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Thread: Kolmogorov Complexity, String Information, Panspermia and the Fermi Paradox

  1. #1
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    Kolmogorov Complexity, String Information, Panspermia and the Fermi Paradox

    Poking around arXiv I came across this paper and don't recall it ever being discussed:

    Kolmogorov Complexity, String Information, Panspermia and the Fermi Paradox

    Abstract - Bit strings rather than byte files can be a mode of transmission
    both for intelligent signals and for travels of extraterrestrial life.
    Kolmogorov complexity, i.e. the minimal length of a binary coded string
    completely defining a system, can then, due to its universality, become a
    key concept in the strategy of the search of extraterrestrials. Evaluating,
    for illustration, the Kolmogorov complexity of the human genome, one comes
    to an unexpected conclusion that a low complexity compressed string - analog
    of Noah’s ark - will enable the recovery of the totality of terrestrial life.
    The recognition of bit strings of various complexity up to incompressible
    Martin-Lof random sequences, will require a different strategy for the analysis
    of the cosmic signals. The Fermi paradox ”Where is Everybody?” can
    be viewed under in the light of such information panspermia, i.e. a Universe
    full of traveling life streams.


    I merely sped read and will need to get back through it but I found it interesting enough to share.
    Initially I wonder if bacteria and extremophiles could be such "low complexity strings?"
    Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has the greater view?

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    I was pondering whether astrophysical observation cannot be classified in terms of information content. For instance we could look at the information content of a pulsar or a nebula or Kepler data etc. We should then find that information content is limited by the resolution of our best instruments. This is just something to think about

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    Hmm

    A fully functional synthesised ribosome, can be created from scratch in the lab thesedays. Several bacteriophage sequences have also been synthesised. As far as I know, as it stands today, the cell is the last stumbling block .. ie: synthesised sequences still require the complex cell components and environment, usually provided by an existing living cell, in order to develop (??)

    So, in this paper the idea would be to encode Earth-life genomes, transmit this information over light-year distances, and have some receiver recompile the information, and reconstitute our version of life elsewhere.

    Gurzadyan calculates that the Arecibo antenna would be sufficient to enable galaxy scale coverage and maybe, others, in the future. (The transit delay of any signal transmitted obviously also limits the speed of propagation using this means).

    What would be the purpose of undertaking such a venture ? What would the reconstituted life be capable of doing, once it was remotely reconstituted ?

    How would the 'receiver' probe get to that location, in order to (re)synthesise life ?

    This is yet more fantasy stuff, right ?

    (Although, the encoding technique looks interesting).

    Regards

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selfsim View Post
    Gurzadyan calculates that the Arecibo antenna would be sufficient to enable galaxy scale coverage and maybe, others, in the future. (The transit delay of any signal transmitted obviously also limits the speed of propagation using this means).

    What would be the purpose of undertaking such a venture ? What would the reconstituted life be capable of doing, once it was remotely reconstituted ?

    How would the 'receiver' probe get to that location, in order to (re)synthesise life ?

    This is yet more fantasy stuff, right ?

    (Although, the encoding technique looks interesting).

    Regards
    How about this:

    We find a planet we think will be suitable for life and send both the reconstituting machine and a number of differing genomes together in the hope that one will 'take'.....

    or we have the probe search for a candidate planet.

    But unless that planet (or moon) is relatively nearby, we'll be blindly seeding it, with no hope of seeing results for generations to come. It could be a desperation move to save an example of Earth life (maybe even us) if it becomes apparent that Earth is doomed. However, if that were the case, I think we'd be devoting our expertise and resources into surviving locally, sort of like in the movie Silent Running.

    Or we could just broadcast our genome into space in the hope that ET would receive it and find a way to reconstitute humans, but we wouldn't know what use they might find for us.
    "There are powers in this universe beyond anything you know. There is much you have to learn. Go to your homes. Go and give thought to the mysteries of the universe. I will leave you now, in peace." --Galaxy Being

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luckmeister View Post
    How about this:

    We find a planet we think will be suitable for life and send both the reconstituting machine and a number of differing genomes together in the hope that one will 'take'.....

    or we have the probe search for a candidate planet.

    But unless that planet (or moon) is relatively nearby, we'll be blindly seeding it, with no hope of seeing results for generations to come. It could be a desperation move to save an example of Earth life (maybe even us) if it becomes apparent that Earth is doomed. However, if that were the case, I think we'd be devoting our expertise and resources into surviving locally, sort of like in the movie Silent Running.

    Or we could just broadcast our genome into space in the hope that ET would receive it and find a way to reconstitute humans, but we wouldn't know what use they might find for us.
    Ok .. thanks Luckmeister .. (got it, now. )

    The paper is suggesting that the genome can be reduced to pure information, which can then be transmitted to the reconstituting probe, when it arrives at its destination.

    The idea seems to be a way of attempting to demonstrate (in theory) how directed panspermia might be achievable with our present technologies, and is thereby attempting to 'talk' panspermia into existence (ie: reality-by-consensus which seems to be the permanent loop this area is terminally stuck in).

    In practice however, the success of this panspermia method end-goal (ie: the survival of life), is subject to some major, fairly obvious flaws, the biggest one being the travel distance and in-flight survival (eg: Gliese 581d is still ~20.2 lyrs distant !), the second being the viability of the reconstitution process after such a long journey, (even if the travel time is somehow feasible .. which it isn't), and the third would be survival following the reconstitution process (which depends on way more than just the existence of an 'Earth-like environment').

    I'm sure this has all been hashed out at BAUT a zillion times over, also.

    The more interesting part of the paper, (for me), is the estimate of the complexity of the human genome (in an informational sense). I'm not convinced this estimate results in any physical trends in terms of the resulting organism, but it does constrain practical transmission system design parameters .. which I find interesting.

    Regards

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.DIM View Post
    Poking around arXiv I came across this paper and don't recall it ever being discussed:

    Kolmogorov Complexity, String Information, Panspermia and the Fermi Paradox

    [i]Abstract - Bit strings rather than byte files can be a mode of transmission
    both for intelligent signals and for travels of extraterrestrial life.
    What is a "byte file" other than a bit string whose length is a multiple of 8? The article is ridiculous. If these bit strings are incompressible then they are indistinguishable from noise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whimsyfree View Post
    What is a "byte file" other than a bit string whose length is a multiple of 8? The article is ridiculous. If these bit strings are incompressible then they are indistinguishable from noise.
    Hi whimsyfree.
    It's been awhile since I looked at this paper but it seems you're on to something ... "The recognition of bit strings of various complexity up to incompressible Martin-Lof random sequences, will require a different strategy for the analysis of the cosmic signals."
    Indeed, if they're indistinguishible from noise, a different strategy for recognizing them will be needed.
    Thanks!
    Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has the greater view?

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