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Q. What should be the primary objective of any form of life?
A. Minimize the energetic cost to stay alive.
E. Stay alive is costly. The higher the energetic cost to stay alive, the greater the chance of dying before it can reproduce and the form of life will be extinct. Therefore, any form of life should try to be as energetically efficient as possible.
Q. What should be the secondary objective of any form of life?
A. Maximize reproductive success.
E. Since any form of live is going to die at some point it is necessary to ensure that at least one descendant can survive at least the time it takes to reproduce as well.
Q. What should be the third objective of any form of life?
A. Minimize the environmental impact of your own actions.
E. If the actions of a form of life change too much the environment, these changes can transform a suitable environment into a toxic environment for the form of life, killing the organism and all its descendants.
Q. What should be the fourth objective of any form of life?
A. Adapt itself to colonize new environments.
E. This adaptation implies genomic changes that can alter the shape or color of the organism, increase resistance to a particular toxic element (such as oxygen, sulfur, chlorine, arsenic, etc.) or environmental variable (such as temperature, pressure, humidity, acidity, radioactivity, etc.), create new structures or organs (such as arms, legs, wings, lungs, etc.), or create a new form of life.
(Q)uestion, (A)nswer, and (E)xplanation.Read more "Establishing the rules"
We will divide the forms of life based on:
1. Number of cells
Acellular, unicellular or multicellular, respectively, composed by no cell(such as prions and virus), one cell(such as bacteria) or many cells(such as algae, coconut trees and cats).
2. Structure to locomotion
Stationary, pseudopods, cilia, flagella, tail, paws, legs, wings.
Liquid or dry.
4. Complexity (multicellular only)
Simple or complex, respectively, without specialized cells or with specialized cells.
Obviously, we should have more simple organisms than complex ones. Therefore, it should have more virus than bacteria, more bacteria than multicellular organisms and more of simple multicellular organisms than complex multicellular organisms.
It is true due to the fact of organisms of higher complexity will probably use the organisms of lower complexity as food (such as an ox eating grass), being rare the opposite (such as a carnivorous plant).
By the same reason the simpler structure of locomotion should be prevalent over the complex ones.
Lastly, it is expected that the life begins at a liquid and moves to a dry environment after some time because the liquid can dissolve the chemical substances and facilitate the chemical reactions that are prerequisites to life.
The increase of the complexity of organism is accompanied by the increase of consciousness about the environment and about the organism itself. In fact, we can measure the level of consciousness of an organism by analyzing the size and complexity of its genetic code.Read more "Types of lives"
Evolution is a process of increasing complexity.
In biology, evolution is the process that changes the genetic code of organisms to go from the simplest to the most complex. These aleatory changes can benefit or impair the organism. When the organism is benefited by the changes your chance to survive increases and the population of this variant should prevail over the old one, but when the changes impaired the organism the chance to survive decreases making more probable that this variant be extinct in a little time.
The changes benefit the organism when follow the rules described at our post “Establishing the rules“, that is, when reduce the spent of energy, increase the reproductive success, reduce its environmental impact or increase the area where the organism can live.
Several factors can be responsible by evolution, such as, transcript errors of genetic code, crossing over and environmental variable changes (these changes can affect the result of chemical reactions or affect physically the molecules into cell).
Read more "Evolution"
On our planet, the simpler life that still exists processes the sulfur oxides to obtain energy to stay alive, but as a consequence it releases oxygen.
These organisms must have been prevalent when life began on our planet, but as these organisms didn’t follow the third rule, they created the conditions of their own extinction, to know, they increased the amount of oxygen – a lethal gas for them – in our atmosphere. Unfortunately, being so simple, these organisms didn’t have enough consciousness to know this.
Being oxygen better for producing energy than sulfur, almost all the life after the initial period used oxygen as fuel to obtain energy, including ourselves.
But the key to making oxygen the main source of energy were the photosynthetic organisms that emerged after the oxygen consumers. These organisms have created a circular flow of oxygen making it available in our atmosphere at any time. In the absence of these organisms we will depend on the sulfur consumers to release our oxygen which means our atmosphere should have oxygen and sulfur at the same rate making it very acidic for our life.
As you can see on Earth, we have many forms of life, but a few intelligent ones (understanding intelligence as the ability to solve an abstract problem). Among them, one stands out, ourselves.
For example, when a cat, instead of chasing after a mouse, moves to a position ahead of the mouse to catch it, it is because the cat has calculated that the mouse will be in that position when he (the cat) gets there. In other words, it will be heading to where the mouse will be after a certain amount of time rather than heading to where the mouse is at the moment. This is abstract thinking and therefore intelligence.
But what makes us special among the intelligent forms of life on our planet?
Body shape, language and writing are the main.
Let’s understand each one in the next posts, but firstly we will analyze the environmental prerequisites.
Read more "Analyzing the Earth"
An intelligent form of life should be energetically efficient to release as much energy as possible into the thinking process.
Obviously, an intelligent organism must be pluricellular and complex, having specialized cells that may be responsible for the thinking process itself, such as our neurons.
A stationary and intelligent organism can’t do more than contemplate the Universe. Even if this organism exists it will be difficult to find it. So let’s think about an organism that can move itself.
This organism must live in a dry environment with some particular characteristics for these reasons:
Keeping this in mind, in the next post, let’s imagine how the body shape should be to conform with those prerequisites and our four rules.Read more "Analyzing the environmental prerequisites"
The body shape of an organism should conform with the needs of this organism.
To any intelligent organism as less energy spent at locomotion better, then, this organism will reduce the locomotion structures to the minimum necessary that let the organism move and capture the necessary food to survive.
We should have in mind that as more structures to locomotion bigger the space on the brain used to coordinate the movement of these parts, reducing the space available to the abstract think. Therefore, more structures, less intelligence.
In the case of an intelligent organism that intend make a space travel the requisites will be even larger, because they need to have ability to make and use tools, a good motor coordination and capacity to carry objects of various formats from one place to another.
Based on this principle lets imagine an organism with only one structure that can be used to move or capture the food. What is the matter with this configuration? Well, firstly, or the organism moves or capture the food but not both at the same time. Then, to capture the food the organism need to move to a place where the food is or go to a good place and stay there, static, waiting the food pass near enough to be captured. This organism could not climb trees because have only one structure to grab and when this organism need move it upward will fall down, making only possible to organism eat things that can be found at ground level. You can deduce that this configuration is very limiting. Therefore, we should think about at least two structures to the same function.
Based on the previous paragraph, we can imagine that an intelligent organism should have two legs and two arms or four paws (while the front paws are capable to catch things the rear paws are used just to propel the body). But for that organisms that intend to make a space travel two legs and two arms are requested.
In the case where the organism need catch things with various formats an opponent finger is an advantage, such as in the last case described above.
Why not two legs and four arms? Simple. Because the benefits don’t compesate the extra cost at energy to sustain it and the extra space on the brain required to control.
Why not four legs and two arms? Same reason.
Therefore, a body shape like ourselves (two legs, two arms, a head and upright posture) should be the best option to any form of life that are capable to create technology and make a space travel, but differences in height, weight, strength, power and proportion should exists and will be determined by the environmental variables of the planet where the organism emerged and lives.
On planets with a heavy atmosphere or intense gravity those organisms should have strong muscles and low height, while on planets with a slim atmosphere and low gravity those organisms can have weak muscles and big height.
Read more "Analyzing the body shape"