Teleotheism and the Purpose of Life - "Please give this sermon a try. I think it has much in it that will be of interest to a wide range of readers: philosophy, cosmology, evolutionary theory, and science fiction, as well as theology. And nothing in it depends on believing in God at all." Abstract: As an enlightened form of atheism, I turn to teleotheism. Teleotheism is the view that God comes at the end, not at the beginning, where I am defining “God” as “the greatest of all things that can come true.” In this view, the quest to discover what are the greatest things that are possible is of the utmost importance. The best of our religious heritage is just such an effort to discover the greatest things that are possible. (via; previously)
Carl Sagan famously said that we are all made of star stuff. In his vision the basic building blocks of life were jettisoned into interstellar space by the massive explosions of stars going supernova. Now scientists from Hong Kong University have claimed that the results of their latest study(paywall), published in Nature, indicate that stars can create complex organic compounds on the very short timescale of weeks. [more inside]
NASA Proves Building Blocks Of DNA Come From Space. "NASA researchers studying meteorites have found that they contain several of the components needed to make DNA on Earth. The discovery provides support for the idea that the building blocks for DNA were likely created in space, and carried to Earth on objects, like meteorites, that crashed into the planet’s surface. According to the theory, the ready-made DNA parts could have then assembled under Earth’s early conditions to create the first DNA."
Lake Vostok (previously) is about to be breached by a team of Russian scientists. The ice cores from Vostok Station have given us a continuous record of the earth's climate going back 420,000 years. Some scientists are worried that the breaching of the lake may lead to contamination. [more inside]
The Cosmic Womb: Recently published findings from researchers with the Imperial College London’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering seem to bolster the case for extra-terrestrial sources for the origins of life on Earth. (A PDF of the published results can be downloaded here, if you want the technical specifics.) [more inside]