The Monitor Daily (U.S.) – Is alien life in stealth mode or is it simply extinct? This enticing possibility of alien life has stirred imagination and scientific research beyond all expectations. Yet, despite all the effort invested in finding alien life forms, humanity is left empty-handed.
The ongoing search may be fruitless after all according to Australian National University researchers Aditya Chopra and Charley Lineweaver. The two scientists have come up with a rather discouraging hypothesis. To the question ‘Is alien life in stealth mode or is it simply extinct?’ they gave a simple answer. Alien life forms may be dead.
There are a myriad of factors at play in the emergence of abundant life on a planet. From life to a fully developed civilization, even more steps need to be accomplished. Yet, it all depends on those early stages of development. During the early stages of development, life is uniquely fragile. As such, a protective environment for life forms to develop is paramount.
Unfortunately, early life rarely develops rapidly enough to be able to survive the harshest conditions or regulate its environment. Aditya Chopra explained that unlike Earth’s environment, other planetary environments are threateningly unstable. One prerequisite for the evolution of life forms is to regulate greenhouse gases. These are crucial to keep surface temperatures stable. The process is known as Gaian regulation.
Earth-centered, the Gaian regulation process is fairly rare. Earth, Mars and Venus may have all been habitable in the past, blessed with the same conditions. Yet, life on Earth developed at a sufficiently rapid pace to outstand any major impact. Ancient and early life forms were crucial in regulating greenhouse gases at the time and the climate as a result. However, Mars turned into a freezing planet and Venus into a scorching stove. Their climates hindered the development of alien life forms any further.
Is alien life in stealth mode or is it simply extinct? As the Gaian Bottleneck hypothesis suggests, alien life may be extinct.
“Extinction is the cosmic default”,
according to the researchers. With the exception of our planet, very few others are deemed habitable. Humanity ventures in the search for alien life and habitable planets, yet it might be that in order to pass the habitable test, planets needed to remain inhabited. A number of exoplanets are announced as Earth-like. While they do share some features with our home planet, the ‘Earth-like’ label is misleading.
Nonetheless, water – particularly in liquid form and prebiotic chemicals are clear signs that alien life should be out there. The clash between these hints is known as the Fermi Paradox. The Gaian Bottleneck hypothesis aims to answer the Fermi Paradox.
Our home planet evolved under the right circumstances. A stable star located at the right distance to neither scorch nor deprive life forms of energy and the biochemical composition led to a rapid evolution. In the process, Earth and all life forms on it created feedback cycles which made this planet a giant superorganism. None of these conditions have been observed on alien worlds.
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