Archive for the 'Panspermia' Category

Life in our Solar System – Mars

In this series of posts I’ve looked at planetary bodies in our Solar System that could support life, from the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, to the cloud layers of Jupiter itself, to the ephemeral-once-jungles of Venus, I’ve even looked at Earth itself.

Now one of my favourites, Mars, the Red Planet.

Continue reading ‘Life in our Solar System – Mars’

Panspermia: did life on Earth come from space? – Part 4, in films, TV & books

Panspermia is the idea that life could travel between stars seeding habitable planets as it passed, a bit like a galactic infection.

In previous posts I looked at the traditional bacterial view of panspermia, then some more extreme views, such as  aliens deliberately seeding the Earth with life, and I looked at a recent claim from a NASA scientist that he had found evidence for panspermia, in the form of fossilized bacteria in three meteorites.

In the final post of this series I’ll take a more light-hearted approach, and look at some of the best panspermia ideas in films, TV and books.
Continue reading ‘Panspermia: did life on Earth come from space? – Part 4, in films, TV & books’

Panspermia: did life on Earth come from space? – Part 3, Richard Hoover & cyanobacteria from space

In two previous posts I’ve looked at different versions of panspermia, the idea that life may have originated elsewhere in our Galaxy and may have travelled to our planet early in its formation, giving rise to all of the life we see on Earth today.

In post 1 I introduced the idea, and looked at how simple bacterial life could travel to the Earth, and in post 2 I looked at some more extreme versions of panspermia, including the idea that intelligent aliens could have deliberately seeded the Earth with life.

You may have also seen in the news recently that a NASA scientist called Richard Hoover has claimed he has found fossilized bacteria in a number of meteorites.

What does this mean for panspermia? Unfortunately, probably not much. Find out why…

Continue reading ‘Panspermia: did life on Earth come from space? – Part 3, Richard Hoover & cyanobacteria from space’

Panspermia: did life on Earth come from space? – Part 2, intentional panspermia & cosmic amino acids

Panspermia is the idea that life could have emerged on an alien planet, and then could have travelled through space to Earth, where it flourished and evolved into all the life we see today. So you, your family and your cat could all be aliens.

In the first post I looked at the idea that this alien life could have been simple bacteria, and could have travelled to Earth early in its history either in spores or in asteroids or comets. This is very much the ‘traditional view’ of panspermia.

In this post I’ll look at some alternative forms of panspermia, such as the idea that intelligent aliens may have deliberately seeded Earth with life.

Continue reading ‘Panspermia: did life on Earth come from space? – Part 2, intentional panspermia & cosmic amino acids’

Panspermia: did life on Earth come from space? – Part 1

Panspermia huh? Sounds a bit unsavoury doesn’t it? Suspiciously like something you’d find on the internet; not on a science blog.

It’s actually the idea that life on Earth could have come from elsewhere in our galaxy, that life may have travelled through space originating from a different planet, and when it reached ours it flourished and evolved into all the different forms we see today. So we may actually all be aliens. Great idea huh? Pretty awful name though.

Sperm actually means ‘seed’ and pan means ‘all’ so panspermia means all-seed, OK that doesn’t really help, I’m not sure who first coined the term but they certainly didn’t have a flair for marketing. Anyway, how likely actually is it?

In this first post I’ll examine the ‘traditional view’ of panspermia, including some evidence, and in the next post I’ll look at some more extreme versions of panspermia, such as the idea that intelligent aliens deliberately seeded the galaxy with life.

The inspiration for these posts came from commenter hartm242 who gave me the idea of writing about panspermia in the requests section of this blog. You should definitely check out his excellent blog too, it’s about exploring alternative forms of life on planets unlike our own, and he’s created a hypothetical alien planet with its own biosphere.

Continue reading ‘Panspermia: did life on Earth come from space? – Part 1’


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