[ExI] Panbiogenesis news

Robin D Hanson rhanson at gmu.edu
Fri Mar 6 14:41:27 UTC 2015

On Mar 6, 2015, at 9:29 AM, Stuart LaForge <avant at sollegro.com> wrote:
> http://www.technologyreview.com/view/513781/moores-law-and-the-origin-of-life/
> http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.3381
> ... The genetic complexity, roughly measured by the number of non-redundant functional nucleotides, is expected to have grown exponentially due to several positive feedback factors: gene cooperation, duplication of genes with their subsequent specialization, and emergence of novel functional niches associated with existing genes. Linear regression of genetic complexity on a log scale extrapolated back to just one base pair suggests the time of the origin of life 9.7 billion years ago. This cosmic time scale for the evolution of life has important consequences: life took ca. 5 billion years to reach the complexity of bacteria; the environments in which life originated and evolved to the prokaryote stage may have been quite different from those envisaged on Earth; there was no intelligent life in our universe prior to the origin of Earth, thus Earth could not have been deliberately seeded with life by intelligent aliens;

Interesting approach. Eyeballing their key graph, it seems they can't really distinguish 9.7 bya from the age of the universe. And that would be more plausible as a starting point. 

Robin Hanson  http://hanson.gmu.edu
Res. Assoc., Future of Humanity Inst., Oxford Univ.
Assoc. Professor, George Mason University
Chief Scientist, Consensus Point
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
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