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Astrobiologists claim meteorite carried space algae
Phys.Org ^ | 03-12-2013 | Staff

Posted on 03/12/2013 10:27:50 AM PDT by Red Badger

A fireball that appeared over the Sri Lankan province of Polonnaruwa on December 29, 2012 was a meteorite containing algae fossils, according to a paper published in the Journal of Cosmology. A team of researchers, led by Jamie Wallis of Cardiff University, believes that these fossils provide evidence of cometary panspermia, the hypothesis that life originated in outer space and comets brought it to Earth.

Scientists at the Sri Lankan Medical Research Institute in Colombo forwarded 628 stone fragments that allegedly fell from the fireball to Cardiff University, where Wallis' team indentified three as originating from a carbonaceous chondrite. The structure of one of the samples led the Cardiff researchers to conclude that the fireball was once a comet. Electron microscopy revealed what appeared to be fossils of algae embedded within the samples.

According to Wallis and colleagues, this confirms that life on Earth had an extraterrestrial origin. The researchers even claim that what look like unusually long, thin flagella are proof that the microorganisms in the meteorite evolved in a low gravity, low pressure environment. Critics argue that there could be a simpler explanation. Modern organisms could have contaminated the samples. However, the researchers state that low levels of nitrogen in the fragments and the position of the fossils deep within the rock matrix indicate that the fossils are of ancient origin. It is not even certain that the samples came from the fireball. The reported trajectory of the fireball and eventual landing place of the fragments came from eyewitness accounts, which can be unreliable.

According to skeptics, lightning strikes could have formed the stones. However, Wallis and his colleagues say there were no reports of lightning at the time, and heat generated by lightning would have destroyed the fossils. Another possibility is that the fireball originally came from Earth. A long ago asteroid impact could have ejected rocks and water with biological material into space. Some of this ejected material could have reappeared in the atmosphere last December. Incredibly, all of the fossils found in the samples were of freshwater species that live on Earth. Their origin in space would imply that they had the same evolutionary history as their terrestrial cousins—remarkable considering their vastly different environments.

The Journal of Cosmology itself has a less than perfect reputation. In 2009, it published a paper claiming meteorites contained fossil-like cyanobacteria. Critics also greeted this study with skepticism. In addition, one of the paper's coauthors, Chandra Wickramasinghe, was the first to propose the panspermia hypothesis in 1981. Skeptics claim that he is fanatical about the concept, to the point of ignoring contradictory evidence.

More information: The Polonnaruwa meteorite: oxygen isotope, crystalline and biological composition, arXiv:1303.1845 [q-bio.OT] arxiv.org/abs/1303.1845

Abstract:

Results of X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis, Triple Oxygen Isotope analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopic (SEM) studies are presented for stone fragments recovered from the North Central Province of Sri Lanka following a witnessed fireball event on 29 December 2012. The existence of numerous nitrogen depleted highly carbonaceous fossilized biological structures fused into the rock matrix is inconsistent with recent terrestrial contamination. Oxygen isotope results compare well with those of CI and CI-like chondrites but are inconsistent with the fulgurite hypothesis. via Arxiv Blog


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: asteroid; catastrophism; comet; cosmology; meteorite; panspermia; space; xplanets

This shows an image of a large (100 µm diameter) and very complex, thick-walled, carbon-rich (kerogenous) microfossil that the scientists have tentatively identified as a hystrichosphere. Credit: arxiv.org/abs/1303.1845

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-03-astrobiologists-meteorite-space-algae.html#jCp

1 posted on 03/12/2013 10:27:50 AM PDT by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

I smell “Grant Money!”


2 posted on 03/12/2013 10:31:14 AM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Soon the "invisible hand" will press the economic "reset" button.)
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To: Cowboy Bob

Of course. Why else would they invent a spurious scientific discipline such as “astrobiology”, which sounds a lot like Star Trek technobabble?


3 posted on 03/12/2013 10:32:22 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Red Badger

Darwinian evolutionists are extreme in their opposition to the idea that life originates elsewhere than Earth.


4 posted on 03/12/2013 10:33:02 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Red Badger

Once upon a time...


5 posted on 03/12/2013 10:34:31 AM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: Red Badger

My personal opinion is that they came from earth to begin with.


6 posted on 03/12/2013 10:34:39 AM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Cowboy Bob

Read Romans 1 (King James Version)


7 posted on 03/12/2013 10:36:01 AM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: Red Badger

Yeah, everyone knows that Algae grows on comets travelling through space...


8 posted on 03/12/2013 10:37:01 AM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back The Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: Red Badger

Well then...a perfect organic solution to clear up this invasion would be a liberal application of H2O2.


9 posted on 03/12/2013 10:38:12 AM PDT by soycd
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To: soycd

10 posted on 03/12/2013 10:39:19 AM PDT by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: cripplecreek

My infinite observation is that Earth came from somewhere else and will return there at some point in time.


11 posted on 03/12/2013 10:41:00 AM PDT by soycd
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To: DTogo

Did it have a birth certificate from Hawaii??


12 posted on 03/12/2013 10:42:40 AM PDT by Mouton (108th MI Group.....68-71)
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To: Red Badger
According to Wallis and colleagues, this confirms that life on Earth had an extraterrestrial origin...
...It is not even certain that the samples came from the fireball.

"Scientists", not. Theorize, but don't say "confirms" when there is much uncertainty. Even if by slim chance the fragments came from the fireball, earth fragments have been thrown into space by previous collisions with asteroids, and that same earth could have returned. Martian and Lunar meteorites are found in polar ice here on Earth, cast off by collisions on those bodies. I tend to believe these guys are speculating and don't have proof.

13 posted on 03/12/2013 10:43:00 AM PDT by roadcat
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To: Cowboy Bob

Just like global warming nuts.

They have to keep the hysteria going to keep the money coming in.


14 posted on 03/12/2013 10:44:49 AM PDT by envisio (Its on like Donkey Kong!!)
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To: Red Badger

The old spontaneous generation myth dies hard if at all.


15 posted on 03/12/2013 10:53:16 AM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: Red Badger

Ping me when they find Tribbles.


16 posted on 03/12/2013 10:53:20 AM PDT by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: Red Badger
No, diatoms have not been found in a meteorite
17 posted on 03/12/2013 10:59:00 AM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: Red Badger

” confirms that life on Earth had an extraterrestrial origin.”

Which keeps the myth alive we are destroying this planet because everything we do is no earth like - despite the massive studies of common DNA and parts in all creatures here.

These people are less then stupid and only getting grant money to fail.


18 posted on 03/12/2013 11:01:50 AM PDT by edcoil (Half of every class gratuates at the bottom, they are now politicians.)
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To: Red Badger

Waiting for the paper to be retracted.


19 posted on 03/12/2013 11:05:31 AM PDT by Brooklyn Attitude (Obama being re-elected is the political equivalent of OJ being found not guilty.)
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To: Red Badger

20 posted on 03/12/2013 11:10:32 AM PDT by Doomonyou (Let them eat Lead.)
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To: muawiyah

If I read your post correctly,
you’re asserting that darwinists are firm in their assertions that life has to originate on Earth?

I would say it’s the opposite. In order to “prove” evolution, they’d want to show that if it happened here, it could happen elsewhere, and ET life of any sort would show that.


21 posted on 03/12/2013 11:13:57 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Red Badger

Occam’s Razor suggests that the simplest answer is most likely the correct one.

Thus, this explanation holds the most water:
“A long ago asteroid impact could have ejected rocks and water with biological material into space.”


22 posted on 03/12/2013 11:17:04 AM PDT by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: MrB

Darwinists reject all ideas that contradict their common origin thesis.


23 posted on 03/12/2013 11:17:16 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: MrB

“”If I read your post correctly,
you’re asserting that darwinists are firm in their assertions that life has to originate on Earth?””

“I would say it’s the opposite. In order to “prove” evolution, they’d want to show that if it happened here, it could happen elsewhere, and ET life of any sort would show that.”

Evolution and the origin of life are 2 different things.


24 posted on 03/12/2013 11:19:19 AM PDT by Brooklyn Attitude (Obama being re-elected is the political equivalent of OJ being found not guilty.)
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To: muawiyah

But, just to try to remain true to the theory,
couldn’t there be a “common origin” on another planet, “common” being common to that planet,
whilst all life here is “common” to this planet.

I would think that would strengthen the veracity of the theory instead of weaken it.
If they could show that it happened elsewhere, by chance & “deep time”, then that would show that it was possible here as well.


25 posted on 03/12/2013 11:20:16 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Brooklyn Attitude

Indeed, evolutionists shy far away from the origins issue,
and extrapolate observed adaptation into something they don’t observe.


26 posted on 03/12/2013 11:23:54 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Red Badger

> ... carried space algae.

So that’s where libs come from.


27 posted on 03/12/2013 11:24:07 AM PDT by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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To: Red Badger; SunkenCiv; Black Agnes
The Intelligent Universe(1988)

"In this book, Fred Hoyle expresses an opinion which is rejected by most other scientists. He claims that all of life on our planet is descended from microbes which arrived in a meteor shower. Although other scientists say that a microbe could not survive the hot temperature which results from entering the atmosphere, Hoyle argues to the contrary."

28 posted on 03/12/2013 11:27:11 AM PDT by blam
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To: Vince Ferrer
Again, the idea of common origin pops up ~ and crushes all opposition.

The gentleman in India is always adament about life coming from space but he's part of a broader array of scientific thought. That's the one that argues that life on Earth simply isn't unique ~ that if life occurs anywhere it's going to depend pretty much on the same basic chemistry, and it's probably part of the natural process of star formation that life manages to get its start.

Consequently if we get viruses or bacteria from space they'll look remarkably like the ones we already have, and BTW, has anyone found all the viruses on this planet? The answer there is that we haven't, and yet the most cursory examination of the first foot of ocean water is that there are MILLIONS of viruses we haven't the foggiest notion about.

I think I went over to the panspermia idea when reports of exotic bacteria living in rocks deep in the Earth were confirmed. If life came from space it was pretty obvious it ought to be living in rocks buried deep under the surface.

29 posted on 03/12/2013 11:27:17 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Red Badger
According to Wallis and colleagues, this confirms that life on Earth had an extraterrestrial origin

That's a pretty big leap from fossils which may have microorganisms to saying that's how life on Earth happened. I'm sensing a request for, for, for Grant money, that's it, yes, that's what I hear the voices in my head telling me.

30 posted on 03/12/2013 11:31:00 AM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: Brooklyn Attitude
You are confounding "darwinists" with your run of the mill modern biologist who consider himself other than a "darwinist" ~ but they still exist and aren't out of the 'common origin' requirement yet.

Occasionally you'll hear one of these guys say he's not a "darwinist" ~ which allows him to ponder just what is going on in epigenetics and methylation, and how that may be at the root of the whole DNA mutation business.

http://www.rochester.edu/College/BIO/labs/WerrenLab/WerrenPapers-PDF/1998_Werren_WolbSpeciation.pdf ~ I put in this paper from 15 years ago because this is the discovery that put the sword to Sexual Selection as the root cause of specieation in mammals and bugs.

31 posted on 03/12/2013 11:32:07 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

31 posts and not one of Donald Sutherland.


32 posted on 03/12/2013 11:41:06 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: massgopguy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii4r2A9aFko


33 posted on 03/12/2013 11:44:25 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Red Badger

1. The rock has not been shown to have any connection to the meteor in question. The rock has never even been identified as a meteorite, and does not appear to be a meteorite.

2. The diatoms aren’t fossilized and are local to the area where the rock was found. That is, these are earthly diatoms.

3. The publication is well-known for publishing reports that don’t pass muster for publication in accepted scientific journals.


34 posted on 03/12/2013 12:24:45 PM PDT by SaxxonWoods (....Let It Burn....)
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To: Red Badger
He's sorry he touched it...
35 posted on 03/12/2013 12:56:33 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin

36 posted on 03/12/2013 12:59:24 PM PDT by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Red Badger

There’s a fire....


37 posted on 03/12/2013 7:21:50 PM PDT by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
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To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Mmogamer; ...

Thanks blam. Panspermia ping to the X-Planets list.
 
X-Planets
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

38 posted on 03/12/2013 7:51:17 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: blam; 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; ...

Thanks blam.


39 posted on 03/12/2013 7:51:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: SunkenCiv

If true, this is VERY significant. Like, one of the greatest discoveries .......ever?


40 posted on 03/12/2013 7:56:46 PM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: muawiyah
Darwinian evolutionists are extreme in their opposition to the idea that life originates elsewhere than Earth.

Nevertheless, undifferentiated Evolutionists would like nothing better than to find some sort of extraterrestrial life if for no other reason than to drown the question of abiogenesis in a deluge of "interplanetary" speculation and "research."

41 posted on 03/12/2013 8:02:39 PM PDT by papertyger (It's only "hate" if you're conservative.)
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To: Olog-hai
Of course. Why else would they invent a spurious scientific discipline such as “astrobiology”, which sounds a lot like Star Trek technobabble?

There is only one *possible* reason:

To boldly [go] where no man has [gone] before...

Cheers!

42 posted on 03/12/2013 8:07:48 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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