MadSci Network: Evolution

Subject: Is the panspermia hypothesis credible?

Date: Mon Jun 5 16:47:05 2000
Posted by Hakan Lindgren
Grade level: nonaligned School: No school entered.
City: Vallingby State/Province: No state entered. Country: Sweden
Area of science: Evolution
ID: 960238025.Ev

Some believe that the Earth was "seeded" with life from space - living 
cells or the molecules needed for life to start travelled here inside 
comets or asteroids. This is called the panspermia hypothesis; Francis 
Crick is one of its supporters. A variation of this theory is that life 
first originated on Mars and pieces of Martian rock, blasted off by 
asteroid impacts, rained down on Earth, bringing life to our planet.
  Is this hypothesis credible? I guess a very large amount of amino acids 
(or other organic molecules) must have been brought here if Earth was 
"seeded" from outer space - could this really have happened the way Crick 
and others believe? Space is mostly empty, would enough 
life-carrying asteroids be able to hit us? Wouldn't anything inside an 
asteroid or a comet be destroyed when it hit the ground?   And what about 
the harsh conditions in space - anything travelling to us would be exposed 
to extreme cold, vacuum and radiation for millions of years.
  Are there other flaws in this theory?  How is the panspermia hypothesis 
viewed by the majority of scientists? Is it criticized, considered 
interesting, or accepted? Please be as comprehensive as possible in your 

Re: Is the panspermia hypothesis credible?

Current Queue | Current Queue for Evolution | Evolution archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Evolution.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2000. All rights reserved.