There is a very sceptical article by Phil Plait of Slate here:
He spoke to Patrick Kociolek, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder who said:
I should say up front, that most (not all) of the forms pointed out in the paper are indeed diatoms. While the authors may have not referred to some
of the images correctly (labeling one as “filamentous” when it is just a fragment of a cell), they are indeed diatoms.
What is amazing about the forms illustrated is that 1) they are, for the most part, in great shape. There certainly is not any sign of this being
In fact on page 8 of the journal, the authors indicate, “fossils [sic] diatoms were not present near the surface of the Earth to contaminate a new
fall of meteorites.” What must have been near, however, was water, since the forms are all freshwater species…
2) the diversity present in the images represent a wide range of evolutionary history, such that the “source” of the diatoms from outer space,
must have gone through the same evolutionary events as here on earth. There are no extinct taxa found, only ones we would find living today…for me
it is a clear case of contamination with freshwater.
He sounds pretty sure that the diatoms shown are a known earth species and that their origin is freshwater contamination. He also references the
remarkably good condition of the diatoms, saying they show no sign of fossilisation.
So what does a real fossilised diatom look like? Presumably usually structurally compromised, if we follow Kociolek's reasoning?
Here are some pictures of many million year old fossilised diatoms:
These look remarkably intact to me, but Kociolek seems certain of his own mind.
So, then, Phil Plait mirrors Blarneystoner by speculating this is not a real meteorite and says that it doesn't look anything like a carbonaceous
But on the same date, following widespread reports of bright lights falling over Sri Lanka, farmers are picking these rocks out of their fields.
Jump to 66 seconds to see the farmers. Also note there is a Sri Lankan NASA guy at the start explaining what the bright lights these people saw
Maybe I'm giving these farmers too much credit, but I have a feeling these people might know which rocks are and aren't naturally from the fields
they've been manually working their whole lives. The health ministry of Sri Lanka has gone as far as to tell people not to touch these
And in the comments section below the Slate article we see:
So, in addition to Wickramasinghe's cavalier approach to forming conclusions, I see plenty of sceptics, (some being paid to be so) making conclusive,
authoritative statements without real evidence either way. Same ole