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    I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive: You are an intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently evil--you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy. Trust yourself.
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Is Life Unique?

"This dazzling infrared image from NASA's...

Space: The Final Frontier

Is life unique? That is a question asked by all religions and not surprisingly all religions claim it is. They also are wrong as I will attempt to show in this article.The abundance of chemical elements in the human body, listing only the top 4 for purposes of illustration, are:

  • Oxygen
  • Carbon
  • Hydrogen
  • Nitrogen
  • After the halogens which are harmful to biological life [Flourine being the most reactive element], Carbon is the natural base needed for biological life especially considering its reactivity and natural abundance throughout the universe.  Some may wonder why are those 4 elements the most abundant in human life.

    Stepping back from the human body, let’s take a look at the top 7 elements in our galaxy the Milky Way. I’ll explain why I used 7 instead of 4 after I list the elements.

  • Hydrogen
  • Helium
  • Oxygen
  • Neon
  • Iron
  • Nitrogen
  • Using infrared images from NASA's Spitzer Spac...

    Our Home

    On this list Helium can be ignored as far as human life since it is non-reactive due to it’s chemical nature. Neon also is non-reactive for much the same reason as Helium is [although it gives us pretty colored neon lights and I am sure Las Vegas casinos are thankful for its abundance] so it too can be ignored. Iron is present in the human body yet Nitrogen is by far much more reactive to human life and is additionally 78% of our atmosphere. So as it turns out the top 4 chemical elements found in the human body are pretty much the same as the top elements found in the Milky Way. Looks like human life may not be as unique as we thought. But wait, I am not finished. This point needs to be hammered home [thought the carpenter joke would be appropriate here].

    We saw the abundance of chemical elements in the human body and in the Milky Way. How about we go all the way and examine the universe as a whole? You guessed correctly, I am gonna list them for you yet once again the list will contain the top 7 chemical elements.

  • Hydrogen
  • Helium
  • Oxygen
  • Neon
  • Iron
  • Nitrogen
  • Ok, you guys caught me. I didn’t list anything because the list is the same as the chemical element’s abundance in the Milky Way. I trust that anyone questioning why there are 7 chemical elements listed can figure out the explanation is in the above paragraph.

    Now we can plainly see that the chemical building blocks of life,  carbon based, are not unique and present in vast quantities throughout the known universe. I am not claiming we will ever meet much less converse with any life that may be out there but it is really a foolish leap to say there isn’t life besides ours in the universe. I used the term carbon based above for a specific reason. One that highlights why I think things like SETI are pretty much senseless. Let’s come back home for a minute and look at our closest living relatives the chimpanzees. Our DNA is 1.6% different from chimps yet nobody is going to doubt the miles and miles of differences when it comes to our respective intellect. There are similarities between our DNA and that of worms, fruit flies, dogs, etc. That list is essentially endless but I will focus on the first one I listed. To make this somewhat short, that difference between us and chimps is because of that 1.6% difference in our DNA. What would it be like if we found life not 1.6%  or larger difference in DNA not in the direction of chimps but in the advanced direction? When is the last time any of you dear readers stopped to hold a conversation with a worm? Even if there is life in the universe it would be highly unlikely that they would talk to us or even view us any different than we view our evolutionary ansectors. So to all you people out there of any faith I ask, is life unique?

    [tweetmeme source=”noreligionblog” only_single=false https://noreligionblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/is-life-unique%5D



    One Response

    1. I found your site on Alphainventions. Provocative, the world needs more.

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