followed tags: 22
followed domains: 3
badges given: 1 of 3
member for: 847 days
The article they link to in the Atlantic is a good read that delves deeper into what we might look for and what the evidence we leave behind might look like far into the future.
I'm seconding kb on the 'not very subtle.'
I have a hard time believing we could be the first. Perhaps one of the earliest?
The more places we go poking around in our solar system, the more places we find that life could possibly exist. What if we find microbes all over our system, and what if we are all related? How could we ever figure out who came first?
Now I am wondering if the answer to Fermi is that the universe is only just now (or recently) becoming capable of making planets with enough elements for complex life?
(Just came up with this in the thread about Venus' clouds and thought I should post it here too.)
Here is the discussion thread. We were talking about what possible alternatives to phosphorus are for alien biology.
I see your point, but would point out that this article is discussing similarity among bodies within one solar system, which makes sense as we all condensed out of the same planetary disk. The other article is highlighting dissimilarity between solar systems due to location. The makeup of planetary disks seems to differ based on what kinds of stellar explosions contributed to them. This also makes sense.
Now I am wondering if the answer to Fermi is that the universe is only just now becoming capable of making planets with enough elements for complex life?
- Follow-up studies suggest that Laniakea is not gravitationally bound; it will disperse rather than continue to maintain itself as an overdensity relative to surrounding areas.
Still relevant, but for how long? (Quoted text is from Wikipedia article)
If I am understanding this table correctly, there is a whole lot more arsenic out there than phosphorus, so if biology can take a slightly different route, the lack of phosphorus is not necessarily as big of an issue as it might seem (to us who are dependent upon it)?
I wonder if there are other elements which can take the place of phosphorus in our biology (or that of an alien species)? I know there are illnesses that are caused when our bodies take in certain elements and they take the place of others in some process, which works but isn't quite right.