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Thread: Water as a basis of potential lifeforms in other planets?

  1. #1 Water as a basis of potential lifeforms in other planets? 
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    I read a book about planets (in our solar system) and got into something saying that water is the first thing a scientist is looking for as basis of potential lifeforms in other planets. We have an argument about what to look in a planet for a potential lifeforms, is it Water or Air (such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, etc.) or both? Me I said Water and the other guy is Air. I said not Air its Water and I stated why Water. It is automatic that when there's a water there's oxygen and hydrogen. I said that human, animals and plants (even alien) use/have water (their body fluid is mainly composed of water). Additionally I said, no life if there's air but no water. And maybe there a life that needs water but do not need air. If there's such creature that nids water and no air at all, plz tell me what is that creature.

    The questions are:
    (1) Water as a basis of potential lifeforms (not Water + Air)? True or false?
    (2) Creature that do not need air (maybe affected by air but do not nid air for breathing or for other body function)?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Junior JennLonhon's Avatar
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    There are organisms that do not need oxygen to survive - anaerobe


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  4. #3  
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    Aside from oxygen, it doesn't use any other air, right?
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  5. #4  
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    Water is the basis for life for many reasons. See page three at the link.

    http://www.seattlecentral.edu/facult...mWater2L_P.pdf

    'air' is so vague a term to be meaningless. Obviously some organisms live never exposed to 'air' at all.
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  6. #5  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    presumably "air" must stand for the presence of an atmosphere
    moons like Europa hopefully will one day provide the answer of whether water alone is sufficient to accommodate life
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  7. #6  
    Time Lord
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    A search for air AKA atmosphere I think is stumbling on the mistaken question "Is there life on this planet/moon?" You hear people ask about life on Mars all the time, and even NASA's guilty of roaming over landscapes examining what's on moons and planets.

    If we find extraterrestrial life in all likelihood it will be sheltered in something. Like a fish in a frozen lake, or a worm in the dirt. No air.

    That said, there could be gas pockets trapped beneath the icy crusts of those water-moons especially if there is life to produce it. Perhaps then some life evolves to exploit it? Kinda funny if we sent a melter-probe down only to watch our probe fall through an atmosphere and smash.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  8. #7  
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    Thx guys! Im pertaining AIR as oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen, etc.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Early life on planet Earth arose in the absense of oxygen gas. For the first couple billion years after the first life arose, oxygen was only a trivial part of the atmosphere and living things survived without it. Even today, vast numbers of bacteria and archaeans survive without oxygen.

    For example : in the human gut there is no oxygen. Yet lots of bacteria and archaeans thrive. For example : methanogenic archaeans are the origin of human flatulence, and are the source of gas in the lower alimentary canal. Every time you emit a 'fart', you prove the existence of living things that survive in the absense of oxygen.
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