Both of the molecules identified, uracil and xanthine, "are present in our DNA and RNA," said lead author Zita Martins, a researcher at Imperial College London. ...These molecules would also have been essential to the still-mysterious alchemy that somehow gave rise, some four billion years ago, to life itself. "We know that meteorites very similar to the Murchison meteorite, which is the one we analysed, were delivering the building blocks of life to Earth 3.8 to 4.5 billion years ago," Martins told AFP in an interview.
Competing theories suggest that nucleobases were synthesised closer to home, but Martins counters that the atmospheric conditions of early Earth would have rendered that process difficult or impossible. ..."We believe early life may have adopted nucleobases from meteoric fragments for use in genetic coding, enabling them to pass on their successful features to subsequent generations," Martins said.
I don't think that this is proof that there was an extraterrestrial component to the origin of life because I think it's still possible that our own uracil and xanthine developed here on Earth. It is, however, clear evidence that uracil and xanthine could have developed elsewhere and then come here intact. The heavy elements like carbon which make up so much of our bodies were all created in stars, so it's not hard to imagine that important compounds like uracil and xanthine might have originally developed elsewhere as well.
This has a couple of important implications, especially for traditional religion. If indeed life developed on our planet because of elements deposited by meteorites, how might this be reconciled with traditional beliefs in God? Believers could say that their god caused the right meteorites to crash here at the right time and thus allow life develop, but isn't that an awfully convoluted means to achieve an end?
Of course it is — and it's what happens whenever people rely on a "god of the gaps" to preserve theism or traditional religion. The more we understand about how things happen, the less role there is for any gods to cause events by magic; instead, gods are relegated to simply shuffling pieces around on a chess board in increasingly complex ways that can easily (or more easily) be achieved through natural forces. In the end, there is no role for a supernatural being.
Another implication is that the basic elements for life might be quite widespread in the universe — or at least in our galaxy. If the building blocks of life were known only here, it would be possible to imagine that they are unique to here; if some of those building blocks came from space, then it has to be acknowledged that they are being spread around out in space and thus might be deposited on many worlds. If life did evolve naturally elsewhere and independent of life here, once again we have to ask what role there could be for gods. Not only do we lose any need to resort to magic to explain life, but we lose any reason to think that life her is special and thus might have a special relationship with magical beings.