Ich Bin Ein Martian

We see these origin of life stories every once in a while that will claim that life originated on Mars.  In this case, it’a a chemist claiming that a certain mineral necessary to create life could only be found in the necessary concentrations on Mars.  So, yeah, we’re all Martians now.  Or something like that.

Panspermia, the idea that Earth was fertilized with life by rocks from other planets, isn’t a new concept, but the idea that a specific mineral is necessary to create life is something I’ve never heard of.  If true, wouldn’t it be more likely that a large chunk of that mineral made it to Earth and allowed the transition from inorganic to organic material to happen on Earth?  Isn’t that a far more likely event than a rock from Mars filled with microbes is able to make it through the vaccuum of space and land on Earth without killing the microbes?

Despite the fact that I find the whole “we are Martians” very hard to believe, I love science like this.  It’s important to make these comparisons.  It may not lead to where you thought you were going, but it may lead somewhere even better than you originally hoped or it could be a dead end.  Science is full of dead ends.  But once branches of discovery open, they tend to blossom into dazzling new avenues of understanding which push our knowledge of life, the universe, and everything farther and farther.