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Are You a Martian?

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Mars today, and how it may have looked in its early days with what astronomers believe was a large northern ocean.

Ladies, you may not, after all, be from Venus. There is now more evidence that all life on Earth – not just men – may be from Mars.

Steven Benner, a geochemist, argues that the “seeds” of life, in the form of bacteria, probably arrived on Earth in meteorites that were blasted off Mars by asteroid impacts or volcanic eruptions.

He points to the fact that the oxidized form of the element molybdenum, which is thought to be essential to to the development of organic molecules into living things, was not available on Earth at the time when life began three billion years ago. Back then, there wasn’t enough oxygen on Earth.

But there was on Mars.

“It’s yet another piece of evidence which makes it more likely that life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than starting on this planet,” Dr. Benner told the Goldschmidt 2013 conference in Florence, Italy.

He lays out the basics in a brief news release, and his conclusion is that it’s quite likely that the first forms of life got their start on a warmer, wetter Mars, and were shot off the planet in the early chaos of the solar system. Some of those bacteria would have landed on Earth in meteorites and gained a footing here. And now, a few billion years later, here we all are.

“The evidence seems to be building that we are actually all Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock. It’s lucky that we ended up here nevertheless, as certainly Earth has been the better of the two planets for sustaining life. If our hypothetical Martian ancestors had remained on Mars, there might not have been a story to tell.”

And no little green men to tell it.