Editor’s note: The journal paper this article was based on was later withdrawn. But we are proceeding with publishing this article because we think that some important points can be drawn out.

It’s the stuff of sci-fi movies—T rex in flying saucers and Velociraptors with laser blasters. This might sound a bit ridiculous, but Dr Ronald Breslow, Professor of Chemistry at Colombia University, gives this some consideration in an article published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.1 The goal of the article is to discuss the likely origin of homochirality in amino acids, sugars, and nucleotides on a prebiotic earth.

The premise is that life on Earth was ‘jump-started’ by seeding from meteorites containing the essential building blocks of life (a phenomenon called ‘panspermia’). From an evolutionary viewpoint, if life on earth shares the same origin as extraterrestrial life, life on the planet of origin may well have followed roughly the same evolutionary patterns as life on Earth. But of course, the planet of origin would have had different events and environmental conditions that would have shaped evolution. And according to evolutionists, the catastrophe (whatever it was) that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs was one of the major events in evolutionary history, wiping out the reigning super-lizards and allowing mammals to fill the ecological gaps.

But what if evolution had been progressing along roughly the same lines on another planet, uninterrupted by the inconvenient (from the viewpoint of the dinosaurs, anyway) disaster? Could dinosaurs have evolved into intelligent, sentient beings like humans? In fact, they would have had a ‘head start’, and may have even evolved into super-intelligent beings. Perhaps the lizard-like appearance of some fictional ‘aliens’ isn’t a coincidence after all!

Of course, there are some rather obvious objections to this idea. Even if panspermia and evolution were real, it wouldn’t mean that T Rex would evolve on another planet. Even if the first forms on two planets were identical, various pressures of the environment, other species, etc, would probably work against evolution progressing in the same direction on different planets. And the idea of superintelligent T Rex is completely ridiculous; even the author of the article admits that it is a bit farfetched: “showing that it could have happened this way is not the same as showing that it did.”2 Yet some wonder why this was even being considered in a serious scientific journal. Brian Switek of the Smithsonian writes, “None of this has anything to do with dinosaurs … As much as I’m charmed by the idea of alien dinosaurs, Breslow’s conjecture makes my brain ache.”3 Ian O’Neill of DiscoveryNews writes, “why Breslow is speculating about advanced alien dinosaurs doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”4….

 

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