Are We the Aliens?

Many people search the skies, looking for unidentified flying objects.  Many more tell us about being abducted by alien life forms.  However, in order to find aliens, we may not have to look any further than in a mirror.  We may be the aliens.

This theory of life coming from a source other than earth is called panspermia.  Panspermia is a Greek word that means “seeds everywhere.” The panspermia theory argues that “seeds” of life exist all over the universe, which may be transferred from one location to another.  If life on earth originated from these “seeds,” we are aliens.

Panspermia can occur from: (1) interstellar dust deflected by solar radiation pressure and (2) microorganisms riding through space encased in an asteroid, meteorite, or comet.

Three popular variations of the panspermia hypothesis are:

  • Lithopanspermia (interstellar panspermia) – rocks from a planet or meteorite’s surface spread biological material from one solar system to another.
  • Ballistic panspermia (interplanetary panspermia) – rocks from a planet’s surface spread biological material from one planet or meteorite to another planet within the same solar system.
  • Directed panspermia – the intentional spreading life to other planets by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization, or the intentional action of humans spreading life from earth to other planets.

Panspermia does not provide an explanation for how life began before panspermia, but it could explain how life, once formed, is transferred throughout the universe.  Evolution may explain how life diversified into new species, but only panspermia can explain how life migrated to our planet.

It is like a fire that started somewhere and then spread from location to location.  It really doesn’t matter how the fire was started.  It is more important that it continues in perpetuity throughout our universe.

One of the important rules of conservation is that matter and energy may be neither created nor destroyed in this closed universe.  This means that life was created outside the universe, but that panspermia assures that life will continue in our universe.

Benoit de Maillet in 1743 stated that the earth’s oceans were “seeded” from space, rather than spontaneous generation or abiogenesis.  In the 19th century, scientists believed that meteorites carried life to earth.

In 1984, a meteorite from Mars, Allan Hills 84001, was discovered in Antarctica, which was shown to contain structures that may have been residual of nanobacteria.  Tests on these structures have shown that they contain amino acids and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are precursors to life.
 
Some microbes are known to remain dormant for millions of years, possibly long enough for an interplanetary voyage within a solar system.  In other words, it is possible that life from other locations can remain dormant until reaching our planet.  We also know that there are extremophiles that can live in extreme environments.  We know that we do not know very much about the universe, so anything is possible.
 
Ceres, the largest asteroid in the Asteroid Belt, has a huge crater that may be evidence of a huge collision that sent pieces of the asteroid toward other planets, including earth.  Ceres, a dwarf planet, is located between Mars and Jupiter.  Interestingly, Ceres, although covered with ice, has a fairly warm surface temperature of about -30 degrees Celsius, which could sustain extremophile life forms.
 
On May 11, 2001, scientists discovered extraterrestrial bacteria inside a meteorite thought to be over 4.5 billion years old.  The DNA of the bacteria, although similar to Bacillus subtilis bacteria, was unlike any other on earth.
This strain of ET bacteria was hitching a ride until it found a habitable destination. 
 
So, we may be ET.