A linguist at heart, I was't surprised with the notion that the introduction of language marks a crucial transition as intelligence develops. But what are the other steps, and how do they feed into the possibility of life elsewhere? These interesting questions relate to how long the biosphere will be tenable for life as we know it. If, as was thought until relatively recently, Earth might support life for another five billion years, we would have emerged early in the history of our biosphere. But it is now believed that in perhaps a billion years, the era of complex macroscopic life will be ending, the victim of decreasing CO2 and increasing temperatures.
Startlingly, we're faced with the fact that the Earth's biosphere is even now in its old age.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Life as Rarity in the Cosmos