Life from Outer Space

In 28 September 1969, fragments of a meteorite landed 2 kilometres south of the small village of Murchison, Victoria, Australia. Local residents collected about 100 kg of material, and the largest fragment was about 7 kg.

Xanthine (Photo: Wikipedia)

The Murchison fragments came from a class of meteorite called carbonaceous chondrites, because they contain small nodules called chondrules. Since this class is rich in carbon and water, right from the beginning the Murchison meteorite has been analysed for organic molecules. Chemical evolutionists, who have faith that life evolved from non-living chemicals, were hoping to find evidence to support their faith. They had hoped that this meteorite would provide evidence that such processes were widespread in the universe, even if some of them were pessimistic that life could arise on earth.
One of the first discoveries was amino acids, the components of proteins. Later, there were dubious claims that some of the amino acids had a slight excess of the ‘handedness’ (chirality) required for life, as we have reported. Still later, there were claims that sugars and sugar-related compounds were discovered, which excited many because the backbones of DNA and RNA contain the sugars deoxyribose and ribose respectively. But see our report on why this offers no support for chemical evolution.
Read the rest of "Nucleic acid bases in Murchison meteorite?" here.