Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Physics, Astronomy & Cosmology => Topic started by: bobdihi on 22/05/2019 18:29:42

Title: Why finding a life on another planet is such a big deal?
Post by: bobdihi on 22/05/2019 18:29:42
  Why finding a life on another planet is such a big deal? If its here it can be anywhere. 
Even if there is lions running around on some distant planet. I say so what. Whats the big deal.
They are here on earth so why could not they be found there?
Title: Re: Why finding a life on another planet is such a big deal?
Post by: Halc on 22/05/2019 20:02:32
  Why finding a life on another planet is such a big deal? If its here it can be anywhere. 
Even if there is lions running around on some distant planet. I say so what. Whats the big deal.
They are here on earth so why could not they be found there?
Nobody says it could not be found elsewhere, but it just seems unlikely.  Computing the odds is very difficult given the biased dataset of 1 that we have.  Any odds computed by a living thing is going to have at least 1 case in the yes column.

Personally I suspect life originated elsewhere, and wherever it came from has likely left it in a few other places.  But if that turns out to be the case, it is still just a single instance of abiogenesis.  Life on two continents does not constitute two cases in the yes column.
Title: Re: Why finding a life on another planet is such a big deal?
Post by: alancalverd on 25/05/2019 22:46:56
However we look at it, life seems to be a very improbable outcome of the chemistry and physics we understand. Finding another instance of something recognisable as life, but having evolved in wholly different circumstances, might give us a clue as to how we got started, and that would be a very big deal intellectually, even if the alien slime had no interest in preventing nuclear war or shoving probes up our backsides.