Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reverse Engineering

Moore's Law predicts life originated billions of years before Earth
Robert T. Gonzalez, 04.18.13
A new study co-authored by a geneticist at the National Institutes of Health concludes that life originated elsewhere in the Universe around 9.8 billion years ago – roughly five-billion years before the Earth was even formed.

Life Before Earth
NIH geneticist Alexei A. Sharov and theoretical biologist Richard Gordon
(Submitted 28 Mar 2013) [link]

...origin of life can be estimated by examining genetic complexity through the lens of Moore's Law and backtracking to some point of temporal origin.

"Genome complexity reaches zero, which corresponds to just one base pair, at time ca. 9.7 billion years ago... ±2.5 billion years."

Earth is on the order of just 4.5-billion years old. Ipso facto, say the researchers, life originated somewhere besides Earth, evolving not on a geologic time scale, but a cosmic one.

One thing that worries me about this paper is that it makes no effort, as far as I can tell, to distinguish between complexity and progress, an important distinction that many people fail to recognize.

Another issue: the idea that the complexity of life on Earth has increased at the same rate throughout history is highly suspect. little consensus there is on what complexity actually is.

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