Thursday, September 01, 2005

Language of our genes, ET museum display and networking with our galactic neighbors

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - A new theory of how planets form finds havens of stability amid violent turbulence in the swirling gas that surrounds a young star. These protected areas are where planets can begin to form without being destroyed. The theory was published in the February issue of the journal Icarus. See article.
g Abodes - A cluster of at least three asteroids between 20-50 kilometers across colliding with Earth over 3.2 billion years ago caused a massive change in the structure and composition of the earth's surface, according to new research by ANU earth scientists. See article.
g Life - A new theory that explains why the language of our genes is more complex than it needs to be also suggests that the primordial soup where life began on earth was hot and not cold, as many scientists believe. See article.
g Intelligence - Archaeologists in the former Soviet republic of Georgia have unearthed a skull they say is 1.8 million years old and part of a find that holds that oldest traces of humankind's closest ancestors ever found in Europe. See article.
g Message - Just how does SETI work? Here’s a good primer for those looking to get a basic overview.
g Cosmicus - For an outstanding site to keep up with the latest in space exploration, bookmark Spaceflight Now. It includes the latest space news headlines and regular updates on the current NASA mission.
g Learning - An outstanding editorial against telling intelligent design in high school ran in Sunday’s Newsday. “Giving intelligent design a place in biology classes alongside evolution would only muddle the minds of young people who will question the validity of the scientific method when confronted with an explanation that has no scientific validity but masquerades as science,” the editorial wisely noted.“ See editorial.
g Imagining - London's Science Museum has come up with a compromise solution. It is to open an exhibition that will reveal scientists' best predictions about the kinds of extraterrestrials we might one day encounter. See article.
g Aftermath “If we are able to find one extraterrestrial civilization, we should be able to find many,” according to the paper “Networking with our Galactic Neighbors.” “By the year 3000 either we will have abandoned the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or we will have made progress networking with other civilizations in our galaxy. One alternative is that we will first detect a civilization that, like our own, has not yet confirmed the existence of other distant civilizations. This success will accelerate our search efforts and put us in touch, one by one, with many more extraterrestrial societies. Under this alternative we would be founding members of the Galactic Club, that is the largest network of communicating civilizations within our galaxy. Another alternative is that our initial contact will be with a civilization that is already affiliated with the Galactic Club, with the result that we ourselves are offered membership. Whether we help build the first network of civilizations or are inducted into a pre-existing network could have profound implications for Humanity 3000.” For more, read article. Note: This paper was released in 2000.

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