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BBC news link about probability of alien life, the reader comments are good.
Good link Dan. I have always assumed that statistically speaking there must be more life somewhere out in the depths of space. This does not however mean that they visiting Earth on a regular basis :)
If I remember correctly from my biochemistry studies both Haldane and Oparin agreed that "generating" the basic stuff of life like the twenty alpha-amminoacids and the proteinoids is not that that hard. Stanley Miller demonstrated that in the '50s once he brilliantly understood that a reducing atmosphere was needed.
The problem is "putting the bricks together" as I like to say. Ever since Miller's experiment there have been all kinds of academic speculations about the origins of life, both on Earth and on other worlds.
RNA worlds have been proposed, as well as substitutes to DNA, problem is that according to our present knowledge we first need to have a ribonucleic acid (or equivalent) and then bases, amminiacids, proteinoids etc. Sadly nobody has yet solved this fascinating problem.
"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"
-Kalevala, Rune XIII-
Wayland's Smithy is one of the most impressive and atmospheric Neolithic burial chambers in Britain. Read More »