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View Diary: This week in science: Cryo-canyon (17 comments)

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  •  From the Titan piece: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, RiveroftheWest
    Past research suggested Titan has an ocean hidden under its outer icy shell 30 to 120 miles (50 to 200 kilometers) thick. Investigators aim to explore this underground ocean in the hopes of finding alien life on Titan, since virtually wherever there is water on Earth, there is life.
    I thought the ocean on Titan was methane. No links to the "investigators."

    Plus, the "wherever there is water on Earth there is life" idea is often used to imply that therefore if-water-then-life on other planets (Titan works as a planet :) It's like the much-repeated idea that "there is life in extremes on Earth so therefore even in places that are entirely extreme we should look for life." Ok, we of course should look for life everywhere, but these arguments forget that life actually has to get started before it can be found. Life may have evolved such that it can now populate extremes on Earth, but it could easily have required just the opposite for the initial pre-life steps. Evolution can work wonders, but I suspect the origin of life is hugely more challenging to pull off, and a lot pickier about its requirements. Are conditions for the origin of life present anywhere on Titan?

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