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FenderJazzBass

Fossil Diatoms FOUND in Metoer Rock Matrix

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http://journalofcosm...nnaruwaRRRR.pdf

Sorry too excited to spell properly. Can someone edit the title of this post for spelling ?

Edited by FenderJazzBass
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http://journalofcosm...nnaruwaRRRR.pdf

Sorry too excited to spell properly. Can someone edit the title of this post for spelling ?

Algae inside a comet,... Panspermia is a valid theory? There is life in space. Sounds very cool indeed.

But, is this Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe credible?

http://www.slate.com..._meteorite.html

Edited by Hazzard
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and theres me just about to get interested - and its debunked first post ! This is the thing, people need to check the sources..

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Sorry too excited to spell properly.

If it was real, don't you think it'd be on TV news, like you know, a major story? Last time a thingy was seen in a meteorite..the president announced it on TV too, along with NASA.

So unless you hear it from them in your quests... its bogus!

http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/snc/clinton.html

.

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So one scientist debunked a groups work impressive and he was even american... Like we know in this field of work there is always disbelief in someone elses work especially when one sends a link to the paper... a good scientis will make HUGE conclusions from the link provided :clap .

I would believe the "debunking" story if this colorado scientist actualy did any work on sample alone but hey lets believe the link!

Oh and we all know fringe science isnt accepted anywhere...

However, there are no details whatsoever of the find itself. Where did they find it, exactly?

He goes on that some elements that were found at analysis of the meteor are present on earth... Really? So they thought they will find a new element triple xyz which will be sure proof of the space origin of the rock...But hey elements on earth are found everywhere in space so how is that debunking a meteorite????

We are looking just for that algae fossilized or not..and this debunking source is just a blog... whatever dude. The link had offical records, papers, diagrams,analysis and you want me to believe a blog...I need more conclusive proof than someone else's story.

EDit: Quote from Wiki about our crazy scientist "Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe (born 20 January 1939) is a Sri Lankan-born British mathematician. He is currently Director of theBuckingham University Centre for Astrobiology."

I will belive someone who actualy works in the field of astrobiology than someone who gazes at stars.

More from our crazy scientist

“ My most significant astronomical contribution was to develop the theory of organic grains in comets and in the interstellar medium. This was done during the 1970s and 1980s, and it is now accepted by everyone almost without remembering its origins! I feel I also played a part in the birth of the science of astrobiology.

Sources: Wikipedia , Link from Hazzard, link from Fender ”

Edited by Nuke_em
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Dr. Phil Plait's blog at Slate is scarcely the last word on this matter. He admits that he is not an expert on meteorites. He apparently didn't consult one, either. He merely wrote that he did not think that the object looked like a meteorite, even of the specified carbonaceous chondrite type. I was able to find a picture of a meteorite of this type, which looks very like the Sri Lankan object. It took only a few minutes search at Google Image. Dr. Plait seems in a hurry to dismiss this new discovery.

At least he did consult one biologist about the diatoms found inside the object. This person thought that they looked too much like Earthly organisms to be from anywhere else. He did not specify a single Earthly species; made only a broad statement. He seems to have ignored the part of Dr. Wickramasinghe's paper which said that the diatoms were mineralized, and in a manner very similar to that of the meteorite itself. If this is correct, they are fossils. It seems highly unlikely that contaminating Earthly organisms could have become fossilized in the few days between the fall and the discovery of this meteorite.

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egg_001.jpg

Prof Wickramasinghe, 72 — famous for controversial ideas such as that the flu virus and even life itself was brought to our planet by comets — said: "It is impossible to understand how carbon-rich particles of such uniform sizes and shapes got inside a rocky matrix if they are not relics of some algal species.

http://www.thesun.co...of-of-life.html

Edited by Hazzard

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So one scientist debunked a groups work impressive and he was even american... Like we know in this field of work there is always disbelief in someone elses work especially when one sends a link to the paper... a good scientis will make HUGE conclusions from the link provided :clap .

I would believe the "debunking" story if this colorado scientist actualy did any work on sample alone but hey lets believe the link!

Oh and we all know fringe science isnt accepted anywhere...

He goes on that some elements that were found at analysis of the meteor are present on earth... Really? So they thought they will find a new element triple xyz which will be sure proof of the space origin of the rock...But hey elements on earth are found everywhere in space so how is that debunking a meteorite????

He said chemicals, not elements. Meteorites usually have specific chemical signatures which mark them as extraterrestrial. Minerals such as olivine are often associated with certain meteorites types such as pallisites but it's not exclusive too them, which is the point he's making.

He's also correct about the specimen not seeming to have proper regmaglypts. It also doesn't appear to have a fusion crust but does have what appear to be vesicles. All solid hits against it according to meteorite identification sites I've been on in the past

AWe are looking just for that algae fossilized or not..and this debunking source is just a blog... whatever dude. The link had offical records, papers, diagrams,analysis and you want me to believe a blog...I need more conclusive proof than someone else's story.

Diatoms have calcium carbonate skeletons. They are by definition then already mineralized.

EDit: Quote from Wiki about our crazy scientist "Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe (born 20 January 1939) is a Sri Lankan-born British mathematician. He is currently Director of theBuckingham University Centre for Astrobiology."

I will belive someone who actualy works in the field of astrobiology than someone who gazes at stars.

And I'll take the word of the guy who actually works at astronomy for NASA over a math teacher. (sorry Harte)

Edited by Oniomancer
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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.

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Let's suppose it was true, Nasa wouldn't be too happy when they are spending millions on Mars and one more or less hits us in the head by accident LOL

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Let's suppose it was true, Nasa wouldn't be too happy when they are spending millions on Mars and one more or less hits us in the head by accident LOL

"Amateur astronomer discovered _______ and later confirmed by NASA when contacted" haven't we heard this before?

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egg_001.jpg

Prof Wickramasinghe, 72 — famous for controversial ideas such as that the flu virus and even life itself was brought to our planet by comets — said: "It is impossible to understand how carbon-rich particles of such uniform sizes and shapes got inside a rocky matrix if they are not relics of some algal species.

http://www.thesun.co...of-of-life.html

Most scientists worth a damn always have "controversial" ideas. They achieved because they dared to dream.

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He said chemicals, not elements. Meteorites usually have specific chemical signatures which mark them as extraterrestrial. Minerals such as olivine are often associated with certain meteorites types such as pallisites but it's not exclusive too them, which is the point he's making.

He's also correct about the specimen not seeming to have proper regmaglypts. It also doesn't appear to have a fusion crust but does have what appear to be vesicles. All solid hits against it according to meteorite identification sites I've been on in the past

Diatoms have calcium carbonate skeletons. They are by definition then already mineralized.

And I'll take the word of the guy who actually works at astronomy for NASA over a math teacher. (sorry Harte)

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.

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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.

Wicramasinghe I agree might not be quite as nutty as is made out, but the article does have a point, and he does tend to scream the sky is falling an awful lot. Like the article says, he claims everything from the flu to red rain is panspermia. He's got panspermia on the brain a little too much. But you do not become Director of the Center for Astrobiology at the University of Buckingham if your a certified kook. His mentor was Fred Hoyle, the man who did not believe in, and inadvertently so named the big bang. That very well might account for a somewhat eccentric viewpoint.

And I agree that the articles basis is not correct, this part anyhow:

In other words, all the diatoms shown in the paper are from known species on Earth. That makes it somewhat less likely they are native to space. And by somewhat, I mean completely. Like, zero chance they are from space.

I agree, I think that is cart before the horse a bit, we do not know what sparked life on earth, and yes, he did claim fossils, and these do not look like fossils, however, has he used a model, or did space offer some amazing preservation ability? Could this be the reason that such microbes did start life on earth? If he found microbes in a space rock that look like that, then he might really be onto something. The paper is right that the claim is premature, but so is saying this is "NOT" evidence of panspermia. It might be, and if anyone would know, I guess it would probably be Wicramasinghe.

But, the article makes a damn good point with the origin of said rock. Is is from space at all? It certainly does not look like it, and with the resources available to Wicramasinghe we should know, and have proof, Isotopic ratio's compositions, there are som definite markers that can prove if he actually has a space rock, or an earth rock. If it is an earth rock, this is hardly remarkable. We are not seeing any of this, I think we should have this with the claim myself.

What we need is more input from Wicramasinghe, I just hope we get it. If we do not, I fear the claim looks very bad for him, and with his feverish pursuit of panspermia, I am not sure how many more blows his credibility can take. He needs to pull back a bit and be sure before making a claim. All he is doing is making himself look bad when he makes a premature claim(s) that turns out to have been based on no more than enthusiasm, and enthusiastic the doctor is, as anyone can see. At the moment, it's an enticing claim, but little more. Time will tell, I just hope Wicramasinghe is not diving ito the deep end again, but I have to say, it would appear so.

Edited by psyche101
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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,...

Edited by Hazzard

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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

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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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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

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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

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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.org/wiki/Polonnaruwa_%28meteorite%29

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.

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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

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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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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.

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

"Respect The Math"

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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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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

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