Speaking at an international conference of geochemists, chemist Steven Benner of the Westheimer Institute of Science and Technology argued Thursday that early Mars provided a more hospitable environment for life to spring up than early Earth.
"The evidence seems to be building that we are actually Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock," he said in a statement.
Scientists generally agree that earliest life took the form of an RNA molecule that could create other RNA molecules based on the same template.
The trouble is, no one has been able to satisfactorily explain how the original "living" bit of RNA formed.
As anyone who has cooked down sugar knows, simply adding energy to organic molecules and then leaving them alone doesn't get you life -- it usually gets you a sticky mixture that Benner describes as "better suited for paving roads than supporting Darwinian evolution."