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Astrobiologists discover fossils in meteorite fragments, confirming extraterrestrial life

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posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 08:16 AM
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How much work can you find as an astrobiologist?




posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 08:18 AM
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How do we know the meteor didn't come from earth in the past?



posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 08:37 AM
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reply to post by goou111
 


If this is true, it reinforces my personal belief that there is life on Jupiter and probably Saturn, although Saturn might not contain life as a result of the trauma it's experienced (those rings came from somewhere. I think it was some sort of catastrophic event that happened millions of years ago to form the Rings). This event pushed evolution back on Saturn. Anyway, I think there are single, maybe multiple celled life forms floating around the atmosphere.

Not too hot, not too cold, organic compounds, water, heat, BINGO! We have life!



posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 08:41 AM
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Most the of the time the truth is staring us right in the face. The questions is who's truth.

Some will see this as nothing others will see it as proof. Ether way does it really matter if we can not even leave the confines of this planet. No not at all If life exists out side of this planet there is nothign much at this stage of humanity we could do about it.



posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:10 AM
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reply to post by goou111
 


"First of all, the rock is not deemed by peer scientists to be a meteorite, so it was not recorded in the international Meteoritical Society database. Scientists from both the Peradeniya University Geology Division and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies in Sri Lanka examined fragments of the alleged meteorite, and concluded that it is a terrestrial rock formed by lightning strikes (fulgurite). The silica and quartz bulk content confirms the terrestrial fulgurite explanation, further discards the meteorite hypothesis, as any silica in a meteorite would be present in trace amounts.

Second, on January 15 a diatom expert, Patrick Kociolek, wrote:

"There certainly is not any sign of this being fossilized material. (...) 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."

PZ Myers, an associate professor of biology at UMM, wrote "why a space organism would evolve to look exactly like a species that evolved in a completely different environment, and how it could have converged in all its details on such remarkable similarity to a specific Earthly species? Why, we might even suggest that it clearly looks like contamination."

So, the rock wasn't from space, it contained no fossils, and the living creatures were identical to creatures from Earth. But the evidence was compelling enough that an online "fringe science" journal published an article about it! And I learned all of that in less than 5 minutes by visiting Wikipedia, like you should have.

Do you not feel even a little bit embarrassed about posting a headline that contains "confirming extraterrestrial life", as though it was a fact?"



posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by jjkenobi
How do we know the meteor didn't come from earth in the past?


How do we know life didn't come from elsewhere for once or is it too much to accept something may come from a place other than Earth??



posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by OnionHead
 


I applaud your sarcasm Mr Onion, I'm sure if I peal through the layers I'll find a decent individual with allot of discontentment towards ignorance and that is a great attribute to own in this crazy circus of a world we live in. A mere sign of gratitude towards an interesting topic brought forward by the OP and a comical reply on my behalf should not upset you so much. I find it very interesting and although I am no scientist with any capabilities or the correct facilities to clarify the validity of the analysis on the extra-terrestrial rock, I do believe it to be plausible in every way. Why ? you may ask, because secretly I want human beings to realize that there may be more to "Life" than what it seems. I'm off to search for some more martian rocks shaped like apples and bananas so i can further validate than mars was once home to ignorant primates just like us.

Good day to you Sir/Ma'am



posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 10:21 AM
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Why panspermia?

Just because a meteor with life landed on Earth, doesn't mean that's the way life began here. You could also ask, how did life form on the celestial body the meteorite chipped off from? Panspermia as well? Evidence doesn't necessarily = explanation in this case.



posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by DARREN1976

just to expand on that slightly , it stated low levels of nitrogen more commonly found in MODERN earth organisms.... so it couldnt of been ejcta from earth if it is comparable to those levels of modern earth organisms...not unless i have been asleep and we have recently had a collision with something along the magnitude of what killed of the dinosaurs, thats the only thing i think thats powerfull enough to throw the kind of ejecta in to space that your talking about, but by all means somebody correct me if i have this wrong.....

PEACE!!


I may be wrong but I believe you are in ERROR. It appears that you have taken the EXACT OPPOSITE understanding of what was written and intended.

I went to the MIT Tech Review site as I believe this is a reliable source.

www.technologyreview.com...

What was stated was that the LOW levels of nitrogen found in this meteorite differ from the HIGHER levels of nitrogen found in MODERN organisms.

Quote from the MIT article:


"Wallis and co. also measured the abundance of various elements in the samples to determine their origin. They say that low levels of nitrogen in particular rule out the possibility of contamination by modern organisms which would have a much higher nitrogen content. The fact that these samples are also buried within the rock matrix is further evidence, they say."


So I believe it is the exact opposite meaning than you took from it.

I think this could be historical ejecta returning to Earth after millions/billions of years in space. The only problem I see in this regard is the claim that the rocks were formed in a lower gravity environment. But could this not only include the moon but the Earth pre the collison from which Earth gained mass and therefore gravity? I haven't noticed details of aging this meteorite (if that is possibe) so I could be wrong in that regard.

I would love this to be the smoking gun, but alas without peer review I have to agree with Phage and temper my initial excitement.
edit on 12-3-2013 by merkins because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 10:43 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by MysterX
 






  • Chandra Wickramasinghe was a professor at the University of Cardiff until he was sacked a couple of years ago. He now runs his own 'department' (essentially a pasture for him to grow old in) at Buckingham University.

  • Chandra Wickramasinghe is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Cosmology, a more-or-less crank publication dedicated to fringe subjects like panspermia.
    I trust this makes the situation a little clearer.




  • This is an article on Wickramsinghe's sacking, he was not the only one given the boot, all the volunteers were also sacked. The whole department cost only £15000 per year. Who'd have thought! An Astrobiology unit on the cheap,
    Part .1


    Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, the chief exponent of the theory that planets like earth have been seeded for life by comets has been dismissed from his post at the Cardiff University in Wales, United Kingdom.

    The university informed the Sri Lanka born British scientist that they are withdrawing funding for his department, the astrobiology center.

    The UK parliament magazine reported the removal of Wickramasinghe in a story headlined as "Killing the Goose that lays the golden eggs."

    Wickramasinghe believes that life was seeded by comets and asteroids and pathogens like virus for influenza also arrived here from deep space taking hitch hikes on such astral bodies.

    Professor Wickramasinghe, a long time collaborator with renowned astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle was recently drawn into controversy when he supported, NASA scientist Richard Hoover who claimed he found fossilized evidence of life in three meteorites.

    Wickramasinghe was the only paid worker of the Astro biological Center of the University. The other research fellows and associates worked in an honorary capacity and it cost the university only about 24,000 US dollars an year.

    Wickramasinghe told this correspondent: "It is beyond belief that an area of work that attracts worldwide attention on a regular basis should be targeted by any "marketing oriented" University. I am convinced that it is not a case of funding, but prejudice arising from numerous petty causes."

    The United Kingdom Parliament magazine said few problems in science attract more public attention than the search for alien life. "The quest for how life began, not just on earth but anywhere in the universe must rank among the most fundamental problems of science." The magazine said the astrobiology center is one of the first ever for research in the subject and by the closure the university saved only less than 15k British pounds per year. The magazine called it "Killing the goose that laid golden eggs". Wickramasinghe gave the following interview to Skymania, the British website:

    "The authorities intimated to me that in view of financial stringencies they were looking at areas outside the core curriculum to cut and this was one of the targets they had.

    "It was only costing them between £14,000 and £15,000 (about $24,000) a year to retain me as a part time director of the centre.

    "All the other staff, totaling about 12, is honorary research fellows and associates who were not costing the university anything at all. They have brought a huge amount of credit to Cardiff University and so it amazed me that the university would discontinue their support for astrobiology. "What they did to me is a travesty of normal university practice and I still don't understand the motive. I can't believe for a moment that they are strapped for £15,000 a year to maintain a centre that has, for good or bad, a very high profile internationally. "We continue to make headlines in various things that we do. Some of our work remains controversial but it is in the nature of science to promote controversy as long as it is intelligent controversy. That's within the rules of the game. If people agree 100 per cent what they're doing then science becomes a bit insubstantial. "I just fail to understand why they do this. It could be ageism because, at 71, I'm over the retirement age by a couple of years, but I've been around for years and have published many papers. I was Sir Fred Hoyle's longest-running collaborator from the time I was a student at Cambridge."

    He added: "I am the astrobiology editor of the Journal of Cosmology. The Journal has published work such as on the Hoover meteorites that was decidedly controversial but that didn't mean that the papers were not worth publishing. "I personally invited Hoover to submit his paper because I've known him for a long time. If that Hoover stuff had come out the blue I would have been suspicious because it would have seemed almost too good to be true." "He came to Cardiff about a year and a half ago on my invitation and brought a sample of the Murchison meteorite with him.
    edit on 12-3-2013 by smurfy because: Text.



    posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 10:44 AM
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    reply to post by Kody27
     


    If correct this would appear to be the nail in the coffin. However, I fear your post may be completely ignored.

    I allowed my hopes to rise initially. Stupid of me really but hey what can you do when you believe there's life everywhere and all that is missing is the evidence of it. Gutted.

    One day though....



    posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 10:48 AM
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    reply to post by smurfy
     


    Good post.

    Although I wish it weren't true.

    The final nail in the coffin for me. Time to walk away from this thread, and to remember not to allow thread titles and OPs to get my hopes up.



    posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 10:51 AM
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    reply to post by smurfy
     


    Part 2. For Astyanax et a.l

    Within sight of me and half a dozen other scientists at the Earth sciences lab, he used a hammer to crack open the meteorite. "He turned an electron-scanning microscope onto a freshly cleaned surface of the meteorite and some of these images with biological structure jumped out onto the screen. It was pretty impressive."

    Prof Wickramasinghe added: "Most of our publications last year were in the International Journal of Astrobiology, a mainstream Cambridge University publication which is heavily peer-reviewed and is not a trivial journal."

    The professor, who appealed against his sacking, is now seeking private funding for the centre to continue as a limited company and says he has had two or three expressions of interest in recent days.

    He said: "I've got ongoing collaborations with, for example, the Russian space agency. Next year is 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first manned trip around the world. To mark this, we're doing lots of experiments such as looking for viruses and evidence of cometary organics coming in from space. To continue work like that I have to set up a company."

    An official spokesman for Cardiff University said: "The decision to close the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology (CCAB) in 2010 was made on the basis of budgetary and strategic reasons and not because of any views expressed by Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe or the Centre.

    "The University can confirm that its decision is not connected in any way with any views which may have been expressed in the Journal of Cosmology."

    Wickramasinghe also told this correspondent: ""I have already obtained offers of support from private foundations, and several international universities are considering affiliations at the present time....I think we would be better off within any system that is appreciative of the work we do.."

    edit on 12-3-2013 by smurfy because: Text.



    posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 11:00 AM
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    Here is some more information on this. The more I look at it the more I am agreeing with some others on this being contamination or a return rock.

    Here are some papers on this rock and relevant information.

    journalofcosmology.com...

    www.lpi.usra.edu...

    astrobiology.gsfc.nasa.gov...


    And an aditional article.

    www.slate.com...



    Diatoms are responsible (as well as some sponges) for the production of the stone we know as chert/flint. This stone when placed under a strong enough microscope is fiiled with the bits of their skeletons, which are siliceous.

    Some of the photos in the links posted here show a lot greater detail. However, that being said I do not think this stone originated in space but on Earth itself. I do not expect that any life in space would be like it is on Earth but somewhat different. As another poster pointed out on the last page. They got a sampling of many stones and picked these because they show what appear to be fossils. They have not even proven that this rock is the witnessed meteorite.

    Raist



    posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 11:01 AM
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    reply to post by smurfy
     


    So looks like he'll be trying to crowdsource from kickstarter eventually.

    This kind of whinging and whining in public is unbecoming of a scientist.



    posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 11:04 AM
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    Afer a cursory scan of the subject on my search engine, I can find no reputable publication running this story.

    It seems likely that Dr Wickramasinghe is desperately clutching at straws to find supporting evidence for the outlandish theory (panspermia) that he has pinned his professional credibility on for much of his academic life.

    It does present one or two awkward questions....

    How did life get on to the meteorite in the first place?

    How did it survive the journey through space?

    Why has no life been found yet?

    Et cetera.



    posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 11:29 AM
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    Well the thread was a good read for a moment.

    There is a story in this somewhere...

    Ahh.. was a fun 15 minutes... at least I allowed myself the pleasure of hoping evidence would literally be found falling out of the sky.

    Was fun while it lasted...



    posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 11:39 AM
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    Originally posted by Kody27
    reply to post by goou111
     


    "First of all, the rock is not deemed by peer scientists to be a meteorite, so it was not recorded in the international Meteoritical Society database. Scientists from both the Peradeniya University Geology Division and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies in Sri Lanka examined fragments of the alleged meteorite, and concluded that it is a terrestrial rock formed by lightning strikes (fulgurite). The silica and quartz bulk content confirms the terrestrial fulgurite explanation, further discards the meteorite hypothesis, as any silica in a meteorite would be present in trace amounts.

    Second, on January 15 a diatom expert, Patrick Kociolek, wrote:

    "There certainly is not any sign of this being fossilized material. (...) 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."

    PZ Myers, an associate professor of biology at UMM, wrote "why a space organism would evolve to look exactly like a species that evolved in a completely different environment, and how it could have converged in all its details on such remarkable similarity to a specific Earthly species? Why, we might even suggest that it clearly looks like contamination."

    So, the rock wasn't from space, it contained no fossils, and the living creatures were identical to creatures from Earth. But the evidence was compelling enough that an online "fringe science" journal published an article about it! And I learned all of that in less than 5 minutes by visiting Wikipedia, like you should have.

    Do you not feel even a little bit embarrassed about posting a headline that contains "confirming extraterrestrial life", as though it was a fact?"


    Posters, you should read this post by Kody27. There it is in full, just like he wrote it above.



    posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 12:23 PM
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    Originally posted by merkins

    Originally posted by DARREN1976

    just to expand on that slightly , it stated low levels of nitrogen more commonly found in MODERN earth organisms.... so it couldnt of been ejcta from earth if it is comparable to those levels of modern earth organisms...not unless i have been asleep and we have recently had a collision with something along the magnitude of what killed of the dinosaurs, thats the only thing i think thats powerfull enough to throw the kind of ejecta in to space that your talking about, but by all means somebody correct me if i have this wrong.....

    PEACE!!


    I may be wrong but I believe you are in ERROR. It appears that you have taken the EXACT OPPOSITE understanding of what was written and intended.

    I went to the MIT Tech Review site as I believe this is a reliable source.

    www.technologyreview.com...

    What was stated was that the LOW levels of nitrogen found in this meteorite differ from the HIGHER levels of nitrogen found in MODERN organisms.

    Quote from the MIT article:


    "Wallis and co. also measured the abundance of various elements in the samples to determine their origin. They say that low levels of nitrogen in particular rule out the possibility of contamination by modern organisms which would have a much higher nitrogen content. The fact that these samples are also buried within the rock matrix is further evidence, they say."


    So I believe it is the exact opposite meaning than you took from it.

    I think this could be historical ejecta returning to Earth after millions/billions of years in space. The only problem I see in this regard is the claim that the rocks were formed in a lower gravity environment. But could this not only include the moon but the Earth pre the collison from which Earth gained mass and therefore gravity? I haven't noticed details of aging this meteorite (if that is possibe) so I could be wrong in that regard.

    I would love this to be the smoking gun, but alas without peer review I have to agree with Phage and temper my initial excitement.
    edit on 12-3-2013 by merkins because: (no reason given)


    Well if it is as you say it is then I am the one who is wrong, but I wont apologise on this occasion for being wrong as it should of been explained better, seems like a typical case of leaving certain bits out to make it sound more controversial if you catch my drift, and I completely agree with..there is no way on Earth (pun intended of course!) that this is the "SMOKING GUN"

    PEACE!!



    posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 12:24 PM
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    reply to post by FreeThinkerbychoice
     


    Hello you free thinker you, nice to meet you. Don't get me wrong, I do believe that this is plausible, of course it is. If I had to guess I would say that the universe is packed with life in many variations. I have a problem with threads like this though and their misleading titles. "Astrobiologists discover fossils in meteorite fragments, confirming extraterrestrial life"- this should be breaking news round the world, did I stick my TV on to watch this breaking news unfold? No, because I knew better.

    I look forward to this being backed up, I have my doubts though.

    Don't get me started on Earth like creatures on Mars, I buckle laughing at those threads.





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