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The Nature And Power Of Intent The Nature And Power Of Intent
by Jan Sand
2021-12-30 08:12:57
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There is a good deal of astronomical activity these days to search for life beyond what we know on this planet . At this time there is no positive evidence of extra-terrestrial life apparent. One of the fundamental difficulties remains our lack of a clear definition of exactly what life is, so the search generally  has been a search for planets very much like our planet Earth containing liquid water and oxygen and a temperature range that we prefer.

lif0001_400Ideally we would desire to contact intelligent life with a technology somewhat similar to what we posses. Since planets beyond those in our solar system orbit stars so far away, contact through some form of electromagnetic radiation is restricted to the speed of light, which is desperately slow for interstellar communication. Nothing else seems available at the moment so intellectual exchange presents vast difficulties and we are left with intellectual speculation until something definite appears.

Perhaps it is worthwhile to return to basics and examine the fundamentals of what makes something alive and how it differs fundamentally from something not alive.  All life requires a source of energy. It uses this energy to maintain a system which processes whatever is available to keep the system in operation and to manufacture either duplicates of itself or very similar systems that are better adjusted to mate with the environment which varies in ways that are frequently unpredictable.

This generalized definition of life does not necessarily have to duplicate the systems on our planet that require water or the other elements available on Earth to maintain its life systems. Theoretically, many of the technological systems now in operation under human innovation and which do not require the same Earth energy systems utilized in Earth life processes might be incorporated into a system which fits the generalized definition of life, but so far, this has not been done. The dangers of creating such an independent system which may not be compatible with the existing life systems are only vaguely suspected and this deters investigations in that direction. It might be noted that the internet, which is most tightly controlled, has, at times, suggested possibilities for independent intent which is a prime quality of life. The dangers involved in this kind of independence  can be frightening and the possible catastrophes are cautionary in this area, but errors might occur leading to real problems.

Nevertheless, that potential does exist, and it seems most likely that adventures in artificial life will be attempted in the near future if the abuse of the planet’s general ecology can be curbed to prevent planetary catastrophe. There are very large rewarding potentials in this accomplishment and the first steps have already been taken. The semi-independent functional operational explorational robots that have moved to interplanetary exploration cannot be controlled entirely from Earth since the time delays due to the limits of  speed of electro-magnetic instruction  requires a level of independence. As this level is understood and advanced, these robots will gain in freedoms of intent and move towards what we accept as being alive.

One important fundamental that is being approached in current biological technology and radically neglected in the efforts to send humans to other planets is the understanding that every life form that evolution  has developed to master Earth’s planetary demands has integrations with many other life forms on the planet to advance its possibility for survival. Human digestive systems and basic defenses against aggressive attacks of other Earth life forms involve multiple alliances with micro-life forms that have invaded our cellular structures. Not only are these alien forms present in quantities larger  than our own genetic cells, but they can differ greatly between individuals and are vital to our survival. Mars and other possible targets for possible human habitation have no resources in this area to permit humans to exist and that fundamental lack might be decisive in limiting extraterrestrial human habitation..

As the biological technologies gain in sophistication it seems most likely that the radical changes necessary for human biology to exist extra terrestrially with a  minimum of artificial assistance can advance into humans redesigned radically. Many of the digital gadgets innovated within the last century could be redesigned to be incorporated as organic parts of our basic biological structures, and beyond even that, the integral necessities of breathing oxygen and gaining energies  from consuming Earth nutrition might be adapted to alien conditions. Whether these newly designed creatures would be accepted as human may be a problem, since some of them may be designed to perform specifically required services much as current robots do and have limited degrees of personal intent. Amongst many organic life forms existent today amongst creatures that have automatic performances like ants, there is no denial that they are accepted as living creatures. Presuming that the current most peculiarly distorted human economic and political aberrations do not destroy much of life on the planet the latest developments of scientific biological sophistication foretells possible extensive rapid changes in human and other life forms far beyond what has occurred in the past. Humans themselves have become potent agents in the intents of the forces of evolution to efficiently  move life into accelerated possibilities in a matter of decades rather than millions of years, and this is something entirely new in the long adventures of life itself.

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