For the time being this fact is mainly of a qualitative character. Some more time, and possibly a long time, will be required before any accurate, quantitative analysis of the cosmic organic compounds can be made.
The presence of primary molecules of organic compounds in the solar system has been established beyond doubt by spectrum analysis. These molecules are found particularly in comets and meteorites, in the atmospheres of large planets and some of their satellites, as well as in the atmospheres of cold stars and in interstellar space.
The presence in the universe of the simplest molecules that may com bine to form organic matter might indirectly prove the presence there of more complex organic compounds as well (and possibly also of organisms). Another indirect argument supporting this hypothesis is the release of certain gaseous products in the course of gradual changes of the organic matter buried in terrestrial sedimentary rocks. It may be more than mere coincidence that these gaseous products are of precisely the same composition as the cosmic— organic and inorganic— gas.
Enormous quantities of natural methane exist in the atmospheres of the Jovian planets and this is also true for the Earth. The Earth's "gaseous respiration" (mainly methane) during the 4.5-5 • years of "geological time" (which is the "age" of terrestrial matter) must have amounted to at least of the entire present-day mass of our planet. Insofar as can be assessed from the available, still quite fragmentary data, the total amount of even the simplest organic compounds in the universe is probably quite large, in absolute and possibly even in relative terms. This is just
what one would expect assuming that (a) the organic matter in the universe is biogenic, and (b) organic life, being "ubiquitous," has propagated throughout the infinite universe during its eternal existence.
In concluding this preliminary note, we refer to some of the ideas presented in the preceding paragraph. From the point of view of dialectic materialism it is quite natural to expect not only abundance, but even profusion of organic matter in the universe, on the basis of its biogenic character. Any attempt at this stage to determine whether the observed cosmic organic compounds are the remains of organisms, or the initial organic raw material for their synthesis in nature, or both, is obviously premature. It is doubtful whether in nature life inevitably arises in each given suitable cosmic body, always from the "zero point of organic life," i. e., always and everywhere along the long and complex biochemical path of synthesis of the simplest organic molecules from the inorganic ones.
To the best of our knowledge the initial organic raw material is dis seminated everywhere in the universe. The universe is the natural material basis for resumption of life wherever it might have been discon tinued for a time, following certain cosmogenic events which had affected only the character of macroscopic organization of matter in celestial bodies and their planetary systems, but had left unchanged the chemism of that matter and, especially, the molecular structure of the simplest organic molecules.