The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies “It’s not absurd to think that carbon-based life might be universal,” argues Michael D. Lemonick in a new book about the hunt for Earth-like planets. ESA

Where Should We Look For Earth’s Twin?

Not where you’d think.
By Michael D. Lemonick
Posted 10.16.2012 at 9:00 am

The question of how and where life arose on Earth is a massively complex puzzle. The puzzle pieces themselves–the physical evidence of what really happened–have long since vanished. The best biologists can do is to try reconstructing what the pieces might have looked like, and how they might have fitted together. Every breakthrough in origin-of-life studies to date has been an important but very small step toward a convincing explanation of how it really happened. It may be that life is inevitable, given the right conditions, as Sagan thought. It may equally be that life is terribly, terribly unlikely to happen, even under the best of circumstances. The fact that life on Earth survives in so many harsh environments, moreover, doesn’t prove that life arises easily. It proves only that that life can adapt like crazy after it arises.

Read more: Where Should We Look For Earth's Twin? | Popular Science.

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