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Life is herein defined as a negative entropic force responsible for information replication, molecular aggregation, and the phenomenon of EMERGENCE. It is the force that evolved the replication of coded macromolecules. A force that can be described using open system based equations of the second law of thermodynamics, density dependent versions of the Lotka-Voltera equations, and dissipation driven adaptive organization.
Life is common and usually evolves intelligence.
Life is common but intelligence is rare
Life is rare but typically evolves intelligence
Life is rare and intelligence is rarer
Analysis of these four models favors the likelihood of life elsewhere in the universe compared to its rarity at 9:1 and the likelihood of intelligence over non-intelligent life elsewhere 3:2. These estimates are based on assuming the origin of life on earth occurred 300 million years after its formation 4.5 billion years ago. If life originated pre-earth then the likelihood of life on other earth like planets is even higher.
Life started with the emergence of ATOMS followed by simple molecules, complex macromolecules , molecular assemblies, ecosystems and then finally cells and viruses. The pathway to the first cells differentiated from viruses in that the molecular replication system in cells complexified while viruses maintained or regressed a primitive potentially pathogenic biochemistry. The interplay of viruses and cells is responsible for the evolution of higher life forms. I call this interplay process Infectious Speciation.
Life went through Major Transitions throughout the Big Timeline that involved complexification of smaller molecules to larger and more complex molecules .