Re: poly: polymath digest for 18 Jan 98

From: d.brin <>
Date: Mon Jan 19 1998 - 10:48:50 PST

Although it's much less 'cosmic' than the problem of malign probes... or
the mutually incompatible prospects of sainthood for Tipler vs. Dyson...
there remains one part of my question that we haven't talked about. If
Earth really does seem to skate the very inner edge of a very broad 'life
zone' around Sol, that would seem to be a statistical fluke even more
improbable than our having a very large moon. (Having a large moon has
sometimes been cited as a 'reason' for Earth to be fecund.)

It seems to me that the fact that we are at the very innermost limits of
the habitability zone, requiring an almost utterly transparent (CO2-free)
atmosphere in order to elim enough heat, must be a situation with profound
implications. (Had Mars been big enough, it presumably would have had a
dense CO2 atmosphere and reached a Gaia equilibrium with oceans.)

Did our position enhance the likelihood of starfaring life? Low Co2 = high
metabolism? Larger-than-normal continents? Higher likelihood of
devoloping hands/fire?

Might there be lots of life worlds out there, but with flippered/tentacled
philosophers who can't build radio telescopes, let alone starships?

Provocatively yours. David Brin
Received on Mon Jan 19 18:45:31 1998

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