Sign up FAST! Login

Moore's Law and the Origin of Life | MIT Technology Review

Stashed in: Science!, Life, The Universe, Awesome, Meaning of Life, History of Tech!, The Internet is my religion., Charts!, MIT TR, Mind Blown!, Science, SETI, Life finds a way., Darwin, Accelerating Returns, woahdude

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

As life has evolved, its complexity has increased exponentially, just like Moore’s law. Now geneticists have extrapolated this trend backwards and found that by this measure, life is older than the Earth itself.

This blows my mind.

A reasonable theory of why there probably was life (as we know it) before earth in our universe.

I'm going to be thinking about this all day:

Sharov and Gordon say that the evidence by this measure is clear. “Linear regression of genetic complexity (on a log scale) extrapolated back to just one base pair suggests the time of the origin of life = 9.7 ± 2.5 billion years ago,” they say.

And since the Earth is only 4.5 billion years old, that raises a whole series of other questions. Not least of these is how and where did life begin.

Of course, there are many points to debate in this analysis. The nature of evolution is filled with subtleties that most biologists would agree we do not yet fully understand.

For example, is it reasonable to think that the complexity of life has increased at the same rate throughout Earth’s history? Perhaps the early steps in the origin of life created complexity much more quickly than evolution does now, which will allow the timescale to be squeezed into the lifespan of the Earth.

Sharov and Gorden reject this argument saying that it is suspiciously similar to arguments that squeeze the origin of life into the timespan outlined in the biblical Book of Genesis.

Just looking at the (log) graph, you can say mammals have exponentially grown above the exponential.  It looks like we're where we should be over a million years from now. 

It does! Makes me wonder if that's a permanent shift or if the next million years will regress.

Evolution gif - PandaWhale