View Full Version : Martian origin "widely accepted"? Really?

Professor Tanhauser
2011-Apr-29, 11:45 AM
I'm sorry to ask such a vague question here but recently I was searching for data on another topic and came across a reference I didn't have time to fully memorize, but it stated that the theory that life on earth began as a result of martian tektite carrying organisms from mars to earth long ago.

Uh, this has been widely accepted? Really? I'm not sure. Does anyone here know about it being widely accepted?

2011-Apr-29, 12:25 PM
No, this theory (sometimes known as 'ballistic panspermia') is not widely accepted, but nether is it entirely discounted either. The idea is that life may have been transferred between planets in the Solar System within rocks which were propelled into space by impacts during the early history of the system.

If we find examples of life very similar to Earth-life elsewhere in our system, then the theory of ballistic panspermia begins to look more likely. However the original location of the origin of life within our system may need to be reconsidered; because of the high escape velocity of Earth, it is more difficult for a life-bearing rock to be expelled from our planet than elsewhere. So if ballistic panspermia does turn out to be a reality in our system, then the original site of abiogenesis may turn out to have been on Mars, with a lower escape velocity. Or indeed on Europa, or Enceladus, or Ceres, and so on.

This hypothesis is not yet discounted, but at present it merely exists to explain observations that have not been made yet, and which may never be made.

Jeff Root
2011-Apr-29, 05:49 PM
It is an idea which can't be eliminated by the total of
all available evidence, but which seems wildly unllikely.
It just isn't necessary, as far as I can see. Earth seems
like a fine place for life to get started. Plenty of water,
right distance from the Sun, and so forth. No need for
Martians to get involved. If life or fossil evidence of
life on Mars should ever be discovered, I expect that
the hypothesis will be promoted. I think the main thing
it has going for it is that it would be easier for stuff to
be moved from Mars to Earth than from Earth to Mars.
But that isn't a huge plus.

-- Jeff, in Minneaplis

2011-Apr-29, 07:37 PM
Confucius say: If solution seek problem, follow money.