is no rebound.

 

19 hours ago, joigus said:

Radiation in the universe doesn't hold information.

So are these forum posts no information?

Couldn’t a very mighty civilization use EM radiation to send info to the next aeon?

 

6 hours ago, Area54 said:

My recollection is that for a Steady State, eternal universe, life was presumed to have always existed. Since Steady State has been "dead" for half a century there will be very little, if anything, in recent literature discussing the point.

But what about cyclic models?

Edited by Tristan L
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CCC cycles the universe through Black Holes ( to restore uniformity ).
IOW, if not through the near singularity of the Big Bang, then through the near singularities of many Black Holes.
( conformal scaling and mass loss/decay of fundamental particles aside )
From your link ...

"The idea is that the universe cycles from one aeon to the next, each time starting out infinitely small and ultra-smooth before expanding and generating clumps of matter. That matter eventually gets sucked up by supermassive black holes, which over the very long term disappear by continuously emitting Hawking radiation. This process restores uniformity and sets the stage for the next Big Bang."

Our theory of Black Holes, GR, doesn't conserve information.
Quantum theory demands that information is conserved, but is nearly useless in accounting for Black Holes.
( this is an active area of research, and R Penrose is just proposing an idea; looking for any non-conforming 'rings/spots' in the CMB to further his case )

So is there a possibility ?
Of course; science is never 100% sure.
There is also the possibility that God did it, but we have no evidence for that either.

Edited by MigL
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20 hours ago, joigus said:

Bear in mind, the rebound, if you prefer that term, goes to about a billion K degrees. Never mind collapse is not reached. What nucleotide can survive that? EM signals? Radiation in the universe doesn't hold information. In fact, in cosmological calculations, the entropy of the universe (the disorder) is about the number of photons.

 

That is a very good point.  If the collapsing Universe reaches a temperature of a billion K degrees, as joigus plausibly suggests, no presently  living matter could survive such intense heat.

Even atoms couldn't survive it, and certainly not organic molecules.  Only photons could survive.  Do you think that in the far future,  humans could evolve into photons?

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23 hours ago, MigL said:

So is there a possibility ?
Of course; science is never 100% sure.
There is also the possibility that God did it, but we have no evidence for that either.

Right. It would indeed need a stretch of the imagination to see how lifeforms from the last aeon could get info into our aeon in a way that brings about living things. I find the hypothesis that life arose much more convincing. Then again, I just found out that my idea isn't new: it's the idea of information panspermia. Still, I find it very speculative and think the arising of life from scratch to be much likelier.

 

23 hours ago, MigL said:

Our theory of Black Holes, GR, doesn't conserve information.
Quantum theory demands that information is conserved, but is nearly useless in accounting for Black Holes.

But there are some very good solutions to the ILP which show that info isn't destroyed after all, aren't there? I firmly believe in the indestructibility of info (though I do think that on the other hand, info can be made), also because of quantum theory, but not only due to it. That's one reason for which I'm skeptical of CCC.

 

22 hours ago, Charles 3781 said:

Do you think that in the far future,  humans could evolve into photons?

Yes, I think we could, though I believe that it's not at all certain that we will. See also the idea of information panspermia - my idea turned out not to be so new after all.

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