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Is Life Older Than Earth Itself?

maxim computer science building blocks of dna panspermia nucleotides

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#1 Hum

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 22:43

Applying a maxim from computer science to biology raises the intriguing possibility that life existed before Earth did and may have originated outside our solar system, scientists say.

Moore's Law is the observation that computers increase exponentially in complexity, at a rate of about double the transistors per integrated circuit every two years. If you apply Moore's Law to just the last few years' rate of computational complexity and work backward, you'll get back to the 1960s, when the first microchip was, indeed, invented.

Now, two geneticists have applied Moore's Law to the rate at which life on Earth grows in complexity — and the results suggest organic life first came into existence long before Earth itself.

Staff Scientist Alexei Sharov of the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, and Theoretical Biologist Richard Gordon of the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory in Florida, took Moore's Law, replaced the transistors with nucleotides — the building blocks of DNA and RNA — and the circuits with genetic material, and did the math.

The results suggest life first appeared about 10 billion years ago, far older than the Earth's projected age of 4.5 billion years.

So even if it's mathematically possible for life to have existed before Earth did, is it physically possible? Again, Sharov and Gordon said yes, it is. As our solar system was forming, pre-existing bacterialike organisms, or even simple nucleotides from an older part of the galaxy, could have reached Earth by hitching an interstellar ride on comets, asteroids or other inorganic space debris — a theoretical process called panspermia.

The scientists’ calculations are not scientific proof that life predates Earth — there's no way of knowing for sure that organic complexity increased at a steady rate at any point in the universe's history. Call it a thought exercise or an essay, rather than a theory, Sharov said.

"There are lots of hypothetical elements to [our argument]… but to make a wider view, you need some hypothetical elements," Sharov told TechNewsDaily.

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#2 Growled

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:25

That's a very interesting concept. I guess most of us believe that earth was created first and life came along later.

#3 thatguyandrew1992

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:29

Makes perfect sense to me. Why would Earth have the first sign of life? Seems most likely that it didn't.

#4 Kaantian

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:35

This same process could, theoretically, be applied to the rate of how our knowledge expands, couldn't it? Wouldn't that let us get a more accurate estimate as to when we advanced from say, the one age to the next. Also, this could be applied to human migration patterns, and since we already have a pretty good idea as how we migrated across the world, we could use it to cross-check, by better understanding if we understand migration correctly. This would also let us know if this, like Benfords law, can be applied to a wide variety of aspects, such as the formation of the first strands of life.

#5 Crisp

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:36

We will never know unless we explore.

#6 Raa

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:45

So out there are the original humans? :D

#7 Growled

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:53

So out there are the original humans? :D


So Giorgio Tsoukalos has been right all along.

#8 Torolol

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 04:45

life was seeded to suitable planet, in this case earth.
if panspermia theory is correct, theres should be traces of failed seeds in unsuitable celestial bodies like moon.

#9 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 04:51

I can't see why not, science tells us the big bang started the series of events that formed life on earth, if this is indeed true, then who's to say this bang that created our solar system wasn't the death of another sun, one that had life under it's system (etc...)
Hell, there are theories that these big bangs are happening in distant parts of space right now.
I'm not an astrophysicist, so I wouldn't know.

#10 rfirth

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 05:15

if panspermia theory is correct, theres should be traces of failed seeds in unsuitable celestial bodies like moon.


Not unlikely that they're could be traces of life in rocks on the moon... no doubt many of the rocks could have originated from Earth.

#11 Tuishimi

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 05:44

Well, God's eternal so I guess that would predate Earth.

#12 +zhiVago

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 07:01

Is Life Older Than Earth Itself?


Of course, it is. The age of the observable universe is at least 13 billion years. It would be ignorant to assume that in a dozen of billion of years between the Big Bang and the birth of the Solar system, Earth appeared as the first inhabited planet.

Fortunately, there's now one scientific bit to back this up.

#13 Yusuf M.

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 07:19

It's possible, maybe even likely that life predates our planet. There are galaxies that are much older than the Milky Way. It's safe to assume that it could contain millions or even billions of habitable planets.

#14 Lant

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 07:59

Interesting conclusion on page 14 (http://arxiv.org/ftp...4/1304.3381.pdf) that because of this it possible that we were in fact among the first civilisations to emerge

#15 LUTZIFER

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 08:26

Well of course life existed on other planets/solar systems before even Earth was created.
I still don't understand how people could even be so retarded to even think that Earth, out of trillions and trillions of other planets, could be the only one with life.