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“Impossible” for life to start on Earth? Thus, panspermia theory gains new traction?

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Not, it seems, from fresh evidence but from fresh frustration, according to this National Geographic News article:

A long-debated and often-dismissed theory known as “panspermia” got new life in the past week, as two scientists separately proposed that early Earth lacked some chemicals essential to forming life, while early Mars likely had them.

“Basically, we went looking on Mars because the origins-of-life options on Earth just aren’t looking very good,” Benner said.

(We have covered Benner’s hypothesis that the elements boron and molybdenum from Mars were key player here. )

The reemergence of the theory of panspermia is intertwined with progress (or lack of progress) in a long-term scientific quest to find out how life began on Earth, a question that synthetic biology experts such as Benner have been working on for decades. Despite some advances, the field has come up against chemical walls that are proving impossible to climb.

Well, the problem is that the fact that origin of life is considered impossible on Earth doesn’t add to the possibility that it arose on Mars. Some faint suggestions that a Mars origin have been advanced, but Benner adds,

“A panspermia solution, after all, produces another panspermia problem,” he said. “If a Martian microbe did make it from Mars to Earth, maybe it would be as if it landed in Eden. But just as likely, it would quickly die.”

Now that he mentions it, there is little reason to expect life from Mars to just accidentally take root in a quite different atmosphere unless design can be factored in. That is why atheists such as Fred Hoyle and Francis Crick toyed with the idea that intelligent aliens were involved. They understood the problems better than their detractors.

Here’s Steve Benner arguing for Mars:

See also: Extremely hardy animal, the water bear, proposed for testing on Mars mission.

Hat tip: Dennis Jones, Intelligent Design Facebook page

Well, it looks like the game may be over for Mars. But don't lose hope, there's a zillion zillion other planets out there, surely ;) http://www.space.com/22862-mars-methane-missing-curiosity-rover.html PeterJ
Why is the video documentary apparently done by a speech synthesizer, do you think? A Martian self-publicizing? Jon Garvey
I'm really happy they are giving good press to this panspermia stuff. I think it strengthens our position all the more. Seems like a hard sell even tho they gave it a scientific sounding name to mask the folly of it. tjguy
News, finding materials and molecules just scratches the surface. The big one is the organisation, codes, algorithms and implementation machines of life, properly arranged to give a metabolic automaton with an associated von Neumann Kinematic Self Replicator coding for the automaton. Until we see clear evidence of blind chemicals in a warm pond or the like spontaneously forming such, we have every reason to see the known cause of codes, algorithms and implementing systems to have been at work, design. On fundamentally simple inductive reasoning backed up here by the config space analysis that tells us an observed universe full of the materials is nowhere near enough resources to make spontaneous formation even remotely plausible. This latest is just a grudging acknowledgement of problems, while refusing to engage what abundant evidence right under our noses is telling us. KF kairosfocus
Anything is possible, except God. I wonder.... So when will the day finally come when we will actually acknowledge that God did in fact do it.... I guess as long as we can conjure up excuses, never...... Andre

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