Is the emergence of life a localised one-shot fluke, or does it happen all over the place? It’s not a question we can answer with certainty yet, but that’s probably why it’s such a fascinating thing to ponder. Scientists in the latter camp suggest that life may have arisen here on Earth more than once, and according to Scientific American they are engaged in a search for examples of Terran microbial lifeforms which aren’t (or rather weren’t) based on the building blocks of the biology that we’re more accustomed to – which might add evidence in favour of the emergence of extra-terrestrial life. [Via Slashdot] [Image from Wikipedia]
Of course, some of the creatures that have existed on Earth that were based on the familiar biological patterns can still seem pretty alien, if only in the B-movie/pulp magazine manner – 2.5 meter long monster sea scorpion, anyone?