(LiveScience) 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.

Moore’s Law is the observation that computers increase exponentially in complexity, at a rate of about double the transistors per integrated circuit every two years. If you apply Moore’s Law to just the last few years’ rate of computational complexity and work backward, you’ll get back to the 1960s, when the first microchip was, indeed, invented.

Now, two geneticists have applied Moore’s Law to the rate at which life on Earth grows in complexity — and the results suggest organic life first came into existence long before Earth itself.

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