Carl Mäsak wrote:

>"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the
>Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.
>Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is
>an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended
>life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital
>watches are a pretty neat idea." -- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's
>Guide to the Galaxy

Earth is a unique planet not because it has
liquid water, but because it has large
continents. The only conceivable way to
create the continents was a collision between
the proto-Earth and a huge atmosphere of a
proto-Moon, which (in my opinion) was originally
at the same place as Ceres, but was knocked into
different orbit by the enormous gravity of
Jupiter. The fact that the Earth orbit is nearly
circular and that the Earth has captured the Moon
means that there were at least 2 collisions
between the Earth and the Moon. The Earth is a
unique planet because the probability of these
collisions was extremely low. Another proof that
the Earth is a unique planet is the absence of
extraterrestrial civilizations.

About one percent of stars in our galaxy has
planets that have liquid water. This fact
suggests that life is common. Unfortunately,
nearly all of this life is primitive, single
cell, marine life powered by chemicals spewed
from thermal vents. There is no life near the
surface of their oceans because important
minerals (mostly iron) are missing near the
ocean surface. They don't have technological
civilizations because they cannot smelt metals
at the bottom of their oceans. (Can you make
fire at the bottom of an ocean?)

IBM's BlueGene/L supercomputer has more raw
processing power than human brain. This
supercomputer is used as an artificial brain by
Swiss scientists who work on the Blue Brain
project. I believe that by the end of this century
artificial intelligence creatures will dominate
the Earth. Will they use the mechanical clocks?