What a New Form of Life Would Be Like
As we find more planets outside our solar system and more terrestrial life that survives brutal conditions, scientists are wondering what a completely new form of life might be like.
What's the Latest Development?
As we discover more planets outside our solar system and more terrestrial life that survives the most brutal of conditions, many are increasingly dissatisfied with the view that life as we know it is the limit of nature's genius. But what would a completely new form of life be like? Professor Gerald Joyce, from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, explains that "an organism could either arise directly through chemistry, or spin off from existing biology." Given that the only life we know is ours, however, it is impossible to estimate the probability of new life arising, either on Earth or elsewhere.
What's the Big Idea?
Joyce believes that hard science does not necessarily motivate our increasing belief that life must exist beyond our own planet, though he does say that hard science may help us to create new life forms in laboratories. "I think humans are lonely and long for another form of life in the universe," said Joyce, "preferably one that is intelligent and benevolent. But wishing upon a star does not make it so. We must either discover alternative life or construct it in the laboratory. Someday it may be discovered by a Columbus who travels to a distant world or, more likely in my opinion, invented by a Geppetto who toils at the workbench."
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.
The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.
- The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
- Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
- The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.
When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.