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Is there any possible way for alien life to be based on a dark matter biochemistry or at least be dependent on it in some way?

To clarify things: I am trying to base this on what is currently known about dark matter.

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    $\begingroup$ @TimBII Actually, considering we have infrared telescopes (and those are some of our best telescopes), Dark Matter is specifically limited to matter that doesn't have black body radiation, which ALL matter we have experience with has black body radiation. This means it's not just simple dust or rogue planets. $\endgroup$ – liljoshu Apr 17 '18 at 23:33
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    $\begingroup$ @TimBII Any matter that -has- heat (as in, anything other than absolute zero) emits black body radiation. Dark Matter does not emit black body radiation, but also it can't be absolute zero (mere starlight is enough to warm above absolute zero). Therefore, there has to be something exotic about dark matter. $\endgroup$ – liljoshu Apr 17 '18 at 23:58
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    $\begingroup$ Ladies and gentlemen, we're getting way too hung up on the OP's use of the title "dark matter." Let's call it "Hank" and move on to answering his question. $\endgroup$ – JBH Apr 18 '18 at 0:31
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    $\begingroup$ Once you invent your own physics and your own "shadow universe" and forms of matter it's entirely up to you to decide how that works. As written your question literally amounts to "invent the physics and biochemistry of an entirely different universe for me and invent the universe too". $\endgroup$ – StephenG Apr 18 '18 at 1:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Asmodeius we know next to nothing. Answer based on current knowledge is "we don't know". It's like trying to figure out subatomic particles by watching night sky with a naked eye - not exactly, but similar gap between what we know and what you ask. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Apr 18 '18 at 11:46
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Not made from the dark matter we have evidence for.

We've never observed dark matter directly, only indirectly. What we have seen is evidence that some kind of matter exists which does not interact with ordinary matter or with itself except by means of gravity. The stuff we've seen evidence of does not interact via the strong or weak interactions and -- most importantly -- neither does it interact by electromagnetism.

Given that, there does not seem to be any way for dark matter particles to attach themselves in clumps and build up atoms and chemistry. And without that, there appears to be no way to build the complex chemistry and structures of life.

We don't know a lot about dark matter yet -- and there is a significant, but respected minority of physicists who think that the evidence for dark matter is so weak that we shouldn't even say we have indirect knowledge. But whatever-it-is that we're observing, it's not at all like an invisible form of ordinary matter, and probably can't evolve life.

(After the edit:) That's the story about the real dark matter.

The dark matter you've invented has whatever properties you've given it and there's no way that we can say yea or nay to your question.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your answer addresses the complexity of matter, but not the ease at which life can emerge even using the strangest of mediums. $\endgroup$ – liljoshu Apr 18 '18 at 0:17
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think you understand the nature of dark-matter-as-we-know-it. It doesn't interact with itself it doesn't form atoms, it doesn't form molecules, and it doesn't form more complex structures, so it can't form life. You need magic for this, not physics. $\endgroup$ – Mark Olson Apr 18 '18 at 0:28
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    $\begingroup$ @liljoshu You just dumped three incredibly vague ideas ( new type of matter, new universe, new physics) on people and expect them to tell you how it all works ? Ridiculous. How would anyone but you know anything about your shadow universe and shadow physics and shadow matter ? Mark's answer is as good as you can expect from the vagueness of your question. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Apr 18 '18 at 1:20
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkOlson First off, you don't need atoms for life. You need atoms for [i]cellular[/i] life, there's a huge difference. Further, dark matter IS known to be affected by gravity and exerts gravity, thus it can interact. Whether or not it's likely for dark matter to for life is questionable, but it meets all the critera for if it -can-. $\endgroup$ – liljoshu Apr 18 '18 at 2:04
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    $\begingroup$ @StephenG These aren't incredibly vague ideas, they've been in physics for decades at this point. Look up Cosmological natural selection, look up the criteria for life (especially mementic entities to give you an idea of the breadth covered, as explained by Dawkings decades ago), look up current research on dark matter. These are all fairly concrete concepts. Just because you're not up to date is no reason to go blaming things on shadows. $\endgroup$ – liljoshu Apr 18 '18 at 2:06
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If your willing to take some liberties and accept theory as fact for your story (or what ever your using this for) you could have a weak force metabolizing WIMP based life-form. It is theorized that WIMPs make up dark matter and since they and the weak-force go hand and hand so well, it could be an opportunity for a very alien creature. And if you aren’t familiar with the weak force then it is basically what cause particle radiation. When the strong force isn’t strong enough to overpower it in the nucleus of an atom it breaks off the subatomic particles of atoms. The weak force is surprising similar to the electromagnetic force (which is what our metabolism uses) so it could work. So yes life based on dark matter could work, this is just an example.

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All life needs to develop is a pattern that can replicate and the ability to do so imperfectly. Given those two features, life can eventually emerge in any system, from normal solid matter, to plasma, to whole universes, to idea-based life(aside: idea-based entities, aka mementic entities are WEIRD).

Dark Matter has been shown to exist in clumps in the universe meaning it can form patterns, and they're not perfect is symmetry, so they can be imperfect. So the answer is yes, the main questions are how likely it is, and what mechanisms under which might it function? Could it develop complex life, or are we talking something the size of a galaxy necessary to achieve the awareness of an Ameoba? Or something the size of an Ameoba wit the awareness of an entire city of people? Those questions we don't have answers to, as we don't know enough about extraterrestrial matter-based lifeforms, let alone know enough about how necessary properties would emerge in exotic matter types we don't understand yet.

That said, 'biochemistry' probably doesn't play into it, as chemistry as we know it relies on the matter we're familiar with.

But still, although we don't know the details, the answer is "Yes".

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  • $\begingroup$ Dark matter has yet to be proven. Even NASA's own announcement of "direct proof" of dark matter admits that it's nothing more than the "strongest evidence yet." Despite all of history proving that science today is only a snapshot of the whole truth, we continue to believe science today is "the answer." Dark matter remains just a theory that reconciles empirical observation with the mathematics of orbital mechanics as we understand it today. $\endgroup$ – JBH Apr 18 '18 at 0:29
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH Your link is over a decade old. NASA didn't know much about dark matter back then. Dark matter was only discovered about two decades ago, so the amount of research is literally doubled since your article. For example... $\endgroup$ – liljoshu Apr 18 '18 at 2:12
  • $\begingroup$ From the article you link, "Many lines of reasoning suggest that the dark matter consists of some new, as yet undiscovered, weakly interacting massive particle." (Emphasis mine.) It doesn't matter how deep the research pile is, dark matter has not been proven to exist. Note that this should not bother anyone. Dark matter is simply a placeholder for a behavior we can't explain. We will either prove it exists, or we will improve our ability to explain the behvior. Either result is super cool! But to be married to the idea of one over the other is simply foolish. $\endgroup$ – JBH Apr 18 '18 at 3:24

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