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Wickramasinghe in 'alien fossils' claim

Posted on Sunday, 20 January, 2013 | Comment icon 60 comments | News tip by: FenderJazzBass

Image credit: Wickramasinghe, Wallis et al

The astrobiologist has claimed that fossil diatoms found in a meteorite are proof of alien life.

Chandra Wickramasinghe is director of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Buckingham and along with astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle developed the concept of 'panspermia', the theory that life is distributed throughout the cosmos on asteroids, comets and other bodies. In this case his team is said to have discovered tiny fossils inside a carbonaceous meteorite that represent evidence of extraterrestrial life.

The claim inevitably sounds too good to be true and that's because some of Wickramasinghe's previous claims have been highly controversial. "Wickramasinghe jumps on everything, with little or no evidence, and says it's from outer space, so I think there's a case to be made for a bias on his part," said astronomer Phil Plait. To date his claims of alien fossils within the meteorite have yet to independently corroborated.

"If a group of scientists are correct, tiny fossils uncovered inside a meteorite found in Sri Lanka in December are proof of extraterrestrial life."

  View: Full article |  Source: Huffington Post

  Discuss: View comments (60)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #51 Posted by 3.0 on 23 January, 2013, 5:27
If they can clearly identify the fossil, to something like we have on earth; then how is it extraterrestrial? Maybe it was blasted into space from earth, and finally made it back. However, DNA that doesn't match anything on earth would be alien!
Comment icon #52 Posted by bison on 23 January, 2013, 15:05
Dr. Wickramasinghe explains that several of the diatoms found in the meteorite have been looked at by experts, and can not be identified as species from Earth. The biologist consulted by Dr. Plait thought that they looked like Earth diatoms, but did not specify any particular species. He was apparently working from the published photographs, alone. These, of course, do not tell the whole story. I do not believe that any DNA will have been preserved, if the diatoms are fossilized, as has been reported.
Comment icon #53 Posted by Oniomancer on 23 January, 2013, 15:32
Known species. According to wiki, "It is estimated that there are approximately 100,000 extant species." One questions why they would need to estimate. Possibly something to do with the fact that the things are microscopic and literally everywhere so that the prospect of our having found all of these extant species is rather unlikely. If they are fossilized, that raises the further possibility that they are of a previously unknown extinct species.
Comment icon #54 Posted by DBunker on 24 January, 2013, 2:13
They are not even sure the rock came from space.... I mean, what the hell!!!
Comment icon #55 Posted by Simbi Laveau on 24 January, 2013, 8:08
Wow,I had not seen this before. That's amazing .
Comment icon #56 Posted by Hazzard on 24 January, 2013, 15:01
And what about now, when you have read the rest of the thread?
Comment icon #57 Posted by bison on 24 January, 2013, 17:51
Some writers and publications have taken to charging, or repeating the charge, that Dr. Wickramasinghe is a 'fringe scientist'. As the context of these remarks makes clear, the intent is critical and dismissive. They are not commending him for working at the edge of what is known, and seeking to expand scientific knowledge. I thought it might be interesting to look up the doctor's curriculum vitae, resume, honors, publications, and accomplishments. Here is a link to a summary of this impressive lifetime of scientific endeavor:
Comment icon #58 Posted by psyche101 on 25 January, 2013, 5:27
Well if your mentor was Hoyle, you would probably be regarded as somewhat eccentric, or even fringe yourself! A Nobel Prize winner who cannot believe the Big Bang. Hoyle compared the random emergence of even the simplest cell without panspermia to the likelihood that "a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein." Hoyle thought that Abiogenesis was a complete crock, and pushed Panspermia himself, as such, Wickramasinghe seems destined to follow that path that he has. Not sure how the chicken and the egg question goes with Panspe... [More]
Comment icon #59 Posted by Rafterman on 25 January, 2013, 14:50
Two points: 1. How many significant scientific discoveries have been made after THIRTEEN DAYS of study? 2. The Journal of Cosmology is a joke. It's really nothing more than a blog for believers in fringe science. When it shows up in Science or Nature, give me a call.
Comment icon #60 Posted by ReddWolfe on 6 February, 2013, 2:55
thats sketchysounds kind of sketchythats sketchysounds kind of sketchy to me
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