And clement conditions may have persisted inside some planetesimals for tens of millions of years — perhaps long enough for life to emerge, said [Lindy] Elkins-Tanton, the director of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and the principal investigator of NASA’s upcoming mission to the odd metallic asteroid Psyche…
Life as we know it requires three main ingredients: liquid water, organic molecules and an energy source. Planetesimals, which formed within 1.5 million years of the solar system’s birth, likely featured all three, Elkins-Tanton said. Mike Wall, “Life May Have Evolved Before Earth Finished Forming” at Space.com
This sounds like hype for the Psyche project. But she has a point: Not all planetesimals were necessarily involved in catastrophic collisions.
“This is meant to be just a kind of a thought problem for us all to consider,” Elkins-Tanton said. “Could life actually have arisen on planetesimals? Could there be evidence for life in meteorites that we have not known to look for? And if this is so, how could they have been spread through the solar system — and many, many unanswerable implications of that possibility.”Life May Have Evolved Before Earth Finished Forming” at Space.com
We’re quite happy to consider it, Dr. Elkins-Tanton. But then we must also consider this: If life got started so quickly back then—and there is no evidence of it ever just getting started somehow, time after time, since then—either life was an event triggered from outside nature as we know it or it was implicit in the Big Bang (but that would point to some kind of encoded information). In a finite universe, the closer we get to the beginning of things, the more evident this problem becomes.
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