Man has always sought to find in the universesomeone who could share his existential loneliness. Despite the fact that modern telescopes are able to look even into the most distant corners of the Universe, we still have not found hints of even the simplest life. Does this mean that we are truly alone in the universe? And if so, how can awareness of this fact affect science and society as a whole?
The “unique earth” hypothesis
The universe is incredibly huge. So, our native galaxy, the Milky Way, includes more than 100 billion stars, while the visible Universe has more than a trillion galaxies of various sizes and shapes. Even if we consider that inhabited worlds can be incredibly rare, the number of exoplanets already discovered by us in the Universe indicates that there can be even more planets orbiting distant stellar systems than the stars themselves. So where is everyone? For the first time this question was asked by the famous Italian physicist of the 20th century Enrico Fermi, who was one of the first in the history of science to question the possibility of a person discovering any alien civilizations.
See also: The Multiverse can be part of a deeper reality - unique and fully comprehensible.
Can life really be somethingunique in the universe? The international SETI project, aimed at searching and studying the traces of alien life in the Universe, showed that despite the huge number of exoplanets discovered by humans, not one of the civilizations hypothetically existing on them is in a hurry to get acquainted with earthlings. There can be a great many reasons for this: some of the researchers believe that our Universe is created on the basis of a grandiose matrix, someone seriously believes that we live in a kind of cosmic “zoo” and highly developed alien civilizations simply do not want to contact us, and someone enthusiastically says that the Earth is a unique place that could embody the extremely low, almost tending to absolute zero, probability of the origin of life in general.
Evolution can answer the question of the origin of life on exoplanets
In order to answer the question of availabilitylife on this or that planet, we can attract the concept of evolution in our searches. After studying 4.5 billion years of Earth’s history, we can come to a rather interesting conclusion that evolution has the property of repetition. According to newsweek.com, evolutionary processes occurring inside living organisms are often repeated due to the fact that different species, independently of each other, come to similar results. A vivid example of this behavior is the extinct Australian marsupial tilacin, which had a bag that looked like a kangaroo pocket, while possessing all the characteristics of a typical wolf. It is noteworthy that the entire evolutionary history of Australia, which is in long-term isolation from the rest of the world since the death of dinosaurs, is parallel to other continents.
We see similar convergence and ifconsider the individual organs of living things. So, the eyes could develop not only in vertebrate species, but also in octopuses, arthropods, jellyfish and worms, which may indicate that nature always seeks to use similar solutions to complex problems. Surprisingly, many critical events in our evolutionary history are unique and possibly incredible. One of them can rightfully be considered the skeletal skeleton of vertebrates, which allows large animals to move on land. The complex eukaryotic cells, from which all animals and plants containing nuclei and mitochondria are built, evolved only once. Photosynthesis, which increased the energy available for life and produced oxygen, is a one-time evolutionary process, which makes it a truly unique phenomenon not only on Earth, but also in the Universe.
Moreover, the appearance of all of the aboveevents depended on each other. Humans could not evolve until the bones appeared in the fish, allowing them to creep out to land. Bones could not develop until complex animals appeared. Complex animals, in turn, needed complex cells, and complex cells needed oxygen produced by photosynthesis. Thus, it turns out that nothing happens in nature without the evolution of life, which manifests itself in stages and step by step, spanning billions of years in its development. Such a long and complex development of natural “technologies” once again proves their extreme incredibility, which eventually led to the emergence of human intelligence.
Such accidents may be similar toas if life on our planet would constantly draw out a lottery ticket that would allow the life that originated on it to constantly evolve. In other worlds, such critical adaptations could begin their development too late for the mind to appear before their nearby stars become supernovae. Or they didn’t appear at all.
Given that the origin of humanintelligence depends on a chain of highly unlikely events, which manifested itself in the form of complex cells, photosynthesis, sexual separation, animals, people and their ability to know the world, then the chances of intelligent life in the Universe become catastrophically low, which can confirm the theory of proponents of “unique To the Earth. ”
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Will our life change if scientists once prove a theory about the uniqueness of the Earth?
Despite the fact that our planet may bethe only “living world” in the Universe, namely the Great Silence of our neighbors, can give humanity the opportunity to realize its uniqueness, thereby changing the existing socio-political system and making it more scientific, aimed at comprehending ourselves and the world around us. It sounds, of course, as one of the utopias, but what if this is the essence of human life, which was remarkably illustrated by “Solaris” by A. Tarkovsky: we must explore, comprehend and transform the surrounding Universe, turn lifeless space into a world similar to the Earth .