We may all be Martians: New research supports theory that life started on Mars

MartiansNew evidence has emerged which supports the long-debated theory that life on Earth may have started on Mars.

Professor Steven Benner will tell geochemists gathering today (Thursday 29 Aug) at the annual Goldschmidt conference that an oxidized mineral form of the element molybdenum, which may have been crucial to the origin of life, could only have been available on the surface of Mars and not on Earth. “In addition”, said Professor Benner “recent studies show that these conditions, suitable for the origin of life, may still exist on Mars.”

“It’s only when molybdenum becomes highly oxidized that it is able to influence how early life formed,” explains Professor Benner, from The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in the USA. “This form of molybdenum couldn’t have been available on Earth at the time life first began, because three billion years ago the surface of the Earth had very little oxygen, but Mars did. It’s yet another piece of evidence which makes it more likely life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than starting on this planet.”

via We may all be Martians: New research supports theory that life started on Mars.

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2 Responses to We may all be Martians: New research supports theory that life started on Mars

  1. Anonymous says:

    It is not “yet another piece of evidence” but really “yet another piece of wild speculation”. Lokk out for the “possibly”, “may” and “might” in the professor’s claim. Most of the oxygen on earth is generally agreed to be of biogenic origin, so how come Mars had a supposedly oxygen-rich atmosphere?
    Here are a few simple questions.
    1. Q. Where is the only place that life is known to exist for sure? A. The Earth
    2. Q. Where is the most likely place for that life to have originated? A. The earth. (Oh no, it must have started somewhere else, where there is no shred of evidence that life exists now, or ever existed there in the past)

    Scientists have long favoured a general principle known as Occam’s Razor. I shall spare you the medieval Latin, but it says that the simplest and most straightforward explanation is likely to be the correct one.

    This entire debate reminds me of a piece by David Sedaris the American humourous writer, David’s father was vey critical of the boy, and grudging in giving praise. He continually enthused about one of David’s classmates and his swimming ability. One day, David was able to say to his father, “I beat the other boy in a swimming race today.” His father would not at first believe him. When David persisted, his father muttered, “May be the boy had an off day.” Anything, anything rather than congratulate his own son.
    Anything, anything rather than admit the idea that the life on earth today originated right here.

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