Re: Best petri dish
Except for the simple fact that DNA in and of itself is not the basis for life.
RNA is what makes us all tick over like clockwork. DNA is just for storage. For the IT minded: the HDD my be a vital part of a computer, but it is not what makes the computer work. The actual legwork is done by the processor and other electronics. It's a thing that's often forgotten even by molecular biologists, even though they should know better...
The chemistry of making RNA and its components, and the basic amino acids is well understood nowadays, and it's been pretty much conclusively proven that you actually don't need all that much to make it appear spontaneously in an environment like early Earth ( poisonous hellhole to us nowadays..) if you give it a couple million years. It's actually more or less inevitable..
Now if it will organise into what we call "life" , and how often is the question. We may see evidence in our lifetime if the space agencies get a bit of a move on and get probes to the various Suspects in our solar system.
But the fact is that the chemistry of the "precursors of life" is so basic that it happens literally everywhere it gets a chance, even in space. Which, in my eyes at least, is a Bloody Big Hint we aren't all as special and unique as we like to think.