Life’s burning question: ‘2nd Genesis’ or rock-riding microbes?

Space Science
Saturn Enceladus

MYSTERY WIRE — Consider two extremely remote possibilities:

  • Life, in the form of microbes or some other organic raw material, rode on space rocks from Earth to moons orbiting Jupiter or Saturn, where it survived and developed into cellular organisms.
  • A “Second Genesis” occurred on Jupiter’s moon, with life springing out of native raw materials.

Either way, it’s a hard sell. But scientist are busy answering the questions produced by both theories.

Space.com posits that it’s so unlikely that asteroids, comets or meteors transferred life to one of these moons that “Second Genesis” is the more likely event. Scientists looked at the paths and the speed that rocks would have to take to transfer life to these moons.

There are other theories on how life begins on a planet or moon.

There’s a bit of a disconnect between the search for conditions favorable to life, and the existence of life in the first place.

But if either case proves true, the implications for the existence of life elsewhere in the universe would seem to be that life is probably quite common.

And throw in another variable: time.

We have never witnessed events that would explain the transfer of life between planetary systems. Nor have we seen events that created life from inorganic matter. But time has only hidden from us the events that might have produced life, and when it might have happened.

The sun was not always this hot, and different conditions on planets are directly related to temperatures created by the sun’s heat. Conditions on Mars may have been just right for familiar life forms in the past … maybe that’s where life on Earth originated.

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