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View Diary: NASA Scientists: Earthshaking Discovery On Mars (355 comments)

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  •  I'm convinced too, in the "Rare Earths" sense: (1+ / 0-)
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    Unicellular life ubiquitous, multicellular life much less so, intelligent life--we're probably it at the moment.

    I was about to say I'd love to be wrong about the latter, but maybe not--why would any rational species with a few hundred thousand years' technological jump on us want to share the universe with more than a sufficient number of Homo sap breeding pairs? Transport, oh, I dunno, say 144,000 or so to some sort of space habitat & then wipe the planet clean for their next equivalent of a high-school biology experiment--?

    It's not a "fiscal cliff," it's a Fiscal Bluff--so why don't we call them on it?

    by Uncle Cosmo on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 03:28:46 AM PST

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    •  Personally, I think (1+ / 0-)
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      unicellular ubiquitous,  multicellular reasonably common, intelligence not entirely rare, but then a drop-off on technological capabilities.

      Advanced tool-building takes biological structures that aren't bound to intelligence. If you aren't on a planet that developed oil or coal reserves because your biological-geological history functioned differently, no industrial revolution for you. You can't domesticate species that aren't pre-geared to that lifestyle somewhat and forget fire as anything but a novelty if burnable material is too precious to burn.

      There might be intelligent life all over the place that never gets past the crows-with-sticks stage. Or the hunters-with-fire stage. Or never develops industry beyond waterwheels because the basic materials just aren't there.

      And while there are civilizations on earth that did awesome things with waterwheels and basic foundry techniques, no amount of radio frequency listening is ever going to detect a civilization on the level of ancient Athens or Rome.

      Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

      by Cassandra Waites on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 08:51:25 AM PST

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