This paper greatly extends the possibility of what a Goldilocks zone can be.  Its no longer the Goldilocks zone as a single expanse, its the Goldilocks zones for a particular area

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Comment by Greg Bowen on July 5, 2020 at 9:25am

Hi Andrew, Interesting read. Viruses are incredible robots and show promise as delivery vehicles for medicine.

I thought this paper was also interesting in regards to your post.

Comment by Andrew Planet on June 30, 2020 at 11:45am

You are welcome Greg

We know that genes connect all living organisms we know about on Earth.  Thanks for mentioning lipid membranes as I've never actually read about it which I have now, motivated by your question.  I myself would ask if life is possible without lipid membranes because maybe that's one evolutionary pathway necessary for all life to occur, even if it arises independently in different places.  Even viruses acquire lipid membranes as their outer coat through interactions with cellular membranes apparently

Comment by Greg Bowen on June 28, 2020 at 11:57am

Thank you for the reply, Andrew. Do we know if life came from a common ancestor or is it possible that life came into existence in several different forms, but water/lipid membrane based-life was more competitive?

Comment by Andrew Planet on June 26, 2020 at 11:03am

Hi Greg

As far as I know there is not any decisive evidence either way, for chemosynthesis powered from radiolytic means, chemosynthesis derived from reactions involving inorganic chemicals or photosynthesis.

There's 2 types of photosynthesis though, once that produces oxygen as a byproduct and one that does not ( ), so before the great oxidation event ( )  photosynthesis could have occurred without leaving any fossilized evidence.  If all life has a common ancestor it seems safe to extrapolate that chemo and photo synthesis also have one.  I think one day we will be able to replicate the conditions to find out, maybe there is only one universal sequence to evolution  as organism dependent on water, maybe not.

Many species on Earth make tools, from fish to crows to humans which means that they all have evolved the capacity to think ahead.  What makes us humans special is we can think ahead so much more, to the point that we can record out past and work ahead from there.

Comment by Greg Bowen on June 24, 2020 at 5:10pm

Hi Andrew!

Thanks for your interesting reply. Is there any data that photosynthesis is more likely to start life? If not, I am not 100% how valuable the meaning of a 'Goldilocks zone' really is? It is looking like there could be more gas giants with moons than rocky planets closer to the sun.

I am not sure about advanced life. The ability to use tools, the idea of society are not found in our oceans.

Could, given the right conditions, a gas giant harbor moons with liquid water, land, and atmospheres, lIke Titan, but warmer and with chemical environments more conducive to life?

Cheers :)


Comment by Andrew Planet on June 22, 2020 at 9:17am

Hi Greg!

Thanks for your feedback and that particular question.  Basically, that paper gives to understand that any source of energy asides from stellar radiation could plausibly provide all it takes for life to kick off.

  Its not that its 100 per cent certain life started that way, but yes, there is now evidence that it could have.  It could be geothermal as chemosynthetic life is known on Earth to thrive on it but you could equally have a source of energy in some rogue moon somewhere.  I suppose its like a chicken and the egg, which came first question.  Did chemosynthesis evolve before photosynthesis or vice versa?  Some photosynthetic bacteria don´t produce oxygen though so how do we determine from geological depositions which came first if they've left no trace as far as I know?

I think that we will have to wait for a definite answer when we manage to experimentally create the conditions for life to happen in some sort of lab.  If it happened as Earth life is proof that it did, its replicable.

Comment by Greg Bowen on June 20, 2020 at 1:27pm

Interesting article! This sounds like it really opens up the possibilities for life to take hold.

Is it also possible for geothermal energy to be a source of energy for life to emerge outside the photosphere?


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Posted by Andrew Planet on June 11, 2020 at 9:56pm 7 Comments

This paper greatly extends the possibility of what a Goldilocks zone can be.  Its no longer the Goldilocks zone as a single expanse, its the Goldilocks zones for a particular area


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