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Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » Desert with Life - a new planet class
Desert with Life - a new planet class
VoekoevakaDate: Monday, 30.07.2012, 22:13 | Message # 16
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You might be required to discuss what life is, and that is a really tricky discussion...


I know life is very difficult to define, and all its definitions are critiquables. One of them could be "live is a structure (molecule, or more complex, like we), that can repreduce itself".
This is based on how life could have begun : a single molecule, which can be able, thanks to its chemical properties, to clone itself. Then, after a long time, if one "defectuous" copy is more able to its reproduction, it becomes majority. Life on earth spent more than two billions years at the unicellular state, developing its DNA and its genetic code.

But it could exist sentient things that couldn't repreduce themselves...

One day, I imagined something...
Life was born underwater, and its succeed to go out of the water. It is a kind of feat because life needs water, and water is rarer on land. If a civilisation grows when life is underwater, it may be difficult for them to imagine that life could exist out of the sea.
And for us, it is difficult to imagine forms of life that can live in space (in the vacuum, not on a planet), but maybe it is possible that, if a far planet, evolution could bring live out of it. Like sorts of birds, that takes energy from the solar rays, and fly higher. Generation after generation, they become resistant to high radiation, temperature and vacuum...
After the ocean, the land. And after the land, the solar system...

And sorry for the "cloned" post, my computer is laggy and my internet connection is quite low... I thought I misclicked the post button, and after a "freeze", I re-clicked it.





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MethisDate: Wednesday, 01.08.2012, 13:51 | Message # 17
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More different than animals are from fungi, actually. tongue


But.. Trees are directly related to fungi.. There's hardly an intermediate step. They're very much like mushrooms with the major difference being that they no longer rely on "regular" spores..

Quote (Voekoevaka)
It is a kind of feat because life needs water

Not quite.. Our life depends largely on water, but it's easy to imagine a form of life that might use for example a dense gas in its place, or just a different liquid..

In theory, it's not impossible for life to spawn on a planet without much of an atmosphere, although liquid would most likely have to be present to provide movement/collision of chemicals.. There's a bacterium here on Earth, nicknamed Conan the Bacterium, which is considered to be the most resilient life form we've seen so far. It can survive in a vacuum, dehydration, cold and over 1000 times a lethal-to-humans dose of ionising radiation with barely any loss of viability and still 37% viability at 3000 times...
The lesson: life is not to be underestimated. smile

It is, of course, also conceivable that there may be life that exists on a vastly different time-scale, living extremely slowly; tectonic plate slow. We might not recognise it as life even if we'd be standing on it...
The term "life" has the potential to apply on an extremely broad spectrum of forms of existence. That's why I would plead for a simplified, compact usage as I mentioned in my previous post, because with every additional type included, the number of forms increases exponentially and you might end up with a universe where ~75% of all worlds include some form of life, making the search much less interesting... tongue
 
apenpaapDate: Wednesday, 01.08.2012, 14:18 | Message # 18
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Quote (Methis)
But.. Trees are directly related to fungi.. There's hardly an intermediate step. They're very much like mushrooms with the major difference being that they no longer rely on "regular" spores..


Fungi really are more related to animals than to plants: The common ancestor of fungi and animals split off from the plants before these two groups split off from each other. It shows in very major differences with plants: for one thing, they cannot photosynthesise as they have no chloroplasts. Like animals, they have to feed on other living organisms instead of being primary producers like plants. Without plants, there could be no fungi, though if there were no fungi plants would survive (they'd have a harder time on land because of the common mutualisms with Myccorrhiza that help many plants gather phosphor, as well as other problems, but since the Sun is what they "feed" on, they could survive).

Unlike plants, the cell walls of fungi consist of chitin and glucans instead of cellullose and lignine. Another thing that sets fungi apart from both plants and animals is that both their cells and their individuals don't have very clear boundaries. It's often not clear where one cell, or even individual, of a fungus ends and the next begins, while these are almost always clear and obvious distinctions in plants and animals. They also grow in long, threadlike forms that are very unique.

In short, while a mushroom may look like a plant at first glance and mould can look like algae, there are very big differences between them. They may share their habit of not moving with plants, as well as their possession of vacuoles, but in most other respect they're more like animals, or even more like themselves: a unique group much like plants and animals are.





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HarbingerDawnDate: Wednesday, 01.08.2012, 15:21 | Message # 19
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Quote (Methis)
The lesson: life is not to be underestimated.

The issue that I have with people citing extremophiles as evidence that life could develop almost anywhere is this: extremophiles on Earth did not arise in very hostile environments. Life most likely arose in a place where the conditions were very favorable for the development of biochemistry. Over billions of years, life has evolved, strengthened, and adapted to many different environments. But the life that lives there would not have existed if it had not been for the less resilient forms of life that preceded it. And since the core of this discussion is where life can arise, not where it can live, then that calls into question the idea that life could be just about anywhere simply because we can cite Terran organisms that could survive there.

The fact of the matter is that we are simply too ignorant about how life began on Earth, and how life might arise elsewhere, to even begin to estimate about where life might be aside from worlds with liquid water and organic molecules.





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VoekoevakaDate: Friday, 03.08.2012, 22:10 | Message # 20
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I agree with HarbingerDawn : life can exist and can go in hard places, but the kind of place where life can spawn is more restrained. This is so because, at its earliest stade, life is very "fragile", but then, life can evolve and get adapted to more situations (extremophilies).
DoctorOfSpace's video is good to see in what conditions life can emerge : all that live needs is a substratum with complex molecules ; some of them to build a "bubble" structure, and others that can copy themselves. And an energy source to "power" all of it.
And these conditions cannot be found anywhere in space, and the places where life can spawn are heated oceans, or in a critic gas in a pinch.
But after a complex evolution, life can conquier the lands, the atmospheres, dark places, frozen places, hot places...

Quote (Methis)
Because with every additional type included, the number of forms increases exponentially and you might end up with a universe where ~75% of all worlds include some form of life.


It is possible to consider a large number of life types without making the life "common" in the universe, and I wasn't talking about adding planets with new forms of life.
Today, Space Engine doesn't make the distinction between differents forms of life. For it, a planet is harboring life, or not. After that, we could make the distinction between differents forms of life among these planets without adding new worlds with life. It is just a question of probability.





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planethunter13Date: Wednesday, 15.08.2012, 20:32 | Message # 21
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is this even possible to get deserts with life?
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Wednesday, 15.08.2012, 20:42 | Message # 22
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Quote (planethunter13)
is this even possible to get deserts with life?


Nobody knows.





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HarbingerDawnDate: Wednesday, 15.08.2012, 20:46 | Message # 23
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Quote (planethunter13)
is this even possible to get deserts with life?

Deserts with life are not currently possible for procedurally generated worlds in SpaceEngine, no.





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anonymousgamerDate: Wednesday, 15.08.2012, 20:57 | Message # 24
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is this even possible to get deserts with life?


In real life, sure it is.





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DoctorOfSpaceDate: Wednesday, 15.08.2012, 21:01 | Message # 25
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In real life, sure it is.


Got any evidence to support that claim?

no





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Antza2Date: Wednesday, 15.08.2012, 23:14 | Message # 26
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Quote (DoctorOfSpace)
Seems to be that the structure of DNA is just simple chemistry in action. Simple things tend to happen in the right environments.

This can also be seen in evolution. Same things tend to evolve in a certain environment. That's why almost all land- faring creatures have jointed limbs and eyes, since they are essential. I think that creatures of other worlds (if they are earth-like] would have at least these components.





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anonymousgamerDate: Thursday, 16.08.2012, 03:12 | Message # 27
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Got any evidence to support that claim?


Uhhhh..
Uhhhhhhh....
Deserts on our planet? There are some species of mice that get all the liquid they need for eating and breathing.





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DoctorOfSpaceDate: Thursday, 16.08.2012, 03:19 | Message # 28
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Deserts on our planet?


But so far there is no evidence of life on any desert planets. Of course I'm sure you knew thats what I meant. tongue





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anonymousgamerDate: Thursday, 16.08.2012, 03:21 | Message # 29
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Quote (DoctorOfSpace)
But so far there is no evidence of life on any desert planets. Of course I'm sure you knew thats what I meant.


Well yes. As far as I know no desert planets have been discovered yet.

EDIT: Wait a minute.... Venus, Mars, and Titan... *le facepalm*





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Edited by anonymousgamer - Thursday, 16.08.2012, 03:22
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Thursday, 16.08.2012, 06:49 | Message # 30
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Titan...

Titan is a titan-type world in SpaceEngine classification...

And if it wasn't, then it would be ice world. It is not a desert.





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