Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/10/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Find suggests the universe is rich in organic compounds.

Scientists studying a meteorite that fell to Earth over California last year say they have found the building blocks of life within it. The discovery suggests that organic molecules, the basic building blocks of life, may be more common that previously supposed.

A fragment of the Sutter's Mill meteorite.

A fragment of the Sutter's Mill meteorite.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/10/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Meteorite, sutters mill, organic, compounds, life, origin, creation, theory


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In April 2012, a large meteorite streaked across the morning sky in California, with a sonic boom rattling houses up and down the San Joaquin Valley. Fragments of the exploding space rock came down around Sutter's Mill, California, the same place where prospectors discovered gold in California, sparking the 19th century gold rush.

Scientists working with samples of the meteorite subjected the rock to forensic examination looking for evidence of organic compounds. They're interested in learning just how common the basic building blocks for life are in the solar system. If those compounds are common, then life may have arisen on Earth quite easily. If rare, then it becomes harder to explain the mechanics of the origin of life.

It should be noted here that despite popular sentiment, neither result impacts the ultimate question of creation.

Biochemist Sandra Pizzarello from the Arizona State University in Tempe told Space.com, "Their composition therefore has always been seen as an indication that the precursors to the evolution that led to the origins of life could have come from the extraterrestrial material of meteorites."

In other words, the molecules that form life on Earth may have come from elsewhere.

One of the problems with the scientific theory of creation and evolution of life is that it is difficult to explain how life arose on a planet that should otherwise be sterile. The primordial Earth was incredibly hostile to life. The planet baked at hundreds of degrees at the surface destroying any possibility that life could naturally evolve. Liquid water did not exist at the surface, which was initially molten.

So how did we get life from a virtual Hell on Earth?

Over time, the planet's surface cooled and water, as well as important molecules arrived on the surface. Comets bombarded the cooling planet, delivering their dust and ice, rich in organic compounds, to the surface, forming the oceans and most of the water now on the planet.

Meteorites also brought organic compounds.

How those compounds developed to create life remains a mystery that scientists still have difficulty replicating in a lab. However, according to theory, those compounds eventually came together in just the right proportions to form life, which subsequently evolved into all that lives on the Earth --including us.

The meteorite from Sutter's Mill did not produce very promising results at first. Initial study suggested that organic compounds were virtually nonexistent. However, a subsequent study that included dissolving fragments of the meteorite in conditions similar to steaming hot hydrothermal vents on Earth, yielded a startling result. The meteorite was actually rich in compounds.

This suggests that under the right conditions, organic compounds embedded in the rock can emerge and create the soup of molecules needed to form life.

Of course, the soup of molecules extracted from the rock formed no such life nor was that the aim of the experiment. Moreover, no life has ever been created in the lab from non-living compounds. It appears there remains a missing ingredient.

Aside from that, the study tantalizingly suggests that compounds needed to create life are otherwise common and may be found throughout the solar system, and possibly the universe entire.


Watch Catholic Online's most viral videos here!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Technology

We are THIS close to finding life on another planet Watch

Image of The James Webb Space Telescope may bring us the answers we seek regarding life in the universe.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have announced the discovery of three planets in the habitable zone of a star just 39 light years away. Such planets have the potential to host life, making them targets for future study. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Are scientists about to ... continue reading


Chinese invent robots that can beat humans at soccer Watch

Image of Chinese robots are now beating humans at their own game.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Earlier this year, a robot beat a master player at the ancient game of Go. Now, robots are beating humans at soccer. Armies of engineers are working around the world to develop artificial intelligence and robots that can do what humans do, only better. They're making ... continue reading


Top Secret Area 51 on fire - film footage captures mysterious mushroom cloud, armed security at base Watch

Image of What just happened in the secretive Area 51?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

UFO watchers have spotted a mysterious mushroom-shaped cloud over Area 51. The cause of the cloud remains unknown, but it is evidently connected to a fire at the secret military base. Viewers were unable to obtain direct footage of whatever caused the inferno, due to ... continue reading


AI shoots to kill: Will robots rule the world? Watch

Image of Researchers believe Artificial Intelligence can lead to the extinction of all humanity (Terminator 2).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After Microsoft's failure with AI teen "Tay," it should come as no surprise that more and more researchers are agreeing artificial intelligence requires a delicate balance between helpful tech and murderous exterminators. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According ... continue reading


New machine about to replace ALL fast food workers -- and why that's awesome! Watch

Image of Several companies are developing machines and robots that can replace legions of low-wage, low-skilled workers. The cost savings would be tremendous. It would also be of benefit to the workers themselves, a least in the long run.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Fast food workers, say goodbye to that grimy job with surly guests and overbearing managers. Your fight for $15 is over. No, you didn't win, someone has invented a machine that makes hamburgers better and faster than you do. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Extraordinary life-changing surgery allows paralyzed man to regain body control Watch

Image of Chip implant helps paralyzed man move arm and even play guitar (Screenshot/Ohio State University).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ian Burkhart underwent experimental brain surgery to help scientists pioneer technology aimed at reanimating paralyzed limbs - and it worked! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Six years ago, Burkhart severed his spine when he went for a swim and was slammed into a ... continue reading


Would you eat a pizza delivered by a robot? Customers in New Zealand already can... How will this affect you? Watch

Image of Within a few years, your pizza may be delivered by robot.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Robots will soon begin to deliver your mail, pizza, and other parcels within the next few years. Plans are being developed around the globe to test, then roll out automated delivery systems for everything from packages, to mail to pizza. The rising demand for delivered ... continue reading


Singapore tech shames Google - Here's why we're all looking forward to it! Watch

Image of Singapore is home to the most advanced autonomous car (asiawebdirect).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After securing $3.6 million to fund an up-and-coming piece of technology, an MIT-spinoff company based in Singapore shames Google's driverless car. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With news of self-driving taxis popping up across the internet, it should come as no ... continue reading


Cannibalism: What lengths would YOU take to survive? Watch

Image of The fight has moved from the physical to the digital (cstins12/YouTube).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Time is money and money is everything. It pays for your home, food, technology, education, transit and basic needs - but what happens when your time no longer brings in the money? What would you resort to if you knew you would starve? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


How to see the green Comet 252P Watch

Image of Observers will see comet 252P as a faint green fuzzy patch. Naked eye viewing from a suburban or urban area may be virtually impossible. Observers will want a dark sky location, binoculars are recommended. Stargazers will need to look south about 90 minutes before dawn.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A pair of green comets have zipped frightfully close to Earth, and it may be possible to catch a glimpse of one from your backyard. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Astronomers were caught by surprise when they detected a new comet on January 22 using the ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 'The doctors were shocked': Conjoined twins share unusual bond
  • The gruesome way scientists are killing unborn babies in school ...
  • Daily Readings for Friday, May 06, 2016
  • Historical Jubilee documents on display!
  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 HD Video
  • Daily Reading for Monday, May 9th, 2016 HD Video
  • Bl. Edward Jones: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 06, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 18:9-18
9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, 'Be fearless; speak out ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
2 For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious, the great king over all the ... Read More

Gospel, John 16:20-23
20 'In all truth I tell you, you will be weeping and wailing while the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 6th, 2016 Image

Bl. Edward Jones
May 6: Blessed Edward Jones and Anthony Middleton, ... Read More