1. ToBeInspired
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    ToBeInspired Contributing Member

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    Scientific articles on planetary/species development?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by ToBeInspired, Apr 7, 2015.

    Simply trying to increase my knowledge of planetary development for building a world that would be hospitable to varied forms of life. For instance what would be the possibility of a species composed of gasses? What atmosphere would be compatible? Would it be possible that the interaction in certain areas would expose them to chemicals that could be life threatening? What of creatures that live entirely in the minerals of rocks? We are believed to have developed from the sea (though recent findings suggest the earth, then the sea, then land), but what if we had developed in the stratosphere?

    Is water or food incredibly vital for all life forms? There's a newly found creature that feeds off bacteria near some places where it was considered inhabitable for life due to the extreme heats. Extreme heat and cold can be combated. Water can be minimal. Food can be optional, instead supplied simply with another nutritional satisfaction.

    I know science says X and X is required to sustain life... but the world wasn't round for all of human history. Are we simply being close-minded and considering only how our planet works? We're beginning to understand how our past came about so we presume everything is like that. So very human... you know?

    Any out of the box thinkers out there? I couldn't care less if you were wrong. Mistakes are the building blocks of discovery.

    All ideas, thoughts, or relative articles/readings are more than welcome.
     
  2. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Convergent Evolution is an interesting theory to start on. It basically states that given similar conditions, evolution will find similar solutions for survival. Of course life survives and thrives in many varied conditions here on earth so I see no reason why this shouldn't be extrapolated to some exo-planet. In addition, small changes, like a greater percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere, can result in evolutionary shifts, in this example, towards large dinosaur-type creatures.

    I can't look up the articles currently (at work) but I have read several on this subject. Carbon based life-forms seems a firm favourite and silicone is generally thought unlikely. I have seen quite a few articles postulating large jelly-fish type creatures in the atmospheres of gas giants and such things.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  3. ToBeInspired
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    ToBeInspired Contributing Member

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    If you get a chance, later I'd appreciate seeing some of those. I've always wondered at worlds that are completely structured differently from ours.

    What of a world that was the reverse of ours? The center is a dense form of air that pushes everything outwards with water in the middle and a crust on the outside? Or the seas perpetually turned inwards into itself. Mountains form from the center of the earth, straight into the core. Water is continually poured into it causing it to cool and allow steam to vent out of the mountains. The steam is then returned in the form of some type of rain, which keeps the process self-sustaining. Vast changes in temperature, inhospitable at certain areas, but having possible ways of life.

    Hell... I feel there's probably a creature out there that lives in the sun. We would just have no way of knowing it.
     
  4. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Take a look at Europa. It has a water ice crust, but it is thought that due to the huge gravitational forces applied on it by Jupiter there is sufficient kinetic energy for a liquid ocean to exist beneath the crust. It also has huge extremes of temperature. This seems similar to your idea of a world above. These oceans are considered a possibility for extra-terrestrial life in our solar system.

    Also, Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum describes almost exactly the inside-out earth you describe here.
     
  5. ToBeInspired
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    ToBeInspired Contributing Member

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    Just looked it up on Wikipedia and I'll be purchasing it if my local library is bereft of it within their selection. Thanks, I feel that you have quite a lot of interest in the same subjects I do. It will be good to learn what I can from you. Creativity is the use of knowledge through imagination. I simply have to further expand myself.
     
  6. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    I remember reading a sci-fi story where ALL the species on one planet could reproduce with any of the others. The intelligent species (well, the females of it!) had developed, with difficulty, by gaining control over who they reproduced with.

    Just a few thoughts below that you'll probably dismiss as closed-minded, but they're points that I think need to be addressed.

    There's a free course (which should still be available) that I took recently which discusses the different compositions and atmospheres of the moons in the solar system, and which might help by telling you current state of the art.
    https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/moons-2/todo/1391

     
  7. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I should mention, Foucault's Pendulum is not sci-fi, it is a intrigue/ mystery/ philosophical novel, so it won't help with research.
     
  8. Michael Pless
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    I went through a similar process a few years ago when I decided to set my novel on a different planet. For some time, I've been a reasonable reader of science-fiction, and found some of the ideas interesting. (One was a rapidly-evolving life-form on a neutron star, I think, though I can't recall the author.) Because I wanted to place people from earth on the planet who would have to live there, breathe the atmosphere, and produce food, I decided to posit an Earth-like world, just not quite so evolved as ours and that obliged me to stick to a biochemistry similar to that of Earth's life-forms. Plus, any sort of exotic biochemistry would require much research and it really would provide little benefit to the overall story.

    In any event, my background in biochemistry and my research made me feel that carbon-based life would be far more likely to exist than others, and I had a good understanding of the principles. If you start with the term "Astrobiology" and go to wikipedia, then you'll get a great start.

    To me, looking at the complexity of life on Earth, and the interdependencies of so many things, I felt I was making a rod for my own back if I elected to go with something that wasn't "familiar" to the readers. While I can allow that many things are possible, I prefer to go with what's likely, but I won't discard a book because it goes against what I would write.
     

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