"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Life and Death 

A new theory suggests that life may have begun on earth assisted by a process not unlike PCR. I have no inherent problem with this theory...it seems logical, and fits with the whole circularity of time thing. However, the biologist quoted in the article goes a step in a direction of which I am not at all fond: he says this theory means life couldn't have evolved on Mars, because it doesn't have a big enough moon to cause tides for the effect. Now, I have two problems with this. The first is, as stated before, that life developing (in the way suggested by this article or otherwise) is so unlikely, that it happening more than once is even more infinitely unlikely. And why should we demand that other life-forms be like us? Rather silly, if you ask me. Second of all (if you ignore the first bit), Phobos may have once been bigger (it's irregular shape may suggest this), or Mars could have had another moon/moons. Or maybe the effect of two smaller moons has an effect we don't know about (not having one and all).

Death. Lots and lots of death. According to a pair of papers published in Science, which is the only reason I take them seriously, Earth may be headed for its sixth mass extinction cycle. The data seem to be only from the British Isles, however, which are both isolated and probably super hard hit by humans' muckings about, but if they generalize...uh-oh.....

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