I keep seeing what I consider to be a flawed meme put out by christians positing that we [atheists] claim life started by "accident" or was random, undirected. It's an unfair characterization. Granted, one can't build a model that will predict everything that will happen in an environment, but we CAN find models that reliably predict what will occur when all the elements are present to support life, then life happens as an inevitable consequence.Rajdeep Dasgupta, the principal investigator on a NASA-funded effort called CLEVER Planets that is exploring how life-essential elements might come together on distant rocky planets, said better understanding the origin of Earth's life-essential elements has implications beyond our solar system.
"This study suggests that a rocky, Earth-like planet gets more chances to acquire life-essential elements if it forms and grows from giant impacts with planets that have sampled different building blocks, perhaps from different parts of a protoplanetary disk," Dasgupta said.
"This removes some boundary conditions," he said. "It shows that life-essential volatiles can arrive at the surface layers of a planet, even if they were produced on planetary bodies that underwent core formation under very different conditions."
Dasgupta said it does not appear that Earth's bulk silicate, on its own, could have attained the life-essential volatile budgets that produced our biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere.
"That means we can broaden our search for pathways that lead to volatile elements coming together on a planet to support life as we know it."
[citation https://phys.org/news/2019-01-planetary ... h.html#jCp ]
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Is it still panspermia if merely the building-blocks arrive here from elsewhere? A great deal of our water came from comet impacts, and it's a core ingredient in life, after all. I always thought panspermia referred to the basics of life developing elsewhere and then slamming down onto Earth to develop further.
I guess I'm suggesting that there is possibly life everywhere in the universe and although the focus of the article wasn't panspermia, per se, we know the earth was bombarded by debris during its formative era.
[citation: https://www.helix.northwestern.edu/arti ... mia-theory ]"Two studies involving the isolation of bacterial spores, either from the abdomen of extinct bees preserved in amber or from a brine inclusion in an old salt crystal from the Permian Salado formation, suggest that bacterial spores can remain viable for up to 250 million years. Thus, bacterial spores could potentially account for life on earth.
But are there bacterial spores floating through space? One study focused on the heat radiation emitted from Halley’s Comet's dust particles as the comet approached the sun. The particles' radiation fingerprint corresponded surprisingly well to that of bacteria heated to elevated temperatures – no material other than bacteria matched the observed spectrum. As comets are known to have collided with Earth at different points in the past, this observation presents an interesting argument for panspermia. While this study does not provide conclusive evidence for presence of life in outer space, it does raise the possibility that our galaxy may be littered with bacterial spores."