Originally posted by adrianxw
>> ... I would not doubt that such worlds exist. By the way, you mean "astronomical" -
Yes, thanks for the correction. I don't know how that one slipped past :)
>> A little counter argument, surely by "treating" genetic "disorders" we are able to switch it off. Consider any of the "genetic diseases" that are currently being researched to be "cured", just supposing that one of these "diseases" is actually a modification that under cerctain circumstances, would be an advantage?
Very good point! I couldn't agree more. Especially since diseases are indeed an evolution engine like few others. But read on...
>> Maybe that chronic disease gene, in combination with a yet to evolve chance mutation would create a super intelligence, or something else, and by breeding out/genetically manipulating out the disease gene, we miss the step forward.
Well, it's a possibility, no doubt. But there's an huge advantage on "fast" evolution the likes a technological society can achieve. Untill we further develop microbiology and genetics we have little knowledge on the effects and counter-effects of developing a cure for a certain disease. On the other hand, intelligence has proven itself to be quite the contender for top place as the best possible achievement.
It would take millions and millions of years for a dog to double its lifespan. We humans had a 30 year life span a thousand hundred years ago with signs of aging (both physical and mental) starting to show up in the early 20s. I believe that the technological achievements of our society will produce so much more results in so less time that they clearly outweigh the results of natural evolution.
And even if we gain the knowledge that tells us that say flu is slowly giving us resistences against extreme temperatures, our self-preservation instinct will dismiss any possibility of allowing that to naturally happen. We may as well study the virus, kill it, and proceed to artificially use that newly gained knowledge to immediatly produce the end result.
"We may as well be the dominant species. But a shark, for instance, is far more evolved than we are. "
Organisms are not more or less "evolved" than one another.
"Consider any of the "genetic diseases" that are currently being researched to be "cured", just supposing that one of these "diseases" is actually a modification that under cerctain circumstances, would be an advantage? "
Most genetic diseases are favourable in certain scenarios, that's why they exist. For example, sickle-cell anaemia confers resistance to malaria, cycstic fibrosis confers resistance to cholera.
"Maybe that chronic disease gene, in combination with a yet to evolve chance mutation would create a super intelligence, or something else, and by breeding out/genetically manipulating out the disease gene, we miss the step forward. "
In evolution pretty much every mutation must be advantageous to be selected for. Evolution is gradual, you don't suddenly get the emergence of a super intellect gene, you get gradual accumulation of multiple genes that favour intellect, IF the benefits of intellect out-wiegh the cons.
"it is a statistical impossiblity for there not to be life on other planets."
Not quite, at present we simply have no way of calculating the probability of life forming. However given the likelyhood of chemical evolution, ie. the first step merely requires a self-replicating system capable of mutation rather than a more advanced/complex one, IMO i would think it likely that there would be some life out there somewhere (though whether it would be intelligent is another question).
"Untill we further develop microbiology and genetics we have little knowledge on the effects and counter-effects of developing a cure for a certain disease"
I would say in most instances we have a fairly good idea on the effects of curing a human disease.
This topic seems to be intresting.. I belive there is life form.. Since the Universe has no end.. There are N number of galaxies, solor systems, stars, planets, moons etc etc etc.. So It is like Infinite.. And we cannot say that there is Just one Number 1 in Infinite.. there are Infinite numbers...
Finding life.. Civilization etc etc according to me will not be possible for another 1000 years or so.. Consider planets Millions of light years ayaw.. Even travelling at the spped of light it may take millions of years which is not possible..... Even radio signals will take too much time.. And how do we know that Radio waves are what ever is the de-facto standard in the Universe......
Well may be we will never know about other life from till the human race ends.. It has to end one day after the sun finishes itself up.. Well we might talk of migration to other planets.. solor system. But i think ecen in the next few thosand decades it might not be a reality....
this is off-subject, but the big bang theory. Where was this big mass of energy located? Was it just empty space with no stars, or anything, or was it contained in the real universe?
And something I can't think of is, since there cannot be an end to the universe (at least that's what I think) then how far do the stars and planets and stuff go out. And is there like another region of stars and planets?
And another thing, WHY IS THERE AN UNIVERSE? Why is there all this energy, why is there anything? This is all very confusing, yet interesting.
If I don't take computer science in college, I know I'm going to take Philiosophy, or Astromony.
>> this is off-subject, but the big bang theory. Where was this big mass of energy located? Was it just empty space with no stars, or anything, or was it contained in the real universe?
Actually, the search of the answers for those questions brought out, among other things, the theory of a pulsating universe.
In simple terms, the real universe was that mass. Due to its instability it exploded and elements started to combine and form matter. This matter expanded and slowly formed what we know today is our universe. The universe will keep expanding untill a point where the momentum of the initial explosion will be weaker than gravity. Then the universe will start to "shrink" and matter will start to join untill gravity crushes this matter to a point where it creates a bubble of energy that, due to instability will explode and start a new universe...
>> And another thing, WHY IS THERE AN UNIVERSE? Why is there all this energy, why is there anything? This is all very confusing, yet interesting.
There are some interesting theories of a super universe being made of several universes (among which our own). This theory cleary delegates the responsability of the 'why' and 'when' to this superstructure and we can only hope for the answer when we get to know the whole... these theories, while interesting readings, seem to address the issue with a clear "we don't know".
And that is indeed the fact. No one knows why there is an universe. But the irony of it all is, like some scientist I can't recall the name once said... If there was no universe, if there was nothing, just an endless nothing, not even void, but simply the absence of everything, even the absence of nothing, we wouldn't be asking :)