…and they COULD NOT think of a natural process that could produce plastics in the environment in the amounts required to produce life?

Their science would never dream of how it happened.

  • Iheartcheese@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    We all have plastic in our balls so apparently we’re on our way to making some kind of plastic lifeform

  • TachyonTele@lemm.ee
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    1 month ago

    There technically has always been natural plastic. Polymers. Rubber is an obvious one. But chitin, DNA, silk, sulfer can become plastic, etc are all polymers.

    “Achully-ness” aside. It would be wild to find a plastic based insect. It would probably finally unite all of humanity against a singular cause. I doubt we have enough bombs though.

    • Postmortal_Pop@lemmy.world
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      30 days ago

      There are sea snails living near volcanic vents that metabolize the extra iron into shells and plating. I expect we’ll see a similar adaptation at some point. Simple organisms issuing plastic in some sort of process that toughens their shells. If left unchecked we may see an evolutionary leap as more things adapt, and a die off as plastic becomes a finite resource. Future generations may argue the merits of artificially supporting the microplastic ecosystem in the same vein that we argue about reducing it.

  • anon6789@lemmy.world
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    30 days ago

    Reminds me of this short sci fi story I just recently listened to on a podcast.

    The Plastic People

    That’s the story in text. If you want to hear it read to you, it’s CZM Book Club: The Plastic People by Tobias Buckell out on 23 Dec 2023.

    • shalafi@lemmy.world
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      30 days ago

      Reminds me of Code of the Lifemaker, where mechanical life evolves on Titan. Seemed oddly plausible when I read it, but it’s been 20+ years. LOL, maybe it was stupid.

      • anon6789@lemmy.world
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        30 days ago

        Same! I originally just tried to limit myself to BtB, but then I listened to ICHH to learn about the Unicorn Ranch, and I ended up learning about so many other topics. Then I kept seeing interesting CPWDCS, so now I listen to some of those.

        They turn out so much great content every week, and ICHH has really helped me to better understand more people and issues than I ever would have been able to on my own.

        • cmbabul@lemmy.world
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          30 days ago

          I got started on the original season of ICHH, realized I had been reading Robert’s work at cracked for years, and then mainlined all the BTB episodes. I like all their content but recently I’ve really enjoyed Ed Zitrons Better Offline.

          I also really love the cousin shows like Some More News and Knowledge Fight.

          • anon6789@lemmy.world
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            30 days ago

            I checked out BtB due to constant weird if mouth on Reddit and immediately enjoyed Robert’s personality. There were also a lot of Cody and Paul F. Tompkins episodes at the time, and I was also already a fan of them, so that helped as well.

            I so want to like Some More News, but it feels to doomy to me and Cody’s stage persona is a bit much for me, so I enjoy him better as regular Cody on BtB more.

            I also feel the more before I was born stuff that BtB usually focuses on us easier for me to deal with as most of the people are long dead and gone, so it feels more like entertainment. For more current things, I try to stick to “legitimate news” instead of things designed more for entertainment. ICHH is an exception because it covers a lot mainstream news wouldn’t touch, and it does it pretty calmly and treats it with seriousness moreso than trying to make it into some kind of bit. Plus they often mention ways to participate or to at least try and help with some of the things. I feel the topics are things important to know, and aren’t just things that make me depressed about the whole world.

            Hood Politics with Prop is probably the next one I may allow myself to get into.

            • cmbabul@lemmy.world
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              29 days ago

              If you like regular Cody you should check out Even More News, which is Cody and Katy’s podcast without the gimmick. I like both although I do concede it’s a bit dark, I tend to prefer leaning into that myself but thats just preference. Had a crush on Katy for years

              Edit: and Prop is fucking awesome

  • Davel23@fedia.io
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    1 month ago

    There’s a short story by Ted Chiang called Exhalation which explores an idea somewhat like this. I highly recommend it.

  • PapaStevesy@lemmy.world
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    29 days ago

    This is like what I’ve been saying, how do we know the microplastics are bad for us? Could be our final form…

  • Donebrach@lemmy.world
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    30 days ago

    Thank you for not just trying to redefine basic words as a post.

    To your thought, Im not sure if it’d be funny so much as existentially tragic—however plastics are both chemically complex and (as far as I understand) fairly inert so not sure if a form of life could develop with them as their base, so hopefully no such cursed creature will ever walk the physical spheres of the universe we inhabit.

    • themoonisacheese@sh.itjust.works
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      There are pretty much inert because they’re ignored by most proteins and are largely stable enought to resist chemical damage (oxydation is the big one). This is the reason we make so much of them, they’re useful as containers and it’s cheaper to make new containers rather than reuse the old ones.

      That being said, it could happen that some biological processes start using plastic as an energy source and/or process it for parts. This is already done in labs with plastic eating bacteria today, where the bacteria produces enzymes capable of breaking the molecular bonds in some plastics.

      The main factor is that there is considerably less plastic readily available than there is carbon dioxide, because the carbon dioxide is just there, but in a hypothetical future where the earth is covered in several inches of plastic, chances are that single cell organisms that thrive off of plastic could realistically evolve.