Would it make a difference to you as an Atheist if we discovered life outside our planet? I am sure that life on Earth had its origins in matter that arrived here from space as a precursor to DNA or RNA. Maybe we are getting a little closer to narrowing down the possibilities……news just in….source at bottom of link.
If you are religious will you claim your god was still behind it? Of course you will. Not so many gaps left now though? We will wait for further peer reviewed tests to be carried out by the various church leaders scientists.
Imagine if there was no other life in the Universe. Imagine if there was. However neither scenario should change how an Atheist lives his or her life, should it?
I don't know how one could possibly know there was no other life in the universe, but it would make for some very interesting questions. Is carbon based life the only possibility?
If I remember correctly, carbon-based life is extremely more likely than others in our universe, because you can make so many complex molecules using carbon. I could be wrong though.
You are correct Physeter. We are basically a mass of carbon and hydrogen. We are stardust.
Could also be silicone based, but less likely as carbon is more chemically advantageous in forming complex molecules.
Carbon is the only atom can form very long molecules with itself (the others most around half a dozen), which is a good thing since it is very common. A compound containing 40 C atoms and 82 H atoms can exist in 82.5 trillion (!!) different combinations (isomers), each with its own properties. And such a compound isn't even uncommon.
"I am sure that life on Earth had its origins in matter that arrived here from space "
"life is not restricted to this planet and it almost certainly did not originate here"
It doesn't seem to me that lack of other explanations leads inextricably to this conclusion. Why are you so sure? Couldn't the processes which create life in "space" (or on other, now gone planets) have occurred on earth?
It would make a difference to me. I would feel so much joy. Life is so fascinating and bizarre. I love the idea of life. I hope that Earth isn't the only habitat for life. The very idea sets my imagination running.
I would feel less stressed out about the loss of biodiversity on Earth if I knew life where elsewhere. That may not be a good change of attitude, but it's not as if I am doing anything brilliant to slow the destruction as it is. I don't think I would change my lifestyle.