Sunday, June 3, 2012

Our common ancestors from Mars




Mars has the "building blocks" for life.

That was the headline for this article.  Not sure what was exactly newsworthy about that as many scientists have known for quite a while that the planet...at least at one time...had the capacity for life.  Maybe it still does.

This most recent statement comes from survey research on ten different meteorites found right here on Earth.  The point of origin for the rocks was determined to be Mars.  Carbon is present on each of the meteorites.  Carbon that was once thought to be a contamination from Earth.  Not so.  The carbon was already there, coming from Mars. 

It is almost all but accepted that Mars had freshwater flowing on its surface long ago.  The evidence is there in the planet's geology.  There is also a fair amount of methane to be found on Mars.  At the very least, that would appear to indicate that the planet was once far warmer and wetter than it is now.  In fact, conditions on Mars might have once mimicked our Earth's prehistoric past.  Then the Red Planet lost its atmosphere and liquids vaporized once unprotected from the full force of the Sun.  The bitter elements then levigated the planet's surface into what we see above in the pic.

There is, however, another implication of the presence of methane.  The majority of occurrences of methane on Earth are biological in nature.  Does that mean the same for Mars?

Not necessarily, but in tandem with the other evidence, the case for life on the planet grows a bit meatier.  Now by life, I'm talking about the microbial kind, not the alleged civilization-building kind, although I'm still willing to at least entertain arguments for that theory.  In fact, given the amount of caverns and subterranean water that has been found, I would say that it is almost a slam-dunk certainty that microbes exist on Mars.  Our first openly acknowledged life found outside of Earth.

What does that have to do with us?  Think about it.  We have meteorites that are known to be pieces of Mars on Earth.  Those hunks of rock brought carbon and other essences of life with them.  Couldn't microbes have been brought here long ago in our planet's primordial past?  These microbes, could they have then evolved into what we are today?  That would mean that life here started out there, if I may steal a familiar phrase. 

That's right, we may all be Martians.



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