Theories and hypotheses in science are continually subject to verification, critical re-evaluation, revision and indeed evolution, in response to new observations and discoveries. Theories of the origin of life have been more constrained than other scientific theories and hypotheses in this regard, through the force of social and cultural pressures. There has been a tendency to adhere too rigidly to a class of theory that demands a purely terrestrial origin of life. For nearly five decades evidence in favour of a non-terrestrial origin of life and panspermia has accumulated which has not been properly assessed. A point has now been reached that demands the serious attention of biologists to a possibly transformative paradigm shift of the question of the origin of life, with profound implications across many disciplines.