Could organic molecules survive the collapse of a solar system?

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Scott Lucero  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Chris -

I'm a big fan in the States listening to the podcast.  I've got a question about the origin of life.

Regarding my question, as I understand it, the molecules in our body evolved through several evolutions of solar systems, with heavier elements getting created through nuclear fusion.  I had heard that it was at least three times.  I believe that the uranium in the Earth must have come from a nova.  I'm curious - if life evolved in one of these previous solar systems, would any remnants survive the collapse and birth of the new solar systems?  It seems that there are a lot of amino acids out in space.  Perhaps life on earth did not evolve from scratch.  I guess, in essence this is the pan spermia hypothesis, but the question relates to specific mechanisms.

Many thanks,


What do you think?
« Last Edit: 23/11/2010 17:30:05 by _system »


Offline Bill.D.Katt.

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I really doubt that any complex molecules could have survived the birth of a new solar system, the pressure, heat, and exposure to simply extreme environments would probably destroy most organic molecules. It might be possible that asteroids/meteors may have complex compounds on them, but I find it very unlikely that it would "survive" the descent through our, or any, atmosphere