Dr. James Pierce's

Favorite Quotes from Life in the Universe Essays:

— Chemistry —

Every term, each student in my Astronomy 115 course (Life in the Universe) was assigned to write an essay giving his or her opinion on the following question:

"Do extraterrestrial technical civilizations currently exist in our Galaxy?"

This group of quotes involves chemistry. (The typos and misspellings are real, but they are not mine.) The material is presented here without comment; you will have to make up your own.

    Essay Quotes: Chemistry

  1. The most common elements found in Human life are Hydrogen, Oxygen, Carbon, Nitrogen, calcium, Sulfur/Phosphorus, Miscellaneous, and Sodium.

  2. Our planet's ecosphere consists of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen as some of the key elements for planetary life. We have learned that these elements had come from a few exploding stars about 15 million years ago. I have a belief that this could happen anywhere in our galaxy and probably has.

  3. Therefore, the abundance of elements in creating life must consist of most of these elements.

  4. Another reason that I don't think there is a extraterrestrial life in our galaxy is because it takes just the elements to hold life.

  5. We have learned that hydrogen is a important element because it has a very well suited temperature and pressure range.

  6. Since they would be made up of the same elements they would most likely not be more intelligent than humans.

  7. One of the first factors that have to take place is the composition of their bodies.

  8. Because water is such an important factor for humans by acting as a coolant, and medium for our bodies, and has a high temperature capacity, a single trace of water could lead us to survival of living organisms.

  9. Oxygen is extremely important for life to exist because without Oxygen living things would never develop and will die.

  10. Human bodies are based on carbon, which is the most realistic element because it can form four bonds at once.

  11. For any planet to sustain life, it needs to contain the raw elements of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen.

  12. Human bodies are made up of four main elements which are hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. Without these elements, we would not live. ... Without the right molecules, we would not be healthy or able to live properly.

  13. Carbon is one of the strongest elements that we know of. Our skin is mainly made of carbon because it is such a strong element. Carbon can form a double bond which makes it stronger than the rest of the elements in its group.

  14. The combination of these two elements creates water, which appears to be a necessity for life. This is because water causes the temperature of beings to remain a constant.

  15. Life is dependent on the chemical make-up of themselves as well as the world around them, and their constant reactions.

  16. With the recent discovery of extremely heavy elements in today's labs, the possibility of space travel is getting closer if it isn't present already. It is hard for me to speculate whether Element 115 (Ununpentium) is the stable element that makes this possible. Again, this is only speculation because of my little knowledge of Chemistry.

  17. There is no reason why another planet with the same elements available to it doesn't currently have a technical civilization.

  18. One major element includes hydrogen. Hydrogen is very abundandt element within our solar system, so as a result the planet where extraterrestrial technical life does exits should me made up of similar materials.

  19. Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen combine to create our atmosphere and breathable air and Carbon is important because it is the element that binds everything together, without Carbon nothing would combine.

  20. Considering that carbon can connect to just about any other element, I do believe it has joined to make beings on another planet. Carbon is strong and can withhold many things, so it is possible that it made a civilization and they have withstood hardships.

  21. Perhaps chemicals organizing themselves into cellular form are a definite likelihood if materials are present; much like water will defiantly organize to form a whirl pool when the toilet is being flushed.

  22. Stars also could not have come from the Big Bang because Helium can't form molecules at all so the only molecules that could be formed would be molecular hydrogen. This suggests some fault in the Big Bang Theory.

  23. Another element that is essential to life is oxygen. Without it all life on earth would not be able to live, and there would be no water, which is elemental to life.

  24. The abundance of hydrogen, helium, oxygen, and carbon all make it pretty obvious that other human-like creatures could easily be breeathing air and having human flesh.

  25. Everything seems like a guess because it is always if they are based on the same elements as us but how can know that they are made up of if we have not come in contact with them.

  26. If extraterrestrials were not made of the same elements, the bonds would not be as strong and life would not be able to evolve to have the capability of being a technical civilization.

  27. Intelligent extraterrestrials are made up of the same atoms that we are. So in a sense they will be similar to humans.

  28. Helium is left out due to the fact that its atomic number is zero, meaning it bonds with nothing.

  29. If humans and the Earth are comprised of these elements and they are also in great abundance in our galaxy, than the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life is a logical conclusion.

  30. There are also elements of life in the universe which are hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, helium, and oxygen.

  31. Our own life consists of five of the most abundant elements in the universe so our life isn't necessarily unique to our planet.

  32. Each of the chemicals within our planet's core and atmosphere form how we can function and adapt to different surroundings.

  33. Even though carbon is a fairly abundant element in the universe, as it is on Earth, I just feel like there are any other situations possible that would put another planet (if there are any) in the position to support life.

  34. The Earth's atmosphere is made up of mainly oxygen, at 85% and hydrogen, at 11%.

  35. It's important to be made of non-reactive materials, because life wouldn't go very far it if burst into flames when it touched copper.

  36. Even people are made of atoms and I believe that if people are made out of atoms and everything else on this planet then I believe that aliens can be made out of atoms.

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Created May 12, 2013; last modified March 19, 2021
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