Amidst all the BS research claiming evidence of alien life on meteorites coming out of hackish journals with embarrassing websites, a new article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences may not argue for the existence of aliens in our solar system, but does make the claim that the origin of life on Earth may have come from elsewhere. While this idea is not new, it has started to gain more traction.
Life evolved out of the primordial soup of the early Earth, but it’s not clear where the necessary organic ingredients of that soup came from. Some argue that lightning impacts and other gnarly natural events shocked organic molecules into existence, like some kind of abiogenic alarm clock. Others, like Sandra Pizzarello and her team, argue that the necessary chemicals literally fell from the sky.
Pizzarello (et al) discovered abundant amounts of ammonia, which is a byproduct of organic chemicals (and is also in your pee), in a sample of an asteroid that landed in Antarctica. The ammonia findings, combined with traces of amino acids, point to the possibility that a similar parcel of DNA-making goodies may have landed here some 4 billion years ago and delivered the necessary ingredients for the genesis. They write:
Given that meteorites and comets have reached the Earth since it formed, it has been proposed that the exogenous influx from these bodies provided the organic inventories necessary for the emergence of life…an abundant exogenous delivery of ammonia, therefore, might have been significant in aiding early Earth’s molecular evolution toward prebiotic syntheses and the data in this study, showing the capability of some asteroidal bodies to provide it, would make a reasonable case for exobiology.
Whoa… exobiology. That word is usually used in reference to aliens. Though if this “asteroids-caused-the-birth-of-life” stuff is true, doesn’t that kinda make us aliens?