Steve
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Panspermia

Panspermia is the idea that life can spread through space from planet to planet, as well as between other suitable habitats.

Exchange between Earth and Mars

According to the calculations of A.K.Pavlo1,V.L.Kalinin, A.N.Konstantinov,  V.N.Shelegedin, and A.A.Pavlov in the last four and a half billion years or so there have been about 50,000,000 meteorites from Mars, not sterilized by their passage through space and atmospheres, hitting the Earth.   In that time there would also have been around 100,000 pieces of the Earth hitting Mars.  Many of these could have had micro-organisms in them.  This means that life on these two planets could be closely related to each other, effectively evolving together.

In the paper referred to above, the authors make a strong case that those micro-organisms with extreme radiation resistance like Deinococcus radiodurans could not have evolved their radiation resistance on the Earth, but would have evolved this resistance in a Martian environment.  The close relationship of this bacterium with others on the Earth is easily explained if we accept that exchange of organisms has happened many times.

Mars is believed to have been a more suitable place for life to start, and suitable conditions existed there much earlier than they did on the Earth.

According to current scientific thinking, there was life on the Earth 3.8 billion years ago. This is a long time ago, and conditions suitable for life had not existed for very long.  If these early Earth organisms had evolved somewhere else, it would explain why they appeared to be surprisingly advanced.

Interstellar Transfer

Although it is well established that rocks can transfer between neighbouring planets, the idea that they can also transfer between star systems is not so well established, although there is nothing intrinsically impossible about this idea.  In fact, given very large amounts of time, it seems certain that it will occasionally happen.

Increasingly, research is showing that bacterial spores can survive for enormous lengths of time, and maybe able to survive indefinitely. It is entirely possible that an interstellar comet could carry living spores from one star system to another.

<Brig Klyce and Chandra Wickramasinghe  Go much further and suggest that we are the product of evolution going back indefinitely. These authors do not accept that the Big Bang happened in the form currently accepted by many scientists.

They consider that evolution on the Earth is going too quickly to be entirely happening here and that there are indications of pre-existing patterns.  Although I do not accept everything they suggest, they make some interesting points.