Thursday, August 12, 2010

Life arising between mica sheets and will ETI be altruistic or hostile?

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Abodes - The Trojan horse of legend held in its belly the men and means to help sack ancient Troy. Now it appears another type of Trojan could endanger every life on Earth. So says a study of the Trojan asteroids that exist around the orbit of Neptune: material from these may go on to become comets that could strike our planet. See article.
g Life - Scientists may have a new answer to the question, "Where did life on Earth start?" Research shows that life could have originated between sheets of mica that were layers like the pages in a book. Understanding the origin of life is a key goal of astrobiology. See article.
g Intelligence - When it comes to extraterrestrial intelligent life – life that could invent science and technology – the bookmakers hesitate. After all, the road to Homo sapiens was snaky. There were myriad forks in the evolutionary road, and not a few biologists have suggested that if the history of this planet had been only slightly different, humans would never have made the scene. Intelligence was a highly improbable accident, they say. See article. This article is from 2004.
g Message - One example of communicating with ETI - proposed in 1920 - relies on a variation of telegraph code, using flashes of light to attempt communication with ETI. How would this work? See article. This article is from 2001.
g Cosmicus - Like Rodney Dangerfield, dust don’t get no respect. If you make a laundry list of the material contents of the cosmos, you’ll be sure to put stars, planets, gas clouds and dark matter on the ticket. But dust? Who cares about such tiny, sticky bits of carbon, silicon, and other boring stuff? See article.
g Learning - Science is a powerful tool for understanding the natural world, and has a dominant role in modern economics and culture. Scientific theories are at the heart of the enterprise. In the science classroom, children should learn about major scientific theories such as gravitation and evolution. See column. This column is from 2005.
g Aftermath - Will ET be altruistic or hostile? An Internet poll found a strong connection between people’s beliefs about extraterrestrials and their feelings about how meaningful life is. What makes the results even more compelling is that they match the findings of an earlier study conducted under more stringent testing conditions. See article. This article is from 2002.

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