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Silvercord
04-03-2003, 01:33 PM
there was a quote on here from cs lewis (chronicles of narnia author) that said something to the effect of "if there was no light, and therefore no beings with eyes, we would not know there was darkness". Am I right in saying that if there was no light we wouldn't exist either? I mean, if there was no light, that would mean there was no energy and literally nothing would exist, so everything would just be one big sick moot point.

RoD
04-03-2003, 01:35 PM
Sometimes i think you perfer to read too far into things rather than take them for what they are : )

To an extent you are right, but what about the plants, fish, cells and such that live thousands of feet underwater and never see any light at all?

Silvercord
04-03-2003, 01:53 PM
they wouldnt' exist either, because if no light exists anywhere, that means no energy exists anywhere...light is energy (i.e when electrons of an atom drop from a high level to a low levle they give off energy in the form of light).

EDIT:

besides, you can trace every single food chain down to plants, and plants eat light!

adrianxw
04-03-2003, 02:08 PM
>>> besides, you can trace every single food chain down to plants, and plants eat light!

Some of the marine ridge hydrothermal vent ecosystems are based on bacteria that metabolise Hydrogen Sulphide, i.e. chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis, and as such are independent of light.

The same mechanism has been proposed for life existing in the presumed ocean under the ice of Jupiters moon Europa.

Reading the papers, there are some conflicting results which in some interpretations require the presence of Oxygen, if true, I cannot see how this becomes available - it is very puzzling.

confuted
04-03-2003, 02:53 PM
"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark." - C.S. Lewis

There is the quote for all to see...light is not the only form of energy. While it is true that E=mc^2, and C is the speed of light, not all energy is light. Depending on the atom and the energy levels, the energy released when an electron drops to a lower energy level can manifest itself as UV rays, visible light, x-rays, gamma-rays, radio waves, and all other forms of radiation. Electrons are easily excited with the addition of heat, which is not the equivalent of light, but is obviously still energy. So, in conclusion: energy can exist without light, as adrianxw pointed out, not all life is traced back to photosynthesis, and it is entirely possible and plausible that life would exist without light. Indeed, as Adrian pointed out, it happened. So, the quote stands.

confuted
04-03-2003, 02:56 PM
d'oh, I'm a gimp. Confuted was me, I use that s/n on most bulletin boards...

Silvercord
04-03-2003, 03:16 PM
Some of the marine ridge hydrothermal vent ecosystems are based on bacteria that metabolise Hydrogen Sulphide, i.e. chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis, and as such are independent of light.

I remember being told about that, actually, in my biology class last year, but think about it: that doesn't really disprove the statement 'if there was no light, that would mean there was no energy and literally nothing would exist'. If there is no light, that means that there cannot possibly be hydrogen or sulfur atoms for the anaerobic bacteria to utilize, because if they (the sulfur and hydrogen atoms) existed their electrons would somehow or another absorb energy, and release it in some form of light...my physics teacher told me that as a rule, if there is no light, there cannot possibly be life. I like conversations like this, they're just 'out there'.


EDIT: confuted: at least a few of the forms of EM you listed are more energetic than visible light(Ultra violet, xrays, and gamma rays are all more energetic). Wouldn't visible light have to exist if EM more energetic than visible light existed? Most of the universe is said to be made up of hydrogen. Hydrogen, by itself, gives off yellow light.
If there is energy, it is going to somehow or another release visible light (visible light is just an energy range, something like 404nm to 720nm for the wavelength) and other forms of electromagnetic radiation.

dP munky
04-03-2003, 03:34 PM
>>Sometimes i think you perfer to read too far into things rather than take them for what they are : )
i agree, my head is spinning in chemistry ahhhhhhhhhhh

either way, we have light so what does it matter, "if there was none..?" ..... "if i had a milion dollars..." i dont, so until i do, im not gunna worry about it

Silvercord
04-03-2003, 03:36 PM
Oh come on DP, let the dorks argue!

And coming from a programmer, you should be very tolerant of the word 'if' :)

EDIT:
and besides, I really like chemistry (well at least this stuff anyways).

dP munky
04-03-2003, 03:39 PM
lol, 'if' i can tolerate, but im more of a, "wouldnt it be cool if..."

>>and besides, I really like chemistry (well at least this stuff anyways).
i hate chemistry yet am really anxious to get into physics...:)

confuted
04-03-2003, 03:47 PM
my chem class rocked, physics is WAAAAAAAAY too slow...both are honors classes, and I had the same teacher for both. Go figure. Anyway, Silvercord, I believe that hydrogen releases yellow light between two certain energy levels, and if you were dropping between two different ones, you would release something other than visible light... so yeah, you'd probably always end up with visible light, but perhaps there are some elements which do not emit any light which we would consider visible and will only release UV rays or something. hmmm...if light was to suddenly cease to exist now, with life already established, bacteria would continue to thrive for some time...dark, warm, moist places...just think how long your body could sustain a bacterium :)

adrianxw
04-04-2003, 05:14 AM
>>> 'if there was no light, that would mean there was no energy and literally nothing would exist'.

In as much as light, (and indeed all of the arbitary names we give to parts of the em spectrum), and matter are interchangeable, (e=mc^2 - in it's simplest form at least, lets assume we are all in the same referential frame), then no energy = no matter = nothing.

My earlier post was aimed at the statement that life depended ultimately on light as it's energy source, that may not be the case. Again, as I said, I cannot see where the free Oxygen in the system would come from, if it is, indeed, necessary. The various scientific papers I have read tend not to agree on this, to me, essential point.

RoD
04-04-2003, 05:17 AM
the only things in here i even BEGIN to understand were posted by DP and me lol

Silvercord
04-04-2003, 01:01 PM
adrian what did you major in and what science classes did you take. I'm trying to decide for myself what I want to major in.

adrianxw
04-04-2003, 02:05 PM
>>> adrian what did you major in

That is a very long story, was a long time ago, and is probably not relevent. My final 2 majors were GeoChemistry and Medicine. If you really need to know the saga, PM me.