I had an exchange recently that brought up the subject of life on comets and its implications for ID. As I reviewed the work on comets, it brought up some surprising connections that I had not seen before. I thought it was worthy of a blog, though somewhat old material. The correspondent complained that comets carrying bacteria do not explain the origin of life.
It wasn’t comets. This is like Carl Sagan saying we came from some other place. Well where did that other place come from!
I tend to agree with you, comets don’t really solve the origin of life. They merely move it to a distant place. I was as surprised as you that comets had fossilized life on them, I felt like the theoretical physicist I. I. Rabi who was confronted with the experimental discovery of the muon and remarked “Who ordered that particle?” It’s reminiscent of Arthur C Clarke’s “Rendezvous with Rama“, or Fred Hoyle’s “Black Cloud“. In other words, bad science fiction. In fact, when I heard from Dr Richard Hoover that he’d found these fossils (spie04.pdf) my first attempt was to disprove him by demonstrating that comets can’t have liquid water on them. I ended proving him right in more ways than he had anticipated; not only can comets have liquid water, they can’t avoid it, and most of their celestial dynamics is controlled by liquid water. (spie05.pdf) Weird.