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Look for Life not as We know it

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posted on Jul, 7 2007 @ 03:18 AM
National Academy of Sciences panel advises NASA to keep an open mind when looking for ET.
Ive always believed there could be life somehwere that used methane or some other harsh element as their water. Doesnt that mean there could be life on Jupiter or Saturn maybe Venus?

Looking for life not as we know it.

As a biochemist, Baross said lab experiments also show water does not necessarily have to be the basis for life. It might be possible for a living organism to use methane, ethane, ammonia or even more bizarre chemicals, he said.

posted on Jul, 7 2007 @ 06:52 AM
Well, haven’t we been saying this all along? We always have a tendency to think through our little keyhole of known scientific fundamentals. I think it’s high time we started thinking out of the box!

Now we have!


posted on Jul, 7 2007 @ 08:25 AM
It's not that NASA hasn't already thought of this, (they have millions of scientists working around the world everyday in the extraterrestrial life field), it's just that if we had such an open mind about what other life could live on, Space exploration would be slowed down. Budgeting for space exploration can only go so far for each country that has a space program. For now we are only going to search for life as we, humans, know it to be, which is the basic water, oxygen, warm temperature requirements. Having such an open mind and endless possibilities is what all astronomers have, it's just that we dont yet have the technology to go where ever we want whenever we want, it take time, hard work, and a lot of money.

Not too sure if I made complete sense but what I'm trying to say is that we're only looking for life as we know it could be, because if we have too big of an open mind, then we'll be overwhelmed.

posted on Jul, 8 2007 @ 10:42 PM
i always thought this way as well. makes sense, why does life have to be based on water? life will always find a way, its just a matter of time IMO

posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 10:04 AM
For example liquid ammonia based life: which has many analogous with water - can build up proteins and nucleic acids ( amide molecule would be substitute for amino acids, they condensate and form polypeptide - almost identical as in Earth life forms - zoom in Jupiter and Titan or Venus for this one).

Plus on ammonia side - it dissolves more stuff than water - even some metals, aluminum...paradise for low temperature environment - but not necessarily, coz with proper atmosphere pressure liquidity range is over 170C!

Whatever solvent - for organic life must satisfy elementary criterion: capability of dissociating into positive and negative ions - and than acid reactions can occur.

Instead of carbon - why not silica - for those hot , red dwarfs!?

posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 03:47 PM
That is going to be weird when ET does show up but has to wear a space suit filled with liquid ammonia. Maybe thats why we have not made contact.
When we do make contact it will be the most unpredicatble thing that ever happens to us. Everything we imagined it will be will probably be the opposite.
All of our ideas are so earthly.

posted on Jul, 9 2007 @ 07:51 PM
Silicon based life:

H. G. Wells:
One is startled towards fantastic imaginings by such a suggestion: visions of silicon-aluminium organisms – why not silicon-aluminium men at once? – wandering through an atmosphere of gaseous sulphur, let us say, by the shores of a sea of liquid iron some thousand degrees or so above the temperature of a blast furnace.

Silicon life might look like animated crystals, as in this drawing from Dickinson and Schaller. Structural elements could well be in threads, like fiberglass, connected by tensor elements to create flexible, delicate, possibly even filmy structures.

The Horta: silicon-based life in the Star Trek universe


posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 01:42 AM
We are humans, we are looking for something similar.

Consider, if you say "But life can be based on any substance" Ok, if NASA adopts that they have to test EVERY SUBSTANCE, every planet, every moon, every element, etc etc.

Saying "We are looking for Planets with water and atmospheres" means we can narrow down our original searching. So when humanity finally launches itself into the stars we go to places which we are able to survive in some way, shape or form.

If we can survive. Perhaps something else can too.

NASA are taking the easy and logical way to find ET. Makes perfect sense to me.

posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 02:17 AM
While it is good that this idea has been more publicized, I think that it needs to be
said that we can't go to wild with the concept.

Yes, life may exist somewhere else based on a slightly different biochemistry,
but there are limits to what life can be based on, for instance, we are'nt going to find
lifeforms based on Uranium or many other elements.

Now, that said, while I don't doubt that Silicon or Boron base life may exist somewhere,
I think that we should look for worlds where water is still existent, but not necessarily
the same as on Earth.
A few examples being; Hot Water-based, (planets similar to Venus, but where liquid water
exists), Water-hydrochloric acid, Water-ammonia based, inner liquefied water zones,
such as Europa and possibly Charon.

[edit on 7/27/2007 by iori_komei]

posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 02:25 AM
Agree, water isn't the only component to life. But I'm sure that NASA knows that. Its more a case of trying to gauge something thats perhaps been brought up in a similar environment, although in reality, anything would do.


posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 12:15 PM

Originally posted by iori_komei
A few examples being; Hot Water-based, (planets similar to Venus, but where liquid water
exists), Water-hydrochloric acid, Water-ammonia based, inner liquefied water zones,
such as Europa and possibly Charon.

Don't forget hydrogen peroxide based life, which may have already been found on Mars.

Oceans are pretty important for climatic stability, no matter what they're filled with. But it is still apparent to me that free oxygen is more important than water for complex life.

Of the active elements, we can eliminate hydrogen immediately from consideration because it is too light and would not be retained in a minor planet's atmosphere. There are now left on the list of active, gaseous elements oxygen, fluorine, sulphur - only at extremely high temperatures - and chlorine. Sulphur can be largely disregarded because of its high vaporization point, 444° C, and only planets very close to their sun with very large masses could maintain this or higher temperatures and retain a sulphur atmosphere. Fluorine can be eliminated on the grounds that it is too active; it will combine with everything except inert gasses. It will never exist uncombined when there is something for it to combine with. As it forms gaseous compounds when it combines, any planet with a large amount of fluorine on it would have an atmosphere consisting mainly of flourides. And since flourine is rather rare, it is unlikely that many such planets exist.

Oxygen and chlorine are the two remaining elements. Which is the more common in the universe? The question can not be answered definitely. However, chlorine has an atomic weight twice that of oxygen, and the rule seems to be that the lighter elements are more common than the heavier ones. Chlorine is much less common than oxygen on earth. Therefore chlorine atmospheres should be nowhere near as common as oxygen ones on this basis of relative abundance. Still, they should be more common than fluorine atmospheres.

If there is chlorine, or even flourine (instead of oxygen) dependent complex life out there, I would wager that will be your silicon (instead of carbon) based life.

posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 01:40 PM

Originally posted by Octavius Maximus
We are humans, we are looking for something similar.

So true, which is why people who claim to have been "abducted" always see bipedal aliens with humanoid appearance, however vague. Which leads me to believe that the so-called abductions and sightings are something other than alien.

Will alien DNA even have the double-helix? Will they have DNA at all, or something similar or even something completely other?

It's so exciting to think about, makes me want to live a couple thousand years to see who/what else is out there, and what it can look like.

did anyone catch Alien Planet on the Discovery Channel? It was fanciful, yes, but very interesting. Opens the mind to possibilities.

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