Re: It may be hard for life to get started

From: Russell Whitaker (
Date: Thu Jan 11 2001 - 09:52:07 MST

Someone please forward this to Robert Zubrin. The penultimate
chapter of his *Entering Space*
(""), "Meeting
ET", is one of number of flaws* in an otherwise mostly excellent

There, he jiggers the Drake Equation to show outrageous
values for components such as f-sub-ell on the righthand
side of the equation.


* - some other flaws, in brief:
1.) surprisingly unresearched typical statement about freezing
damage (the "cells expand and rupture" business) due to cryonic
2.) strawman arguments against feasibility of molecular
3.) his embrace of Apollo-style government expenditures
- and government funding in general - to reach Mars

** - otherwise, I do highly recommend this book.

>From: "John Clark" <>
>In today's issue of Nature a team of scientists from UCLA and the
>Curtin University of Technology in Perth Australia present strong
>evidence that liquid water existed on Earth at least 4.3 billion years ago,
>400 million years earlier than previously thought. The oldest known fossil
>is 3.85 billion years old and if we only started to get liquid water 3.9
>ago as had been believed then the origin of life, at least the simplest
>forms of it, must have formed very quickly and thus be easy to do.
>But if life needed those extra 400 million years to get started then it
>not be effortless for nature to produce even the most rudimentary life
>This may mean that simple life as well as the complex stuff like us is rare
>in the universe.
> John K Clark

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