Wednesday, March 5, 2014

life before (and after) matter

In a new article, a Harvard astronomer speculates that the ambient temperature of the early universe made everywhere a habitable zone for life given the universal conditions present for an abundance of liquid water (today even Neptune would be water), although matter at that time was not sufficiently complex nor material components present for life to emerge as we know it. 

Following the implications of the cosmic timeline as presented in the article, life is now not as rare as we think given just how common life, as a basic ingredient in the cosmos, is purported to be.

This makes me wonder: both the early and ending universes would be fairly dead places despite conditions where organisms could survive either ambient heat or extreme cold - organisms would be abundant if material complexity were just right.  But the material complexity either just wasn't present, or in the future won't be capable of holding itself together as the universe accelerates and material bonds and matter itself begins to fly apart at the seams, eventually ending in cold, frozen death.

What a unique time to be living in the current universe.  The article essentially states that humans may not be so special afterall, not because we could be extinguished at any moment, but rather because we possibly are one but of many living things in the cosmos at this time.  It's "when" human beings are living (now, given the appropriate millions of years required for evolution to do what it does) which seems to be a special moment on not just an earthly scale, but a cosmic one. A Godiliocks time rather than zone.

Link HERE.