[ExI] Panbiogenesis news

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Sat Mar 7 09:27:09 UTC 2015

Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> , 7/3/2015 12:03 AM:

I didn't mean that life couldn't exist *anywhere* in the modern   
universe, just that now it can only exist in relatively scarce oases   
like the earth. My point was once upon a time life could have existed   
everywhere even in the interstellar medium. I believe that it was once   
the rule rather than the exception but then most of it died. 

There is a conflation here of right temperature range and being able to sustain life. Life requires a lot more than the right temperature, in particular elements that can form chemistry, lack of ionizing radiation that disrupts chemistry, and useful energy gradients to exploit. The early universe might have been room temperature, but the average density during this era was just a factor of 100 higher than now (3*10^-26 kg/m^3, a very high lab vacuum), the constituents were nearly all hydrogen and helium, and the radiation flux rather intense. 

When people say "unlikely" about this scenario, they are not saying "one chance in a hundred", but "would require us to be totally wrong about everything we thought we knew about biochemistry and abiogenesis". 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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