Life on Europa

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AuthorTopic: Life on Europa
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #25
Frozen Feet, you say life on Europa is highly likely. The reason you give is that if it's close enough to Earth it could sustain life. I follow that. How would the life get there though? Sustaining life and life beginning are two very different things. The chances of the later happening are extraordinarily low. You seem to hope there is life on Europa or elsewhere? Why? That's what I really want to know.

Kel, You asked why I think religion would be affected. It teaches God created life. As I mentioned before general evolution erodes people's faith in general - not everyone's. The scientific community would probably push the same conclusion that Randomizer would about life elsewhere. Many would accept that conclusion.

Drew, on the one hand you say "the "decline in morals" exposes the flaw in reliance on religious doctrine as their source." Then you say "is it surprising that an increasing lack of belief in the Church of Our Fathers would cause those individuals to question what the Church is saying?" How does the first follow from the second.

I'll be the first to say that a lot of what mainstream Christianity does and says is bad - it has been for quite a while. To the extent that it sticks to the Bible it is good though. To the extent that society deviates from that it is bad. You'll accept what it says about the family. But the rest you say is arbitrary. OK, let's take my first statement and see how arbitrary it is. I don't have to prove God you you, because you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears.

Disregard for Human Life: In the past century more blood has been shed in wars than in the 1900 years prior to that. High regard for human life (which Jesus taught) would not allow for war. Is that arbitrary?
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Agent
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Disregard for Human Life: In the past century more blood has been shed in wars than in the 1900 years prior to that. High regard for human life (which Jesus taught) would not allow for war. Is that arbitrary?
Granted, but while Jesus may have said this- it didn't stop the Crusades, which (in general), was a Christian (again generalisation) invasion of Arab lands (I'm not condemming or anything like that, I'm just stating objectively). And while more life may have been shed in this last century, this last century has also seen massive increases in both population and military technology- there was probably more deaths in the middle ages than in the stone ages, due to those same reasons.

Going back to the original thread, life may well exist in other forms on other worlds, but (as I think has been mentioned)- why are we looking for it so keenly, why are we broadcasting knowledge about ourselves out there for anyone to find? Sure, we want to knwo if there's life out there, but who's to say that it's friendly life, that it won't just blast us out of existance? (a bit doomsday/ late night movie sounding, but we honestly don't know what's out there).

- Archmagus Micael

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Posts: 1370 | Registered: Thursday, June 10 2004 07:00
Infiltrator
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because our civilization will probably be long dead by the time they receive the message. We are pretty sure most of the nearby star are not likely to have life that could threaten us. By the time our message reaches a world inhabited by intelligent life, human civilization will probably have collapsed and rebuilt it self several times over. You also have to consider the logistics of fighting a war over hundreds if not thousands of light years. Assuming that the radio signals are powerful enough to travel thousands of light years and penetrate the powerful electromagnet field of a star and still have an intelligible message.

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Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00
By Committee
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Drew, on the one hand you say "the "decline in morals" exposes the flaw in reliance on religious doctrine as their source." Then you say "is it surprising that an increasing lack of belief in the Church of Our Fathers would cause those individuals to question what the Church is saying?" How does the first follow from the second.

I'll be the first to say that a lot of what mainstream Christianity does and says is bad - it has been for quite a while. To the extent that it sticks to the Bible it is good though. To the extent that society deviates from that it is bad. You'll accept what it says about the family. But the rest you say is arbitrary. OK, let's take my first statement and see how arbitrary it is. I don't have to prove God you you, because you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears.

The first follows from the second because a decrease in faith in the existence of a mythical being undercuts that being's authority to hold individuals accountable to the morality that religion espouses. I.e., once I knew that Santa Claus didn't exist, it undercut my worries about being naughty or nice.

Although it may not be as absolute an authority (and therefore allow for more "flexibility"), I think that abiding by the morality espoused by what we've decided in forming our government is preferable to abiding by that espoused by what a sizable portion of the population doubts the truth of. Further, it's not as if faiths haven't relaxed their standards over time as well. Remember the prohibition against interracial marriage? Or less seriously, how about the SBC's boycott on Disney? Where are those hard and fast lines of Good Ole Time Religion?

And please don't read any further into my words than what I said - that I agree that it's a good thing for a child to be raised by two loving parents. That does not equal "Drew agrees with everything that the Bible says about parenting." Further, what does the Bible even say about parenting? I know that the Christian tradition certainly has many things to say, and many of them are, among other things, hostile to the notion of women being equal to men. No thank you.

Frankly, once you cut out reliance on the existence of a mythical deity, the Bible is no more authoritative than any other codex. "Do unto others..." is a pretty age-old sentiment, and Christianity certainly doesn't have the monopoly on it. There are cultures extant with moral systems not rooted in faith that seem pretty morally sound to me. The Bible even does much to contradict itself - are we to abide by OT prescriptions, or take Jesus' lessons from the Gospel to heart, or are we instead to abide by what Paul has to say, contradictory though it may be?

Also, "I don't have to prove God you you, because you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears"? That's a pretty bold assertion! I'll spare you the enormous litany of the horrors that faith and Christianity in particular have wrought on the world, because I'm certain you're well aware of many of them.

[ Tuesday, July 10, 2007 12:39: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
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Maybe this topic should be split into aliens and religion?

On disregard for human life: I think that's untrue. In fact, I think that's remarkably untrue. Human life was cheap in the early 20th century. Human life was literally for sale in America into the mid 19th century. The North and South fought a huge war over, among other things, slavery.

Let's look at the death tolls, too. The American Civil War was an unprecedented bloodpath. The Battle of Shiloh killed more men than all previous American wars combined. WWI's carnage dwarfed its predecessors'. The Holocaust was like nothing before it or since, although the "since" is mostly due to lack of organization and infrastructure.

I'll agree without qualm that wars have claimed more and more lives. I dispute that it's due to any change in morals, though. The difference is mostly in weaponry. You can only kill so many people with swords and spears. Guns make that easier. So do standing armies. Automatic weaponry adds on, and so do bombs. We don't want to kill each other any more now than we did millenia ago. We're just better equipped for it.

—Alorael, who on the contrary thinks that aside from the right-wing reactionaries liberal democracies have made amazing leaps in tolerance of and completely acceptance of very different people. Racism is at least ostensibly censured. Sexism is already dropping dead. Rigid insistence on one right way to live is slowly dwindling. It's a decline in Judeo-Christian morals, but it's a great advance in humanism.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Infiltrator
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I am a christian and as a christian I will hold my self to the certain rules I believe a Christian should follow. However as a Christian I believe it completely unreasonable to expect non Christians to hold christian values. As Chrisians we should be more concerned about the preaching of our faith then political games.

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Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
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quote:
Originally written by XLNC IN ORTHOGRAPHY:

Maybe this topic should be split into aliens and religion?

On disregard for human life: I think that's untrue. In fact, I think that's remarkably untrue. Human life was cheap in the early 20th century. Human life was literally for sale in America into the mid 19th century. The North and South fought a huge war over, among other things, slavery.

Let's look at the death tolls, too. The American Civil War was an unprecedented bloodpath. The Battle of Shiloh killed more men than all previous American wars combined. WWI's carnage dwarfed its predecessors'. The Holocaust was like nothing before it or since, although the "since" is mostly due to lack of organization and infrastructure.

I'll agree without qualm that wars have claimed more and more lives. I dispute that it's due to any change in morals, though. The difference is mostly in weaponry. You can only kill so many people with swords and spears. Guns make that easier. So do standing armies. Automatic weaponry adds on, and so do bombs. We don't want to kill each other any more now than we did millenia ago. We're just better equipped for it.

—Alorael, who on the contrary thinks that aside from the right-wing reactionaries liberal democracies have made amazing leaps in tolerance of and completely acceptance of very different people. Racism is at least ostensibly censured. Sexism is already dropping dead. Rigid insistence on one right way to live is slowly dwindling. It's a decline in Judeo-Christian morals, but it's a great advance in humanism.

Mod parent up!

(Oh wait, this is not /.)

However...

quote:
Maybe this topic should be split into aliens and religion?
The Scientologists would complain about discrimination. :P

[ Tuesday, July 10, 2007 15:01: Message edited by: jg.faust ]

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Warrior
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quote:
Originally written by jg.faust:

What defines life in any case - a self-replicating pattern?

I remember reading in some book (may have been Douglas Adams; I doubt it was Neal Stephenson though it sounds like his stuff) about the possibility of aliens finding our pottery and dishes (after we were gone), and concluding that these were the dominant life form. Humans were just a part of the dish reproduction cycle. I may have mangled this idea somewhat.

An interesting idea. :) Stanislaw Lem has also written some science fiction about a similar subject (= alien life, how to recognize it and human reactions to it). Solaris might be the most famous of his books (on the subject).
Posts: 77 | Registered: Sunday, July 10 2005 07:00
...b10010b...
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Yes there is a link between faith and morals. The decline of both is not coincidence.
I don't know why you see a decline in morals. As far as I'm concerned, the average citizen of a modern First World country is more moral than the average inhabitant of any other civilisation in human history. For one thing, we don't keep slaves.

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Lifecrafter
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If I say I am a law-abiding citizen and I sell illegal drugs, is my statement true? No. To be a law-abiding citizen one has to do more than claim that he is. He must actually obey the laws of his nation. Christ has laws. To be a Christian means you are actually a disciple of Christ. Simply saying you are does not make it so. This is one thing Jesus was extremely explicit on. A Christian waging war is like a Muslim that doesn’t believe in Allah. Christianity is not responsible for any wars, atrocities, or invasions. It’s impossible for it to be.

God places a high value on women. Their role is vital in the family arrangement. I don’t know what you mean by “hostile to the notion of women being equal to me.” Much is said about fathers, mothers and children, but that is not what I meant when I said you agreed. I was only speaking of the traditional family that you spoke of as ideal. And the Bible does not contradict itself.

You say the golden rule is age old and not originating with Christianity, please list the other source(s) that has that rule. You say that God is flawed as a source for absolute morality because people lack faith in him. That’s like saying water is bad because I don’t drink enough of it.

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Alo, Slavery has been around for quite awhile and is alive and well today. War has also been around for a bit. What happened in the last century was unique though. I agree that technology played a role in the ease of killing. But we had two world wars – absolutely unprecedented! That has nothing to do with technology. It was over world domination. Darwinistic thought, which teaches competition and advantage over others translating into survival and prosperity, heavily influenced the governments that were based off of Marx. These governments killed or allowed to die tens of millions of their own citizens. That certainly has to do with morals. I have read a quote supposedly from Stalin that says, “killing a million people is no different from mowing the lawn.” If he didn’t say it, he certainly lived it. Why should it be any different if grass is our evolutionary cousin?

I’m not saying morals alone are to blame, but there is a link. Racism, sexism, and intolerance are still alive and well too. That’s why a lot of folks have love/hate feelings towards the U.S. This country is supposed to be so concerned with human rights yet it tortures, bullies and abuses all over the world. I see no great advance in humanism whatsoever. I see a lot of violence everywhere. There are a bunch of broken families because of low opinion of marriage and lax morals regarding sexuality. AIDS is running rampant all over the world for the same reasons. Millions are dying, starving, and poor while the rich get richer and billions are spent on weapons and war.

http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/09/23_16691.shtml

“Forced labor occurs in at least 90 cities across the United States… Slavery is a problem the public thinks we solved long ago, but, in fact, it's alive and well.”

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Oh yeah, Jesus was an alien, sort of "You are from the realms below; I am from the realms above. You are from this world; I am not from this world." That's why I can picture a vastly different scheme for "life."
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
FAQSELF
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quote:
Originally written by Frozen Feet:

I just read from one science-magazine that there could be hydrogen-peroxide-based life on Mars. They claimed that this theory explains why the Viking probe that landed on Mars (was it at 1976?) found signs of life in its first test, but all the signs of life disappeared in successive tests.
I know the fellow who proposed this. He's a bit of a "LOOK THERE'S LIFE!" type fellow, who proclaims life on Titan as well. His ideas are rich in speculation, poor in evidence. Oh well.

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Posts: 2831 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Lifecrafter
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Why, Shrodinger? Why is he so hopeful? What would that do for him? Is it just the excitement of discovering life elsewhere or something more?
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
FAQSELF
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I don't know really, but I think it's just the excitement of discovery. Additionally, if he's correct, then he's vindicated. Science is fairly forgiving of incorrect hypotheses, so some like to throw out a whole bunch.

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A few cats short of a kitten pot pie...

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.
Check out a great source for information on Avernum 2, Nethergate, and Subterra: Zeviz's page.
Finally, there's my Geneforge FAQ, Geneforge 2 FAQ, and
Geneforge 3 FAQ.
Posts: 2831 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

You say the golden rule is age old and not originating with Christianity, please list the other source(s) that has that rule.
Wow. For a religious person, you are remarkably ignorant of religion and ethics. Confucius articulated the Golden Rule at least half a millenium before Jesus ever did.
quote:
Christianity is not responsible for any wars, atrocities, or invasions. It’s impossible for it to be.
Well, if you define Christians as only those who agree with you and act on it, then sure, but pretty much no one will agree with that definition.
quote:
What happened in the last century was unique though. I agree that technology played a role in the ease of killing. But we had two world wars – absolutely unprecedented! That has nothing to do with technology.
Um, you're so extremely wrong that it's hard to believe that you can think this. The Peloponnesian War was a war that consumed the entire known world, but the known world was pretty small at that point, because they didn't have enough communications technology to find out about, say, the Americas.

Large-scale war between many nations had occurred previously in history (the Napoleonic Wars, the Thirty Years War, etc.). The Thirty Years War was almost as international as WWI. WWI and WWII were different because of the technology available, but I don't think that there is anything else that makes them unique.
quote:
Darwinistic thought, which teaches competition and advantage over others translating into survival and prosperity, heavily influenced the governments that were based off of Marx.
Wtf? You mean, governments that were based off of capitalism. Social Darwinists most frequently justified allowing competition to weed out the unfit, which is a capitalist, not a communist, system.
quote:
Racism, sexism, and intolerance are still alive and well too. That’s why a lot of folks have love/hate feelings towards the U.S. This country is supposed to be so concerned with human rights yet it tortures, bullies and abuses all over the world.
Yes, but it no longer has a legally-mandated racial caste system, nor does it deny women the right to vote (much less to work), and no longer has sodomy laws. Whatever you may say about the morality of the "good old days," you have to admit that we've made progress on the fronts that you've named.

[ Tuesday, July 10, 2007 21:04: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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It's likely that there is life on other objects in the universe. It is extremely unlikely that we will find this life, or even recognize it. In the unfortunate event that we do find and recognize it, we most assuredly will destroy it.

Also, I'm curious about this "statistic" regarding war deaths after 1900 and those incurred in the prior 1900 years. Given our precision in records only over the past 400 years, specific to European nations, how was this data gathered? How was "war death" defined?

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Wikipedia reference page to the Golden Rule

There are several texts that predate Jesus on the Golden Rule. Besides morality is about actually following what you preach.

That's why Republican family values is a joke. During the period up to the Clinton impeachment, Newt Gingrich told his mistress to give him oral sex so,"I can swear that I never slept with you." This is when he was cheating on his second wife, who was his mistress when he cheated on his first wife.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Skip to My Lou
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I'm more curious about if we don't find life on Europa. If we don't, should we seed it there? Are our probes going to have any bacteria on them that would do this whether we intend to or not?

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Posts: 1629 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Lifecrafter
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It just so happens that I am learning Chinese and studying the culture. I am aware of Confucius which is why I know that he did not articulate the Golden Rule as Jesus did. What he said sounds similar, but is different. Look closer. Jesus requires positive actions of doing good to others. Confucius is a negative version of what Jesus said.

Christianity is not based on me, but on Christ. That is the common measuring line. He was very clear that many would claim to follow him and use his name to perform powerful works but would in actuality be lawless. He was also clear that his disciples should not fight. I can quote the relevant scriptures if you think I’m making stuff up.

I didn’t say that there weren’t large scale wars. I said there weren’t world wars. That was absolutely unprecedented. Technology played a great role in the wars, it always has. It didn’t make them world wars though. The Americas were discovered centuries before 1914, yet there were no world wars. If you don’t think there is anything else unique about them then check the civilian casualties.

Darwinistic thought influenced Marx and governments that were based off of his teachings. I meant exactly what I said.

It doesn’t matter if something is legally mandated if it still goes on. Or maybe you think the government doesn’t know about forced labor. No caste system?

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2000/usa/Rcedrg00-01.htm

“Blacks comprise 13 percent of the national population, but 30 percent of people arrested, 41 percent of people in jail, and 49 percent of those in prison…Thirteen percent of the black adult male population has lost the right to vote because of felony disenfranchisement laws.”

Do you think blacks are genetically more prone to criminal activity? If not, what do you think the problem is? I do think that some progress has been made in certain areas, but the full picture shows regress. I’m not blaming lack of religion for the whole thing. Some religion is bad. Every time I hear about female genital mutilation I want to vomit.

JS, I’ll find the book I got the information from and quote from it later.
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Warrior
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Originally written by Stillness:

It just so happens that I am learning Chinese and studying the culture. I am aware of Confucius which is why I know that he did not articulate the Golden Rule as Jesus did. What he said sounds similar, but is different. Look closer. Jesus requires positive actions of doing good to others. Confucius is a negative version of what Jesus said.

Regardless of the discussion of negative and positive injunctions, the Torah's repeated statement that one should love one's neighbor as oneself used the positive framework before Christ lived.

He was also clear that his disciples should not fight. I can quote the relevant scriptures if you think I’m making stuff up.

And what, in Catholocism, of papal infallibility? When Pope Urban II started the first crusade, calling for all Christians to wage war against the Turks (and even promising automatic remission of sins as a perk), is this not for Catholics the statement of direct Divine Will to wage war? And what of Pope Sixtus VI's support of the Inquisition?

[ Wednesday, July 11, 2007 04:18: Message edited by: wary wanderer ]

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In order to keep the focus on, well, the stars, a separate religion/morality thread has been sent here.

Curses upon you, Aran, for beating me to the Scientology joke.

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Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by wary wanderer:

Regardless of the discussion of negative and positive injunctions, the Torah's repeated statement that one should love one's neighbor as oneself used the positive framework before Christ lived.
Agreed. I should not have said it started with Christianity.

Catholics may view the pope as infallible, but that doesn't change the fact that Jesus disciples have to obey Jesus, regardless of what anyone else says. If they do not then by definition they are not his disciples.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
By Committee
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

A Christian waging war is like a Muslim that doesn’t believe in Allah. Christianity is not responsible for any wars, atrocities, or invasions. It’s impossible for it to be.
If that's the case, than anyone's claim to being Christian isn't meaningful for your purposes. By that rationale, pretty much no one would be Christian. But that hasn't prevented heinous actions being carried out in Christ's name with the full sanction of those dictating what the scriptures really mean. Indeed, the church itself has waged wars. In that sense, Christianity - the religion - is quite responsible for waging wars. Oh, but I forgot - that's all different now.

quote:
God places a high value on women. Their role is vital in the family arrangement. I don’t know what you mean by “hostile to the notion of women being equal to me.” Much is said about fathers, mothers and children, but that is not what I meant when I said you agreed. I was only speaking of the traditional family that you spoke of as ideal. And the Bible does not contradict itself.
Your second assertion belies your first, and so addresses the confusion you exhibit in the third. In asserting that a woman's role is vital in the family arrangement, you are marginalizing them. It's like saying "I put a high value on my car. It is vital for taking me to and from where I need to go."

I meant nothing more than what I asserted - that it would be best for a child to have both loving parents in his life. That doesn't mean that he necessarily have a "traditional family," with mom barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, obeying her husband like a good wife should per 2 Corinthians. Give me a break. The Bible and especially the church are inherently patriarchal institutions.

quote:
[b]You say the golden rule is age old and not originating with Christianity, please list the other source(s) that has that rule. You say that God is flawed as a source for absolute morality because people lack faith in him. That’s like saying water is bad because I don’t drink enough of it.
[/b]

This has already been addressed above quite well, but I would like to point out that your "positive-negative" treatment is just splitting hairs. The fundamental moral underpinnings are the same. As for the second point, it's flawed, because unlike water, you can't prove to me or anyone else - whatever they may choose to believe - that God is vital for life. As far as I'm concerned, you're believing in a fiction, no more real than Santa or that garage dragon that gets brought into these discussions periodically. As such, anything coming from that source lacks credibility with me.

Of course, the notion that "all men are created equal," and endowed with natural rights is pretty fictitious in a sense as well. But our society has agreed to uphold them. The agreement is tangeable, and has a ready source that can be challenged. A preacher dictating the Word on behalf of the Almighty Santa, on the other hand, is not.
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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Yes, but it no longer has a legally-mandated racial caste system, nor does it deny women the right to vote (much less to work), and no longer has sodomy laws.
Well, it no longer enforces sodomy laws. It's amazing how many are still on the books, though.

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Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Off With Their Heads
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EDIT: Eh, cooperating with the attempted topic split.

[ Wednesday, July 11, 2007 06:03: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
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Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

Frozen Feet, you say life on Europa is highly likely. The reason you give is that if it's close enough to Earth it could sustain life. I follow that. How would the life get there though? Sustaining life and life beginning are two very different things. The chances of the later happening are extraordinarily low. You seem to hope there is life on Europa or elsewhere? Why? That's what I really want to know.

Firstly, we don't really know yet how life started here on Earth, thus I don't think we can judge how likely it is for life to form on other planets. To reliably calculate that, we will need much more knowledge of the origin of life here on Earth and the past conditions on Europa. Personally, I do not consider beginning of life to be a rare occurence at all, and believe that beginning of life is possible in any open system; it is only a matter of time. Scientifically speaking, it could be possible for organical compounds to form into complex structures near the aforementioned vents, or even in the soil (can't think of a better word here) of Europa. The last option is based on a theory that dealt with RNA-based life existing deep in Earth's crust: deep under ground, conditions are still relatively close to primordial Earth, and thus such organisms (that have elsewhere been replaced by more complex organisms) could still exist there. I don't think, at this point at least, that it too far-fetched to think that similar conditions could appear on Europa as well.

quote:
Originally written by Schrodinger:

quote:
Originally written by Frozen Feet:

I just read from one science-magazine that there could be hydrogen-peroxide-based life on Mars. They claimed that this theory explains why the Viking probe that landed on Mars (was it at 1976?) found signs of life in its first test, but all the signs of life disappeared in successive tests.
I know the fellow who proposed this. He's a bit of a "LOOK THERE'S LIFE!" type fellow, who proclaims life on Titan as well. His ideas are rich in speculation, poor in evidence. Oh well.

Actually, recent research (they shot a probe there just a while back. Remember?) shows that Titan has similar chemical mix-up to primordial Earth. Whether there's life there 8yet) is altogether a different question, but the science magazine I read the research from pondered, that once our sun turns into red giant Titan will heat up enough for it to gradually become (somewhat) like Earth and possibly develop life.

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I have nothing more to do in this world, so I can go & pester the inhabitants of the next one with a pure concscience.
Posts: 617 | Registered: Tuesday, April 13 2004 07:00

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