The idea that Earth was invaded by microbes from Mars challenges human beliefs about life, the universe and everything”The evidence seems to be building that we are all actually Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock,” Professor Steven Benner told the Goldschmidt meeting, this week’s international scientific convention in Florence. The theory that microbes from Mars “infected” the Earth via meteorites, finding conditions here more conducive to their evolution, is nothing new – but Prof Benner’s theory, that the minerals essential to life’s formation were only readily available on Mars, is. Such a notion challenges almost every aspect of human culture, from biology to philosophy and faith – and practically every science fiction scenario in the book.Long before HG Wells’s War of the Worlds threatened the home counties with a Martian invasion, we humans were looking up at the red planet, coursed as it seemingly was by canals constructed by extraterrestrials, imagining the worst. From John Wyndham’s scary triffids to Tim Burton’s kitsch Mars Attacks!, dystopian science fiction has ever been predicated on the fearful alien other. How ironic to discover that we were the aliens all along.There are serious questions here. For centuries …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books