[ExI] Panbiogenesis news

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Fri Mar 6 22:41:56 UTC 2015

Quoting BillK:

----- Original Message -----
   > From: BillK <pharos at gmail.com>
   > To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
   > Cc:
> Sent: Friday, March 6, 2015 7:21 AM
   > Subject: Re: [ExI] Panbiogenesis news
> On 6 March 2015 at 14:29, Stuart LaForge  wrote:
>> About ten years ago, I discussed on this list the possibility that life
>> started *everywhere* in the universe in the epoch following the big bang.

>> Well now it looks like a professional astrobiologist at Harvard has caught
>> onto the idea:
>> http://arxiv.org/pdf/1312.0613v3.pdf
> This paper was much discussed when originally published and the
> reaction was that it was speculative, but very unlikely.

Well yes. Any discussion of the origins of life are necessarily  
speculative. Unlikely? Life itself is seems rather unlikely. The sheer  
negentropy required is mind boggling. This is why despite knowing the  
chemical constituents of life and having access to them, nobody has  
yet been able to put them all together in a test tube and create de  
novo life. I came up with panbiogenesis to explain this empirical  
recalcitrance of biogenesis without having to resort to some  
metaphysical "vital spark". If the current physical milieu does not  
allow biogenesis to occur, then biogenesis must have occurred when the  
physics itself was "different". And it so happens that the early  
universe being warmer, denser, lower entropy, and full of free energy  
fits the bill.

> See:
> <http://futureandcosmos.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/could-life-have-evolved-in-very-early.html>
> Summary:
> The warm period was only c. 2 million years. Not long enough to evolve life.
> Lots of radiation from the early universe.
> If any early solar systems existed, there would be a heavy bombardment
> environment.
> Lack of heavy elements generated from stellar evolution.

Loeb might have made the mistake of trying to pin down the time too  
precisely. I don't think it happened quite that early since life could  
not have formed before carbon and oxygen atoms did. But there was  
still plenty of negentropy left after the first stars formed and went  
supernova in the first few hundred million years after the big bang.  
The first stars were 100-1000 solar mass monsters that would have  
raced through their life cycle in a few million years spewing the  
stuff of life across the cosmos.

As far as how long life took form once the ingredients were present,  
it might have been pretty darn quick like a catalyzed chemical  
reaction. Incidentally the criticism by the blog you referenced is  
inconsistent. You can't have heavy bombardment in the absence of heavy  

Stuart LaForge

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