A D MACKAY © All Rights Reserved

PREVIOUS
NEXT
CONTENTS

Panspermia

 

The theory of Panspermia suggests that the Earth was seeded with basic life forms which were extra-terrestrial and that evolution did not have its beginnings here on Earth.

 

This theory offers a longer time frame for the most basic of life-forms, the archaea, to have evolved. Although these microbes are primitive, their genes can synthesise at least 2000 proteins and they also have an array of non-functional genes, suggesting a long pre-history.

 

But the Panspermia Theory, constrained by the present theory for the formation of the Solar system, assumes that life must have originated somewhere outside the Solar System.

 

My theory of Planetary Metamorphosis offers a location for the original beginnings of life within the Solar system. I suggest that life may have formed on a ‘previous planet’, billions of years ago. At the end of its life cycle, the previous planet may have disintegrated and its fragments formed asteroids and comets which were then propelled around the Solar System. Impacts of this debris with younger planets could have facilitated the transfer of life-forms (such as methanogens, deep within rock).

 

Methanogens can live deep within the Earth crust and withstand temperatures as high as 100 degree C. So it is feasible that they can survive within a huge asteroid as it enters a planet’s atmosphere.

 

The only resources methanogens require for sustaining their life are hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases. They use hydrogen to reduce carbon dioxide in their metabolic processes and produce water vapour and methane as end-products. Both of these resources can be found deep within the crustal rock of planets. The methane eventually breaks down, by the action of ultra violet light, into carbon dioxide and more water vapour.

 

Methanogens on Gaseous Planets?

 

On planets like Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter, hydrogen and carbon dioxide is in abundance. Compounds required for protein synthesis also exist in the form of ammonia. All these gaseous planets show the possible signature of methanogenic life in that their atmospheres all have methane and water vapour in them. The blue- green colour  of Uranus is caused by a methane cloud made up of tiny crystals of frozen methane (NASA- World Book at NASA). Methane forms 2% of its atmosphere. Here the temperatures are around -215 degrees C but temperatures and pressures rise sharply, the deeper the atmosphere is penetrated. So there will be a band where the atmospheric conditions of temperature and pressure will provide the ideal conditions for methanogenic life.

 

According to ESA, Cassini-Huygens, there are three layers of cloud deck in Saturn’s outer atmosphere. .The top visible cloud deck is made of ammonia clouds and this extends down about 70 km and temperatures here are around -250 degrees C. The second cloud deck is comprised of ammonium hydro-sulphide clouds at a temperature of around -70 degrees C and these extend down to water clouds which start at  0 degree C and rise sharply.

 

I suggest that this water cloud layer could provide ideal conditions for methanogenic life to exist.

 

Accumulation of Water

 

Methanogens may be singly responsible for the vast amount of water which is found on Earth. If Earth was seeded with methanogens at least a billion years ago - when it was the tiny core of a gaseous planet, quantities of water on Earth would have increased exponentially alongside the exponential increase of the microbes, themselves.

 

Mars may not have been seeded with methanogens until perhaps only recently and this would explain why there is no abundance of water on its surface. Plumes of methane, however, have been discovered emanating from some areas of Mar’s surface and so there is still the possibility that methanogens are present there too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

METHANOGENS AND
WATER SYNTHESIS
AND ACCUMULATION
134
meth135
Page 5