Chandra Wickramasinghe says the world is witnessing birth pangs of a paradigm shift like the Copernican Revolution regarding genesis of life

Chandra Wickramasinghe, father of panspermia-that advocates the birth of life happened in deep space and travelled on comets to planet earth said the world is witnessing a paradigm shift in thinking regarding the beginning of life similar to the Copernican revolution.
 
He was interviewed in Cardiff Wales from Los Angeles via email regarding the furor created among scientists worldwide about the claimed discovery of a NASA scientist that he found microbial fossils in an ancient meteorite that fell on Paris. His paper suggested extraterrestrial life coming from outer space, that upset some of his own colleagues in NASA who distanced from him.
 
The impassioned diatribe by the establishment scientists attacked the NASA scientist Richard Hoover who allegedly made the discovery, followers of panspermia and even the scientific journal that published Hoover’s research paper, Journal of Cosmology.
 
“We are witnessing the birth pangs of a paradigm shift as important as the Copernican revolution half a millennium ago. Long after the Earth lost its privileged status as the centre of the Universe we clung tenaciously to the idea that life at least was centred on the Earth: Earth life is adamantly maintained to be centered on Earth. It is the challenge to this position that is causing such a furor.

Scientists are acting irrationally and running around like a bunch of frightened rabbits,” Wickramasinghe said.
If Richard Hoover’s results were presented out of the blue one can understand the intensity of scepticism that has been generated. One might even suspect a Piltdown-type forgery thereby impugning Hoover’s scientific integrity. But Hoover’s work does not exist in isolation.
The theory of cometary panspermia, proposed over 30 years ago by Chandra Wickramasinghe and Fred Hoyle argued that the Earth was seeded with life by comets. This theory which was originally considered heresy is swiftly gaining mainstream attention. A vast body of evidence supporting the ideas of cometary panspermia has recently been analysed in two papers published in the peer-reviewed Cambridge University journal, the International Journal of Astrobiology Wickramasinghe said.
 
He further pointed out that the earliest claims that microbial fossils exist in meteorites go back to the 1960’s in publications by Harold Urey and Bartholamew Nagy. These claims were called to question after contamination by ragweed pollen was found in some cases, and the matter was dropped by scientists for two decades. The problem of contamination was successfully solved in the 1980’s in the work of Hans D. Pflug. Pflug was in Wickramasinghe’s view the pioneer of microfossil detections in a meteorite. Hoover’s recent work extends Pflug’s work considerably, and is even more secure in regard to freedom from contamination, Wickramasinghe said.
 
“It is thus futile in my view for establishment scientists dismiss his results so rudely as they have done,” Wickramasinghe said.
He added,”Studies of stratospheric dust from comets that I have carried out in collaboration with Professor Milton Wainwright showed the presence not only of microbial fossil structures, but also startling evidence for living bacteria. Although our work was published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, critics still argue that the viable microbes must by definition be Earthly contaminants. Alien life entering Earth -dead or alive- decreed to be a taboo subject. By the same token Gil Levin’s positive detection of microbial life on Mars appears to be taboo, and has been denied to the present day.”
 
“I think the recent work of Hoover confirms the earlier results of Hans Pflug in the 1980’s. This is why I did not hesitate to recommend the publication of his paper in JOC. Critics who have shamelessly hurled insults at Hoover and the Journal of Cosmology are reacting stupidly in my view. There is a frantic effort being made to resist a major paradigm shift in science that has long been overdue. Evidence from many directions points more clearly than ever to life being a truly cosmic phenomenon. Richard Hoover and all of us, including myself, are pariahs in the scientific community.

We are being treated in much the same way as Galileo was treated by the Papacy.” Facts cannot be challenged. Evidence points decisively to life being a cosmic phenomenon. Our minuscule abode Earth was seeded with life from comets about 4 billion years ago, and that seeding process continues even today. “I think life is very much older than the Earth and in a recent paper we argued a case for life originating less than a billion years after the Big Bang”, he said.
Paradigm shifts are dictated by the facts as they unfold. Sooner or later the Universe declares the truth about itself, he concluded.
 
He cited the following references for this interview.
1. Wickramasinghe, C., International Journal of Astrobiology 9 (2) : 119-129 (2010)

2. Wickramasinghe, C., International Journal of Astrobiology, Page 1 of 6 (2010) doi:10.1017/S1473550410000157

3. Gibson, C., Schild, R, Wickramasinghe, C International Journal of Astrobiology, Page doi:10.1017/S1473550410000352 f Cambridge University Press (2011)

 
 

– Sinhalaya News

 
 

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Posted by on March 12, 2011. Filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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