If life is found to exist on Titan when according to Wiki: all living things on Earth (including methanogens) use liquid water as a solvent, it is conceivable that life on Titan might instead use a liquid hydrocarbon, such as methane or ethane.
1. Then should the search for extraterrestrial life include the very cold planets/moons of distant star systems?
Also: 2. Would there be advantages to being a life form on Titan than one on Earth? 3. Seeing how the average temperature in space is cold enough to keep a hydrocarbon in liquid form then could it be that there is more of a likelihood of cold solvent life forms vs living bags of water within the universe? 4. Would liquid hydrocarbon life forms* be more likely to spread across the universe (panspermia) than liquid water life forms*?
*is there a term for such life forms?
_________________ "Science is much better than religion because our faith is shakeable. There can be something I believe with all my heart to be absolutely true, and the minute there's evidence that it isn't true, I throw it out like yesterday's garbage"-Krauss
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm Posts: 4701 Location: Cardiff, Wales
I definitely would welcome a different type of life being found that's clearly different from earth's water-based life
for the time being our search for other life forms is in the unenviable position of having a sample size of 1 to work from, and something totally different would help our understanding of what life really is about
plus, the issue of contamination with earth-based bacteria is less likely to be an issue than, say, Mars or Europa