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Discussion 2 to Meditation 626 / 627
The conditions for starting life may have been better elsewhere

by: Dan Shanefield

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Of course, we can't be sure, but it seems logical that there could be many almost-DNA materials that would be alive. However, we see only one on earth: exactly-DNA itself. And life seems to have started on earth just once, about 4 billion years ago. (See for example, "A Short History of Nearly Everything," by B. Bryson, Random House, 2003, page 293.) Furthermore, we don't see the logical starting materials (amino acids, aldehydes, phosphates) randomly floating around here, although some have been detected in chondrite meteorites.

I am suggesting that maybe on another planet (maybe in another galaxy, or maybe just in our own but in another solar system) the conditions for starting life are better (lots of ammonia and aldehyde, etc.). An asteroid collision could blast many trillions of little pieces into space, and only one would have to hit our earth, carrying a single spore or seed with it. That would explain the "only one DNA and only one birth of life" here. (Bryson calls it "Big Birth," like the "Big Bang" of our whole universe.)