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Post  Post subject: Redefine Goldilocks Zone?  |  Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:02 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:49 am
Posts: 379

Things I wonder about....

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?

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

Post  Post subject: Re: Redefine Goldilocks Zone?  |  Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:16 am

Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:44 am
Posts: 515
Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne

is there a term for such life forms?

I suggest olefints... I'll get my coat...

"The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart"

- Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan

Post  Post subject: Re: Redefine Goldilocks Zone?  |  Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:06 am
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:35 pm
Posts: 4883
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

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
"Someone is WRONG on the internet" (xkcd)

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