Panspermia

Where does life originate on our planet? Beyond the religious debates, dip into the scientific hypothesis of how life begins. You may have heard the theory that life happened by chance in the primordial ooze and evolved from there, on our own planet Earth. What if life didn’t originate here but came from somewhere else, spreading like a weed or a virus?

Wikipedia: Panspermia

The hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by meteoroids, asteroids, and planetoids.

Panspermia proposes that life that can survive the effects of space, such as extremophile bacteria, become trapped in debris that’s ejected into space after collisions between planets that harbor life and Small Solar System Bodies (SSSB). Bacteria may travel dormant for an extended amount of time before colliding randomly with other planets or intermingling with protoplanetary discs. If met with ideal conditions on the new planets’ surfaces, the bacteria become active and the process of evolution begins.[1] Panspermia is not meant to address how life began, just the method that may cause its sustenance.

The related but distinct idea of exogenesis (Greek: ἔξω (exo, “outside”) and γένεσις (genesis, “origin”)) is a more limited hypothesis that proposes life on Earth was transferred from elsewhere in the Universe but makes no prediction about how widespread it is. Because the term “exogenesis” is more well-known, it tends to be used in reference to what should strictly speaking be called panspermia.

How would panspermia change things, if it were true? If life could come to Earth this way, what else arrived way back then or in the time since? Could there be dragons, mermaids, Loch Ness Monsters which are in fact the very aliens we have been looking for? What life might be hidden from us, going along happily unknown to us and not knowing much about us either? Deep in the oceans, far away in some ancient forest where even the sunlight rarely penetrates, what lurks in the back of beyond or just too small for us to see?

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