In The Search for Extraterrestrial Life – Ponnamperuma


The Search for Extraterrestrial Life is Closely Related to the Search for the Origin of Life on Earth.

Before the biological evolution there was a chemical evolution which, in its first stage, was close to the origin of matter. All experiments which simulate primitive conditions show that life must have followed the same, kind of evolution in an incalculable number of sites. There is therefore a real probability of extraterrestrial life and there is hope of contacting it if there exists a civilization far enough advanced in technology and if a proper wavelength is found.

Although the search for extraterrestrial life has not produced any direct evidence of extraterrestrial life, the emergence of life on Earth, which appears to be controlled by universal laws of physics and chemistry, must have been repeated elsewhere in the universe. The experimental approaches in our laboratory to understand the origin of life on the Earth are summarized in an attempt to obtain a better insight into the chemical basis of extraterrestrial life.

Cyril Ponnamperuma, an eminent researcher in the field of chemical evolution, rose through several National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) divisions as a research chemist to head the Laboratory of Chemical Evolution at the University of Maryland, College Park. His career focused on explorations into the origin of life and the “primordial soup” that contained the precursors of life. In this search, Ponnamperuma took advantage of discoveries in such diverse fields as molecular biology and astrophysics.


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