Two geneticists have applied a computer science principle to biology to find the age of life on Earth.
Moore's law tackles the concept that computers increase in complexity at a rate of approximately double the transistors per integrated circuit every two years. Scientists Alexei Sharov and Richard Gordon decided to use this principle by applying it to life on Earth instead of computers, replacing transistors with nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA. By calculating backwards, they determined that life on Earth could be as old as 10 billion years - far older than the planet's age of 4.5 billion years.
The calculation is of course, hypothetical, however it does tie in to the idea that life originated elsewhere in the universe and traveled to the Earth on an asteroid or comet, a theory known as panspermia. "Contamination with bacterial spores from space appears the most plausible hypothesis that explains the early appearance of life on Earth," the pair argue.
"Applying a maxim from computer science to biology raises the intriguing possibility that life existed before Earth did and may have originated outside our solar system, scientists say."
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Source: Live Science
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