Saturday, April 12, 2008

Life as Rarity in the Cosmos

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.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps Earth had better give birth to an intelligent, space faring civilization before her ovaries go dry.

Mac said...

I think you're exactly right. Planets are wombs and we still haven't gotten the message.

Anonymous said...

Which, if true, means we don't get to be one of the very few "lucky" species to get off planet. Prepare for impending implosion, as that's the alternative.