Author Topic: The sounds of Saturn  (Read 415 times)

Offline Baruch

Re: The sounds of Saturn
« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2018, 08:17:06 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
When you talk serious like that, you are great!  Stick to it.  So the carbon bonds lay flat for us.  Could a non-flat silicon 3-helix silicon structure replicate?

Because of the twist that a silicon DNA would have, it would only replicate short segments.  Otherwise nearby atoms get in the way (overlap of orbitals).  I actually studied the possibility of non-carbon replication ... when I was 19.  Don't know about a 3-helix, only studied the usual two-strand.  Certainly a third strand might add quite a wild card to the poker game.
שלום

Offline trdsf

Re: The sounds of Saturn
« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2018, 01:42:34 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
When you talk serious like that, you are great!  Stick to it.  So the carbon bonds lay flat for us.  Could a non-flat silicon 3-helix silicon structure replicate?
In principle, maybe?  It would require a very odd planetary chemistry, though.  Using the principle of mediocrity, let's take the elemental abundances in our own stellar system as being representative:

ElementMass fraction
(ppm)
Atom fraction
(ppm)
Hydrogen705,723909,979
Helium275,23588,729
Oxygen9,592477
Carbon3,069330
Neon1,756112
Nitrogen1,105102
Silicon71033

Assuming this is typical of a planetary system around a third-generation star, it's pretty clear that there's going to be a lot more carbon to work with than silicon, even though both are essentially trace elements compared to hydrogen and helium (99.87% of all atoms in our solar system being one of these two).  Silicon is also likely to be tied up in very stable rocks, from which it's not easy to liberate, unlike carbon, which has multiple sources, not all of which are tightly bound.

So biological silicon is likely to be special purpose, as in diatom shells (seashells are calcium carbonate, not any form of silicate) or as a trace mineral.  It would take a very different sort of local elemental makeup for silicon to do more than that in a biosystem.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Re: The sounds of Saturn
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2018, 07:41:00 PM »
Do we have recordings of Satan's voice?
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: The sounds of Saturn
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2018, 07:53:26 PM »
Yeah, he just held a rally in Floriduh.
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
"Which do I prefer? Sex or chess? It depends on the position."
Boris Spassky

Re: The sounds of Saturn
« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2018, 07:35:09 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Yeah, he just held a rally in Floriduh.
Explains the "Floridaman" phenomenon nicely.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Cavebear

Re: The sounds of Saturn
« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2018, 03:26:44 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
In principle, maybe?  It would require a very odd planetary chemistry, though.  Using the principle of mediocrity, let's take the elemental abundances in our own stellar system as being representative:

ElementMass fraction
(ppm)
Atom fraction
(ppm)
Hydrogen705,723909,979
Helium275,23588,729
Oxygen9,592477
Carbon3,069330
Neon1,756112
Nitrogen1,105102
Silicon71033

Assuming this is typical of a planetary system around a third-generation star, it's pretty clear that there's going to be a lot more carbon to work with than silicon, even though both are essentially trace elements compared to hydrogen and helium (99.87% of all atoms in our solar system being one of these two).  Silicon is also likely to be tied up in very stable rocks, from which it's not easy to liberate, unlike carbon, which has multiple sources, not all of which are tightly bound.

So biological silicon is likely to be special purpose, as in diatom shells (seashells are calcium carbonate, not any form of silicate) or as a trace mineral.  It would take a very different sort of local elemental makeup for silicon to do more than that in a biosystem.

Well perhaps there are planets here conditions are different and other elements are more adherent to others than on Earth.  I'm not proposing that, just keeping my thoughts open. 

I'm still expecting that, if we ever find life elsewhere, it will be similar to what we know.  But, you never know...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: The sounds of Saturn
« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2018, 10:08:19 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Well perhaps there are planets here conditions are different and other elements are more adherent to others than on Earth.  I'm not proposing that, just keeping my thoughts open. 

I'm still expecting that, if we ever find life elsewhere, it will be similar to what we know.  But, you never know...

Well, even here on Earth, we have evidence of convergent evolution. That is, multiple species in similar environments independently developing similar traits. It's especially apparent after a mass extinction leaves most of Earth's species extinct. At that point, new species come and fill the void. It seems there are certain niches in nature, and when a niche is unclaimed, nature quickly finds a new species to fill it. I expect if we ever discover alien life, it'll follow the same rules and they'll be both similar and different.

What would be really interesting, though, would be to see if any species like humans ever independently evolved. We're the only ones like us on Earth that have ever existed, so we may just be a cosmic fluke.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Offline Cavebear

Re: The sounds of Saturn
« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2018, 10:28:13 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Well, even here on Earth, we have evidence of convergent evolution. That is, multiple species in similar environments independently developing similar traits. It's especially apparent after a mass extinction leaves most of Earth's species extinct. At that point, new species come and fill the void. It seems there are certain niches in nature, and when a niche is unclaimed, nature quickly finds a new species to fill it. I expect if we ever discover alien life, it'll follow the same rules and they'll be both similar and different.

What would be really interesting, though, would be to see if any species like humans ever independently evolved. We're the only ones like us on Earth that have ever existed, so we may just be a cosmic fluke.

Nature abhors a vacant niche.  A pair of parrots night become an ostritch... Well, a falcon.  Yes, actually, a falcon...  Parrots and falcons are on the same bird branch.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: The sounds of Saturn
« Reply #38 on: August 04, 2018, 01:07:34 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Well, even here on Earth, we have evidence of convergent evolution. That is, multiple species in similar environments independently developing similar traits. It's especially apparent after a mass extinction leaves most of Earth's species extinct. At that point, new species come and fill the void. It seems there are certain niches in nature, and when a niche is unclaimed, nature quickly finds a new species to fill it. I expect if we ever discover alien life, it'll follow the same rules and they'll be both similar and different.

What would be really interesting, though, would be to see if any species like humans ever independently evolved. We're the only ones like us on Earth that have ever existed, so we may just be a cosmic fluke.

Old scifi ... humans evolved before, but self destructed.  We are Human 2.0.  New scifi ... dinosaurs evolved and escaped into space 65 million years ago.
שלום

Offline Baruch

Re: The sounds of Saturn
« Reply #39 on: August 04, 2018, 01:08:10 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Nature abhors a vacant niche.  A pair of parrots night become an ostritch... Well, a falcon.  Yes, actually, a falcon...  Parrots and falcons are on the same bird branch.

And the parrots have to eye the falcons distrustfully ;-)
שלום

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk