Those who have read my recent questions posted here will have noticed that my questions are often related to hardcore biochemistry, atmospheric processes etc. While I have had some good answers to parts of these I would like to solicit suggestions as to what other Q+A sites and/or forums might be better equipped to handle the highly technical and scientific aspects of my xenobiology queries.

My generally weak areas of knowledge tend to be in biology/biochemstry, geology and astronomy. I find that the answers on this site relating to astronomy/planetology/geology are pretty high quality and sufficient for my worldbuilding needs but I think I need somewhere more specialist for the xenobiology questions.

Can anyone recommend where to take questions about the metabolic capabilities of dimethylsulfonium proprionate, for example? It would need to be a site that is comfortable with fielding questions about hypothetical xenobiology from non-practitioners (e.g. non academics). I realise there are other stack exchanges that might fit the bill but want to take input from those that have used them or other resources.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think this is perfectly on-topic if we look at it as a resource request. The answer should probably also be applied to the tag wiki. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Sep 18 '15 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ @James It's not clear if it's on-topic, probably : meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/2542/… $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Sep 18 '15 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ I did wonder if people would regard it as on topic. I feel that it is, because its about worldbuilding resources. It is not a question purely about biochemsitry. $\endgroup$
    – rumguff
    Sep 18 '15 at 18:43

Best resource I know of (contains lots of useful related other stuff too) is actually a book called Xenology, by Robert A. Freitas Jr. It has been posted online in full by the author. A little bit is dated, but a very thorough walkthrough regardless.

Look to
Chapter 6. A Definition of Life,
Chapter 7. The Origin of Life,
Chapter 8. Exotic Biochemistries,
Chapter 10. Alien Bioenergetics.

Hope it helps!

  • $\begingroup$ Xenobiology.info was my best option too. I couldn't find a forum for it though. $\endgroup$
    – Green
    Sep 25 '15 at 13:13

Another resource is Speculative Evolution. It's a website where a bunch of people collected resources for Xenology over the past few years.


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