Physicochemical Requirements Inferred for Chemical Self-Organization Hardly Support an Emergence of Life in the Deep Oceans of Icy Moons
An approach to the origin of life, focused on the property of entities capable of reproducing themselves far from equilibrium, has been developed recently. Independently, the possibility of the emergence of life in the hydrothermal systems possibly present in the deep oceans below the frozen crust of some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn has been raised. The present report is aimed at investigating the mutual compatibility of these alternative views. In this approach, the habitability concept deduced from the limits of life on Earth is considered to be inappropriate with regard to emerging life due to the requirement for an energy source of sufficient potential (equivalent to the potential of visible light). For these icy moons, no driving force would have been present to assist the process of emergence, which would then have had to rely exclusively on highly improbable events, thereby making the presence of life unlikely on these Solar System bodies, that is, unless additional processes are introduced for feeding chemical systems undergoing a transition toward life and the early living organisms.