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Proceedings Paper

The cometary biosphere and the origin of life
Author(s): Robert B. Sheldon
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Paper Abstract

The Origin-of-Life (OOL) is defined as an information threshold and compared to the Shannon information of the universe. It is shown that the information content of a minimally viable cell must be greater than the capabilities of the universe to calculate with a random search, and must therefore include coherence. Since No-Free-Lunch theorems argue that there are no better algorithms than random searches, we eliminate several alternate theories of OOL that rely on "smart" algorithms, including the anti-entropic "luck" solution. Then high negentropy states can only be achieved by coherent addition of pre-existing negentropy via some low-entropy mechanism. Since most cosmologists believe information is conserved, it is shown that the addition of information corresponds to a flow of information through Fourier space from large to small scales. The requirements on the information "adder" for low temporal entropy, high spatial coherence, rapid coherent addition, and dense Fourier space flow, are shown to be met by comets. We close with a speculation that the fractal dimension of the galactic matter distributed through the cosmos may reveal the details of a dark matter origin in comets.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 September 2011
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 8152, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XIV, 815213 (23 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.899352
Show Author Affiliations
Robert B. Sheldon, NASA/MSFC/NSSTC (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8152:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XIV
Richard B. Hoover; Paul C. W. Davies; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov, Editor(s)

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