Evidence 'steadily mounting' for cosmic life

Feb 03, 2010

Evidence is 'steadily mounting' that life on Earth began elsewhere in the Universe and was brought here by comets, according to a new paper by Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe.

Professor Wickramasinghe, Director of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology, says that a clear pronouncement on the matter is now “overdue”.

In his paper, published in the International Journal of Astrobiology this month, Professor Wickramasinghe assesses the case that life had a cosmic origin in the light of astronomical discoveries of the past 30 years.

He argues that shows and organic dust are available on a huge scale, with a third of interstellar carbon in this form. He claims it is likely that a large amount of this material comes from decayed biological organisms, as is the case on Earth.

Professor Wickramasinghe concludes that the evidence of the past 30 years strengthens the case that life first came to Earth from impacting comets carrying around 3.8bn years ago.

However he argues that “cultural barriers” still exist to admitting the connection. In the paper, he says: “As we enter a new decade - the year 2010 - a clear pronouncement of our likely alien and of the existence of extraterrestrial life on a cosmic scale would seem to be overdue.”

Explore further: Video gives astronaut's-eye view inside NASA's Orion spacecraft

More information: International Journal of Astrobiology: journals.cambridge.org/action/… splayJournal?jid=IJA

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User comments : 6

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RoboticExplorer
5 / 5 (1) Feb 03, 2010
An objective observer would tend to agree with this theory based on the evidence, unfortunately ~95 percent of the world population is not "objective" on matters pertaining to the origin of life.

This also begs the question "If it happened here, why not somewhere else with similar conditions?"
TegiriNenashi
2 / 5 (4) Feb 03, 2010
To prove his hypothesis he just has to sample some comet and witness some DNA content. Did he complete that?
GrayMouser
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 03, 2010
Professor Wickramasinghe concludes that the evidence of the past 30 years strengthens the case that life first came to Earth from impacting comets carrying organic matter around 3.8bn years ago.

Probability & feelings don't prove anything. We certainly don't need any more "clear pronouncements" based on an artificial consensus.
RoboticExplorer
5 / 5 (1) Feb 03, 2010
To prove his hypothesis he just has to sample some comet and witness some DNA content. Did he complete that?


@TegiriNenashi: Organic matter, amino acids, and the like are the stuff complex life originated from. The theory does not state that preformed complex life like DNA crashed to earth and began life but instead implies, based off of the abundance of organic matter detected in Galaxy, that these building blocks of for life did and that our ideal environment allowed for growth and the evolution of life.

So no, your suggestion for proving his hypothesis is completely baseless and invalid. However I am sure anyone in support of this theory would love for NASA to send a probe to a comet to look for the building blocks of life....not alien, non-earth origin, DNA.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Feb 04, 2010
In order for the hypothesis of this paper to be accurate the author would have to eliminate the possibility of Organic matter being formed terrestrially. He can't do it. Therefore the hypothesis is flawed.

Prior experiments have shown that the conditions on early earth, in addition to the processes related to aqueous volcanism both can lead to the known elements involved in the assemby of life. The "mounting evidence" is only evidence of yet another method by which life could have arisen.

It shows selective bias to state that there is only a single way in which life could have come about.
Drake411
not rated yet Feb 04, 2010
Intact fossils found in a meteorite would sway me from my cultural bias and part me from my 45 bucks.

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