The trouble with this theory is, it doesn't get us any farther along with understanding how life starts.
It's true enough that Hoyle's theory leaves a great deal to be desired in this respect and I'm certainly not suggesting that anyone should take it too seriously.
However, it does suggest that once life comes into existance on one planet/giant moon in a star system that it is quite possible that it would propagate to every other viable habitate within that system.
So while Hoyle's original theory isn't taken very seriously anymore, it does provide a plausible reason as to why we would not be too suprised to find life elsewhere here in the solar system ( provided that we can find places where life as we know it can conceivably exist ).
In this respect, we would need to collect as much data as possible before jumping to conclusions.
For example, if it turns out that there is life on both Mars and Europa, then a careful examination of their molecular chemistry would give us some very definate indications as to whether or not they represented seperate instances of the biogenesis of life ( because of radical differences between them ) or if they were simply long lost cousins ( whose ancestors had hitch-hiked around the solar system a long time ago ).
If life exists elsewhere in the solar system and the evidence indicates the hitch-hiker scenario, then that does tend to leave us with a very sticky question - on which platetoidal body did it first come into existence on?
I'll admit, as questions of this type go, it's nasty in that it gives us more questions than answers.
I'm still optimistic though in that I tend to think that the discovery of life elsewhere in the solar system would give us important clues on the biogenesis of life. It's just that in the meantime, I don't think that we should be too quick to jump to conclusions until we have more data to work with.
You might be strangling my chicken, but you don't want to know what I'm going to your hampster.
[ Parent ]