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How did life on Earth get started? Did life on Earth originate on another planet? Either Mars, or in a distant solar system? Could Earth life have spread to have seeded life elsewhere? Let’s see what modern science has to say about the plausibility of panspermia.
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'Oumuamua Is Not Aliens
Hosted by Matt O'Dowd
Written by Matt O'Dowd
Graphics by Luke Maroldi
Assistant Editing and Sound Design by Mike Petrow
Made by Kornhaber Brown (www.kornhaberbrown.com)
Life existing on Earth is odd. The oldest fossils are now dated to only a few hundred million years after the moment Earth first became habitable. Is it really reasonable to imagine that evolution turned an unliving chemical soup into the first true living cells in that geological eye-blink? Well, maybe. But the discovery of the early appearance of life on Earth was definitely a big “huh, that’s weird” moment. And it’s inspired some creative thinking. For example, what if the first genesis of life – abiogenesis – is actually incredibly unlikely – so unlikely that it only happened once in the entire galaxy. And that “once” was not on Earth. What if primitive life arrived on Earth after having traveled vast distances across the Milky Way. Some scientists think this is the case. This is the Panspermia hypothesis.
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