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pichlo's Avatar
Posts: 5,562 | Thanked: 17,342 times | Joined on Sep 2012 @ UK
#6211
Originally Posted by Dave999 View Post
What exactly do mean by that? They live among us?
Yes, that is exactly what he means.

@endso, you may be onto something. What looks like 'extreme' to us may be 'optimal conditions' for an alien. The so-called extremophiles may well be creatures that found environments they were used to from home.

Only one tiny problem with that. They have the same DNA structure as everything else on this planet, hinting strongly on a common ancestor. I would expect an alien to have some sort of self-replicating, DNA-like molecule at heir core, just like us. It is also highly likely to be carbon based, for reasons I mentioned a while ago. But the chance that it looks exactly like DNA seems infinitesimally small to me.

So no, sorry. Extremophiles are not aliens. They are our own outcasts, bullied by the big boys and forced to eke their miserable lives on the fringes.
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endsormeans's Avatar
Posts: 2,460 | Thanked: 6,072 times | Joined on Feb 2013 @ From my Gabriola Island hermitage, near the Edge of the World
#6212
forced to..?

perhaps some extremeophiles here were bullied by other species..
perhaps climate or some disruption in their environment slowly made them hardy ...and they found better food, more safety better conditions ...juuuust a little further down or up a hill (so to speak) ...
that is how it starts..

DNA here ...on this planet is unique...
the exact gravity and pull of our planet...of our sun..of nearby planets...of our moon...
and the exact spin of our planet give and keep the structure and shape to our DNA.

Goodness knows what may come to be in the rest of creation off earth..
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pichlo's Avatar
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#6213
Originally Posted by endsormeans View Post
forced to..?
OK, I appreciate that posting serious answers in this thread is a cardinal sin but I cannot resist. This is how it goes.

Given a choice, every organism would choose to live in a place with perfect conditions. The problem is, what is perfect for me is also perfect for John, Fred and Mary. Which means the good places will soon become overcrowded and each individual is left with three choices. Die, push someone out of be pushed out and learn to live on the edge, where the conditions are a bit less perfect.

Those who learn to accept the edge will over time learn to like it there and beget a new generation for whom that environment is "optimal" - and the whole cycle repeats. Given a long enough time, every possible environment will become populated and those living in diametrically opposing kinds of environment will call each other "extremophiles".

That applies to any population, microbial or human.
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pichlo's Avatar
Posts: 5,562 | Thanked: 17,342 times | Joined on Sep 2012 @ UK
#6214
Originally Posted by pichlo View Post
Given a long enough time, every possible environment will become populated and those living in diametrically opposing kinds of environment will call each other "extremophiles".
I realised after posting that the above may make it sound like I am leaving room for life being born in a Yellowstone hot spring or under a Greenland glacier. After all, who is to say that 20C is "optimal" and 80C is "extreme"? For a Yellowstone bacterium it is the other way around. Is there some "objective" measure?

It turns out there is. All you need to do is look at the number of species inhabiting a given environment. Yellowstone hot spring? Maybe half a dozen. Amazon rain forest? Millions (from capibaras to piranhas to rubber trees to giant centipedes to soil bacteria). While it is not entirely impossible that life first started in the extremes and then exploded once it found a more moderate environment, the chance that it started in the moderate environment is much higher.
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In particle accelerators atoms are indeed not only touching each others. But banging together in a massive explosive orgasm.
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Community Council | Posts: 4,438 | Thanked: 11,076 times | Joined on May 2012 @ Southerrn Finland
#6215
You are on a right track here @pichlo but in your reasoning you forgot that environment changes over time and what may now look like an optimal and thrieving place, like the rainforest is only that because there are already countless types of organisms living in it, forming complex chains of interdependence.

Picture the same site 3 billion years ago when there was absolutely nothing else than bare rock under nitrogen sky bathed in unfiltered hard UV radiation... and suddenly a mineral-rich hot puddle of mud seems to look oddly attractive to life...
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pichlo's Avatar
Posts: 5,562 | Thanked: 17,342 times | Joined on Sep 2012 @ UK
#6216
Originally Posted by juiceme View Post
...and suddenly a mineral-rich hot puddle of mud seems to look oddly attractive to life...
I still doubt it would have been a "hot" puddle. Or even a puddle at all. Too fleeting, too unreliable. "Warm ocean" is more likely. It took millions, if not billions of years to move to the land, which at the time must have looked just as "extreme" as the Yellowstone hot spring is now.

That in no way contradicts what I said. Extremes are colonized as the last resort, not first.
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In particle accelerators atoms are indeed not only touching each others. But banging together in a massive explosive orgasm.
-- nieldk in a TMO post
 
Posts: 95 | Thanked: 400 times | Joined on Jul 2013 @ Katowice, PL
#6217
There are theories that see deep sea hydrothermal vents as possbile cradles of life, though there's not much places on Earth more extreme by our mammalian standards. But... see them as the places with abundance of water, all-the-chemistry-you-can-eat *), free energy, shielded from radiation, storms, space debris and as stable in all its "extremity" as can be.

*) "you" means "wildly complicated self replicating molecule"

BTW, I sincerely recommend Rifters trilogy by Peter Watts, that starts near Juan da Fuca rift by one of such vents. SF so hard it comes with bibliography, mentioning "A hydrothermally precipitated catalytic iron sulphide membrane as a first step towards life", by M.J. Russel et al. (Journal of Molecular Evolution, v39, 1994) among others.

Last edited by briest; 2018-09-26 at 13:44.
 
Dave999's Avatar
Posts: 6,818 | Thanked: 8,306 times | Joined on Oct 2009 @ Moon! It's not the East or the West side... it's the Dark Side
#6218
Originally Posted by briest View Post
There are theories that see deep sea hydrothermal vents as possbile cradles of life, though there's not much places on Earth more extreme by our mammalian standards. But... see them as the places with abundance of water, all-the-chemistry-you-can-eat *), free energy, shielded from radiation, storms, space debris and as stable in all its "extremity" as can be.

*) "you" means "wildly complicated self replicating molecule"

BTW, I sincerely recommend Rifters trilogy by Peter Watts, that starts near Juan da Fuca rift by one of such vents. SF so hard it comes with bibliography, mentioning "A hydrothermally precipitated catalytic iron sulphide membrane as a first step towards life", by M.J. Russel et al. (Journal of Molecular Evolution, v39, 1994) among others.
SF as in Science Fiction?
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Dave999's Avatar
Posts: 6,818 | Thanked: 8,306 times | Joined on Oct 2009 @ Moon! It's not the East or the West side... it's the Dark Side
#6219
Are human brains more intelligent today than lets say 1000 years ago.

Anyone knows how how our brain evolve over time or is only knowledge transfer?
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Do something for the climate today! Anything!

I don't trust poeple without a Nokia n900...I'm also supporting Apple 2016 or until Jolla fully refund or ship the jPad to all backers and supports!

"waited over a year for no tablet and then the same again for potential refund? inspires confidence!"
 
Posts: 95 | Thanked: 400 times | Joined on Jul 2013 @ Katowice, PL
#6220
Originally Posted by Dave999 View Post
SF as in Science Fiction?
Yes. For non-native, are there other ambiguous uses (not counting San Francisco, of course)?
 
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