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A former member
Post #: 1,072
For a long time I've subscribed to the theory that human life originated from another planet. And now there's more evidence to back that theory up!

It's a long article but a good read. Enjoy, fellow Martians!

Life may have started on Mars before arriving on Earth, a major scientific conference has heard.

New research supports an idea that the Red Planet was a better place to kick-start biology billions of years ago than the early Earth was.

The evidence is based on how the first molecules necessary for life were assembled.

Details of the theory were outlined by Prof Steven Benner at the Goldschmidt Meeting in Florence, Italy.

Scientists have long wondered how atoms first came together to make up the three crucial molecular components of living organisms: RNA, DNA and proteins.

The molecules that combined to form genetic material are far more complex than the primordial "pre-biotic" soup of organic (carbon-based) chemicals thought to have existed on the Earth more than three billion years ago, and RNA (ribonucleic acid) is thought to have been the first of them to appear.

Simply adding energy such as heat or light to the more basic organic molecules in the "soup" does not generate RNA. Instead, it generates tar.

RNA needs to be coaxed into shape by "templating" atoms at the crystalline surfaces of minerals.

The minerals most effective at templating RNA would have dissolved in the oceans of the early Earth, but would have been more abundant on Mars, according to Prof Benner.

This could suggest that life started on the Red Planet before being transported to Earth on meteorites, argues Prof Benner, of the Westheimer Institute of Science and Technology in Gainesville, US.

The idea that life originated on Mars and was then transported to our planet has been mooted before. But Prof Benner's ideas add another twist to the theory of a Martian origin for the terrestrial biosphere.

Here in Florence, Prof Benner presented results that suggest minerals containing the elements boron and molybdenum are key in assembling atoms into life-forming molecules.

The researcher points out that boron minerals help carbohydrate rings to form from pre-biotic chemicals, and then molybdenum takes that intermediate molecule and rearranges it to form ribose, and hence RNA.

This raises problems for how life began on Earth, since the early Earth is thought to have been unsuitable for the formation of the necessary boron and molybdenum minerals.

It is thought that the boron minerals needed to form RNA from pre-biotic soups were not available on early Earth in sufficient quantity, and the molybdenum minerals were not available in the correct chemical form.

Prof Benner explained: "It’s only when molybdenum becomes highly oxidised that it is able to influence how early life formed.

"This form of molybdenum couldn’t have been available on Earth at the time life first began, because three billion years ago, the surface of the Earth had very little oxygen, but Mars did.

"It’s yet another piece of evidence which makes it more likely life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than starting on this planet."

Early Mars is also thought to have had a drier environment, and this is also crucial to its favourable location for life's origins.

"What’s quite clear is that boron, as an element, is quite scarce in Earth’s crust," Prof Benner told BBC News, “but Mars has been drier than Earth and more oxidising, so if Earth is not suitable for the chemistry, Mars might be.

"The evidence seems to be building that we are actually all Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock," he commented.

"It’s lucky that we ended up here, nevertheless - as certainly Earth has been the better of the two planets for sustaining life. If our hypothetical Martian ancestors had remained on Mars, there may not have been a story to tell."­
Georgi L.
London, GB
Post #: 1,867
Yay! I don't really know why, but that strikes me as rather cool. Perhaps it's cool because it further brings into disrepute the babble's Qu'ran etc's 'teachings' ? Anyway, I like the thought of us being Martians - have always felt the best people are aliens on this planet anyway, lol.
A former member
Post #: 327
This report is clearly a fabrication by the scientific conspiracy as the Bible says nothing about Mars.
London, GB
Post #: 222
I was going to post on this article this morning but ran out of time before my brain needed to turn to stuff like work, but mostly because this article set my skeptical teeth grinding.

This theory could well be true, BUT it doesn't seem that persuasive, given the various quotes. Boron and molybdenum may make the formation of the first replicator more likely, but given the eons of time available, I would have thought the relative probabilities would become largely irrelevant, like the size of a mouse and an elephant make no odds when viewed from the moon. If he showed that the necessary reactions were completely impossible without these elements, then that would be something else, but that isn't what is being claimed.

The thing that really grated though was the way this is a completely uncritical account of one scientist's presentation at a conference. How was the presentation received? Did the other experts think it was plausible? Is Professor Brenner known for other highly speculative theories? I would really have expected a BBC science correspondent to have found at least one comment from someone else in the field? When it comes to politics and other controversial ideas they can't get enough "balance" but I think this became a top 5 story on their site despite seeming to be little more than a regurgitated press release.

And of course I am not sure where having life hop between nearby planets really gets us, plausible and intriguing though the idea is. It certainly doesn't explain how life got started and that's surely what we all really want to know.
A former member
Post #: 1,074
I find your planetary bigotry offensive. My people have a right to be recognised. As proud Martians, we will not tolerate such alienphobia. You have to respect our culture and history.
Guildford, GB
Post #: 761
So life invented interplanetary travel before we did?
And some scientific guys decide that Mars was more conducive to the creation of life than Earth was when we don't understand how it started anyway. I'll wait for a decade or two, there'll be another hypothesis by then.
London, GB
Post #: 225
I find your planetary bigotry offensive. My people have a right to be recognised. As proud Martians, we will not tolerate such alienphobia. You have to respect our culture and history.
Bloody Martians. They come over 'ere, with their microscopic alien ways, stealing our ecological niches. biggrin
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