Extreme Biology – Life at All Scales and Energies

A range of fixations plaguing the astrobiology community concerning the pre-requirements for existence is retarding biology’s development and the search for new lifestyles inside the universe. These fixations work as smokescreens to obscure the myriads of different sorts of existence forms that may be thriving even in our Solar System. Astrobiologists, in particular at NASA, appear to have a dogmatic fixation on studying existence handiest on the biochemical stage, a pre-occupation with water as a substrate for lifestyles, adamant on simplest reading carbon-based totally existence forms, restricted to a totally slender temperature variety and scale; and now not even noticing that all the life forms that they have imagined of their wildest fashions are handiest primarily based on particles within the (physicists’) Standard Model.

Extreme Biology

Physics influences biology in an extra essential manner than even chemistry or biochemistry. New tendencies in physics have to open up areas to bear in mind greater intense life bureaucracy. If we discover dark matter and supersymmetric particles – could biologists then consider dark remember and supersymmetric lifestyles bureaucracy? Should we be talking approximately “quantum biology”? When physicists speak of parallel universes, could biologists consider symbiosis among life bureaucracy in parallel universes? Is Darwin’s tree of life entire? Where are its roots?

Life at Extremely Small Scales – Nano and Quantum Life

Extreme Biology

Bacteria may be no larger than 10 microns; viruses are no larger than a hundred nanometers; molecules about 1 nanometer, and atoms about 0.1 nanometers. Does scale impose a barrier to the existence or maybe focus? If viruses are considered lifestyle paperwork (as a few main astrobiologists argue), they represent “nano-life.”

Consciousness may additionally even exist at the quantum scale. “In some bizarre way, an electron or a photon [or any other elementary particle] appears to ‘recognize’ about modifications inside the environment and looks to respond for this reason,” says physicist Danah Zohar. An institution on the Weizmann Institute in Israel has carried out a variation of the well-known “double-slit” test. They used electrons instead of photons and located how the resultant interference pattern (which shows wave-like properties of the particle) dissipated the longer you suspect the electrons undergo the slits. Like a wave, the electron passes through each slit simultaneously. Still, if in keeping with E Buks, it “senses” that it is being watched, the electron (as a particle) goes thru the most effective one course, diminishing the interference sample. Elementary particles (together with photons and electrons) appear to own a certain diploma of “intelligence” and cognizance of the environment. Renowned plasma and particle physicist, David Bohm, says “In a few since a rudimentary mind-like exceptional is present even at the extent of particle physics. As we go to subtler degrees, this mind-like great turns into stronger and extra evolved.”

In a brand new discipline known as “quantum metaphysics,” Jay Alfred has proposed that awareness is as fundamental a belongings to primary particles as residences that make it “matter” or a “bodily force” (as an example, mass, spin, and charge) (see Conscious Particles, Fields and Waves, 2007). And simply as mass, spin and charge fluctuate from one particle to another, one-of-a-kind debris may have distinct degrees of cognizance. He has argued (see Jay Alfred, Our Invisible Bodies, 2006) that recognition can occur depending on the diploma of quantum coherence and the intrinsic homes of the unmarried particle. (This may be noted because of the “Quantum Coherence Theory of Consciousness.”)

In studying particle cognizance, we have to get now not distracted with the aid of their scale. In reality, (beneath quantum discipline principle) debris are excitations in a discipline that may be infinitely massive. Every particle has a corresponding field. If a particle is taken into consideration a “unicellular lifestyles form,” then a field of particles can be considered a “multicellular lifestyles shape” – besides that, those “cells” cross in and out of lifestyles within the area. This obviously begs the question – Is the biochemical cellular the smallest unit of life? If now not, then an organic revolution, more crucial than the Copernican revolution in phrases of its effect on society, is across the nook.

Life at Extremely Large Scales

Life at all scales is probably – including at the planetary, stellar and galactic scales, or even the universe and multiverse. The Gaia hypothesis has been proposed by using James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis. Jay Alfred has proposed life at cosmic and international scales using the usage of the “plasma metaphysics” version, which believes that an extensive web of currents in the area and on Earth exists that’s both anatomically and physiologically similar to a neural network in the human mind. (See Are We Living in a Gigantic Brain? 2007) This web of currents in space now not handiest looks like a neural network, it functions like one. We ought to no longer be amazed to peer existence being engineered using an electromagnetic substrate. A biochemical, cellular membrane is now a concept to a characteristic like a semiconductor.

Extreme Biology

Perhaps a notion test can be enlightening. Imagine yourself as a cellular within your mind, carefully looking at your surroundings with a nano-telescope. Would you don’t forget your brain as being capable of assist focus? What you’ll see are neural cells alternately firing and resting; chemicals rushing to synapses and the zapping of nasty electric currents – truly no longer a very “habitable region” for existence or awareness to existing – out of your microscopic factor of view.

Leah Leonard

Coffee expert. Troublemaker. Typical music guru. Friendly beer fanatic. Introvert. Web specialist. Uniquely-equipped for implementing bullwhips in Ocean City, NJ. Spent a year importing licorice in Hanford, CA. Have some experience licensing cigarettes for the government. Once had a dream of selling toy monkeys in Las Vegas, NV. Spent the 80's working on hula hoops in Minneapolis, MN. What gets me going now is working with action figures in the government sector.

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