In 1908, Svante A. Arrhenius proposed that the terrestrial living beings had been originated from living beings developed on other planets far from Earth. However, the scientific hypothesis elaborated by astrobiologists does not refer to microorganisms traveling on meteorites through space and moving towards Earth to colonize it, but merely to the enrichment of the primordial terrestrial chemistry through the input of biomolecules transported by meteorites and comets that crashed on Earth in a specific moment of Earth’s evolution.
The euphoria of panspermia was revived when scientists found organic molecules (mainly amino acids) in meteorites incoming to Earth from other places of our Solar System. Some investigators wondered if the abiotic production of organic monomers on Earth was possible for the origin of terrestrial living beings.
The kind of panspermia proposed by Arrhenius was not possible at the first phases of formation of Earth because the physicochemical conditions of the primitive terrestrial environment would alter the stability of the biomolecules and thus those hostile environmental conditions would inhibit the consolidation of interactive biomolecules. For example, the high temperatures of the primitive Earth would destroy the autocatalytic proteins and the nucleic acids. We should consider that the natural selection also acts on inert chemical structures.
When the Earth cooled off, the probabilities that the chemical substances were maintained stable were optimal, but the cosmic contribution of materials also diminished significantly. Then, as the conditions on Earth were more propitious for the occurrence of chemical reactions, which would generate prebiotic molecules, the source of complex organic materials from space diminished at a level that they would not play an important role in the synthesis of prebiotic molecules.
Thanks to the attenuation of meteorite collisions and interspersion of hot dust, the living beings emerged and flourished on Earth. The probabilities that any wondering extraterrestrial biont for finding a planet with optimal conditions, like the Earth, are one in 200 billion chances.
At present, something changed the system of rational thought and some people invented a strange tale about alien living cells “riding” on meteorites and comets with the purpose of inhabiting our planet, and alien “sowers” that “seeded” the life on our planet and through the whole universe. This assertion is the modern hypothesis of panspermia.
However, panspermists have not carried out any real observation on natural phenomena that could be connected with their hypothesis. The simplest scientific concept demands the observation of natural phenomena. This suggests that Panspermia defenders are suggesting an unverifiable hypothesis, to be precise, an irrefutable hypothesis. If one opens a dissertation with an allegation that is not more than an idea, then the remainder of the scheme could be completely wrong, no matter if it has some flashes of truth.
Panspermists cannot perform an experiment for verifying their hypothesis. It is because it is unverifiable. If there is not observation or experimentation on the proposed phenomena, there will not be a validation of that idea. To validate panspermia, we should have to find tons of living spores at the deep space, and, simply, we must have to find some spores puffed by x-rays winds from Earth atmosphere towards the deep space; but, neither one nor the other phenomena have been observed. Consequently, panspermia hypothesis cannot be demonstrated because there is not physical evidence and observable facts that could provide us with, at least, a feasible cause that generated the idea. Panspermia is not a scientific inquiry.
Panspermists lack of a valid query. What is the initial question? The initial question is what the origin of life on Earth was, or how the life emerged on Earth. If my answer to this question is that the life on Earth originated on other planets, the only thing I am doing is evading the problem because I am not trying to explain how the life emerged on Earth, but giving a very relaxed answer that will keep me away from the inconvenience of explaining how the life emerged on other planets, given that I do not know the primitive environments of those planets where supposedly the living beings appeared for the first time in the universe.
Besides, the panspermia hypothesis is completely confusing. If we detect life on other planets, our findings would not demonstrate that life on Earth came from there. If we find living beings on other planet, the process could have been just the opposite, explicitly, that those organisms detected on other planets could have been taken to there from Earth.
If we find living beings on Mars or other sidereal bodies reached by our satellites, just once, we will not be sure if those living beings would be native extraterrestrial living beings or Terrestrial living beings transported by our own space devices. That would be a crucial dilemma without a plausible, scientific, systematic solution.
ANALYSIS OF PANSPERMIA
A few scientists consider that life was originated in a place of the cosmos out from Earth. This idea differs from other hypothesis of panspermia, which holds that extraterrestrial organic compounds were necessary as the first stage to form life on Earth. Actually, Panspermia is as irrelevant as to play a role in the origin of life on Earth.
Scientists that agree with this hypothesis must to solve the following questions:
- What was the first organism that arrived to Earth? Was it a virus, a bacteria or a protobiont?
- How many extraterrestrial microorganisms were needed for surviving and evolving on Earth?
- Were those organisms similar to the current terrestrial organisms?
- Had they RNA or DNA? The answer to this question is of prominent magnitude, since the organisms that possess DNA do not survive to extreme temperatures, specially to low temperatures, while the organisms with RNA do not survive at temperatures higher than 158 °F. It is not possible for any living being to survive at the extreme temperatures of outer space.
- How did those organisms reach the Earth? To have an organism in a meteorite, it had to support at least four extremely destructive events:
a) The enormous catastrophe that had to occur in the planet of origin, so that the meteorite could be removed from the planet, and could be impelled at an extraordinary speed to reach the Earth.
b) The hostile conditions of the outer space.
c) The severity of the ingress to the terrestrial atmosphere.
d) The aggressive environment of the innkeeper planet.
- Were those organisms more evolved than their earliest ancestors were?
- If they came as spores, did they evolve through millions of years, during their space trip, to be prepared for the hostile Earth? How did they do it without a touch with the Earth's environment?
- How many years did they spend to evolve?
- Did they evolve at space or at their previous home?
- Why does no longer occur that "immaculate rain" of alien microorganisms?
- It would be so clear and evident through the showers of meteorites. A solitary Martian meteorite with fossils of microorganisms adhered on it, which was verified to have originated by inorganic processes, absolutely is not evidence for panspermia.
- Finally, the leading question of the repertoire: HOW DID LIVING BEINGS EMERGE ON THAT PLANET?
IS PANSPERMIA POSSIBLE?
Is panspermia possible? Yes, it is possible, but not by the means that panspermists imagine. Panspermia would be possible only if someone intentionally decided to populate other worlds, for example, if NASA, ESA, or any spatial agency decided to send living beings into well protected spaceships to an habitable planet. The life on Earth emerged on Earth. The idea of the panspermia fails in the following aspects:
1. The time that the supposed extraterrestrial microorganisms would spend for arriving to Earth from the nearest star would be 466,560,000 years. For it could happened, the star where the living beings came from must have started out millions of years before than our Sun; in addition, the life in that planet must have emerged about 500 million years before the formation of Earth. Another controversial issue is that the life on Earth initiated about 800 million years after its consolidation like a planet.
2. Any microorganism that had tolerated the almost-null temperature at the sidereal space (about -454.00 °F, or -270 °C) would not survive an abrupt change of temperature when facing the plasma of Solar Wind (at 269,540.60°F or 149,727 °C) or when entering a planet with a temperature over 212.00 °F (over 100 °C).
3. The arguments that the panspermists wave against the origin of life on Earth apply equally to the idea of the terrestrial life originated in the deep space. Opportunely, our observations on nature and our experiments are providing evidence that supports the theory of the origin of life on Earth.
EVIDENCE SUPPORTING THE ORIGIN OF LIFE ON EARTH (OOLE)
Evidence No. 1: In 1950, Stanley Miller performed an experiment in which he simulated the environment of the primitive Earth. He did to circulate methane and ammonia inside a glass vessel containing heated water and a simulated atmosphere. Then he added an electric discharge. At 24 hours, about 50% of the carbon of the methane had arranged amino acids (the main components of proteins) and other organic molecules.
This experiment has been repeated by many investigators and the results each time are more surprising. It has been shown that almost any source of energy (electricity, volcanic heated dust, light, ultraviolet radiation) would have been able to convert the primitive molecules into an enormous variety of complex organic compounds.
Evidence No. 2: Sidney W. Fox et al. of the University of Miami performed an experiment simulating the primitive conditions of the Earth and they obtained the synthesis of protein-made microspheres, with ability to grow, to self duplication and to perform some chemical processes corresponding to those of living cells.
Evidence No. 3: This is the crushing proof. In agreement with paleontological studies, astronomical studies and explorations carried out by spatial vehicles, it has been verified that Earth is the perfect planet in the Solar System that held the essential conditions for the emergence of life. Besides, it has been demonstrated that Earth is the unique planet in our Solar System giving shelter to life. As has been demonstrated, the supposed microorganisms in the Martian rock are minerals formed through inorganic chemical reaction non-related to biological processes. According to the experiments performed by A. S. Yen et al., the high quantity of inorganic super-oxides and peroxides in Mars' soil provokes the decomposing of the organic molecules (Science, Vol. 289, No. 5486, pp, 1909-1911, issue of September 15, 2000), inhibiting the biological and/or the chemical synthesis and stability of organic compounds in the recognized stratum between the surface and 10 cm under floor (limit of the Viking's drill). Besides, Mars' soil is unusually rich in Sulphur originated by atmospheric chemical processes. (James Farquhar, et al., Evidence of Atmospheric Sulphur in the Martian Regolith from Sulphur Isotopes in Meteorites; Nature, Vol. 404, No. 6773, pp. 50 - 52, issue of 2 March 2000).
Evidence No. 4: Life evolves conveniently on Earth, chemical substances evolves advantageously on Earth, the supplements and the conditions for the evolution of both the life and the chemical substances have always been present in Earth. It does not exist any doubt, as panspermists have done it to believe, about the viability of Earth to give origin and sustenance to life, and to make available the evolution of life.
Evidence No. 5: CLUES IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM. By studying the characteristics of the natural satellites surrounding giant planets, we could understand how our solar system was originated and how life forms originated on Earth. (Read addendum # 3) Titan and Phoebe are natural satellites of Saturn. Titan's atmosphere contains Ammonia, Acetylene, Water and Ethane. Phoebe contains water, minerals and Carbon Dioxide. Jupiter's moon Europe could contain large masses of water and a large variety of organic compounds. This is a clear demonstration that the speculation on that wandering comets brought the fundamental compounds to the primitive Earth is not true. Quite the opposite, it indicates that those organic compounds were produced at the solar nebula. As far as we discover more bodies at the planetary surroundings that were shaped by the same materials of the primeval broth of the Solar System, we collect more facts on support of my theory regarding the origin of living protobionts in the Solar Nebula, the last made possible by water accumulations in fractals. By this, even comets contain water and organic compounds. Comets could hold, but lifeless, protobionts.
Evidence No. 6: Chemical evolution happens still in our days, and living beings's structures repond to a peculiar arrangement of nucleic acids. Panspermia is so adhered to scientific method as creationism (I am not refuting God's existence, which is a different issue more in line with philosophy): both tales lack in affection to pragmatism. Why does no longer occur that "immaculate rain" of extraterrestrial microorganisms? It would be clear and evident in the shower of meteorites. A solitary Martian meteorite with fossils of microorganisms adhered on it, which was verified to have originated by inorganic processes, absolutely is not evidence on support of panspermia.
IS PANSPERMIA A HYPOTHESIS, A THEORY OR A LAW?
October 23, 2003
In many sites of the web, where creationists discuss panspermist ideology, I have found references to panspermia as a hypothesis or a theory. At least in two documents it is identified as a "law".
Are coherent these labels with panspermia? To obtain an answer, it is necessary to define each type of principle from the scientific point of view. Let's examine it.
Hypothesis is a provisional explanation for an observation, event, or scientific problem, susceptible to be tested by supplementary investigation.
The hypothesis should be in harmony with observed events, and it should be based on a series of observed facts; however, hypothesis could be proven or unproven. To know if a statement is false or true, the hypothesis should be submitted to a repeatable test, called "experimentation".
The effects we are expecting from our hypothesis should tolerate a scrupulous evaluation; this is to say, the probable anticipated effects should be quantifiable. If there is not a proper methodology to measure the results, the hypothesis will be inadequate and it will be useless. A hypothesis is a well-informed conjecture established on the results we consider we will detect by the implementation of an experiment.
For example: I am resting down on grass at my backyard. Then, I see a strange insect climbing my left arm. I ask myself if the insect is or not a dangerous species.
By the features of the bug, I think that it is a dangerous insect. This answer to my question is a hypothesis; therefore it is a provisional answer, which can be false or true until it is verified through experimentation.
To carry out my research, I let the bug to walk on my skin. I make a decision on touching it. Straight away, I receive a prick that provokes an allergic reaction on me, which drives me to hospital.
In this fashion, I verify that the bug is an aggressive and harmful species. It would be already a theory, suitable for a specific time and place.
Observe in this example that the question, the hypothesis and the theory were derived from a real observed fact. The event could have been different; for example, one that implies only the last effect, without a well known sequence from a beginning to an end. In this case, the process would be irreversible; therefore we would not know all the intermediate states of the process.
Making use of the previous example, I would only be conscious of the final effect, which would be the puncture and the subsequent allergic reaction. If I had seen the bug after the prick, then I would try to demonstrate that the bug was the executor of the prick. But, if I were not able to observe the animal, I would examine the type of wound and would compare it with those reported by other researchers to identify the responsible of the damage.
As you can see, we need a series of observable events related to the phenomenon besides the studies of other persons to emit a final statement. If those series and those observations would not exist, anything I would affirm about it would be pure speculation.
For example, if I have only the final data, that is to say the prick, and I reject all the events related to the prick, for example, if I ignore the fact that the prick could have been caused by a bug, or pay no attention to the possibility that it is a natural fact verified by other persons, then, anything said relating to the phenomenon would be false.
If I ignore the natural facts, I would be able to deduce anything created by my imagination, for example, that the prick developed spontaneously on my skin by the effect of Mars entering to Virgo's house.
The abiotic theory is established in real events, observable in nature at present. Also, many investigators have shown that the synthesis of coacervates is possible by means of abiotic processes which can be reproduced in a laboratory (see Evidences).
On the other hand, panspermia was not built on real events, but on imaginary events. If we found alive microorganisms in an asteroid that had just fallen on ground, it would confirm us only the existence of living beings in other places of the universe; but it would not consolidate the story of that "cosmic sower".
If we found living beings in another planet (Mars, by example), the evidence would enter simply to the explanation of the abiotic origin of living beings as a universal event, and would not be an event confirming that the life on earth got here from that planet. How could we be able to deduce it if we cannot relate the events to such idea?
The trick in panspermia resides in the fact that the process that it defends is unreachable and absurd, just as the belief in leprechauns, witches, fairies, dragons, etc. This confers to panspermia the false aspect of being plausible before people desperate for finding unreal phenomena that reaffirm its religious beliefs and encourage them to close their eyes for theory of evolution.
Given that panspermia does not maintain a feasible questioning, and it has not sources based on events that could be given to scientific assessment, neither observation of repeatable facts, and given that panspermia describes a very invented process, it does not rank as a hypothesis, a theory, neither a scientific law.
Panspermia is merely an idealistic viewpoint.
When chemist S. A. Arrhenius proposed his hypothesis on the cosmic ancestry of life, he was dodging, rather than elucidating, the problem of the spontaneous origin of the first living beings on Earth.
Actually, there are many ways to explain how the first organic molecules survived to the hostile conditions of the primitive Earth. For example, the Solar Nebula could be a protective nest that permitted the self-synthesis of organic molecules, specially, autocatalytic proteins (enzymes), which can well survived the most aggressive conditions of the early period of our Solar System. Besides, we have found organic compounds in the outer space, inside nests of stars, found as components of the star nebulas.
As I have said before (Science), a theory is valid just for one place and one time, and the fact that at present life does not generate through abiotic processes does not mean that life could not generate spontaneously at every time, or every place. Do not permit that Lovelock, Hoyle and Wickramasinghe deceive you, and do not deceive yourself: aligned with the panspermists reports, cosmic ancestry hypothesis has been associated intimately with faith, philosophy and religion. For them, a mysterious power exists that is dedicated to "disseminate" the life through the universe. See how they had hidden it, but now they are unveiling their real intention.
Without a supernatural intervention, the earliest living forms were generated spontaneously on Earth through abiotic processes. All "evidences" accumulated on panspermist version, actually are not evidence on the account of cosmic ancestry of terrestrial life, but just speculations on how life could reach the Earth if life came from other cosmic places. There is not real substantiation on panspermist account. You should know that panspermists assume that life did not have a beginning (imagine such pointlessness), on the contrary they think that life is infinite in the time. This is to say that life has perpetually existed, that life is eternal. Does not panspermia smell to Creationism?
The evolutionary model of the Origin of Life elucidates its origin so much on the Earth as in any part of the Cosmos. Quite the opposite, panspermia explains the origin of life nowhere: nor here, neither there.
To come to the point, panspermia hypothesis moves away from the fundamental meaning of science: to stand for truth and to give valid explanations for all natural events.
IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO SAY: "WE ARE MADE OF STARS' DUST", OR "WE ARE EXTRATERRESTRIAL BEINGS", "WE ARE CHILDREN OF THE UNIVERSE", "WE ARE NOT ALONE". THE LAST SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES PERSUADE US TO THINK THAT UNTIL NOW, AND WHILE WE DO NOT FIND A SIGN OF LIFE OUT FROM EARTH, WE ARE ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE.
WHAT PANSPERMISTS SAY IS THAT IT IS "A GREAT SUPPORT ON THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL ORIGIN OF LIVING BEINGS", ACTUALLY, IT IS A MAXIMUM PROOF ON SUPPORT OF THE ORIGIN OF LIFE ON EARTH (PLEASE READ, "MOONS OF GIANT PLANETS" FOR A BETTER COMPREHENSION)
PANSPERMIA WAS STOLEN FROM VEDAS
PANSPERMIA CONUNDRUM WAS FORMULATED TO FILL A CREATIONIST HOLE. PANSPERMIA IS A TYPICAL EXAMPLE OF ACADEMIC PSEUDOSCIENCE, AND THE IDEA WAS TAKEN FROM THE VEDAS:
Rajavidyarajaguhyayog or The Book of Religion by the Kingly Knowledge and the Kingly Mystery. Paragraph 10, lines: 28-35:
Which sends, and swallows up; Treasure of Worlds
And Treasure-Chamber! Seed and Seed-Sower,
Whence endless harvests spring! Sun's heat is mine;
Heaven's rain is mine to grant or to withhold;
Death am I, and Immortal Life I am,
Arjuna! SAT and ASAT, Visible Life,
and Life Invisible!
How the seed-sower did originate out there?