Simply put, Panspermia is the theory that life came to Earth by riding on Comets, Asteroids, Meteorites and other objects flying through the Universe.
Origins Of Panspermia
It is impossible to know the exact origins of the Theory of Panspermia. The reason for this is because Panspermia is a mixture of ideas that date back thousands of years. Man has always wondered where life came from. They have often looked at the stars for answers. The first time that the theory was called Panspermia that we know of is in the 5th century BC by a Greek philosopher named Anaxagoras.
The Mystery Of Life On Earth
The idea that life was seeded on Earth by objects hitting the Earth makes perfect sense. Scientists already believe that this is how much of the material on Earth ended up here. Most scientist believe that this is how water ended up on Earth. After the Earth cooled, meteorites ravaged the planet carrying all the elements which make our planet so diverse. Everything from precious metals to hydrogen probably came from off-world objects. If meteors, comets and asteroids brought water to Earth then it is safe to assume that there were biological materials and microbes in the water that they brought. One would think that mainstream scientist’s would be on board with the idea of Panspermia.
If most of the material on Earth came from off of the Earth, then that means most life could have too. Have you ever heard the saying “we are all just stardust”? Assuming this is true then Panspermia is a discussion about when and how life was seeded on Earth, not if.
Biological Hitchhikers Seed Life On Earth
When we talk about Panspermia creating life on Earth we are talking about biological life, not just the ingredients for life. After the Earth cooled and was covered with water, it was ready for life. Our Solar System was young so the planet was still getting constantly pelted with meteorites. Riding on these meteorites were micro-organisms. These microscopic life forms are in hibernation, possibly waiting for millions of years to find another home.
When the meteors hit the Earth, they crumbled open releasing their cargo. The micro-organisms aboard spilled out into the oceans. Now that they were in an environment suitable for life, the organisms came back to life. They begin their new life as Earthlings. At this point evolution takes over turning the micro-organisms into the life forms that we see on Earth today.
Panspermia Means Life Is Everywhere
These organism filled asteroids aren’t just traveling through our Solar System, they are found all across the Universe. The objects involved in Panspermia are Interstellar. This means that they are objects which come from other systems and galaxies. We need to look at the Universe as a giant family, not individual systems. The Earth probably shares materials with the rest of the Universe the way that a family shares germs. We have found Martian Rocks on Earth which means that there are Earth Rocks on Mars. It’s probable that we shared the ingredients to seed life on Mars or Mars did with us.
Mathematicians now believe that Earth-like planets exist all over the Universe. If Panspermia is true, then life has found these planets in the same way that it found Earth. These organism filled rocks will have seeded many planets. This also means that some of the same life forms may exist on other planets that exist on Earth. They would evolve different but they would have started out the same. In this way, we may share genes with life forms in other galaxies.
Modern Scientists Disagree About Panspermia
I know this is shocking, but scientists don’t agree about the idea of Panspermia. Scientists don’t like anything that doesn’t fit into their little boxes. These people should be the most open minded, not the least. Just like many theories, this one is not full proof. I have many questions about it myself.
Where Did These Organisms Originate?
With Panspermia, like all things, there has to be a genesis. This means that these organism filled rocks flying through space had to come from somewhere. There has to be a planet somewhere that it all started from. The organisms didn’t grow on the asteroids in outer space. An Earth-like planet would have had to exist which got destroyed in a great disaster. It takes a lot of energy to get objects out of a system. Under normal circumstances, a destroyed planet will get absorbed into a nearby star or planet. It would need to be a huge collision of giant bodies to get these rocks spread across the Universe.
Why Couldn’t Life Form On Earth?
Another problem I have with Panspermia is that it would not be how all life formed on Earth. If life formed on a Earth-like planet where these meteorites originated, then it could on Earth too. Life seems to always find a way. If the conditions on Earth were right for life then life would have began regardless of Panspermia. Because of this, I think that Panspermia added life to our planet not created it. It is possible that life came from meteorites as well as developed on Earth itself. Why does it have to be one or the other?
Did Aliens Use Panspermia To Seed Life On Earth?
One theory among UFOlogists is that aliens used Panspermia to seed life on Earth intentionally. This theory is sometimes called Directed Panspermia.
This theory seems crazy but it may be more valid than it’s face value implies. Humans are currently trying to inhabit Mars. One way that we may create an atmosphere is by seeding certain plants on the surface. This would take a great amount of resources to accomplish. Imagine how long it would take to fly these plants to Mars using our current methods of space travel. Now imagine if we had the technology to shoot a giant rock filled with spores at it. The choice would be obvious.
It is within the realm of possibilities that an advanced aliens species posses this technology. There may have been a certain organism which they needed on Earth that wasn’t here already. They could have placed this organism into an asteroid and sent it our direction. They may have done this thousands or millions of years ago knowing that it would be here if they ever needed it. It’s important to remember that aliens posses technology which we couldn’t even dream of!
Panspermia Could Still Be Happening
To this day, the Earth is still pelted by meteorites. These meteorites could be carrying organisms inside of them. This is one theory about how unknown diseases keep popping up. There are new diseases discovered which we have no idea where they came from. They literally could be falling out of the sky!
Fact Or Fiction?
Panspermia is like String Theory (except it doesn’t need 11 dimensions to work). At this point it is just a theory which we don’t know if it will ever be proven. I think it is a valid theory. Anything that is possible shouldn’t be counted out until it’s proven false. Life is such an amazing thing that we still know little about. The realities of how life formed on Earth are probably complicated, and many would seem like fiction to us. Just recently scientists have discovered micro-organisms which lived in outer space outside of the ISS. Before that, it was thought that the radiation itself would kill them. We are making new discoveries every day which leads me to believe that it’s only a matter of time before Panspermia is proven true.
How Do We Prove Panspermia?
The only way that we can really prove Panspermia is by continuing to investigate the meteorites that hit the Earth today. Critics of this theory want to know why we haven’t already found proof of these organisms if the exist. You have to remember that we are talking about events that happened hundreds of millions of years ago. You must remember that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old! It’s possible that all of the asteroids and meteors containing these organisms fizzled out over time. It’s also possible that only a very small percentage of the objects that hit the Earth have life on them. Just because we haven’t found one yet (which is debatable) doesn’t mean that it’s not true. People (especially scientists) like to think that they know everything.
Short Video on Panspermia by Naked Science