Life does not exist elsewhere in the Universe

From KBT demo site
Jump to: navigation, search

Liam Brady (mcdermidk@montclair.edu) thinks it's not real knowledge that Life does not exist elsewhere in the Universe.

They are finished making substantive changes to this post.

There is current feedback for this post.


There are roughly 118 elements on the periodic table, (most of which are present on Earth as well as within our own bodies) and we know that the most abundant and most important of these elements are Hydrogen, Oxygen, Carbon and Nitrogen. We also know that stars, when they reach the end of their life, explode and scatter their guts across the universe, enriching gas clouds and thus forming the next generation of stars. These ingredients are also made up of the most abundant elements in the universe, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Carbon and Nitrogen. So the universe is made up of the same elements that we are made of; so not only do we exist in the universe, but the universe exists in us.

So if it is true that the same elements that make up our planet make up our solar system, ourselves and the rest of the universe, what does it mean? I think it means that it is highly improbable that life does not exist elsewhere in the universe. How could that be, when all the ingredients that nature needs to make life are present?

I don’t think this is real knowledge because the counterevidence is too great. If you take in to account that the universe contains all the elements and forces responsible to create life, plus the fact that it is unfathomably large (and still expanding), I think it’s rather egotistical to suggest that life doesn’t exist anywhere else. I think others believe that life does not exist for a number of reasons. First, for example, a lot of people think, in a religious context, that God created Earth and its inhabitants. Nowhere in the Bible or any other religious text does it suggest the existence of life elsewhere, nor does it suggest an "elsewhere" at all. Second, some like to search for a meaning to life, or for a purpose for their own existence. Being the only form of life in the universe would seem to confirm that we have a purpose here on Earth. If some people were to find out that there is other life, and lots of it hypothetically, I think they might feel discouraged and meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Lastly, I think some believe this because a lot of us like to think that we know all their is to know about the world we live in; some people think we are the most intelligent and only species in existence because there isn't any hard evidence to suggest otherwise. I'd like to think otherwise however: I think that this claim is not knowledge because although there isn't hard any evidence to suggest life elsewhere, there is an enormous amount of information that tells how life could be possible. I think there are too many opportunities and too many resources in natures hands for the existence of life to be impossible, and for these reasons I think the claim that life does not exist elsewhere in the universe is not real knowledge.

This claim is important to me because I think the universe is truly fascinating, and it’s something I will forever be interested with. I don’t make this claim because I’m interested in meeting extra-terrestrial life or anything. It stems from a childhood-like curiosity from just looking up into a clear night sky and thinking, wondering. Now if I turn out to be wrong, say that somehow it is discovered that life can’t exist anywhere in the universe, that our existence is just an accident or a coincidence that can’t be recreated, I think I would still feel alright. I wouldn’t be discouraged or upset by it, because that’s not the point. The point, as astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson puts it in the second video clip I’ve provided, is that, “There is a level of connectivity. That’s really what you want in life, you want to feel connected, you want to feel relevant.” And I do feel it, and it’s enlightening.

Renowned astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson discusses this idea further in this clip on Break.com, where I derived some of my argument: http://www.break.com/index/a-fascinatingly-disturbing-thought-2318820

And another somewhat related clip from Tyson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D05ej8u-gU

Key terms & concepts:

Universe, Life, Existence, Rationalism, Intuition, Extraterrestrial, Chemistry, Evidence, Science, Drake equation



Kirk's comments from the feedback page:
OK, better!


Classmates have posted A/D/Rs about this page:



"Informal" Comments for this wikipost:

blog comments powered by Disqus


Privacy Advisory: this page will be deleted after the course.
There will be no way for observers to access your wikipost.