Posts Tagged ‘Origin of Life’

Ice: A Catalyst for Life in the Universe?

Monday, February 4th, 2008

The unusual properties of frozen water may have been the ticket that made life possible. Over the decades, several notable scientists have began to suspect that life on Earth did not evolve in a warm primordial soup, but in ice—at temperatures that few living things can now tolerate. The very laws of chemistry may have actually favored ice, says Jeffrey Bada, at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. “We’ve been arguing for a long time,” he says, “that cold conditions make much more sense, chemically, than warm conditions.”

If Bada and others are correct, it would not only answer how life arose on our planet, but would dramatically change how we search for life in the Solar System and beyond. At that point, our chances of finding life elsewhere may be better than previously understood.