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Astronomy
#21
Complex organic molecules are not proof of life, as Urey's experiment (an electrical discharge in a spherical glass containing methane, ammonia, water, and hydrogen) allowed the creation of complex organic molecules. Those are not themselves life, but they are precursors. Other such experiments include hydrogen sulfide.

It is paradoxical that of those chemicals, only water is a significant part of the Earth's atmosphere today. Except for water, the other chemicals would reach chemical equilibrium as water itself, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and sulfates. All of those compounds were apparently present in the early atmosphere of the Earth -- when oxygen had not yet become a significant part of the atmosphere. But life itself suggests that these compounds were present.

Life cannot form anew on Earth because of the oxygen, and the combination of carbon dioxide and nitrogen indicates that life could not form on Mars today even with amenable temperatures.

Conditions in the distant past may have been amenable to the formation of the precursor chemicals of life on Mars.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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