Talk:Chandra Wickramasinghe

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Request to replace current text with[edit]

Professor Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe, BSc (Ceylon), MA, PhD, ScD (Cantab), Hon DSc (Sri Lanka, Ruhuna), Hon DLitt (Tokyo, Soka), FIMA, FRAS, FRSA

Director of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology, Cardiff University

Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe was born in Sri Lanka and was educated at Royal College, Colombo and later at the University of Ceylon. In 1960 he obtained a First Class Honours degree in Mathematics and won a Commonwealth scholarship to proceed to Trinity College Cambridge. He commenced work in Cambridge on his PhD degree under the supervision of the late Sir Fred Hoyle, and published his first scientific paper in 1961. He was awarded a PhD degree in Mathematics in 1963 and was elected a Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge in the same year. In the following year he was appointed a Staff Member of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge. Here he began his pioneering work on the nature of Interstellar Dust, publishing many papers in this field that led to important paradigm shifts in astronomy. He published the very first definitive book on Interstellar Grains in 1967. In 1973 he was awarded Cambridge University’s highest doctorate for Science, the prestigious ScD.

Chandra Wickramasinghe is acknowledged as being one of the world’s leading experts on interstellar material and the origins of life. He has made many important contributions in this field, publishing over 350 papers in major scientific journals, over 75 in the high-impact journal Nature. In 1974 he first proposed the theory that dust in interstellar space and in comets was largely organic, a theory that has now been vindicated. Jointly with the late Sir Fred Hoyle he was awarded the International Dag Hammarskjold Gold Medal for Science in 1986.

Chandra Wickramasinghe was a UNDP Consultant and Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka in 1982-84, and played a key role in the setting up of the Institute of Fundamental Studies in Sri Lanka. In 1983/84 he was appointed the founder Director of the Institute of Fundamental Studies by President J.R. Jayawardene. In 1992 he was decorated by the President of Sri Lanka with the titular honour of Vidya Jyothi. He was awarded the International Sahabdeen Prize for Science in 1996.

In 1973 he was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics at University College, Cardiff, being the youngest Professor appointed at the University upto that time. He was responsible for starting an Astrophysics research group in Cardiff under the auspices of a new Department that was formed under his headship, the Department of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy. He remained Head of this Department until 1989 by which time the Astronomy Research School in Cardiff was regarded as being one of the best in the UK. From 1989-1999 he has held the post of Professor of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy within a newly structured School of Mathematics at Cardiff University of Wales. In the year 2000 he was appointed Director of the newly formed Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology.

He is an award-winning poet and the author or co-author of over 25 books and over 350 scientific papers. He has held visiting professorial appointments in a large number of Universities world-wide. In recognition of his extensive contributions to science and culture he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Soka University of Tokyo, Japan in 1996.

He was the John Snow Memorial Lecturer and John Snow Medallist of the Association of Anasethetists of Great Britain and Ireland in 2004.

He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by the Unversity of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka in 2004.

Source: BlurbNCW2005.doc, Personal email from 'Dr Wickramasinghe' regarding his birthdate.

Note: His birthdate has been listed correctly in the year, 1939, and correctly linked back here.

--Artoftransformation 15:50, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Well I thought that I would just add your info and wait for someone to clear it up and improve it --Kinhull 23:14, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Publications list[edit]

This man is PROLIFIC. How do I condense the large amount of materal he has published? I know to pick the most signifcant books on Astronomy, physics, mathamatics, biology, but the sheer amount of volume. I will sleep on this. --Artoftransformation 15:50, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Most of his publications are just rehashing of already published material with extreme claims placed on the top. Most claims are derived from math mistakes, misreading of the original text, and faulty logic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.245.112.128 (talk) 04:37, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

vsmith this unsigned comment is libellous unless it can be supported by some citations and a signed comment. Please could you ask the writer to prove his comment. I am confused with the comment "misreading of the original text". As he wrote the original text, he could hardly be misreading it. If this can be proved it is likely with time the ideas have evolved or newly gathered evidence has changed Wickramasinghe's position on an issue or hypothesis. Having read most of his work, which spans 50 years, this is a valuable history of the development of astrophysics and astobiology.

BSmith821 (talk) 16:59, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Organic molecules or life itself?[edit]

The 2nd para had suggested that panspermia is about organic molecules in space, and that life arose from these rather than from the primordial sea. a) There are other hypotheses of terrestrial abiogenesis than the primordial sea one. b) Wickramasinghe & co go much further than merely saying that organic molecules from space were useful when life started up on Earth. They maintain that life was actually carried to earth by 'spores from space'; indeed they suggest that it still is. Davy p 20:40, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Copyvio text?[edit]

The "Biography" section of the page looked like it was copied from another source, and upon some Google searching I found a paragraph almost identical to a paragraph from [1]. Is the content allowed to be on the page, or not? GlobeGores (talk page | user page) 07:10, 4 August 2008 (UTC)


Criticisms[edit]

Where are the criticisms to panspermia's suggestions and theories? For such a grand theory there must exist a group of scientists who either refute this theory or have produced some kind of cogent argument against it.99.226.181.149 (talk) 17:56, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Massive POV[edit]

This is one of the most biased biographical articles I've seen on WP in recent times. The article subtly (and not so subtly) pushes the panspermia POV without even a passing mention of the many and wide criticisms of it or, more importantly, the complete lack of supporting evidence. I also note that there is no mention of Prof. Wickramasinghe even more fringe views and activities such as co-authoring a paper claiming that an Archaeopteryx specimen was a fake created by pressing chicken feathers into wet plaster surrounding a Compsognathus skeleton. 124.148.211.236 (talk) 07:20, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

His only gift to knowledge is the discovery of organic (innert) molecules in space. But 99% of his writings are opium dreams without scientific merit nor logic. Yes, this "biography" needs decontamination. BatteryIncluded (talk) 21:48, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

OK, let's criticize panspermia then![edit]

Anyone is welcome to write and cite counterarguments, but the assumption that writing about panspermia is soapbox promotion is inconsistent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.103.82.94 (talk) 13:19, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

The tag is not because about panspermia. The vast part of this "biography" has been copied from Wickramasinghe's own web site (copy violation?), and has been sanitized to the extreme. It contains dozens of WP:PEA, and severely abuses of credentials titles (WP:CREDENTIAL). While you are at it making it "balanced", you may want to mention he was recently fired from the Cardiff University: [2], or that he is the editor of the Journal of Cosmology - famous for its bias and insubstanciated claims. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 13:59, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

OK, point taken. I've tried to remove the (WP:CREDENTIAL). The WP:PEA are more thin to spot. The firing is relevant but certainly not a scientific proof that the man is wrong. Let's see how long this version of mine will stand. But now: your words sound scathing to me, if you don't believe it's possible to reach "balance" in a discussion, what are you doing here? And, by the way, the word is "unsubstantiated"  ;-) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.16.143.174 (talk) 10:45, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

That was a good start. Later I'll do some revisions of my own, including lack of "controversy", as it only exists in his head. Even now he is on denial of all the scientific facts: [3]. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 03:05, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Restructuring of Dr Chandra's WIKIPAGE[edit]

I would like to introduce myself to people interested in this page, and request their support as I argue the case to make this page reflect the work of this brilliant man. A few nights ago I accidentally posted this message to the Editor on the wrong WIKI Talk: page. I would like to redocument these thoughts to share my feelings with people interested in this page.

There is much derogatory material being collected here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandra_Wickramasinghe which seems not to be in the spirit of Wikipedia, nor (I trust) intentionally abusive. Some of it is close to libelous.

I am currently close to completing a submission to the UK National Honours Nomination process to recommend Chandra Wickramasinghe for the highest UK honour. I have received a set of letters of reference from some (10) of the top scientists in the UK.

Unfortunately most young Americans have no understanding or knowledge of this man or the process by which he ended up in the 1960's studying under Sir Fred Hoyle. At the time Fred Hoyle was the Michio Kaku of the UK MIT - ie Cambridge University. Fred was a peer of Sir Herman Bondi and was in the generation who followed Einstein. These were the creme de la creme of the best brains in Britain and across the old British Empire (The Commonwealth).

Every year or two, we would hear of a new young PhD student coming from Asia to study science at Cambridge. These winners of Commonwealth scholarships were usually brilliant - if not often geniuses. They were greatly admired and respected. It is this history of respect that has caused me to be so distressed at some of the seriously incorrect and derogatory material floating round the internet - and especially on this Chandra Wickramasinghe's WIKIPAGE. To imply the things that this WIKIPAGE does is close to unforgiveable.

All I can do is work within your WIKIPEDIA system to improve the material. As you ask me to provide proof of my suggested changes, I ask only that the editors provide proof of their existing material.

I was planning to begin this process by correcting the University where he currently is based. Then I would like to address the most critical of paragraphs - his connection to the Creationists v. Darwinists debate.

Understand that I put Chandra Wickramasinghe in the same category as Galileo, and believe that the rapidly emerging knowledge around extraterrestrial microbial life - which accelerates due to the latest developments in the ALMA results, will finally be proven by the 2014 Rosetta Mission and then (if NASA fund it) the 2019 MARS Icebreaker Mission. I believe it is critical NASA approve this "search for current life" mission.

Many will know that Dr Chandra is in his 70's and retired from full time academic teaching. The good news is that he is in costant demand to lecture and speak on TV Shows and Radio Shows across the world. For this reason I have suggested to him that we ask WIKIPEDIA editors to allow us to restructure his site - and we are proposing that we use Michio Kaku's page as a template.

The Plan for the next 2 weeks[edit]

I will be creating a full page off-line in WORD, and working hard with citations and "proof" of every change from the original that you see today.

I realize there are one or two people, who for whatever reason, wish to present a very negative view of this amazing scientist. I am happy to talk on the phone or SKYPE to those people to better understand where you are coming from. For Editors who only want the truth, I will work diligently to deliver the citations and proof of any changes.

Request to Immediately correct his latter employment history[edit]

I would like to refer a few people to this report on the BBC of a retirement party in Cardiff University on 7 Sept 2006 Retirement Party of CW 7 Sept 2006: I hope you can see why the last part of the Education section is wrong.

It reads (incorrectly - and has been incorrect for years):

..... and Professor and Director of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology (1999-2011), now a private company and charity.[1]

It should read :

Professor of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy, University of Cardiff, Wales, UK (1990-2006)

Professor and Director of the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology, University of Cardiff, Wales, UK (2006-2011)

Professor and Director of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology, University of Buckingham, UK (2011- )

If no-one objects after following the citation, I will update the paragraph tomorrow. I am working though on the new page off-line over the next 2 weeks.

PS I am not being paid. Like Xenophon the student of Socrates, I am just wanting to see Wikipedia reflect true history. Best wishes Bill Smith William E. (Bill) Smith 104 – 1159 Beach Drive Victoria, BC V8S 2N2 Canada Tel : +1-250-598-6692 Mob: +1-250-896-9926 wesmith@outlook.com BSmith821 (talk) 22:36, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

BSmith821 (talk) 00:42, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Hello Bill. I think it is a good idea to improve the page format and correct his employment history. Regarding the apparent 'sanitation' you did (e.g. removal of his extremely fringe gaffes and published reactions from his peers) that was not a neutral edit. I think we both agree that Wickramasinghe's papers, bulletins and interviews are very controversial, so I will be happy to work with you and User:Vsmith to find a fair balance; but giving the appearance that his research has met no criticism or disapproval from other experts in the field is not going to work. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 14:53, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

This morning I will correct the employment history. Then I will go off-line for a week or two as I develop his new page/sections in WORD. I would benefit from sharing this with you section by section so that we can debate the possible changes. Am I allowed to give you my email address here?

By the way, I am very much aware of the history of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe - and the controversy. I would not delete this, but I would like a more balanced discussion. It is only recently that real clear evidence has been building in support of their hypothesis. panspermia is starting to reflect the change. I think the tipping point was the Kepler results. The latest estimate of 144Billion habitable exoplanets has blown everyone away. Whereas the MARS Rover people have been talking about "the search for water", the Kepler Mission people (as the Europeans) are talking about "The search for life". This is a profound shift. As a Canadian to an American I'd like to encourage you to learn more about the 2019 Mars Icebreaker Mission (quite separate from the 2020 Mars Curiosity II announced last week). Icebreaker is to really look for life where we "believe" it is to be found - that is in the ice fields in the North, 8 feet under the ice (away from cosmic ray damage). Some inside NASA seem to want to kill this proposed mission. The US citizens should appeal this. I was thinking of setting up one of those Obama Petitions :-) But could I get 25,000 people to understand the issue and sign - not sure. I digress - sorry.

Also over the next 2 weeks, in this Talk: place, I'd be willing to discuss my new proposed section on the Creationism v. Darwinism court case where CW was called as an expert witness FOR the creationists. This is worth having a discussion especially because I notice BatteryIncluded has a telling message on his logo - which I happen to also subscibe to :-) BSmith821 (talk) 17:22, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I don't subscribe to BatteryIncluded's "telling" userboxes, but I can confirm that Wickramasinghe's speculations are indeed fringe. There is nothing stopping panspermia or directed panspermia from happening (in fact, respected SETI scientist Paul Davies endorsed the latter view on a television show as a means of extraterrestrial information transfer to humans) though Wickramasinghe's view that such gene injections somehow overshadow, rather than complement (to a very minor extent) natural selection and traditional macroevolution, are far out of the bounds of science.

In short, Wickramasinghe is not a lot unlike the Ancient Aliens guy. It seems that for him, any disease, virus, or bacterium exists, therefore aliens. Though, as I said earlier, the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence is not at all improbable, and there is no reason for them not to create bacteria and viruses to alter evolution, there is also no reason why such actions should be made blatantly obvious to us at our current stage of evolution. Wer900talk 18:52, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Wickramasinghe is a professional scientist. He started out as one the world's top mathematician's of his generation, then took a PhD in Astrophysics where he made many discoveries especialy identifying organics in the InterStellar Clouds. The current Panspermia Hypothesis is his. But you need to understand that he believes that after life was seeded (where, when, how nobody knows) the "seeds" spread across the galaxy in comets evolving eventually to Viruses, bacteria and even unknown life forms (Red Rain). These seeds rained down onto primordial earth where the process of Darwinism began in earnest. As he also believes these same microbes continue to fall to earth both inside meteorites and from exploded comets. The current human genome has the remnants of virus DNA. Feschotte believes viral insertions have caused mutations in the evolution of the species.[1]

I have estimated there are many as 9 major hypotheses "around" Panspermia, I have proposed at Talk:Panspermia that you kindly support my proposal to improve the Hypothesis section by defining the 9 hypotheses - and summarizing the evidence and status of scientific acceptance.

By the way although advanced civilizations likely would get into the gene crafting game, Wickramasinghe has not offered any Hypotheses around this phase of evolution. He is living in the world of astrophysics, molecules and primitive life forms. Not yet Intelligent Aliens :-). BSmith821 (talk) 21:27, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

The most recent large edit by BSmith821 is merely an apologetic for Wickramasinghe, though there is some useful information. I think it best to remove unsourced and poorly sourced information about scientific hypotheses and sick to the description of the virus early-warning system. I don't want an edit war. Wer900talk 18:49, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Creationism v. Darwinism[edit]

My personal preference would be to delete this whole paragraph. But in the spirit of my WIKI responsibility (esp to BatteryIncluded I have crafted the following as a replacement. The goal is to openly discuss what really happened.

Background : Wickramasinghe is a respected UK Buddhist and regularly gives lectures to his community on the role of Science from a Buddhist perspective. It is not generally appreciated that Buddhists do NOT believe in God. Buddha just like modern sociologists and psychologists, believed that religious ideas and especially the “god idea” have their origin in fear. Buddha says: “Gripped by fear men go to the sacred mountains, sacred groves, sacred trees and shrines”

Once again the Universe gives the appearance of being biologically constructed. and on this occasion on a truly vast scale. Once again those who consider such thoughts to be too outlandish to be taken seriously, will continue to do so. While we ourselves shall continue to take the view that those who believe they can match the complexities of the Universe by simple experiments in their laboratories will continue to be disappointed

said Chandra Wickramasinghe.

This quote has been misunderstood as CW's support for the idea of “god-like” intervention in the seeding of life (on earth, in the galaxy or even in other galaxies). In fact what Wickramasinghe was expressing was two fold :

1. it was a message to his fellow astrophysicists that it was time to bring the disciplines of biology into the world of astrophysics and chemistry

2. it was his message to chemists that it was only though his arrogance and ignorance that man thought he might be able to “create life” in a laboratory.

Wickramasinghe's own personal belief is that the age of the universe might just be sufficiently ancient that somewhere, just once, the highly improbable conditions for the evolution of an “organism on the edge of LIFE” actually happened. This moment, which Wickramasinghe attributes to the laws of probability, not to "GOD" saw the start of evolution which soon (using Darwin's theory of evolution) delivered viruses and nanobacteria. In this quote, Wickramasinghe was expressing a personal perspective to Life and its mysterious first seeding. From that first moment, Panspermia takes over and hypothesizes a promulgation of this “seed of life”.

The 1981 scientific creationist trial in Arkansas:

Previous to the trial, a group of supporters of Panspermia, who happen to also have a belief that the universe is ageless, evolved a theory they called Cosmic ancestry. This is quite separate from Panspermia.

At the time, Wickramasinghe was disturbed by the polarization of the debate. He was distressed that the Creationists fundamentally did not want Darwinism taught to their children. But he was also disturbed that Darwinism was being taught as "the truth" - rather than an evolving hypothesis - a good approximation to the evidence. His own personal belief was that Panspermia and the inflow of microbes to the earth had an effect on evolution, as yet not clearly understood. In his desire to help his "supporters" argue their right to teach their children modified-Darwinism, Wickramasinghe agreed to attend and support the "creationists" argument against the official Darwinism . Wickramasinghe presented a passionate argument for his own vision which was not "creationism" nor "Darwinism". It was a vision than the future should embrace open debate of alternate hypotheses. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.54.204.240 (talk) 07:11, 15 July 2013 (UTC) Much to Wickramasinghe's chagrin, his testimony was reported as support for "Creationism" against "Darwinism" (ie. against the "scientific community and its beliefs"). This was misreported globally and caused Wickramasinghe much personal angst. BSmith821 (talk) 20:53, 17 July 2013 (UTC) BatteryIncluded are you OK with me making the sectionchange - ie to the above? We can make any obvious improvements here if you prefer. Is my clarification well made and easy to understand - and does it give a clearer uuderstanding of how Wickramasinghe seems to have been manipulated by the various religious factions? BSmith821 (talk) 19:32, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

I thought this information might be useful :

"Participation in the creation-evolution debate[edit]

Wickramasinghe and his mentor Fred Hoyle have also used their data to argue in favor of cosmic ancestry, [29][30][31][32][33][34] and against the idea of life emerging from inanimate objects by evolution.[35]"

This is wrong (ie incorrect) on two counts :

1) Cosmic Ancestry is not Hoyle and Wickramasinghe's hypothesis. It belongs to the people mentioned on the Cosmic Ancestry WIKIPAGE. The fundamental hypothesis is that life is eternal. 2) Evolution is not a mechanism for the emergence of life. Evolution is what happens immediately after life emerges. Wickramasinghe basically believes in Darwin's Theory of Evolution - with a slight twist in that the continual downpour of inbound DNA, in microbes, occasionally alters the DNA of life forms on earth. FYI Darwin believed in Panspermia.

So this section just starts out with invalid points and gets worse as it prgresses.

My replacement section replacement corrects all the WIKIPAGE errors and then gives a perspective of the whole affair, in a way which treats Wickramasinghe with the respect he deserves and in a way which follows what I believe is WIKIPEDIA policy.

BSmith821 (talk) 20:07, 18 July 2013 (UTC) User:BatteryIncluded please can you improve this section. And please read my comments above. Please could you make sure you clarify the difference between "evolution", and Abiogenesis. Wickramasinghe and Hoyle towards the end of their collaboration believed that Abiogenesis occured at one place in the Milky Way Galaxy (likely ISM), and then spread by Panspermia - and definitely using the Evolution processes. Their position is defined clearly in Fred_Hoyle Section Rejection of Earth-based abiogenesis. PLease Please read it and make sure our Wikipage is consistent. BSmith821 (talk) 23:00, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the opportunity to "fix" his biography, but I have other articles I rather spend my time on. Edit this page as you see fit and the other editors will likely assist you along the way. Remember that your edits are only as good as the references you cite. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 00:32, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Catalog of Hypotheses[edit]

Chandra Wickramasinghe has confirmed this list of hypotheses that he has postulated either alone or with collaborators.

1) Panspermia Hypothesis : that once incubated, life spread rapidly across the galaxy and universe.

Note: the hypothesis makes no attempt to define where or when this moment of incubation occurred. (ie the hypothesis includes the possibility it COULD have occurred on earth - as science generally assumes). Wickramasinghe has presented various peer reviewed papers and books where he discusses the probability that the incubation likely did not occur on earth. But THIS IS NOT in the HYPOTHESIS . It is just his personal opinion based on his calculations of probability. There are a collection of related hypotheses which should perhaps be discussed on their own pages and be clarified : ie we need a clear distinction from Panspermia

2) The hypothesis that a meteorite found on earth might be made from material from other planets : this now has much evidence. This hypothesis is now generally accepted as "true" by mainstream science.

3) The hypothesis that meteorites will be found on the Moon and Mars: This has, as yet, no evidence. But the data being delivered by the MARS ROVER program provides a possibility of providing evidence for this hypothesis to be tested.

4) The hypothesis that meteorites will be found on the earth that contain fossilized microbes : there is a growing body of evidence that indicates this is in fact consistent with what is being found. Many peer review papers describe the latest analyses that look at this evidence. BUT, this is not yet accepted by science.

5) The hypothesis that COMETS contain microbes (either fossilized, dormant or living) : there is no evidence yet. However recent discoveries of living microbes deep in the Antarctic Ice does give the believers in this hypothesis much confidence. The ROSETTA mission of 2014 should provide the first evidence when we land on the target COMET.

6) Chandra Wickramasinghe has proposed a hypothesis that the large number of complex molecules being found in Interstellar Space (ie between the spiral arms in the galaxy) are the remnants of the "Degradation of biology":

Hi Bill Our 1970's paper was a first attempt to connect an astronomical observation with bicyclic aromatic molecules. The UV absorption shows consistency, not proof. Radio astronomers can look for specific molecules that have well defined diagnostic radio emission lines, and that's what they have recently (ALMA 2013) done. The radioastronomical detections are the tip of the iceburg if our theories are correct. Degradation of biology produces a whole suite of such molecules. Best CW

7) the Hypothesis that inbound (to earth) meteorites could include viruses and bacteria is quite separate from Panspermia. There is now a growing body of peer reviewed papers on the evidence of fossils and "life" in a range of meteorites. Evidence has been gathers in the stratosphere and from experiments on the ISS. It is likely that using data from Rosetta (2014) and the MARS Icebreaker Mission in 2019 new evidence will be available for re-assessment of the hypothesis.

8) The hypothesis that inbound microbes have delivered DNA to earth since the first moment in time when life was sustainable, and that this influx of DNA/RNA has had an impact on the evolution of the species. (ie a modified Darwinism Theory). There is already evidence that the human genome contains fragments of virus DNA.

9) There is also the Cosmic ancestry hypothesis which assumes Panspermia is true but then offers the fundamental hypothesis that "life, like the universe itself, has no date of origin, and has always existed and can only descend from ancestors at least as highly evolved as itself'. This is more a hypothesis from philosophy or theology and is NOT part of the Panspermia hypothesis.

I have asked Chandra to review these 9 hypotheses and to improve the definitions ; and confirm all available evidence. Likely he will add more if needed and ideally I'd like to see a list of cited evidence for each hypothesis with an indication of general acceptance level.

Please allow me time to use this Talk: area to get this important material well defined and cited. If anyone feels I am off track then please let me know earlier rather than later. Best wishes

BSmith821 (talk) 22:22, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

  1. No, you are confusing the subject with Chandra's own methodology.
  2. Once again, you are ignoring WP:POV, WP:OR and WP:Verifiable.
  3. Claiming Chandra's "ownership" of panspermia concept will not work, especially when it was formulated (in a scientific manner) about one century before Chandra W. was born. BatteryIncluded (talk) 19:17, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

CW an Astronomer[edit]

The early sentence : Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe (born 20 January 1939) is a Sri Lankan-born British mathematician, astronomer[1][not in citation given]

Could you guide me on how best to "prove" a person is an astronomer. Sir Arthur Clarke said : Sir Arthur C Clarke: "Chandra is one of the foremost astronomers in the world today, and, as evidenced by his impressive curriculum vitae, a leading light in British astronomical research. He has made fundamental contributions to the study and understanding of cosmic dust. Together with the late Sir Fred Hoyle, Chandra developed the theory of cosmic life — suggesting that life on Earth arrived from outer space, where life is constantly being seeded on planets. These theories have fuelled controversies in several branches of science, which helped advance the frontiers of knowledge and scientific discourse".

If we just choose one : Professor and Head of the Dept.of Applied Maths and Astronomy, Univ. Coll., Cardiff, 1973-89 I would feel this a valid "proof" but how to cite it? Advice appreciated.

He also has PhD in Astrophysics, 1963 : from possibly the most prestigious University in the World - Cambridge UK

BSmith821 (talk) 23:32, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

You have quoted Clarke above, but failed to provide a source. Seems the source for your quote could likely be a ref for the article. Vsmith (talk) 23:38, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. That solves it.

BSmith821 (talk) 00:52, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Does Bill Smith have Close Connection to Chandra Wickramasinghe?[edit]

I hereby swear under oath to Talk:Vsmith and esp. Talk:BatteryIncluded

1. I have never met Chandra Wickramasinghe

2. I have no connection to him or his family

3. I live in Canada and he lives in UK

4. I would love to meet him

5. I was motivated to help improve what I saw on Wikipedia as a very imbalanced attitude to CW and his work especially Panspermia; plus lack of knowledge of the man, and his scientific work.

6. I believe "Life is a Cosmic Phenomenon" and ever since I was taught relativity by Herman Bondi in the 60's , I have admired the vision and science of Fred Hoyle and CW

7. by the way everything I say above applies equally to Fred Hoyle

8. I believe scientists should be free to hypothesize anything they believe in and that the whole concept of "fringe science" restricts our scientific development and should be reassessed

9. It is time for NASA to change its mantra from "The search for Water" to "The search for Life". Especially as that is what they are doing.

10. I believe it is time for the biologists to get together and define what "Life" is.


Yours Bill Smith BSmith821 (talk) 01:32, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

By the way :

11. I do not work for the CIA, NSA or CSIS (Canadian CIA). I am simply a person who wants Wikipedia to not be misused - as per its policy. BSmith821 (talk) 01:35, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Right, and it was your evil twin brother that just submitted this paper with your name and edited by Chandra Wickramasinghe: [4]. BatteryIncluded (talk) 17:24, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

The Black Cloud[edit]

I am not trying to sell a book here. I know it is not allowed. But to understand Panspermia, Fred Hoyle and CW, I recommend you read this book http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0141196408/ref=sr_1_1_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1374722049&sr=8-1&keywords=the+black+cloud&condition=new

Richard Dawkins says : One of the greatest works of science fiction ever written

You might also mull over the fact that Sir Arthur C. Clarke lived in Sri Lanka where CW was from. There is a story told that the head of the USA CIA/NSA was having a glass of wine one night with Clarke (ever wonder where the idea for 2001 Space Odyssey really came from).

He looked up at the bookcase and spotted all the books of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe.

"These guys are the only ones who have figured out what is going on", he said to Clarke.

Fact or Fantasy? I believe it was "Fact" BSmith821 (talk) 03:23, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Reader feedback: This biography presents Wick...[edit]

BatteryIncluded posted this comment on November 7, 2012 (view all feedback).

This biography presents Wickramasinghe fringe hypotheses as scientific facts. This page is in need of severe editing out of POV and clarification of claims vs. facts.

Any thoughts?

BSmith821 (talk) 18:07, 3 August 2013 (UTC) As we have discussed recently, a hypothesis is not the same as facts. The H-W Model is simply a hypothesis (a best guess) offered by two scientists to explain their observations.

The early evidence includes:

  1. ALMA's amazing discoveries of complex molecules (needed for DNA/RNA) in the interstellar space;
  2. the surprising survival of biological microparticles in deep ice, in deep rock, in the stratosphere and now in space (on ISS).
  3. The many meteorites with fossilized diatoms is also consistent with the H-W Model's second proposition.

As NASA and ESA explore comets and moons (and Mars), all the experimental evidence for or against the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe Model will be assessed by the scientific community.

If discoveries are confirmed which are inconsistent with the Model, then the Model will need to be adjusted - that is the scientific process.

BSmith821 (talk) 18:07, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Polonnaruwa Meteorite - P-Meteorite[edit]

Today : this is how the wikisection reads Polonnaruwa[edit source | editbeta] Main article: Polonnaruwa (meteorite) On December 29, 2012, a team led by Wickramasinghe claimed to have found a meteorite in a rice field near Polonnaruwa, a city in east-central Sri Lanka. Publishing in the fringe science Journal of Cosmology, the team explained that the object that they had found contained diatoms and was hence solid evidence for the theory of panspermia.[47][48][49][50] Independent experts in meteoritics, however, determined that the object found by Wickramasinghe and his team, owing to a porousness not found in other confirmed meteorites, was not truly of extraterrestrial origin,[51][52] instead being created by lightning strikes on Earth.[53] In addition, experts in diatoms observed that, while the organisms found by Wickramasinghe were indeed living, they represented a wide variety of extant terrestrial taxa, and for that reason their presence in the alleged meteorite was the result of contamination from the wet environment of the rice paddy where it was found.[51][54]

There are many inaccuracies in this paragraph which we can and should improve. Perhaps you can use some of the following facts: Journal of Cosmology, Vol. 22, No. 2 published, 5 March 2013.

  1. Meteorite distribution from the comet was over 10 km
  2. Police collected samples and submitting them to the Medical Research Institute of the Ministry of Health in Colombo, Sri Lanka
  3. Sample of rocks was sent to W.and his team in Cardiff U.
  4. Preliminary results from Scanning Electron Microsope showed diatom frustules embedded deep in rock matrix which was not consistent with contamination
  5. second sample was sent to NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and same results and conclusion by independent team
  6. GC-MS spectra was used to conclude it was likely classified as a “carbonaceous chondrite ungrouped”
  7. Substantial number of stones was gathered by Department of Geology, University of Peradeniya
  8. a month later 628 fragments were sent to Cardiff. But only 3 were deemed to be possible meteorites
  9. Further analysis was done on the original sample. This fragment was portioned for interior section Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), oxygen isotope analysis, compositional analysis by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and elemental analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES) plus a sample of sand fulgurite was also analysed for comparative purposes
  10. The fulgurite hypothesis was disproved by the fact that the mineral lechatelierite (which comprises fulgurites) has an average density of 2.57 g cm-3, whereas the density of the Polonnaruwa meteorites is <1 g cm-3.
  11. The study concluded that the oxygen isotope data show P159/001-03 and P/159001-04 are unequivocally meteorites, almost certainly fragments originating from the fireball-causing bolide.
  12. The most likely origin of this low density meteorite with delicate structures, some highly carbonaceous, is a comet.

The Bad Astronomer blog that you cite was written before the main reports were even completed. I am concerned about citing this source. Where did you get the "wet paddy field" idea from? BSmith821 (talk) 19:03, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Readers should know that Chandra Wickramasinghe, Rudolf Schild, and Carl Gibson purchased the Journal of Cosmology in 2011 from the publisher (Cosmology Science Publishers) and that its reputation as a serious scientific journal has since been greatly impugned. Chandra Wickramasinghe, therefore, is publishing his "discoveries" in a journal that he now controls.

POV editing to Polonnaruwa section[edit]

I consider BSmith's recent edits to this section to be blatantly POV pushing. His rationale to remove the Bad Astronomer reference on grounds of WP:BLOGS is flawed, as this is a newsblog. He has been told repeatedly by a number of editors that he needs to take extreme care over POV edits, and to me this just looks provocative. The diffs: [5][6][7]

I am pretty pissed off about this right now, so third opinions most welcome. DanHobley (talk) 21:37, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

We can always reopen the ANI case, or open a new one in WP:BLPN. User BSmith is an SPA with a declared fanaticism to Chandra W. and a biased purpose in Wikipedia. Sooner or later the Wikipedia bureaucracy has to catch up with him. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 00:11, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it is fair to characterize BSmith821 (talk · contribs) in those terms, however right they may be on the surface. BSmith has sanitized Dr. Wickramasinghe's biography by removing all of his more fringe speculations and giving more weight to Wickramasinghe's POV (especially regarding the Polonnaruwa case). Although like you I feel that it is important that scientific and fringe views are treated fairly and clearly identified as such to the reader, I think that we can yet work productively with BSmith821. I'm not one of the civility robots one finds on conduct and RfC pages, but I feel that it is important to make all attempts to work cooperatively with a user rather than immediately lambast them. Plus, I have no desire to subject someone like BSmith, who is by no means a nutjob or a troll, to the useless, bottom-feeding mutual masturbators who spend their time on AN, AN/I, AE and the related pages, and hope that we can resolve the issue without the pressure cooker blowing off. I'd rather not see this end up at ArbCom, however strongly I disagree with BSmith821. Wer900talk 05:07, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Was that a request to be his private "masturbator" for another month? (sarcasm) BatteryIncluded (talk) 05:49, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

FTN notice[edit]

I have alerted the Fringe Theory noticeboard about issues I see with this article, in particular how it is suffering from fringe bloat and possibly being used as a coatrack.

My feeling is that this article should be cut down to a simple biography and most of the content that would be better suited to panspermia or other related topical articles should be removed. That Wickramasinghe promotes maverick science proposals should be discussed, but the details of these proposals are not relevant to this biography.

jps (talk) 18:38, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. Some fresh opinions on this page would almost certainly be helpful. DanHobley (talk) 18:58, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
User BSmith was relentless on inserting Chandra's most fringe speculations and methodologies into panspermia, he then kept a lower profile there after an ANI was filed, which he dodged. So no, transferring that back to panspermia is not an useful option. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 00:06, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
You are right, BatteryIncluded. None of the material should be moved back to the panspermia article, which describes a scientific hypothesis that is actually legitimate. Wickramasinghe, on the other hand, creates "propositions" that are somewhat out of line with the evidence, but not irreparably flawed, and uses these postulates in order to derive wildly inappropriate and unsupported conclusions. Wer900talk 05:07, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I get your drift, but panspermia as a "legitimate scientific hypothesis" is a bit overplaying its hand. It's more of a plausible speculation for which no corroborating tests, observations, or experiments have yet been developed to affirm or falsify the basic idea. In the future, we may find it to be more compelling and maybe even scientifically viable, but for the time being it acts as a placeholder for "things we just don't have enough evidence to say much of anything about". That Hoyle and Wickramasinghe have famously crawled way out on limbs in this direction is rather notable considering that there is almost no other work that has been done on the topic that is serious. I agree that to over-emphasize their ideas on panspermia is not necessarily the best idea, but the ideas really ought not be expounded upon at this biography page either as the content is overwhelming the much more notable contributions relating to carbonaceous gains in the ISM, for example. Outright removal of the WP:FRINGE suggestions may be the best option as there is little to no independent notice of Wickramasinghe's proposals. jps (talk) 18:52, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't feel that the FTN notice will be quite helpful, given that such noticeboards are often actively watched by vandal revertors and POV warrriors who lack any clue on how to accurately and neutrally present science and fringe theories. I may well be wrong, especially if some actual scientists actively monitor that board. Wer900talk 05:07, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
I would call you wrong, but maybe I just don't have a clue. ;-) Arc de Ciel (talk) 08:01, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Not this shit again...[edit]

Courtesy of a collaborator of Chandra Wickramasinghe, Milton Wainwright, and published in the Journal of Cosmology to boot. It's just fringe speculation, forget about it. Wer900talk 03:49, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Yes, more shit again. The last major finding of this NASA paper, that fecal coliforms represent a significant amount of the microbiota of the atmosphere after hurricanes make landfall is a really cool one. Read "It Rains Bullshit After Hurricanes" for more details. That is what Chandra W. is guarding in his Perti dishes: BS. BatteryIncluded (talk) 12:43, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
For some more (non-citable, obviously) professional anger on the fact this got any news reporting time at all, see also my colleague Natalie Starkey's blog. DanHobley (talk) 18:06, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
For additional background: His partner/coauthor (Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D.) just posted this in his blog:"Chandra Wickramasighe: Liar, Thief, Ingrate".
He also states that Chandra W. is one of the journal "owners". -BatteryIncluded (talk) 17:15, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
***NEWS FLASH!*** Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe Ph.D. just published in the Journal of Cosmology that "after exhaustive laboratory tests and remarkable intellectual labor," he presents "irrefutable evidence on the definitive ID of the secrete disease-causing microorganism being clandestinely sprayed over the World's population in the visible contrails sprayed by military US aircraft in Earth's stratosphere": Extraterrestrial Diatoms.© a
aAny resemblance to Earthly ubiquitous Terran diatoms, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
207.118.228.220 (talk) 19:56, 1 October 2013 (UTC)