In which case, says an astrobiologist, the origin of life may be quite a bit easier than many of us envision:
Two newly published papers underline how important the process of panspermia—the transport of organic material and possibly even microbes through space—is to astrobiology. The first paper, by Michel Nuevo from NASA’s Ames Research Center and colleagues, shows how DNA-related molecules (sugars of DNA and their derivatives) can be produced in space when ultraviolet light hits mixtures of water ice and methanol. The researchers found some of those derivatives in carbon-rich meteorites on Earth, which shows not only that these building blocks of life can be synthesized in deep space, but also that they can be transported to a planetary surface, where they could play a role in constructing cells. In fact, this may have happened on our own planet about 4 billion years ago. Dirk Schulze-Makuch, “It Came From the Heavens” at AirSpaceMag
But then, we are back where we started. After all these hundreds of millions of years, where are They?
If the thesis were to work as a general thesis instead of a stopgap suggestion, it must address that as well.
See also: Planets with oxygen not necessarily good candidates for ET life
What Earth vs Mars can teach us about fine tuning
Light-loving cyanobacteria found, improbably, nearly 2,000 feet underground
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