I was recently reminded of an interesting theory with regards to the Origin of Life, so I thought I'd share it here. Should be interesting (and
tongue in the cheek) to Evolutionists, philosophers and those interested in E.T. life. Beware: There will be mention of "poop".
It's a very short essay by Sir Arthur C. Clarke (best known for his participation in the writing of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and his interest in
space travel, also called "prophet of the space age" by some).
Toilets of the Gods
Or: The Colonisation of Space
By Sir Arthur C. Clarke
Space scientists recently completed an examination of orbital debris, recovered after circling the Earth for several years. They discovered that much
of it was coated with a thin film of what was delicately described as "fecal matter", attributed to astronaut's sloppy sanitation.
This may solve one of the mysteries of life's origin on Earth: it seems to have arisen almost as soon as conditions were favorable, and not after the
billions of years of molecular trial and error required by what Isaac Asimov called the "unblind working of chance."
Obviously, organized life-forms need have occurred only once in this Galaxy, if the very first space-faring civilization was as careless about the
environment as we are. Years ago, Hoyle and Wickramasinghe suggested that life had a cosmic, and not terrestrial, origin. They may be right, though
not precisely in the way they imagined. It's a humbling thought that we may have arisen from dumped sewage; the first chapter of Genesis would
certainly require drastic revision.
On the other hand, if - as some philosophers have suggested- this Earth does indeed harbor the only life in the Universe, that deplorable state of
affairs is now being rectified. We may draw some consolation - I hesitate to say inspiration - from the fact that our descendants are already on their
way to the stars.
But we certainly would not recognize them, and it might be tactless to ask exactly how they got there.
From the book "Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds!", copied from Open
So, basically it's a take on Hoyle and Wickramasinghe's theory that suggests that life on earth began as a virus that hitched a ride on a meteorite.
Only Arthur C Clarke suggests that life began as bacteria in "space poop"...
So, a couple of billion years ago a couple of beings from another planet were cruising about in their little space ship. One of them had a number two,
and the result was ejected into space. The poop immediately froze, and slowly drifted through space for thousands of years, and finally ended up in
the gravitational field of earth and landed somewhere wet and slimy. The poop thawed letting loose the bacteria frozen inside. Ta da! Life on
It may be silly and gross, but it's hardly a worse theory than any of the existing theories on
. And hardly far-fetched if you consider the fact that our own astronauts have been
sending their poop into space for years now.
Fecal matter, meanwhile, often gets packed up and cast off from the space station with other trash in capsules that burn up in the atmosphere,
As a matter of fact a lot of our space toys are covered with a thin film of poop...
... In 1986, the Soviet Union built the Mir space station, which had a bathroom with a toilet that vented the waste out into space. By the time
space officials were retiring Mir in 2001, the space station's solar panels had lost about 40 percent of their effectiveness, Roberts said.
"They realized that a large part of the damage to these solar panels was frozen urine floating in space at very high speeds," Roberts told his
Perhaps in a million years Neil Armstrong's poop will be the beginning of life on another planet?
I don't really care for the theory one way or the other - as I said - a good a theory as any other, and we'll never know the answer for a fact, will
we? I do however think it's quite funny to imagine that we may have originated from an alien's poop. Perhaps I wish it was so, then I could tell
people not to take themselves so seriously - they originated from poop.