Piero Scaruffi(Copyright © 2013 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"
Comets are providing another option: that life may have come from other parts of the universe. It was the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras (fifth century BC) who first speculated that life may have been dispersed as seeds in the universe and eventually landed on Earth ("panspermia").
Spanish biochemist John Oro (“Comets and the formation of biochemical compounds on the primitive Earth”, 1961) hypothesized that all building blocks of life were brought to Earth by comets, a theory later popularized by the Belgian astrophysicist Armand Delsemme. Organic material (from water to methyl alcohol, and even forerunners of DNA’s aminoacids) has been found in the galactic clouds that float among the stars of our galaxy. Interstellar matter seems to be rich in molecules that are needed to create life. Trillions of comets wander through the solar system, and they occasionally approach the Earth. They are soaked with the organic dust picked up from the interstellar void. In other words, comets may have their own role in the vast drama of life, sowing the seeds of life on all the planets they intersect. Comets have been found to contain many if not all the ingredients necessary for life to originate. (Incidentally, comets have been found to carry ice, and no theory of the development of the Earth can account yet for the enormous quantity of water contained in the oceans, unless the water came from somewhere else).
Also, left-handed aminoacids (the kind that life uses) were found in the meteorite fragments that showered Australia in 1969 (including some aminoacids unknown on Earth).
If aminoacids are of extraterrestrial origin and Wachtershauser’s mineral-based chemistry can produce biological compounds, the chain that leads from dead matter to living matter would be completed. But life is also capable of reproduction and inheritance. Moreover, Wachtershauser’s model requires high temperatures, whereas four of the five main components of DNA and RNA (adenine, uracil, guanine, cytosine) are unstable at those temperatures.
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