Did Life on Earth Begin on Mars?


It is no secret that Mars was once rich with water and could have supported life. Now new evidence, at least to some, that Mars may once have been more hospitable to life than the Earth was. The suggestion is not that complex, highly developed life evolved on Mars and then deliberately travelled to Earth. However it is possible that simple life may have begun there and that life was then transferred to Earth via meteorite (or something similar) prior to Mars losing its atmosphere.

From the BBC:
"Details of the theory were outlined by Prof Steven Benner at the Goldschmidt Meeting in Florence, Italy.

Scientists have long wondered how atoms first came together to make up the three crucial molecular components of living organisms: RNA, DNA and proteins.

The molecules that combined to form genetic material are far more complex than the primordial "pre-biotic" soup of organic (carbon-based) chemicals thought to have existed on the Earth more than three billion years ago, and RNA (ribonucleic acid) is thought to have been the first of them to appear.

Simply adding energy such as heat or light to the more basic organic molecules in the "soup" does not generate RNA. Instead, it generates tar."

I don't know yet whether the theory will prove to be true, but I kinda hope it is. I like the idea that we are all the Martian invaders that early science fiction writers feared and that when and if we build a Mars colony we are just 'going home'.

Hopefully, at the very least, this will give NASA a better idea of what to look for when the next Mars probe is sent.
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