Is there Martian life on Earth?
For ages, people have been saying that life began in the 60s. Archaeologists brighten up at the life that the Bronze Age put into their digs. Eons ago, the dinosaurs possibly had the idea that reptilian life began with the thecodonts. Now, some rumour has begun that early life originated on Mars. Just how much crazier can it get? We will all probably have to go out and discover an alternative universe now, in order to trace our ancestry even further back!
The Martian theory, just to pick on one, has the Dahliesque plot that a molybdenum oxide was able to promote life-creating chemical formation on Mars, because oxygen was then almost absent from the earth. Heat + light + organic compounds need molybdenum or borates in the mix before they can turn into appropriate ribose sugars (to make ribose-nucleic acid or RNA). Earth being covered in water, the less watery neighbouring planet was more suitable for RNA production, as that compound reacts with water too readily.
How did the life-forming chemical arrive on this blue and pleasant land? Presumably the transport situation then was less congested than we have at present. A volcanic eruption or a passing meteorite, such as the Martian Allan Hills meteorite in Antarctica has to be imagined sending the magical ribose or its precursors 4 billion years ago.
This particular meteorite is in the right place but at the wrong time, as despite the correct age, it was a little late arriving here, at 13,000 years ago. The theory was advanced by the revered Professor Steven Benner of the Westheimer Institute, at the Annual Goldschmidt Conference of the European Geochemical Society.
Let the conjecture begin. Maybe life will begin properly in the 2060s?
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