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Fossil Diatoms FOUND in Metoer Rock Matrix


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#16    bison

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:47 PM

At the link, below, are recent remarks by Dr. Wickramasinghe, in answer to criticisms and questions about his claim to have found fossil diatoms inside a meteorite. He mentions the decades of research on this topic. He also explains that at least six species of diatoms found have not been identifiable as Earthly species. He reports that determinative work was done to classify the host object as a true meteorite, and that this work will be published.
Dr. Kociolek, apparently working solely from the published photographs, objects that the diatoms do not look like fossils to him. Since even living diatoms are surrounded by a mineral (silica) shell, it's not clear what he sees or fails to see, which makes him say this. He seems to neglect the part of Dr., Wickramasinghe's paper, which reports that the diatoms are mineralized *in the same way* as the meteorite itself, which sounds very much like fossils. Link: http://www.huffingto..._n_2500008.html

Edited by bison, 19 January 2013 - 04:00 PM.


#17    Oniomancer

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:30 PM

View PostSwampgasBalloonBoy, on 19 January 2013 - 06:54 AM, said:

Are you serious about the math teacher comment?

Thanks, Nuke_em, for finding out more about Wicramasinghe than the so-called debunkers did. Skeptics are quick to attack the guy without bother to learn more about him and his accomplishments. "fringe scientist", just a "math teacher" , If he isn't from NASA, he suck? Come on, you can do better than this.

Why not? Apparently it was all right for nuke-em to dismiss Plait as a "stargazer" when they're both effectively in the same field, even if he is just a number cruncher. W. is a former professor of applied math and astronomy  but all his formal education appears to be in mathematics. I have yet to see evidence of any professional grounding in geology, geochemistry or biology.  I would hazard a guess his actual job description at UB is something along the lines of research coordinator, rather than anything technical. People are equally quick to assume a title equals credibilty. I believe in logic, there's a term for that: argument from authority.

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#18    SurgeTechnologies

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:57 PM

How come astronomy and astrobiology are in the same field ... that is like saying electrician and plummer both work in the same field? I dismissed him because HE ( Phil ) didn't do any work at all.. he just claims the work isn't any good and that he sent a link to some other scientist... He enlists couple of THEORIES that our crazy scientist thought might be true.... So now Phil is perfect human he didn't do any misstakes in hes life... he knows about other fields of study even though he doesn't work on them? I think Phil here is trying to discredit Wickramasinghe hard...

And meanwhile Wickramasinghe was trying to get a hold of such material which means he was probably well prepared for such an event ... PHil meanwhile questions if it was properly taken care of the sample from contaiment point of view... really? If the guy works on field of astrobiology he knows that sample must not be contaminated even i know that.. and i have no relation to such field of study...

If it bothers you so hard that the guy is math teacher well i too can work in astronomy field. I'll just buy a telescope and do some good reading and observation and voila in 2-4 years i would know alot...Only diffrence between me and Phil would be in working place...... . . .  Now i wouldn't have a clue on how to even start work on astrobiology you would need very firm knowledge... something you don't learn just like that...

Edited by Nuke_em, 19 January 2013 - 04:59 PM.

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#19    Oniomancer

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:59 PM

View Postbison, on 19 January 2013 - 01:24 AM, said:

Have visited a few meteorite sites myself. Fusion crusts and  regmaglypts (thumbprint-sized depressions)  appear to be common in meteorites, and make identification of them simpler, but are not necessarily found in every specimen. If a meteor breaks apart near the end of its fall, or as it strikes the ground, pieces exposed from the interior will not not have them. They are caused by atmospheric ablation of the surface of the meteor. I found a picture of a carbonaceous chondrite that looks very like the Sri Lanka object , after just a few minutes search at Google Image. Yes, it is atypical, bit is still classed as a carbonaceous chondrite. I also saw a picture there, of a meteorite with small holes (vesicles) in it.

The few I saw so far were all sample fragments from larger specimens. An individual at one of the university sites, whose job it was to study meteorites IIRC, seemed rather adamant  that vesicles, if vesicles they are, were never found in meteorites. That of course doesn't eliminate a unique meteorite type, though the fact that it would seem to otherwise  almost necessitate it effects the likelihood of it's legitimacy. If they are vesicles though, that could explain how the diatoms got inside the rock.

Edited by Oniomancer, 19 January 2013 - 05:51 PM.

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#20    Oniomancer

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:42 PM

View PostNuke_em, on 19 January 2013 - 04:57 PM, said:

How come astronomy and astrobiology are in the same field ... that is like saying electrician and plummer both work in the same field? I dismissed him because HE ( Phil ) didn't do any work at all.. he just claims the work isn't any good and that he sent a link to some other scientist... He enlists couple of THEORIES that our crazy scientist thought might be true.... So now Phil is perfect human he didn't do any misstakes in hes life... he knows about other fields of study even though he doesn't work on them? I think Phil here is trying to discredit Wickramasinghe hard...

And meanwhile Wickramasinghe was trying to get a hold of such material which means he was probably well prepared for such an event ... PHil meanwhile questions if it was properly taken care of the sample from contaiment point of view... really? If the guy works on field of astrobiology he knows that sample must not be contaminated even i know that.. and i have no relation to such field of study...

If it bothers you so hard that the guy is math teacher well i too can work in astronomy field. I'll just buy a telescope and do some good reading and observation and voila in 2-4 years i would know alot...Only diffrence between me and Phil would be in working place...... . . .  Now i wouldn't have a clue on how to even start work on astrobiology you would need very firm knowledge... something you don't learn just like that...

That's just it. His primary field is applied mathematics and astronomy, IE astrophysics and the like, IE a number cruncher. Nowhere under his credentials is anything that I can find that actually says astrobiologist.  Like I said, you were the guy who made an issue of it. Sauce for the goose, lieutenant.

He may know about contamination, but he's not the one who found the specimen, as outlined in the article. It was sent to him by one Anil Samaranayake, director of the medical research institute of the ministry of health, and there's no mention of how he got hold of it, literally and figuratively.

Then there's this:

http://hirunews.lk/goldfmnews/51379

Found via the wikipedia article on the Polonnaruwa meteorite

http://en.wikipedia....uwa_(meteorite)

Who knows, it may yet prove genuine, but for now, holding my breath under the circumstances would prove as useful as doing so while studying meteors in their native environment.

"Apparently the Lemurians drank Schlitz." - Intrepid "Real People" reporter on finding a mysterious artifact in the depths of Mount Shasta.

#21    bison

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:34 PM

Professor Chandrajith seems to think that the objects are fulgurites, or something similar, created by lightning striking soil or sand. Dr. Wickramasinghe explicitly says that this possibility was considered, tested, and ruled out. We will have to await the promised publication of the latter's evidence that this is a true meteorite.  
I would expect that a meteorite containing fossils might be unusual in several respects. Life processes that occurred before fossilization might have produced gas filled vesicles in soft material that later hardened into stone.

Edited by bison, 19 January 2013 - 07:36 PM.


#22    Oniomancer

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:45 PM

View Postbison, on 19 January 2013 - 07:34 PM, said:

Professor Chandrajith seems to think that the objects are fulgurites, or something similar, created by lightning striking soil or sand. Dr. Wickramasinghe explicitly says that this possibility was considered, tested, and ruled out. We will have to await the promised publication of the latter's evidence that this is a true meteorite.  
I would expect that a meteorite containing fossils might be unusual in several respects. Life processes that occurred before fossilization might have produced gas filled vesicles in soft material that later hardened into stone.

Glad you mentioned that. I wanted to point out too that most diatoms are photosynthetic, so they require light. That means they almost had to've gotten into the rock as it was formed or afterwards by transport. This is also dependent on whether or not the species in question was capable of locomotion.

I'd also be curious to read how W figures a life form with a diatom's biological processes would function in a weightless, airless environment.

Small correction too the previous, diatom skeletons are composed of silica, not calcium carbonate. I was thinking of other forms of plankton.

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#23    SwampgasBalloonBoy

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:33 AM

View PostOniomancer, on 19 January 2013 - 04:30 PM, said:

Why not? Apparently it was all right for nuke-em to dismiss Plait as a "stargazer" when they're both effectively in the same field, even if he is just a number cruncher. W. is a former professor of applied math and astronomy  but all his formal education appears to be in mathematics. I have yet to see evidence of any professional grounding in geology, geochemistry or biology.  I would hazard a guess his actual job description at UB is something along the lines of research coordinator, rather than anything technical. People are equally quick to assume a title equals credibilty. I believe in logic, there's a term for that: argument from authority.

It's one thing to graduate with a diploma. You have to get into the battlefield, get your hand dirty to gain the experience and become an expert. This guy has done so for decades, and you don't think he's an expert in his field? Does he need a piece of paper to tell you he's qualified? or better yet, a blog? Maybe in this age of the internet, he does need to have a blog to be relevant.

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#24    psyche101

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:50 AM

View Postbison, on 19 January 2013 - 07:34 PM, said:

Professor Chandrajith seems to think that the objects are fulgurites, or something similar, created by lightning striking soil or sand. Dr. Wickramasinghe explicitly says that this possibility was considered, tested, and ruled out. We will have to await the promised publication of the latter's evidence that this is a true meteorite.  
I would expect that a meteorite containing fossils might be unusual in several respects. Life processes that occurred before fossilization might have produced gas filled vesicles in soft material that later hardened into stone.



With regards to a possible further publication establishing the said "meteorite", why would Wickramasinghe not include such, if it has already been determined, in the original paper? That seems rather prudent?

It also seems something of a red flag that the Dr might in his enthusiasm possibly skipped a step or two?

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#25    psyche101

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:02 AM

View PostSwampgasBalloonBoy, on 20 January 2013 - 01:33 AM, said:

It's one thing to graduate with a diploma. You have to get into the battlefield, get your hand dirty to gain the experience and become an expert. This guy has done so for decades, and you don't think he's an expert in his field? Does he need a piece of paper to tell you he's qualified? or better yet, a blog? Maybe in this age of the internet, he does need to have a blog to be relevant.

Remember, math is essential in science and engineering. They don't call it the universal language for nothing.
"Respect The Math"


He does have the piece of paper, that is the thing, like I said, you do not get appointed to that position of you are a street bum or a crackpot.

As such, it is prudent to wonder why he did not allow identification of the meteorite in the first instance. That seems to have been a very, very important step has has brushed over, and that which his entire discovery hangs upon. It might be "forgotten in the rush", giving the benefit of the doubt, but this is why he has that piece of paper, so he does things right the first time, and these sort of mistakes do not happen. That is has, and that his claims hangs entirely on it, makes it not only crucial that it be released ASAP, but rather a head scratcher as to why we have not seen it yet. It is a big call to say a rock is a space rock, one has to prove such a claim, and as I said, he does have the resources for that. It's puzzling.

And unfortunately, he can only blame the Chicken Little syndrome on himself. I agree, that does not make him a crackpot, even the great Phil Klass got a little ahead of himself and said: "All UFO's can be explained by plasma" instead of saying "Some UFO's can be explained by plasma" which gave him a bad name, and the bullets needed for the opposition to shoot down, and bury his plasma research. It was not continued for decades, and when it was, it did prove to be valuable.

We need more to go on. At the moment, all we have is talk, and as you know, talk is cheap. It's a heck of a claim to take at face value. It would be a major, groundbreaking discovery. He would probably get a major mention of some kind. If it is a major groundbreaking discovery, the facts will come forth, and we will all be suitably impressed and Wickramasinghe wil be vindicated. If he is blowing out his backside, he might irreparably damage his credibility this time. I hope he knows what he is doing, they way I see it, he is playing with his career and a noose.

Edited by psyche101, 20 January 2013 - 03:02 AM.

Things are what they are. - Me Reality can't be debunked. That's the beauty of it. - Capeo If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. - Sir Isaac Newton Let me repeat the lesson learned from the Sturrock scientific review panel: Pack up your old data and forget it. Ufology needs new data, new cases, new rigorous and scientific methodologies if it hopes ever to get out of its pit. - Ed Stewart Youtube is the last refuge of the ignorant and is more often used for disinformation than genuine research.  There is a REASON for PEER REVIEW... - Chrlzs Nothing is inexplicable, just unexplained. - Dr Who

#26    psyche101

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:09 AM

View PostHazzard, on 19 January 2013 - 02:04 PM, said:

Good post, psyche,... and I would like to add one thing.  Contrary to what some here may believe, if it was proven that the rock was from space and the diatoms extraterrestrial. I (every skeptic) would be as awestruck as the rest of you. It would be wonderful news.

That would be the first time in history that we have that final SCIENTIFIC exhibit A, that life exist out there.




To be continued I guess,...



Gidday Mate

Cheers, and yes indeed a good point, the Mars rock is another, and both seem to be plausible hypotheses that could well have explained life om earth.

Which begs the question, we are seemingly finding possible examples microscopic life from other planets in places like the Antarctic, and yet some UFO Buffs say "Science avoids the UFO phenomena".

Boggles the mind!

We literally leave no stone unturned!!

Things are what they are. - Me Reality can't be debunked. That's the beauty of it. - Capeo If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. - Sir Isaac Newton Let me repeat the lesson learned from the Sturrock scientific review panel: Pack up your old data and forget it. Ufology needs new data, new cases, new rigorous and scientific methodologies if it hopes ever to get out of its pit. - Ed Stewart Youtube is the last refuge of the ignorant and is more often used for disinformation than genuine research.  There is a REASON for PEER REVIEW... - Chrlzs Nothing is inexplicable, just unexplained. - Dr Who

#27    HecticSherlock

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

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#28    HuntrSThompsun

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 05:02 PM

Sounds like another melba ketchum


#29    Hazzard

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:01 PM

View PostHuntrSThompsun, on 20 January 2013 - 05:02 PM, said:

Sounds like another melba ketchum

Im afraid so. :(

I still await the compelling Exhibit A.

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#30    pallidin

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:52 PM

Well, yeah. Hopefully they will find something similar on Mars.





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