In an offhand remark, The Expanse claims that other forms of life are possible, such as forms based on silicon rather than carbon. How plausible is that? And what else would need to be in place? You'd need liquid water, for one. In fact, a whole bunch of things would need to fall exactly into place. Things that are on the one hand rare - but given the enormous numbers of stars and exoplanets would still occur many times. So where are all the aliens?
In this podcast, Gil and Rutger talk about habitability and the origin of life. Rutger is an evolutionary biologist at the national natural history museum, Naturalis, and Leiden University, both in The Netherlands. He probably knows a little bit about the topic. Gil, on the other hand, knows a lot about watching shows and asking the right questions. Together they scan the popular culture for science and history topics.
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