[thechat] Stupidity should be cured, says DNA discoverer

David Wagner dave at worlddomination.net
Mon Mar 3 12:16:00 CST 2003

Erik wrote:
> That idea that Earth is a unique, special place was proven wrong by
> Copernicus in the fourteenth century, and I holding on to that idea for
> half a millennium is a little silly!

The sarcasm in this statement caused me to lose its point...

*Of course* Earth is unlikely to be a totally unique planet (though no
provably Earth-like planets have been discovered). That's irrelevant.

> What you're referring to is "directed panspermia", in other words, the
> intentional seeding of life throughout the universe.

I'm sorry... I should be more clear. I'm not saying panspermia is
impossible. I'm not saying directed panspermia is impossible (though I find
it unlikely, and without any supporting evidence that I know of). I'm saying
that it ignores the basic idea of how life originated. Just saying "it came
from somewhere else" doesn't answer the question. It doesn't matter if it
originated on Earth or another planet or on many different planets
independently... it's gotta come from somewhere.

It's not unreasonable to believe that life could arise on Earth without any
help. And, based on how the human brain works, it's also not unreasonable to
find it hard to believe. We're not built to tackle large improbabilities...
but mathematically, we can chop them down to size, and look at the logic of
the situation instead of saying "wow, that's a leap of faith".

That's all.


David Wagner
dave at worlddomination.net

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