Extraterrestrial and Artificial Life

Our understanding of life is limited by its earth forms. Unfortunately, we do not know about extraterrestrial life (see Astrobiology), although Epicure spoke about it more than 2000 years ago, and J. Bruno was fagoted in 1600 because of his propagation of ideas about its possibility.

Now it is clear that the solar system planets are not really appropriate places for life, at least in its known forms. Jupiter's atmosphere is, probably, similar to that of the ancient Earth, and life can take its first steps there. Venus is too hot because of the greenhouse effect, and life is possible at some height in the atmosphere only. Mars is too cold, but in rocks found in the Antarctica and, probably, originating from Mars, scientists found microstructures resembling structures of leftovers from bacteria on the Earth. This indication of the existence of ancient life on Mars is very controversial, and the fact is only one 'collateral evidence' of extraterrestrial life.

Searching for sentient life in space was started in 1960 by the project OZMA, which was followed by the Cyclops program in 1971 and many others later. The search for artificial radio radiation and other indirect indications of life is still unsuccessful, provoking pessimistic opinion that mankind is alone in the universe.

We are also quite far from the origination of artificial life produced by man. In principle, it is possible to design self-assembling robots, but they cannot be reliable and self-sufficient. Modern electronic devices have some properties of living beings, but they are a part of the global noosphere system (combined biological and technical elements) and cannot exist for a long time without the environment of human civilization. Even if the perspective of electronic life exists, it is a very remote one.

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