thinking is dangerous

Pictures are cool

BBC: Top Ten Science Pictures of the Year

Of note:

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Migraine attacks can cause a variety of visual symptoms (aura) as well as the notorious stabbing head pain. This is a representation of a barn seen during an attack, painted by an artist and migraine sufferer.

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Representation of panspermia - a theory that the seeds of life are found throughout the Universe, and that life arose on Earth when such seeds landed here early in geological history. The image shows eggs shattering and releasing smaller eggs.

The latter picture, while not particularly interesting in itself, did lead me to look up panspermia. Of note:

Directed Panspermia

A second prominent proponent of panspermia is Nobel prize winner Francis Crick, who along with Leslie Orgel proposed the theory of directed panspermia in 1973. This suggests that the seeds of life may have been purposely spread by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization. Crick argues that small grains containing DNA, or the building blocks of life, fired randomly in all directions is the best, most cost effective strategy for seeding life on a compatible planet at some time in the future. The strategy might have been pursued by a civilization facing catastrophic annihilation, or hoping to terraform planets for later colonization.

Discussion questions:

1) Say Crick's theory is true. Does that make us the product of intelligent design? Consider that life would not have arisen on Earth without intelligent creatures performing this terraforming technique. Consider also that such creatures would have had to send sturdy DNA molecules out in space, perhaps engineering them to survive such an ordeal.

2) Should we take it as an essential task of science to continue such terrforming techniques, whether or not it was in fact responsible for our our genesis? If so, what sorts of earth creatures would we send to space, and would we attempt to modify them significantly from their natural form?

3) Is it immature for me to giggle at the term 'panspermia'?
00:54 :: :: eripsa :: permalink