#1
yo, so I was wondering:

astronomers always say "there can't be life on XXX planet, because there is no oxygen or water". Why is that? isn't it possible for life to be created out of any kinds of elements? I know it's been proven that it is possible for organisms to be silicone based (instead of carbon based, like we are), but why stop there? why isn't is possible to have gaseous organisms?

discuss
#2
Don't ask stupid questions.

In other words, I have absolutely no ****ing idea.
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#3
Quote by baddog144
Don't ask stupid questions.

In other words, I have absolutely no ****ing idea.


+1
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#5
well to our understanding all life needs oxygen and water to live... every person or animal or creature needs these to live 'on earth'
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#6
From reading more it appears that life does not necessarily need water, but it can use a similar chemical such as ammonia. I think. Mabye.

EDIT: And there's definitely no dependence on oxygen. Anaerobic respiration (respiration without oxygen) has been observed in all sorts of micro organisms on earth. However, life may struggle to develop without oxygen and water, even though it's possible.

So basically lack of oxygen and water does not mean there is no life. It just means that there is much less chance.


I think.
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Last edited by baddog144 at Oct 22, 2009,
#7
Well, there are billions of "planets" per galaxy, and there are billions of galaxies. Chances are there's life on one of those planets.

Earth is extraordinary in the fact that it's not too far from the sun, or close, and that it has a natural abundance of the elements to keep life alive.

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#8
There could be...but our current understanding of the universe allows us only to form opinions based on our observations on Earth.
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#9
Quote by Zero-Hartman
Well, there are billions of "planets" per galaxy, and there are billions of galaxies. Chances are there's life on one of those planets.

Earth is extraordinary in the fact that it's not too far from the sun, or close, and that it has a natural abundance of the elements to keep life alive.

Not to mention Earth's natural magnetic field, Jupiter's and Saturn's gravity that keeps most large asteroids away, the distance from the sun, etc. etc. etc.

Earth is one huge fluke.
#10
Quote by Zero-Hartman
Well, there are billions of "planets" per galaxy, and there are billions of galaxies. Chances are there's life on one of those planets.

Earth is extraordinary in the fact that it's not too far from the sun, or close, and that it has a natural abundance of the elements to keep life alive.


That's probably exactly WHY there is life on earth.
The supposed "perfect" conditions for life.

On the topic though; I rate it's highly possible. There very well could be organisms that are not carbon based and oxygen consuming.
I wouldn't know though. I'm no scientist.
#11
That it a damn closed-minded view. Rememberwhen people thought the Earth was flat, cos that's all they could see, but wait, it's round! Why should we assume that, because life forms that evolved on earth (most probably from the same original organism)where there IS oxygen and water, all life forms require this?

I agree with baddog144: we have no fu**ing clue.
#12
I'm thinking that might be silicon (the element), and not silicone (the polymer). Some scientists say life might exist in silicon because it forms bonds in a similar way to carbon, so that organic-like molecular structures may form from silicon in a similar way that they do carbon.

I suppose the problem with a gaseous organism is that it's existence would be based on the extremely low probability of its constituent different particles colliding, in a meaningful way nonetheless! But what do I know (nothing really). It's an interesting idea.
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#13
Im no biologist, but I asume that actualy being able to recognise some kind of gaseous life form would be incredibly difficult as we have no idea what it would look like/ act like/ anything at all.
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#14
Life is just a set of automated chemical reactions. For basic life you need complex structures, which can't always be formed with any kind of materials.


Earth isn't special in any way we think it is because there's life on it; however, if we were on Venus we would be saying the same thing. Earth is not special but we are, the fact that were here is just coincidence. (I hope I made sense there)
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#15
Quote by pyrochris
I'm thinking that might be silicon (the element), and not silicone (the polymer). Some scientists say life might exist in silicon because it forms bonds in a similar way to carbon, so that organic-like molecular structures may form from silicon in a similar way that they do carbon.

I suppose the problem with a gaseous organism is that it's existence would be based on the extremely low probability of its constituent different particles colliding, in a meaningful way nonetheless! But what do I know (nothing really). It's an interesting idea.

Oops, yeah I meant Silicon

in German silicon and silicone are Silizium and Silikon, respectively, so I often get them mixed up in English.
#16
Quote by Balmazer
Life is just a set of automated chemical reactions. For basic life you need complex structures, which can't always be formed with any kind of materials.


Earth isn't special in any way we think it is because there's life on it; however, if we were on Venus we would be saying the same thing. Earth is not special but we are, the fact that were here is just coincidence. (I hope I made sense there)

that's the thing, people always say "Earth is one big fluke for being able to support life" (for reasons I posted earlier), but every planet is unique, so any life formed on those would say the same thing.

also, another thing few people seem to seriously consider is higher-dimensional organisms. And I'm not kidding here, it's definately possible, however unlikely it may be. Perhaps our "god" is simply a higher-dimensional being....


#17
well to our understanding all life needs oxygen and water to live... every person or animal or creature needs these to live 'on earth'


not totally true, there are also deepsea creatures who live on nitrogen

And also, life as we see and understand does only consist on carbon base. It is therefore hard for the steady-rusted scientists to imagine life based on other bases.

So it is not impossible that there do exist some 'gasous' beings, but it is hard for scientists to accept that and therefore they think not worth of investigating
#18
Earth is made for the life forms living on water and oxygen, maybe another planet is made for sillicon-based life forms?

Who knows.
#19
Quote by Guitarjan
not totally true, there are also deepsea creatures who live on nitrogen

And also, life as we see and understand does only consist on carbon base. It is therefore hard for the steady-rusted scientists to imagine life based on other bases.

So it is not impossible that there do exist some 'gasous' beings, but it is hard for scientists to accept that and therefore they think not worth of investigating

I think it's about not getting funding for research in fields that are unlikely, not scientists refusing to except it
#20
Originally Posted by CorseysMonster
I think it's about not getting funding for research in fields that are unlikely, not scientists refusing to except it


yeah, could also be the case. but i also think scientists don't want to 'waste' their time on something like that and rather investigate something that is far more easy to prove and therefore gives you a more secure reputation
#21
From my understanding as a chemistry/physics student at uni, the reason why water is viewed as so essential to life is simply because its solvent properties are unlike any other compound which facilitates so many chemical reactions within organisms.

If aliens used a foreign compound within themselves for the purpose as a similar solvent, due to the properties alone it would probably be water (even if they call it a foreign element, the required properties would limit the compound to have a specific structure with specific no. of protons and neutrons. Since we classify atoms based on these numbers it would be water to us).

Since silicon forms a variety of bonds like carbon, silicon based life is probable and oxygen dependence is not necessary at all as demonstrated by anaerobic bacteria and others.
#22
Quote by Ereleon
From my understanding as a chemistry/physics student at uni, the reason why water is viewed as so essential to life is simply because its solvent properties are unlike any other compound which facilitates so many chemical reactions within organisms.

If aliens used a foreign compound within themselves for the purpose as a similar solvent, due to the properties alone it would probably be water (even if they call it a foreign element, the required properties would limit the compound to have a specific structure with specific no. of protons and neutrons. Since we classify atoms based on these numbers it would be water to us).

Since silicon forms a variety of bonds like carbon, silicon based life is probable and oxygen dependence is not necessary at all as demonstrated by anaerobic bacteria and others.

I'm aware of this, but since science really doesn't know what creates consciousness, it can't be ruled out that it isn't necessary for an organism to be have water and carbon/silicon