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What should we look for, seeking life on other planets?

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NASA is saddled with the following definition of life: “a self-sustaining chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution.” What abut a life form that has been in stasis for hundreds of millions of years?

Another question:

Lee Cronin, a chemist with the University of Glasgow and a LAB researcher, thinks it’s more than likely that the chemistry that led to the existing biology on Earth is no longer evident in the biochemistry we see. This means it may be impossible to reverse engineer what prebiotic chemistry on early Earth—or another planet—might have looked like solely from the life that’s present today. As a result, a biosignature based on Earth’s current biochemistry may not help us spot signs of developing life somewhere else.

Arlana Remmel, “What are chemical signs of life beyond Earth?” at Chemical and Engineering News

That’s the difference between law and history. History is messy and may be difficult to reconstruct.

But the researchers carry on:

“The chase is half the battle,” Malaska says. “If we did all of this and we found out that there are no other places in the solar system that has life, that would have very huge implications. We’d have to consider how absolutely lucky we are to have had this accident happen to us.”

Arlana Remmel, “What are chemical signs of life beyond Earth?” at Chemical and Engineering News

They’re still looking for that accidental fix. Amazing.

See also: New sky catalog reveals most likely sites for alien technology. “Exotica” lists phenomena for which conventional natural explanations don’t seem to work well. Advanced extraterrestrials might leave a “technosignature,” visible only as a strange phenomenon in space.

What we should look for is outlined in the book "the Privileged Planet". Only by following their lead do we have any hope of finding another habitable planet capable of harboring intelligent life capable of technology ET
Hope spring eternal for SETI researchers. "Somewhere over the rainbow"... And since you cannot prove a general negative (there are no ET intelligences), they will need to continue looking for a long time - at least as long as someone, somewhere is willing to fund their efforts. Fasteddious
We don't really need to reverse engineer the conditions here. We know which non-living chemicals and compounds and energy sources are needed as inputs for life. Those chemicals and energy sources must have been available at the start, whether the whole shebang was created in seven days or created in a billion years or "evolved" in a billion years. We're not quite as sure which chemicals were NEVER needed as background for life, since we keep finding "unexpected" ways of living in "unexpected" places. And it's already clear that all available energy sources are used by life. Sunlight, electric charge, gamma rays, chemical reactions, heat.... So there aren't any exclusions in that department. polistra
Much to learn we still have. Seversky
We can QUICKLY exclude ENTIRE galaxies as being “too old” to have EVER formed Elements as heavy as Carbon.
I don’t think that’s how cosmology works. Mac McTavish
We can QUICKLY exclude ENTIRE galaxies as being "too old" to have EVER formed Elements as heavy as Carbon. And then there are ENTIRE galaxies that are "so young" (5th Generation and beyond) that they have too many radioactive elements that naturally sterilize the planets. So WE ARE IT, Bucko. The Deity made the Cosmos pretty to look at and Thought Provoking to ponder upon. mahuna

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