I have always had thoughts about extraterrestrial life and I wonder why researchers largely compare the conditions for existence of life to that on the Earth?

Is it impossible that on a remote planet, completely different elements exist (like Hydrogen and Carbon on the Earth) that allow the life there to withstand temperatures that we have not ever measured and the molecular structures have a composition that we have not ever imagined?

For example, think about a planet that has conditions that are not even close to hot and cold, atmosphere that does not have pressure and there is no water, air, ice etc. that we know about. But there is an atmosphere made up of something else that supports life made up of completely different elements (mentioned above) under those circumstances?

Am I correct to think in this way?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Yashas, Jon Custer, peterh, sammy gerbil, John Rennie Mar 1 '17 at 9:57

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I agree with you, but this is an opinion question, as we can only guess and is not a physics question. I would look around the other stack exchange sites where similar questions to yours are dealt with, possibly worldbuilding SE, I am not sure which is the correct one sorry $\endgroup$ – user146020 Feb 28 '17 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Qmechanic Why the down vote? $\endgroup$ – banavalikar Feb 28 '17 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ @banavalikar: I did not vote yet . $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Feb 28 '17 at 12:50
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    $\begingroup$ "Every piece of research"? $\endgroup$ – Rob Jeffries Feb 28 '17 at 14:51
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    $\begingroup$ "atmosphere that does not have pressure," "different elements" In other words, a planet where basic principles of physics and chemistry which, with good evidence, work throughout the physical universe, have no meaning. This is not a physics question. $\endgroup$ – Bill N Feb 28 '17 at 18:38

We compare it to life on earth because life on earth is what we know. We have no definitive knowledge of life on any other planet. We can not compare it to life on mars because we do not have an absolute understanding of life on mars, past or present. We are only aware of how life on our hydrogen carbon based planet came to be. ( and we are still learning more as we expand with the universe.)

We would only be able to speculate on what life would be like on non hydrogen carbon based planet. ( IMHO, we do not even know if life on an exact duplicate of of earth would evolve the same way.)

We also effectively have blinders on, we have no comprehension of all the other dimensions that may or may not be all around us.


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