1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is biological life doomed?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Narj, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. Narj

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 19, 2010

    Posts: 11,949

    Location: London

    OK - Odd thread. Sorry about this and please move to GD if more suited...

    I think Stephen Hawking's essay on life in the universe hit me quite hard after his death:

    http://www.hawking.org.uk/life-in-the-universe.html

    What worries me is that even if we were to advance to a stage where we can harness the power of our own star (a tier 2 civilisation on the Kardashev Scale) then what is the point of it all? Are we suddenly going to improve the universe somewhow and to what end? Even now our very existence just seems like some cruel practical joke IMO.

    The whole thing just seems like a massive troll IMO.

    I suppose that given the pretty smart demographic here, I'm just looking for other peoples' outlook on the whole thing rather than the usual cheesy gutter discussion. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  2. Angilion

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 5, 2003

    Posts: 16,433

    Location: Just to the left of my PC

    There isn't any point to it all and never has been. Yet biological life is still here. It's only humans who are intelligent enough to worry about having a point, so humans might possibly die out through not having a point (though I doubt it, since humans have already been around for a couple of hundred thousand years without a point) but biological life in general won't die out for that reason. Plants, spiders, flies, beetles, cows, dogs, snakes, lichen, bacteria...they're not going to be so worried about improving the universe and finding a higher purpose that they'll die out if they can't do that.
     
  3. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,641

    Biological life on Earth or the universe as a whole? coz Earth has a timelimit and somewhere between 30,000 and 5bn years from now short a ridiculous feat of engineering on our part the Earth will likely be destroyed and even in the shorter term there is potential chance for stuff like a gamma ray burst to wipe out or significantly disrupt biological life on Earth.

    Purpose wise unless there is some kind of other reality then not much purpose so just enjoy the experience :s
     
  4. Narj

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 19, 2010

    Posts: 11,949

    Location: London

    Hah, woke up with a headache wondering what I'd posted so thanks for humouring me and playing nice. :)

    That's a good point though, we're probably the only species here that even worries about it so learning to live in the moment occasionally is a great thing to do. Enjoy the weekend. :)
     
  5. jsmoke

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 7,815

    Heaven and hell?
     
  6. VincentHanna

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 30, 2013

    Posts: 19,393

    Do not exist.
     
  7. MikeTheNative

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 7,901

    Location: South Wales

    The universe will die itself due to heat death, so everything is doomed eventually. It may seem negative but their is 'no point' to life, it's just the result of a number of chemical reactions and processes.
     
  8. VincentHanna

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 30, 2013

    Posts: 19,393

    I like Ricky Gervais outlook.

    There's no God, we've just got the time we've been given so just try and be nice to people and don't be an ********.
     
  9. efish

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 11, 2014

    Posts: 1,370

    I don't know when this was written. Some years back there was a four to five month period in the philosophy of Science where two subjects were doing the rounds at the same time..

    Scale/ complexity issue i.e. the slow down of scientific knowledge.

    Definition of life.

    Biology does not have a clear understanding or definition of what life actual is. Biology is an earth based science. If life exists else where in the universe it may not resemble or reflect in any way our understanding of biology.

    Our understanding of what life is, what biology is may fundamental alter.

    Is biological life doomed?

    Philosophical you can answer yes and still be highly optimistic as it can simply refer to a complete alteration in our understanding of what life is.
    An advance in Scientific understanding.
     
  10. d_brennen

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jan 30, 2009

    Posts: 15,371

    Location: Aquilonem Londinensi

    If we don't kill ourselves off in the short term, human life may well become indistinguishable from technology. Biological life isn't fit for interplanetary travel let alone interstellar. If "we" want to do that, taking our flesh bags with us is going to be a challenge

    Awe bless your cotton socks :p
     
  11. efish

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 11, 2014

    Posts: 1,370

    Hawkins was not exactly optimistic in regard to A.I.

    I think that's it though when we go interstellar life as we know it, dependent on our understanding of an earth science, may not exist. We may be looking at something else entirely, beyond current scientific understanding.
     
  12. something daft already!!

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 11, 2007

    Posts: 4,487

    Location: South East

    With any luck we wont destroy ourselves or the planet and when it is time, we will be able to either move planets or move the planet itself when the sun starts to warm up.
     
  13. kindai

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 6,501

    Location: Bromsgrove

    What happens when we work out how to time travel, can we keep going back in time to keep ourselves in a warm, newly growing universe?
     
  14. Spook187

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jan 16, 2010

    Posts: 8,068

    Location: Cumbria

    What sort of random answer is that lol 30.000 years and 5bn it could finish the next day, where did you pluck the 30.000 from.
     
  15. Safetytrousers

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 31, 2016

    Posts: 1,290

    Location: Moonbase Alpha

    Freeze, rip or crunch.
     
  16. Safetytrousers

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 31, 2016

    Posts: 1,290

    Location: Moonbase Alpha

    I'm eager for my head port to be fitted.
     
  17. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,641

    The first event with a significant high chance of ending biological life on Earth is around 30K years away - there are various potential scenarios with higher chances as well from then onwards out to the point around 5bn years where changes to the Sun will eventually most likely destroy the Earth.
     
  18. Panos

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 22, 2009

    Posts: 11,479

    Location: Under the hot sun.

    Such as?
    There is nothing ending biological life on Earth in 30,000 or even 1 billion years.
    In 5 billion years sure, our star would have consumed the planet. Though this isn't the first time it happened.

    Don't forget our solar system is 3rd generation one. Meaning we are made of the materials of previous solar systems came since the dawn of time. First run through is fast course, then created a nebula who created the second gen star, and when that was exploded, after few billion years in the cooker aka local nebulae, the Sun came to be.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  19. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 64,641

    There are various potential sources for biological extinction level events between now and the Sun probably consuming our planet - including a number of potential geoeffective GRB progenitors discovered in 2018 and various stars in the millions of year timeframe such as Gliese 710 that will come close enough to interact with the solar system with the potential for catastrophic results even if the chance is fairly low. I don't keep up with specifics but last time I looked the closest was around 30,000 years from now.
     
  20. Panos

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 22, 2009

    Posts: 11,479

    Location: Under the hot sun.

    Gliese 710 flyby (at estimated 13,300 AU) would happen in 1.3 million years.

    Even 30,000 years is too far away for humanity which recorded history spans just 7000 years.

    Have no doubt in 30,000 years we wouldnt be living only on this planet.

    Also life is very resilient. This planet has received numerous almost sterilisation level events yet here we are