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A reverse panspermia


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15 hours ago, beecee said:

We can predict many things generally via the wise methodology of probability over possibility, and of course even now, we are starting to probe extra solar planets atmospheres (if present) and the JWST will surely add clarity and certainty to that. Remembering of course that this is a new science.......

Science is about honest unbiased inquiry and then accepting the results of that inquiry, despite your expectation.

Your method seems the reverse of that; it will probably yield the results I expect, therefore the possibility that I'm wrong is probably wrong; I wonder what they call that particular fallacy...

On 1/23/2022 at 4:45 PM, Genady said:

The same answer as before: "to give life a chance to go on after there is no more chance on Earth."

Maybe if you rephrase your question, I'll understand why this answer doesn't answer it.

What if the human tool is a virus best restricted to earth, and it's escape doomed the rest of the life out there; the only evidence we have is, we're trying our best to eliminate life not expand it.

What's the point of doing such an experiment, if we'll never know the answer, as to whether it's a good or a bad idea?

 

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12 hours ago, Peterkin said:

It says I have no intentions.

Other then your penache for comedy fairy tales when cornered.

16 hours ago, Peterkin said:

That's what zealots of Beetlejuice told the skeptics before they launched that black glass brick full of corona virus. It was intended for Europa, but overshot - just like the first time they tried it, 3 million years ago. 

 

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Science is about honest unbiased inquiry and then accepting the results of that inquiry, despite your expectation.

I suggest you try it...the honest unbiased inquiry that is, without your life  philosophy baggage.

As an example from a previous link...."if you had good conditions, simple life can develop very fast, but complex life will have a hard time. At least on Earth, it took a very long time for complex life to arrive. The Cambrian Explosion only happened about 500 million years ago, roughly 4 billion years after Earth was formed. If we give planets the opportunity to fast forward evolution, we can give them the chance to have their own Cambrian Explosions".

I see such an effort and process as extremly scientifically gratifying and forward thinking. 

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Your method seems the reverse of that; it will probably yield the results I expect, therefore the possibility that I'm wrong is probably wrong; I wonder what they call that particular fallacy...

Thanks but I must correct you on "my method"...As per my many reputable links, that honour actually goes to a  Dr. Claudius Gros, a theoretical physicist from the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Goethe University Frankfurt. Perhaps if you weren't saddled with such philosophical baggage, you would have seen that in some of the articles...if of course you did read any of them.

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

What if the human tool is a virus best restricted to earth, and it's escape doomed the rest of the life out there; the only evidence we have is, we're trying our best to eliminate life not expand it.

You have forgotten your probability over possibility logic. The rest of the life out there???😊Are we talking about our stellar system, that within a few light years, the whole galaxy or are you going for the universe?😅

I prefer the science, and the possible scientific experiment "Project Geneis". It proceeds on our scientific knowledge and capabilities and on known sterile worlds. We can and will I'm certain, be able to at least extend our "use by date" with such an experiment, as we obtain further advancement with new acquired techological expertise. To use an old phrase of mine again...as an advanced species, we were not born to stagnate on this fart arse little blue orb. That of course does not mean that through science and scientific endeavour, we should not have as our current number one priority, the repair and protection of this fart arse little blue orb. 

Edited by beecee
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An extract from a previous link at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1901.02286.pdf

 

"Taking the evolution of terrestrial biota as a reference [30, 35], we may classify nonsolar ecosystems into four categories: primitive-prokaryotic, prokaryotic, unicellular eukaryotic and multi-cellular eukaryotic, viz complex life. For terrestrial life it is custom to attribute value nearly exclusively to complex life, viz to animals and plants. Killing a few billion bacteria while brushing teeth does not cause, to give an example, moral headaches. The situation changes however when it comes to extrasolar life, for which we may attribute value also to future evolutionary pathways. This is a delicate situation. Is it admissible to bring eukaryotes to a planet in a prokaryotic state, superseding such indigenous life with lifeforms having the potential to develop into complex ecologies? Our prevalence to attribute value predominately to complex lifeforms would suggest that this would be ethically correct [58, 59], in particular if we could expect our galaxy to harbor large numbers of planets in prokaryotic states. Endowing a selected number of exoplanets with the possibility to evolve higher life forms would in this case not interfere with the evolution of yet simple life forms on potentially billions of other planets. Genesis missions would comply with the common-sense norm to attribute value to complex lifeforms, the very rational to undertake them in first place, and abort whenever the target planet harbors life that can be detected from orbit. Considering the case of Mars, it is however clear that it will be hard to rule out unambiguously the existence of ecospheres of exceedingly low bioproductivity. Protocols regulating the necessary level of confidence are hence needed. It would be meaningful to embargo the entire extrasolar system in case that complex life would be detected by flyby probes on one of its planets"

and with relation to the Genesis project itself, "Biosphere compatibility considerations suggest in this case that we should not consider in-situ investigations of exoplanets teeming with life [35], with the reason being that such an endeavor could be catastrophic for the indigenous biosphere."

end extracts:

As one would generally expect from agenda free, caring, thinking, considerate scientists, practising what they do best...science. And as such, I'm all for it!

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18 hours ago, beecee said:

Thanks but I must correct you on "my method"...As per my many reputable links, that honour actually goes to a  Dr. Claudius Gros, a theoretical physicist from the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Goethe University Frankfurt. Perhaps if you weren't saddled with such philosophical baggage, you would have seen that in some of the articles...if of course you did read any of them.

You do know your many link's aren't citations, right?

They're opinions from authority...

A true scientist would question that opinion, not rely on it; if that's my philosophical baggage, I'm glad to carry it...

14 hours ago, beecee said:

As one would generally expect from agenda free, caring, thinking, considerate scientists, practising what they do best...science. And as such, I'm all for it!

😇

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On 1/23/2022 at 3:15 PM, Danijel Gorupec said:

I am supporting the idea (once we are damn sure the target world is sterile). Much to learn about life.

I see this as kind of the main problem (both ethical and practical.)

How can we guarantee that world is really sterile?

It's only very recently that we've discovered chemolithoautotrophs that live very deep underground (up to 5 km deep) and have life cycles nothing like anything we knew before. These things may be waiting for geological-scale times until their next breeding season.

My point is: If we know so little about our own microbiota, what makes us think we're ready for colonising other planets with our archaea?

Interesting TED Talks about chemolithoautotrophs:

https://youtu.be/PbgB2TaYhio

https://youtu.be/A2DzsgJSwcc

The frontier between geology and biology is growing thinner and thinner.

 

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7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

You do know your many link's aren't citations, right?

Obviously you don't. Or at least are being mighty weird and/or coy about it.

Let me explain, a citation is simply explaining that certain reasons/methodologies etc, have come from another source. Does that help?

7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

They're opinions from authority...

Yes, opinions worth thinking about, rather then some philosophical driven claptrap from a nobody. 🥱 And I concur with those opinions, and of course facts. And as such, I'm all for it!

7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

A true scientist would question that opinion, not rely on it; if that's my philosophical baggage, I'm glad to carry it...

 

But you in reality you are questioning nothing, simply stubbornly maintaining your naysay philosophical position. Your baggage again, is your  philosophy, that I have shown to be unworkable in other threads. 🤭

 

5 hours ago, joigus said:

My point is: If we know so little about our own microbiota, what makes us think we're ready for colonising other planets with our archaea?

I think we have some very good explanations and scientific opinions at  https://arxiv.org/pdf/1901.02286.pdf  not the least being ....... "For terrestrial life it is custom to attribute value nearly exclusively to complex life, viz to animals and plants. Killing a few billion bacteria while brushing teeth does not cause, to give an example, moral headaches. The situation changes however when it comes to extrasolar life, for which we may attribute value also to future evolutionary pathways. This is a delicate situation. Is it admissible to bring eukaryotes to a planet in a prokaryotic state, superseding such indigenous life with lifeforms having the potential to develop into complex ecologies? Our prevalence to attribute value predominately to complex lifeforms would suggest that this would be ethically correct [58, 59], in particular if we could expect our galaxy to harbor large numbers of planets in prokaryotic states. Endowing a selected number of exoplanets with the possibility to evolve higher life forms would in this case not interfere with the evolution of yet simple life forms on potentially billions of other planets. Genesis missions would comply with the common-sense norm to attribute value to complex lifeforms, the very rational to undertake them in first place, and abort whenever the target planet harbors life that can be detected from orbit."

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Taking that scientific reasoning along with the "probability v's the possibility" argument, and the "use by date" of Earth, 3 billion years or so hence, and the possibility of exteding our own species on another planet.

Are we not obliged to extend our species lifetime? I certainly believe we are, even at the possible risk ( as opposed to probable) of killing some microscopic underground bacterial like entities, or even changing or enhancing there's and ours evolutionary pathways.

Edited by beecee
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OK. I think it's by no means easy to tell what would be a good decision from what would be a really botched operation coming from too bold a move.

Suppose there are microorganisms in that planet that we don't know about. Suppose these microorganisms live 5 km underground --as some chemolithoautotrophs we've discovered only as of the 1980's--. Suppose the microorganisms aren't based on the same catalogue of aminoacids that we, and our intestinal bacteria, and our parasites, are.

Suppose they don't --even remotely-- have the same sequences of DNA in charge of the most basic functions --cellular respiration, fermentation, production of nucleic acid and proofreading of replication and translation of nucleic acid sequences, to name just a few that we share with many of the most primitive organisms on Earth.

Suppose now that setting loose "our" bacteria or archaea from our "Earthly lineage" has the unfortunate result that the planet becomes neither ripe for our guys, nor for theirs --not anymore for them anyway. And as a result, a perfectly viable planet for life --only not our own kind-- ends up being forcibly ruined for their home residents, while we have failed in our attempt to set a foothold. Wouldn't that be a tragedy?

We just don't know. I don't know. I'm just trying to plant the seeds of --hopefully-- constructively reasonable doubt.

The picture of people thinking you can tell a planet's life content just from orbiting around it, honestly, gives me the chills.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have a strong opinion about this one way or the other. Maybe it's worth the risk. I just tend to distrust iniciatives in which I see too much enthusiasm, while little focus on unforseen possibilities.

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But Joigus, isn't that being a bit over the top? It would probably take another four billion years for that kind of life to amount to much. And it's not likely to get wiped out, if it's km down in the rocks. 

Under those circumstances, I think I would still give the old reverse panspermia a go. 

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31 minutes ago, mistermack said:

But Joigus, isn't that being a bit over the top? It would probably take another four billion years for that kind of life to amount to much. And it's not likely to get wiped out, if it's km down in the rocks. 

Well, yes. If you think about it, it's arguably the case that even if the scenario that I painted was a possibility, we could afford it. After all there are something like the order of 1012 planets in our galaxy.

Mind you, I said I don't have a strong opinion about it one way or the other. That's why. Some experiments may be worth the risk.

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Science fiction parading as science? Biology is Destiny? (Freud apparently, but a different context).

We don't know how common life is or how like or unlike terrestrial life other life is. We don't know if non-biological oxygen rich worlds exist - none have been identified, they are hypothetical - or know if they will be truly sterile.

Attempting to find out would be science. Seeding sterile worlds to see what happens could be science. Seeding worlds in order to spread life isn't science.

A shame Mr (Pr) Gros has wasted so much intelligence and energy on this; applied to something worthwhile would be better.

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43 minutes ago, joigus said:

Well, yes. If you think about it, it's arguably the case that even if the scenario that I painted was a possibility, we could afford it. After all there are something like the order of 1012 planets in our galaxy.

Mind you, I said I don't have a strong opinion about it one way or the other. That's why. Some experiments may be worth the risk.

Your reasoanble attitude is apppreciated.

37 minutes ago, Ken Fabian said:

Attempting to find out would be science. Seeding sterile worlds to see what happens could be science. Seeding worlds in order to spread life isn't science.

A shame Mr (Pr) Gros has wasted so much intelligence and energy on this; applied to something worthwhile would be better.

Seeding probable sterile worlds certainly is science, despite your misgivings.

37 minutes ago, Ken Fabian said:

A shame Mr (Pr) Gros has wasted so much intelligence and energy on this; applied to something worthwhile would be better.

A shame you refelct so much arrogance in your comments agaisnt known professionals. Professor Gros is a reputable scientist and It's more then just Professor Gros. I suggest you read some of the links. 

1 hour ago, mistermack said:

But Joigus, isn't that being a bit over the top? It would probably take another four billion years for that kind of life to amount to much. And it's not likely to get wiped out, if it's km down in the rocks. 

Under those circumstances, I think I would still give the old reverse panspermia a go. 

Agreed.

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after reading these Posts, anyone suppose it may be that Space Faring Cephlopods (Octopuses?) Panspermized the Earth?

it may be that hundreds of milions or even billions of years ago Octopuses were a "Space Faring Species" that somehow gave "the old reverse panspermia a go" and the Earth got seeded

it just may be

could be

maybe a theory

Edited by et pet
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3 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

Science fiction parading as science? Biology is Destiny? (Freud apparently, but a different context).

3 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

Science fiction parading as science? Biology is Destiny? (Freud apparently, but a different context).

A shame Mr (Pr) Gros has wasted so much intelligence and energy on this; applied to something worthwhile would be better.

.

Perhaps if you actually address the points made in my many links, and avoid your less then complimentary remarks against myself and the scientists, that see this as science, you may not make such silly blanket statements as "science fiction parading as science"and "wasted intelligence" and other remarks. I remember past debates with you, and your always less then mainstream position or strong inferences that you seem to take.eg: we probably are the only life off the Earth, intelligent life is rare and we are probably it, boots on Mars is a wasted dream etc etc etc. I can't help but wonder if that ties in with abiogenesis or not. No I am unable to pull these past interactions up, but if I am judging you wrong, please indicate and I'll withdraw what I believe as your stance.

Anyway, here are some of the links, papers, and references I have given that do see it as science and in fact as our right also.

https://phys.org/news/2019-01-seeding-milky-life-genesis-missions.html

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1901.02286.pdf

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/ast.2019.2197

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/222394696_Glaciopanspermia_Seeding_the_Terrestrial_Planets_with_Life

http://www.astroethics.com/

https://phys.org/news/2010-02-professor-moral-obligation-seed-universe.html

"Michael Mautner, Research Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University, seeding the universe with life is not just an option, it’s our moral obligation."

Again what people seem to be missing is the probability over possibility scenario.

 

Edited by beecee
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@beecee - I have never suggested life, intelligent or not, must be rare in the universe - we just don't know - but in fact I do think abiogenesis is likely to be common, and think that is an argument against seeding planets from afar.  Sure, I think Mars offers nothing worth sending crewed missions for and that unrealistic hype about it deserves being called out.

Looking for life is probably the best reason to want to explore Mars and the capability to do that comes from a grounded economy made up of grounded people who retain curiosity but aren't explorers or colonists or ever expect to live anywhere else, for whom Space is about national pride and infotainment, when they pay attention at all.

Looking for evidence of life off Earth is best done with probes. Pretty much everything of value we do in space can be done without astronauts. "Space Faring Species"? Feel good hype imo, not supported by the reality.

I really do think the Genesis Project is science fiction parading as science and the goal itself - spreading life beyond Earth - is not science. You can disagree with me. I sure disagree with you.

 

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16 hours ago, joigus said:

I see this as kind of the main problem (both ethical and practical.)

How can we guarantee that world is really sterile?

...

My point is: If we know so little about our own microbiota, what makes us think we're ready for colonising other planets with our archaea?

Interesting TED Talks about chemolithoautotrophs:

...

Yes, the possibility that we bio-colonize a non-sterile world is the real ethical problem. And I don't think we are ready to try this experiment yet, not even on (in) the Moon... But after decades of honest and concentrated effort to find life at some world, I guess we should be able to take the reasonable risk. 

And it seems to me, if the alien life is so much different that we aren't even able to sense its existence after extended efforts, then I guess it is a good chance the clash between life will be delayed - we might have hundred more years between the two start to interfere. So not everything is lost in one single moment of the first colonization... It would be a major scandal, though.

On the other hand, I don't feel any ethical problem with colonizing sterile worlds - I am surprised that other people in this thread expressed concerns even with that.

And I am only considering colonization within solar system. Near-blind colonization of extra-solar places, that seems to be the focus of this thread, is not exciting to me and indeed might be pointless at this moment of our development.

Hmm... can our chemolithoauthotrophs 'infest' Moon or Ceres - an exciting question. Even if they are too slow to show much result in my lifetime. Of course, finding native chemolithoautotrophs there would be even more exciting.

Hmm... just thinking... if life ever existed on Mars, then it had to produce chemolithoautotrophs too.... and they must be still alive. For me it is difficult to find reasons not to be so.

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16 hours ago, beecee said:

Yes, opinions worth thinking about, rather then some philosophical driven claptrap from a nobody. 🥱 

Is that why you don't seem to actually read my post's; everyone's a someone, even me. 😉

15 hours ago, joigus said:

OK. I think it's by no means easy to tell what would be a good decision from what would be a really botched operation coming from too bold a move.

Suppose there are microorganisms in that planet that we don't know about. Suppose these microorganisms live 5 km underground --as some chemolithoautotrophs we've discovered only as of the 1980's--. Suppose the microorganisms aren't based on the same catalogue of aminoacids that we, and our intestinal bacteria, and our parasites, are.

Suppose they don't --even remotely-- have the same sequences of DNA in charge of the most basic functions --cellular respiration, fermentation, production of nucleic acid and proofreading of replication and translation of nucleic acid sequences, to name just a few that we share with many of the most primitive organisms on Earth.

Suppose now that setting loose "our" bacteria or archaea from our "Earthly lineage" has the unfortunate result that the planet becomes neither ripe for our guys, nor for theirs --not anymore for them anyway. And as a result, a perfectly viable planet for life --only not our own kind-- ends up being forcibly ruined for their home residents, while we have failed in our attempt to set a foothold. Wouldn't that be a tragedy?

We just don't know. I don't know. I'm just trying to plant the seeds of --hopefully-- constructively reasonable doubt.

The picture of people thinking you can tell a planet's life content just from orbiting around it, honestly, gives me the chills.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have a strong opinion about this one way or the other. Maybe it's worth the risk. I just tend to distrust iniciatives in which I see too much enthusiasm, while little focus on unforseen possibilities.

Nice post +1, IOW what's the point of asking the question, if we can't know the answer...

16 hours ago, beecee said:

Taking that scientific reasoning along with the "probability v's the possibility" argument, and the "use by date" of Earth, 3 billion years or so hence, and the possibility of exteding our own species on another planet.

How special do you think we are???

That you'd think we'll outlive our "us by date"...

Edited by dimreepr
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16 hours ago, mistermack said:

It would probably take another four billion years for that kind of life to amount to much

Amount to much what on which scale of values, according to whose metrics? 

 

16 hours ago, mistermack said:

And it's not likely to get wiped out, if it's km down in the rocks. 

Unless it was evolving under there, ready to emerge when the conditions become favourable - only, by then the surface is already covered by aggressive earth life.

 

16 hours ago, mistermack said:

Under those circumstances, I think I would still give the old reverse panspermia a go. 

And, once more, with scientific detachment: Why? We can't learn anything because of the time-scale. We can't benefit because of the distance. We make an investment of resources.... for what return?

If somebody say, just for fun, or to beat the Chinese to an achievement milestone, or to take a few $billion out of the military budget - okay, I can see that. Because we can, or because it's our destiny, or because Life is precious - those, to me, are invalid reasons.   

Edited by Peterkin
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2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Nice post +1, IOW what's the point of asking the question, if we can't know the answer...

19 hours ago, beecee said:

Thanks. I'm not sure that's the way I'd phrase it though. I don't think proposals to reverse-pansperm --pardon my French-- other planets is really asking a well-posed scientific question, as it is an attempt to expand, command, and conquer --and also make profit. Some kind of interstellar Lewis-and-Clark effort. Or the Pizarro brothers.

First, I think, we must really understand more deeply what life is. IMO, recent scientific developments have evidenced that we do not completely understand abiogenesis, the limits of life, minimum requisites for it, that we can merrily go round the galaxy planting our half-understood seeds out there.

I resonate a lot more with what @Ken Fabian is saying in that I would love to see a lot more effort (and money) spent in sending probes under the seas of Enceladus, or the methane lakes of Titan, to mention just a couple of tantalising possibilities. There's also much to be learned on Earth that we don't understand. 

I have to say I'm biased on the whole thing. I always want more money spent on basic science, on really understanding what this is all about.

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10 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

@beecee - I have never suggested life, intelligent or not, must be rare in the universe - we just don't know - but in fact I do think abiogenesis is likely to be common, and think that is an argument against seeding planets from afar.  Sure, I think Mars offers nothing worth sending crewed missions for and that unrealistic hype about it deserves being called out.

I stand corrected.

10 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

Looking for life is probably the best reason to want to explore Mars and the capability to do that comes from a grounded economy made up of grounded people who retain curiosity but aren't explorers or colonists or ever expect to live anywhere else, for whom Space is about national pride and infotainment, when they pay attention at all.

And with six roving probes so far having found no signs of life, we are reasonably confident that none now exists on the red planet. So there are other reasons to want to explore Mars, not the least being to one day put boots on the planet...why? as I have told you before, for science,  adventure, further  exploration, ( probes no matter how sophisticated are essentially a prepariotary tool in preparation for human exploration.) and finally as corny as it may sound to you, because its there. And what pray tell is wrong with national pride? 

My disagreement with you is denying that we will ever or should ever have a colony on the Moon, and/or Mars. I'm saying that it will happen as sure as the Sun rises tomorrow morning. When? I don't know, but in the course of time, and as long as we don't eliminate oursleves before then.

11 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

Looking for evidence of life off Earth is best done with probes. Pretty much everything of value we do in space can be done without astronauts. "Space Faring Species"? Feel good hype imo, not supported by the reality.

Robotic probes are essential and part and parcel of our efforts to search for ETL, explore, and colonise. They are simply a tool. We will in time, have a colony on the Moon, and in the course of time, probably have one on Mars too. 

11 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

I really do think the Genesis Project is science fiction parading as science and the goal itself - spreading life beyond Earth - is not science. You can disagree with me. I sure disagree with you.

Sure I disagree with you.And you are entitled to disagree with me. Let's simply keep it at that. Admittedly project Genesis is controversial. There are many reputable and knowledgable people that support it as such. I have linked to some of those people and the reasons why it is science, which imo is your biggest mitake in saying it isn't science. You may disagree with it, but it still is science. My beef so far is that essentially no one has addressed the many reasonable points as to why project Genesis should be undertaken in the course of time. The possibility of microbrial and bacterial argument deep within the bowels of some otherwise lifeless planet, is not an argument why it shouldn't happen, and is highlighted by the fact that we kill microbes and bacteria everyday of our lives. 

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Is that why you don't seem to actually read my post's; everyone's a someone, even me. 😉

Sure you are. So why do you avoid answering questions? ( as you did in the other thread) and instead keep carrying on with your life philosophical agenda? And yes I do read your posts and answer all points you don't make. Shouldn't you do the same?

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Nice post +1, IOW what's the point of asking the question, if we can't know the answer...

I suggest you read his post again. The position he wisely takes is that, "by no means easy to tell what would be a good decision" and the "Don't get me wrong. I don't have a strong opinion about this one way or the other." In essence ( as dangerous as it can be 😉) he is sitting on the fence. The point he makes about how sure we can really be that any planet is sterile, and the possibility of 5km deep microbes and such, I don't believe is really valid, but at least he has attempted to answer questions, and is taking a position of "not sure" as against your own life philosophically motivated immovable position.

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

How special do you think we are???

That you'd think we'll outlive our "us by date"...

I've already answered that. But I don't mind answering again. We are very special, extremely special. Earth is extremely special also. it is the only known planet to have undergone Abiogenesis. We are the only known advanced lifeforms to have evolved from that abiogenesis moment.

By the same token, Earth is nothing more than a mote of dust in a sunbeam, amoung countless numbers of other stars and even more countless numbers of planets available for abiogenesis to begin. In fact relative to the known universe irrelevant.

 

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Just found this thread.  Count me as a vote for probes. 

I lean toward KenF et al. idea that we should be humble learners, be open to other possibilities of abiogenesis and exotic ecologies, or... who knows... planets where exotic crystals spread and have slow piezoelectric thoughts.

I find the seeding concept too embedded in a sort of corporate "branding" to trust.  It is tainted with Terran biochauvinism.  

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12 hours ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

Yes, the possibility that we bio-colonize a non-sterile world is the real ethical problem. And I don't think we are ready to try this experiment yet, not even on (in) the Moon... But after decades of honest and concentrated effort to find life at some world, I guess we should be able to take the reasonable risk. 

On the other hand, I don't feel any ethical problem with colonizing sterile worlds - I am surprised that other people in this thread expressed concerns even with that.

Yes, and as has been detailed in previous links, the project Genesis if it prceeds, will take into account, all the data and research known about the intended body to be considered. The probabilty argument over the "possibility" is a reasonable scientific aspect to proceed on imho.

7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

That you'd think we'll outlive our "us by date"...

Why couldn't we? Why in a few thousand years ( if we are still around) shouldn't we colonise another planet with a star with a predicted lifetime longer then our Sun? Why do you think we should inhibit our knowledge, expertise and know how and not try to do what we are capable of? Why shouldn't we? I'll leave that for you (hopefully) to answer.

4 hours ago, joigus said:

 I have to say I'm biased on the whole thing. I always want more money spent on basic science, on really understanding what this is all about.

I don't see that as a bias. Perhaps we all need to ask ourselves, where we would be without science.

6 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Amount to much what on which scale of values, according to whose metrics? 

Under any metric you care to name. The simple facts are that we ARE an advanced species (silly philosophical stances not withstanding) and the only known species to now be space faring entities. Afterall, the simple fact that we are here contemplating this at all says everything. I really can't see our octopuses friends doing similar contemplating.  

6 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Unless it was evolving under there, ready to emerge when the conditions become favourable - only, by then the surface is already covered by aggressive earth life.

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1901.02286.pdf

Why planetary and exoplanetary protection differ: The case of long duration Genesis missions to habitable but sterile M-dwarf oxygen planets:

Abstract:

Time is arguably the key limiting factor for interstellar exploration. At high speeds, flyby missions to nearby stars by laser propelled wafersats taking 50-100 years would be feasible. Directed energy launch systems could accelerate on the other side also crafts weighing several tons to cruising speeds of the order of 1000 km/s (c/300). At these speeds, superconducting magnetic sails would be able to decelerate the craft by transferring kinetic energy to the protons of the interstellar medium. A tantalizing perspective, which would allow interstellar probes to stop whenever time is not a limiting factor. Prime candidates are in this respect Genesis probes, that is missions aiming to offer terrestrial life new evolutionary pathways on potentially habitable but hitherto barren exoplanets. Genesis missions raise important ethical issues, in particular with regard to planetary protection. Here we argue that exoplanetary and planetary protection differ qualitatively as a result of the vastly different cruising times for payload delivering probes, which are of the order of millennia for interstellar probes, but only of years for solar system bodies. Furthermore we point out that our galaxy may harbor a large number of habitable exoplanets, M-dwarf planets, which could be sterile due to the presence of massive primordial oxygen atmospheres. We believe that the prospect terrestrial life has in our galaxy would shift on a fundamental level in case that the existence of this type of habitable but sterile oxygen planets will be corroborated by future research. It may also explain why our sun is not a M dwarf, the most common star type, but a medium-sized G-class star.

6 hours ago, Peterkin said:

And, once more, with scientific detachment: Why? We can't learn anything because of the time-scale. We can't benefit because of the distance. We make an investment of resources.... for what return?

So we sit on our hands and stagnate? So what? We certainly (humans) have a use by date, but we may be able to extend that. Why shouldn't we? Because of the "possibility"of some microbes 5 kms deep inside the planet, as opposed to probablities? Our benefit could very well be a planet where we could move to on the time scales you seem to find abhorent. It could extend our species. Do you find that agreeable? 

Edited by beecee
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Let me be clear, I am fully supportive of protecting places in our solar system and/or beyond, that may harbor life, so that they retain their value for scientific purposes. But again as Professor of chemistry, Michael Mautner, of  Virginia Commonwealth University, says, "seeding the universe with life is not just an option, it’s our moral obligation."

The mistake I believe is being made (not by all) but  by a couple here, is that they are letting the "possibilities" scenario, ( and we can really assume anything is possible) over rule the more scientific options of probabilites.

The probable chances of microbes existing, 5 kms below on an otherwise sterile planet are low but "reasonable" to consider...the possibility of such microbes evolving into a multi cell life form or space faring entities, is far far less probable. So much so, that reputable scientist, (and little old nobody me) see experiments such as the Genesis project as worthwhile at worst and obligatory at best. 

2 hours ago, TheVat said:

I find the seeding concept too embedded in a sort of corporate "branding" to trust.  It is tainted with Terran biochauvinism.  

I find it really hard to believe that dimreeper, Peterkin and yourself see the prospect of extending life to where it is apparently non existant as chauvinistic. Hard to believe and unscientific to boot. We know of only one planet where Abiogenesis has taken hold...fact. We are an advanced form of that abiogenesis and evolutionary processes...fact We do science...fact

Edited by beecee
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2 hours ago, beecee said:

So we sit on our hands and stagnate?

Are you saying those are the only two choices? Invade or stagnate? Me, if I saw more scientific endeavour, political commitment and financial investment going into climate mitigation, alternative energy sources, family planning, health and nutrition, food security, and maybe killing off fewer native species, I wouldn't call it hand-sitting stagnation. But that's an ideological position and doesn't answer the original question: What's the purpose of seeding other planets with life?  

Edited by Peterkin
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8 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Amount to much what on which scale of values, according to whose metrics? 

Mine.

 

8 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Unless it was evolving under there, ready to emerge when the conditions become favourable - only, by then the surface is already covered by aggressive earth life.

Life in rocks is not going to evolve much. Pace of life down there is not going to be very rapid.

 

8 hours ago, Peterkin said:

And, once more, with scientific detachment: Why? We can't learn anything because of the time-scale. We can't benefit because of the distance. We make an investment of resources.... for what return?

What's the benefit from leaving alien rock bacteria simmering for another four billion years? What can we learn from that? Nil. The human species won't last billions, or even hundreds of millions of years. We are about 200,000 years old as a species. What's the point of worrying about what might evolve over the next couple of billion? 

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4 minutes ago, mistermack said:

What's the benefit from leaving alien rock bacteria simmering for another four billion years?

To us: none. To them: infinite.

5 minutes ago, mistermack said:

What can we learn from that?

What can we learn from blindly shooting off sperm we can never see land, let alone fertilize anything?

 

6 minutes ago, mistermack said:

What's the point of worrying about what might evolve over the next couple of billion? 

It costs nothing. Sending contaminants into space cost plenty.

9 minutes ago, mistermack said:

Mine.

So, it's an ego thing. OK - that, I comprehend. Why disguise it as science? 

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