So, is this an admission that life is not spontaneous but it must come from a source? People are all too eager to believe the absurd (Men are from Mars and women are from Venus) but find it impossible to believe the truth about mans origin coming from a creator.
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Firstly, I thought this is type thing we were going to Mars for in 20 or so years anyway. I don\'t think a couple of decades without knowing if there are Martian microbes, or if they\'re kin to us is going to be a real issue.
Secondly, hitching rides aboard asteroids isn\'t the only way microbes can get around. Solar winds can knock off microbes out of our uppermost atmosphere and some of those, and/or their spores, are able to survive the journey. This was posited by Dr. Hugh Ross ( around 1985 or so in a book of his.
If life exists there, unless it has something completely different to the DNA/RNA molecules, it\'s not going to prove one thing or the other. If it is there, well, whoopee, we found out a few years earlier than we would have anyway.
MIT has enough money without writing redundant grants. Do something a little more useful.
I don\'t see how you came to your conclusion. The article never said anything about life being or not being spontaneous. Even if life on earth did come from Mars that doesn\'t mean that life on Mars wasn\'t spontaneous.
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Although a genetic similarity (if found) could be evidence of the development of life on Mars and it\'s transference to Earth (or vise versa), it could also be evidence of both Mars and Earth being stocked from microbes which have developed on and transferred from a third party location (possibly from beyond our solar system).
Donwine - nobody was there to witness the creation or seeding of life when it happened, but attributing it to a magical monotheistic deity is rather like believing that an illusionist is actually a magic wizard, instead of trying to figure out how he performed his trick.

This article presupposes that, in the event of a discovery of martian microbes (which hasn\'t happened) they could be compared to those on earth and justify that Mars was a probable source of life on earth. If that became the case, the next question would be what was the origin of life on mars? Still doesn\'t answer the question...

Microbes have been discovered in a marsian-like environment on earth in the Atacama desert, but this doesn\'t lead anywhere. The point is, people are theorizing and guessing which may one day lead to an answer or probable explanation instead of just giving up and accepting the easy answer; \'oh it must have been god then.\'
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Not at all. All they\'re trying to figure out is if life on Earth originated on Mars. They\'re not trying to figure out how life on Mars originated.
As for how life itself originated originally (Be it on Mars or Earth), we\'ll figure it out eventually. Either God will tell us during the judgement day, or we\'ll get life going spontaneously on a petri dish at some point... Or both.
Paul Anthony
So if we discover that life on Earth came from Mars, then how do we discover how life got to Mars?
@donwine-interesting take on this article. I\'m not understanding the connection.
James Tennyson
Even if it IS \"100 times more likely\" that material from Mars would be transfered to Earth than vice-versa, it STILL wouln\'t prove that life on Earth came from Mars, nor would it be anby proof that God didn\'t create life altogether, since Genesis 1:1 says,
\"In the beginning, God created the heavens AND the Earth.\" It goes on to say, in later verses, that God put MAN on earth, but it does not mention what happened on the other parts of \"the heavens\" because WE live here on Earth, and the Bible was for US.
Janet Bratter
While walking around in Times Square many years ago it occurred to me that all the Cro-Magnon and Neanderthals that had ever lived on this planet were now reincarnated and walking the streets of NYC.
Now I see I may have been right. The fact that one of the commentators is (still) using the Bible as a reference to validate the mythological stories of our human origins indicates to me that he may be one of those throw-backs I saw that day.
Mr. Tennyson, the popularly accepted way to attempt to uncover answers to questions like the genesis of life is via the scientific method, not via examining legends from the Bronze Age... especially books that feature talking animals. Citing such a book doesn\'t provide evidence of anything.