[meteorite-list] Alien Contact Predicted: A Rotifer's Point of View ( A Re-Post)
From: bernd.pauli at paulinet.de <bernd.pauli_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: 28 Aug 2009 20:38:57 UT
Kirk wrote: "Try to prove differently!"
Probably once again time to post *this* :-)
Sky & Telescope, August 1984, p. 111: A Rotifer's Viewpoint
The members of the Little Puddlian Philosophical Society were engaged in a debate about the possibility
of life outside of Little Puddle. The chief advocate of the unrivaled fitness of their environment for life,
a medium-sized male rotifer named Philo, was speaking. This he accomplished by wiggling three of his
many cilia, producing sound waves in the water of Little Puddle.
"It is obvious that life is impossible outside the confines of Little Puddle," he argued. "The environment
we inhabit is optimally designed for life. Its water remains at about the same temperature at all times, whereas
even a small change would be lethal to us. The balance of acidity and alkalinity is exactly right for living things
because of the small amounts of nitrates and phosphates dissolved in the water. The mud at the bottom of the
Puddle contains just the right amount of sulfate to furnish an essential element of our metabolism. There are
periodic infusions of liquid into Little Puddle containing small amounts of dissolved carbon compounds which
we use in constructing our bodies. Furthermore, the lower forms of life that inhabit our Puddle and form the basis
of our food supply also depend on these same conditions. How could the beneficial methane-producing bacteria
exist without the mud that shields them from the outer oxygen and gives them the raw materials for their metabolism?
Where would the algae that live on the surface of Little Puddle go if the Puddle were much greater in extent, so that
the surface was much farther from the mud-cushioned bottom? There may be other environments in the universe, but
it is impossible to imagine any form of life that could be adapted to the differences that exist between them and Little
"We rotifers are so well adapted to Little Puddle," he continued, "that in any environment which did not possess all of
the same qualities in exactly these proper amounts, rotiferian life could not exist. Since we are an essential part of the
ecology of Little Puddle, if we could not survive in another environment, neither could the whole Puddlian biosphere."
"The conclusion is inescapable," he stated. "Life is only possible in Little Puddle, or in other identical Puddles. The rest
of the universe is barren."
Another rotifer rose to second Philo and extend his argument.
"Since that is so," said the second, "it must be that the whole universe is designed to ensure the existence of our home.
Were there no depression in the surrounding rock, Little Puddle would not have formed, and we would not be here to
appreciate it. If the water were to freeze at a slightly higher temperature, Little Puddle would ice over and the nutrient
rain that fructifies it could not get down to us. By using a new idea that I call the 'rotiferic principle,' I can demonstrate
that the laws of nature must be exactly what they are and no different. Otherwise there would be no rotifers here to
know about them. For example, if the heat necessary to vaporize water were slightly lower, then after the Big Rain
created it, Little Puddle would have evaporated before the many hours that were needed for the first generation of
rotifers to emerge from their eggs."
"So," he concluded, "but for the providentially high value of the heat of vaporization of water, the universe would be
empty of any life that could philosophize about it."
The listeners applauded this dazzling display of the power of rotifer reasoning, as did all the other inhabitants of Little
Puddle, with the exception of a few insects on its surface who bad seen some of their fellows eaten by a passing frog.
Meanwhile, outside of Little Puddle, 10^30 living beings followed their life-styles in a variety of Earth environments,
oblivious to the rotifer's proofs of their nonexistence.
Reprinted from Life Beyond Farth, William Morrow and Co. Inc. Copyright1980 by Gerald Feinberg and Robert Shapiro.
Received on Fri 28 Aug 2009 04:38:57 PM PDT