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Separate Article on Directed Panspermia[edit]

I am proposing a Wikipedia article on Directed Panspermia (draft) in addition to the existing Panspermia article. The subjects are complementary but different as the Panspermia article concerns mostly natural panspermia, while Directed Panspermia concerns the deliberate spreading of microbial life in space, possibly by our civilisation. This can have signficant consequences for the future of life in space, which requires informed public debate. A dedicated WP article covering the scientific and ethical aspects can be a resource for such a public discourse. Of course, the present Panspermia article can retain the short section on Directed Panspermia, with a link to the main Directed Panspermia article. The proposed article concerns the science and ethics of planting life in new solar systems. It covers related aspects of interstellar travel including launch, propulsion (eg., solar sailing), navigation, target selection, capture, selection of microbial payload, and microbial survival. The ethical motivation, possible objections and counterarguments are also covered. The article is documented with 20 references to books and peer-reviewed scientific literature. The subject has been also covered recently in popular science articles in international media including New Scientist (UK), Discovery News (US), Popular Science (US), Maclean’s (Canada), and further magazines, radio programs and websites, followed by stimulating comments. Evidently, Directed Pansperma is noteworthy on its own. For these reasons, I suggest that the submitted article on Directed Panspermia will be accepted in Wikipedia. The administrator suggested this discussion. Please read the submitted article at User:AbrahamDavidson/Directed panspermia, and your responses will be much appreciated. Thanks AbrahamDavidson (talk) 03:04, 29 August 2011 (UTC) AbrahamDavidson

FWIW - At First Glance, And At The Moment, The Material In The Proposed Article On "Directed Panspermia" Seems To Be A *Really, Really* Excellent Academic Effort - A Worthy Contribution To Wikipedia - And - Sufficiently Substantial To Be A *Separate* Article From The Main Article On Panspermia - After All, The Present Panspermia Article Seems To Be More About "In-Coming" [to planet Earth] Whereas "Directed Panspermia" Seems To Be More About "Out-Going" [from planet Earth] Instead - A *Very* Important (seemingly neglected?) Consideration In My Opinion At The Moment - Also, The Minimal Mention Of "Panspermia#Directed_panspermia" In The Present Main Panspermia Article Does *Not* Seem Sufficient For This Very Important Topic In My Opinion - That Said - In Some Ways, The Material In The Newly Proposed "Directed Panspermia" Article Seems Similar In Basic Notions (in a much more extensive way of course) To The (less extensive?) Material In The Present Forward-contamination Article - Perhaps The Two Articles Could Be Combined In Some Way? - Perhaps The "Directed Panspermia" Article Could Be Edited Into The Present Forward-contamination Article - Or - The Material In The Forward-contamination Article Could Be Merged Into A Newly Created "Directed Panspermia" (or related title) Article - In Any Case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 18:20, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
ALSO - New Followup (& related) Comments Have Been Posted At -> Talk:Astrobiology ("Forward-contamination" Section) + Talk:Forward-contamination ("Directed panspermia (draft)" Section) + User_talk:RHaworth#Deletion_of_directed_panspermia + User_talk:AbrahamDavidson + User_talk:Drbogdan#Directed_Panspermia + User_talk:BatteryIncluded#Separate_article_on_Directed_Panspermia - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 14:37, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

PLEASE NOTE - The Following May Also Be Particularly Relevant To The Present Discussion:

Copied From User_talk:RHaworth#Deletion_of_directed_panspermia

ALSO - Of Possible Particular Interest - And By Coincidence - A Related Earlier Discussion - In The Section "Forward-contamination" On The Astrobiology Talk Page - Occurred In March, 2011 Between Myself (User:Drbogdan) And User:BatteryIncluded On The Very Real Need For Some Of The Very Same Material That Seems To Be Well Presented In The Proposed "Directed Panspermia" Article- But Apparently "Deleted" The Previous Month (Feb, 2011) (?) - As Noted In This Astrobiology Discussion " there any real, and complete, assurance that there is not a single (at least potentially viable) microbe inside the Voyager spacecrafts being hurtled *out* of the solar system at this very moment? The related possible implications may be interesting to consider..." - In Any Case - Perhaps Time For A Reconsideration Of This *Very* Important Material? - And Possible Incorporation Into Wikipedia? - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 13:40, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Comments From Other Editors On This Topic Would Be *Greatly* Appreciated - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 13:24, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

ALSO - In An Effort To Present Relevant Materials On This Topic In One Place, The Following Is Copied From An Earlier Posting: Copied From Astrobiology Discussion Page ("Forward-contamination" section)

I would support this. It will be interesting to see if the editors consider this fringe science. From my perspective it is almost "Philosophy" or "Social Science" . The standard scientific model (hypothesis/proposition/evidence) is likely not going to be an effective way to consider this subject (as I feel it should be with Panspermia). This allows you to be more creative with your structure and content. I expect some of the issues in Exoploitics will be included?

BSmith821 (talk) 16:55, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Chandra Wickramasinghe's fringe science[edit]

I just moved an entry regarding Wickramasinghe's latest fringe article (in his fringe Journal of Cosmology, where he is the Executive Editor) on microfossils discovered in a new meteorite. In this [not peer-reviewed] article, he still fails to acknowledge that the particles isolated from the Red rain in Kerala have been identified by microbiologists as spores of a lichen-forming alga belonging to the genus Trentepohlia. He still denies they contain DNA and now, without any data other than a picture and lots of faith, he declares that he discovered ET organisms in a meteorite. Following the Allan Hills 84001 meteorite fiasco, the international scientific community agreed on not using morphology alone to make such claim. Chandra keeps not just ignoring consensus, but introducing heavy bias where actual data is missing, and then using his own non-peer reviewed journal to publish his stuff. I could keep going and going on his pathological science, but it is enough to establish that he and his journal are widely considered in the scientific community as biased, non-peer reviewed and fringe. My point is: do we leave this entry on his hypothetical microfossils in the "inconclusive" section or delete it altogether? If it is to stay, I'd like to tone it down with a heavy dose of reality and scientific skepticism wher his faith goes wild. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 19:45, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

P.S: It took him less than 10 days from the alleged meteor fall to publication. That goes to show his enthusiasm does not match the methodical scientific method. Never mind peer-review. BatteryIncluded (talk) 20:35, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
FWIW - I *entirely* agree with your recent edits on this - truly reliable sources are better - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 20:40, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Just to add my agreement with the above from BatteryIncluded and Drbogdan. Regards, David J Johnson (talk) 20:46, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Just for the record. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 21:37, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
2011 paper on microbes being able to breed in hypergravity - relevance to panspermia — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:52, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

you wrote : "I just moved an entry regarding Wickramasinghe's latest fringe article (in his fringe Journal of Cosmology, where he is the Executive Editor) on microfossils discovered in a new meteorite. In this [not peer-reviewed] article".

I am concerned this is inaccurate. I have talked to Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, and also to Rudolph Schild. Both tell me that ALL Chandra's published papers have had peer review. Please could you "cite" how you know this is true. This is a libellous statement and is affecting many peoples lives. As you know Rudolph E. Schild, PhD is an astrophysicist at Harvard University.

Best wishes

Bill Smith

PS all we want is the truth on WIKIPEDIA or proveable statements

BSmith821 (talk) 01:11, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Fungal Spores Should Probably Be Mentioned Somewhere In This Article[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:30, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

New evidence?[edit]

See here. Looks like someone actually conducted proper research rather than fringe nonsense and panspermia might be possible, in a sense. SilverserenC 21:20, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

The attention-grabbing headline is worthless. However interesting the research, the discovery is not novel; aminoacids in many meteorites are not unusual, as well as glycine in a comet, and glycoaldehyde and PAH in interstelar dust. That is a far cry from discovering extraterrestrial "life" in asteroids/comets. For your amusement, take a look at Polonnaruwa (meteorite)‎. Cheer, -BatteryIncluded (talk) 12:59, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

What about this slash dot posting, this talks about micro fossils?

"On December 29th of last year a comet exploded over Sri Lanka. When examined by Cardiff University one of the comet samples was found to contain micro-fossils akin to plankton. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center tested additional samples with similar results. The research paper was published in the Journal of Cosmology. In practice this means that the argument that life did not start on Earth has gained additional evidence."

WilliamKF (talk) 16:51, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

That is the Polonnaruwa (meteorite)‎ I mentioned above. Take a look at this critique. They did not demonstrate it is a meteorite and has not even been indexed in the international Meteoritical Society database. So, no. No new evidence. -Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 17:55, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Didn't they? You included the following paper into the entry of the Polonnaruwa metorite (talk) 13:20, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Did they? Is this the standard analysis method to determine if the rock is a meteorite? Has it been indexed in the international Meteoritical Society database? The answers are no and no. BatteryIncluded (talk) 14:25, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
So in the face of carbon and oxygen isotope ratios inconsistent with terrestrial origin you still cling to the no-meteorite scenario because its not listed as a meteorite. I am not sure how to respond to this. (talk) 13:51, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
In the face of rejection by the scientific community (eg: pathological science & WP:fringe and [1]), it cannot be included. "there’s no mention on how the team avoided carbonate contamination of the sample — contamination that can throw oxygen isotope measurements. But even if they had (carried out the correct procedure), the non-standard oxygen isotope ratio is not proof of extraterrestriality, it just isn’t necessarily inconsistent with it. So really, their claim that the isotope ratio proves ‘unequivocally’ these are meteorites is wrong, plain and simple. So there’s every chance that either the rocks are meteorites (but they were contaminated) or they are, you know, rocks. As in rocky rocks; rocks that came from the ground (on Earth)." BatteryIncluded (talk) 14:55, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Carbon contamination can contaminate isotope results, however for contamination taking place you need something to be contaminated. If its all terrestrial isotopes there is no mixing. You need something different to mix with or its all standart isotopes found on earth (wich would indicate a terrestrial source). But it isn't standart isotopes, period. Additionally, if arguing for recent contamination, you would have to explain the notable absence of nitrogen wich are an indication for ancient fossils and not recent contamination. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:01, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
You may find this interesting, you may also find it relevant for that Polonnaruwa Meteorite article — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:52, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes. I hear Phil Plait barely squeezed through his PhD and then, not being able to get a serious job, now makes a living writing cruel and unfair blog entries called "Bad Astronomer". Unfortunately he seems to get his kicks making derogatory statements without clearly understanding the facts.

I thought this could not be true so before I even read Rudy's rebuttal - which by the way is a brilliant response - I decided to invest a month of research and really get to the bottom of this. What I found was impressive and professional. In fact there were five peer reviewed papers on the Polonnaruwa Meteorite. I will create a new section where we can discuss my findings.

PLease could you remember to leave here your proof that these papers were NOT peer reviewed.

BSmith821 (talk) 01:22, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Dear : Vsmith concerning the question over whether the Journal of Cosmology uses a reasonable peer review process : I have set up another section for this discussion topic.

BSmith821 (talk) 21:49, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Likelihood/majority view - source?[edit]

This statement: "There is as yet no evidence to support or contradict panspermia, although the majority view holds that panspermia – especially in its interstellar form – is unlikely given the challenges of survival and transport in space." I have no references myself, but my understanding was that many bacteria and viruses have been shown to survive just fine in space. Are there sources/references to support the claim in the article? Ride the Hurricane (talk) 15:34, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

FWIW - Noted Statement does not seem to be associated with any reference - even when first introduced - if interested, the "History" of the statement in the Panspermia article seems to be as follows:
Maybe a reference should be added - or the statement changed in some way - or removed? (per WP:NOR?) - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 00:30, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Maybe if you make the distinction between spore survival and organism thriving? Since the only long-term experiment was destroyed at launch (Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment) we cannot speculate on interplanetary bacteria survival. We can, however report the weeks-long experiments done at the ISS. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 02:34, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm very much a passer-by on wikipedia I'm afraid, so much of the form etc is unknown to me, and I'm not involved enough to spend time hunting down references myself I'm afraid, unless it was an article close to my heart. This one's just a passing interest and I generally just correct an aberrant apostrophe or two!
So, with that caveat in place... the proof or not of interplanetary survival is irrelevant isn't it? The statement is that the "majority view" is etc. I think it can be taken as read that the "majority view" refers to academics rather than Joe Bloggs of course. But it's quite a strong statement and is rooted in academia so should be eminently referenceable (that's not a word, but ykwim).
Maybe I'm being a bit pedantic, but due to my interest in politics I'm very wary of unsubstantiated claims that something is the 'majority view'. If it can be substantiated then fine, but otherwise it's merely a 'dissenting' or 'opposing' view.Ride the Hurricane (talk) 21:38, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments - added a { {citation needed |date=May 2013 }} template to the text at issue - at least for now - thanks again - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 00:55, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
If you would ask that question a scientist, most likely he would ask you what kind of Panspermia. Litopanspermia, hitchhiking microbes on planetary ejecta, especially between Mars and Earth is actually pretty well accepted. That being said, cross contamination and survival and indeed flourishing of life on another planet is an entirely different story. Personally, and i already did that in length on another topic, i belive there is evidence for microbe activity on Mars (and more general: in space), there are quite a few sources wich support this conclusion - to say those sources are controversal is a huge understatement, however. Let me just point out that not only space exposure expermients demonstrate the feasibility of this mechanism, but also the work in labs simulating martian conditions, as well as hypervelocity impact studies and nearly all mathematical models (, on probabilities for a successful "infection". There is no negative result stopping the theory from working currently. The big roadblock, as i understand it, is the interstellar part. Because of the imense distances involved the microbes (or rather their spores) have to be viable a very long time. Radiation in space may be highly damaging to genetic information, but thats not the big problem if sufficently shielded with enough rock. The problem, as i understand it, is the radiative decay of cell components considering timescales of multiples of millions of years. At least the leading scientists in this field think so - from what i have heard, wich is of course a totally subjective impression. This research is very new, pretty current and being conducted right now, so its hard to make definitive statements in that regard at this time. However...
...there are a couple of papers wich report viable microorganisms being dated tens or even hundreds of millions of years old. There is of course, as always, the lingering suspicion of contamination but the reports are far too frequent and the precautions taken to prepare the samples are quite extensive (example Personally i found this interesting enough to investigate into possible cell processes conserving genetic information for a long time, and it was no big surprise for me to find recent discoveries in that field. I think some astrobiology scientist may not be entirely aware of this connection. In fact i planned to send a letter to Prof. Friedemann Freund with whom i corresponded earlier on this topic, because i feard he shoves this kind of mindset all to easy into the Creationism corner to ask him about his opinion, because, surprisingly his problem also rests with the interstellar part of the theory and he absolutely accepts a Mars-transfer scenario, and Prof. Brig Klyce, with whom i frequently share information i think being related. It seems there are mechanisms in place for protecting genetic information that are far beyond our current understanding. For example: in some species the entire strand gets coated in a cristall with acid wraping around the dna strands ( Even in the case of a double strand-break the entire thing gets repaired during revival inside the coating, because in effect its locked into position - broken or not. Even if i know that Battery won't like it i can't help myself to being reminded of one of Chandra Wickramasinghe's papers (he has a less than optimal reputation to be polite - but i guess that comes with the field and specifically his position within that field of research) stating extracting cells from a meteor wich are being uranium coated, wich would match the expected result. I suspect a mechanism to tranport radioactives outside of the cell. And no, i am not a scientist, i pursue this out of personal curiosity only. (talk) 09:49, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Your comments are bang-on and the links very pertinent. Don't underestimate your knowledge of biology! If Chandra W. had presented reasonable proof of panspermia, the scientific community would be all over it. So far, his latest papers are in the corner, it seems, and I think it is because his "bulletins" -as he calls them- in the J of C are not thorough and he uses too many stories beyond the actual data. If nobody else is doing it already, I will take a look at the links you indicated on cell repair mechanism under cryogenic conditions, and see what I can use for this article. In my opinion, the first ET biosignature will be found in a comet or asteroid, not on Mars. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 15:21, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
I just took a look at that letter at, and the researchers did not measure bacterial survival (as in viability or metabolism), but long-term free nucleic acid degradation. Anybody performing PCR would tell you that contaminant DNA and RNA (whether ancient or new) are very hard to get rid of, and even autoclaving does little to that effect. DNAses and RNAses are often the way to go. By the way, that letter makes no mention of acid crystals coating DNA, as you state.(???) IMO, this mathematician may have produced a nice paper on biosignature (free DNA) longetivity. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 18:04, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, my bad (talk) 21:27, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

"Such effective long-term DNA preservation is intriguing, because spores usually carry only one copy of their genome and hence are unable to promote DNA repair based on homologous recombination. Efficient repair processes are also precluded in dormant spores by the absence of high-energy compounds such as nucleoside triphosphates and the virtually complete inactivation of enzymes within the spore core. Evidently, spore DNA durability relies mainly upon a passive, physical, and continuous protection, rather than on ongoing enzymatic repair processes"
Fascinating. I've been working with eukaryotic cells for too long. THANK YOU. BatteryIncluded (talk) 02:33, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
regarding the question for evidence against, there are a couple of papers as well, for exampel this one:
needless to say, I have a couple of problems with this paper, such as ultilizing a specimen wich we have only a vague understanding of, as well as discounting progenotic infection ability on what basis? I think the progenotic stage may very well have happened somwhere else. Also the suggestion that evolutionary pace was higher, which seems counterintuitive to me considering suggesting a less effective, more basic form of genetic coding could yield higher efficency in evolution, which is also counterintuitive to the model of promotion of evolutionary advantages, wich evolutionary efficency belongs to, in my opinion. I agree the pacing was different, as the phylogenetic tree shows us, but probably in the other dircetion, meaning it took more time for to aquire advantageous changes - the entire HTG DNA transfer mechanism we see today for example, greatly speeds up the evolutionary process by direct manipulation and propagation of DNA coding for adavantageous segments by phages, actively guiding recombination (though not emerging) of sequences. But the main problem I have is the fundamental underlying assumtion of an infection of one planet by two progenote strains being unlikely... which reminds me of Tipler's Fermi Paradox version which suggests that Von Neumann Machines should have colonized the entire galaxy by now, which refers of course to technology, but I guess the same expansion model can very well applied to biology. Which means, as far as I know, its not only likely, it may be inevitable. In that context its also interesting to see that RNA and DNA have different ATP backbones, suggesting... different origins? These are two different mechanisms - they operate on the same rules but they have subtle differences in written code and energy management. This may also relate to the spectral evidence for sugar in space. Additionally, taken the phylogenic pacing conting backwards i find reports like this one: extremely interesting, because it suggests incredible speed in early evolution wich should have been slower instead. "Our" solution to this anomaly is not a evolutionary process operating at a higher magnitude of efficiency in ancient times, but instead more time for the evolutionary process aviable than possible on Earth. By removing that constraint the whole model makes more sense to me and also explains why we have no evidence of pre-cell biology (which may arguably hard to find because we have no idea what we are looking for, but is also suggestive of ALL pre-cellular life going extinct without any trace) on Earth - because it is not here. (talk) 10:28, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Bacteria sent into space behave in mysterious ways[edit]

The subject is Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

"...the biofilms formed during spaceflight were characterized. Spaceflight was observed to increase the number of viable cells, biofilm biomass, and thickness relative to normal gravity controls. Moreover, the biofilms formed during spaceflight exhibited a column-and-canopy structure that has not been observed on Earth. The increase in the amount of biofilms and the formation of the novel architecture during spaceflight were observed to be independent of carbon source and phosphate concentrations in the media. However, flagella-driven motility was shown to be essential for the formation of this biofilm architecture during spaceflight. These findings represent the first evidence that spaceflight affects community-level behaviors of bacteria and highlight the importance of understanding how both harmful and beneficial human-microbe interactions may be altered during spaceflight."

Biofilms are a proposed strategy for migrating radiation damage (shielding capability has been verified in space exposure experiments). The fact that biofilm thickness increases in microgravity is a telltale sign of the bacterial colony's preparation for radiation hardening. Additionally, the column-and-canopy structure creates a structure containing local resources (like oxygen).

This reminds me about the pretty unusual ability of some microbes (like Deinococcus radiodurans) to cope with radiation levels usually not found on Earth.

The question has been asked before how evolution can develope abilites to cope with challenges without such conditions actually being present in the environment. There is no selective pressure present on Earth. In the case of radiation resistance subsequent studies concluded that the ability evolved supposedly as a byproduct of cold resistance.

The presence of meanigful, communal behaviour induced by microgravity is a problem. There is no substitute on Earth for true microgravity conditions, implying the neccesary behaviour evolved somewhere else (aka "not on Earth").

source:< ref name="PLOS-20130429">Tengra FK et al. (April 29, 2013). "Spaceflight Promotes Biofilm Formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa". PLOS ONE 8 (4): e6237. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062437. Retrieved July 5, 2013. </ref>

FWIW - Thanks For Posting This - At First Glance, This Report Seems Worthy of Further Study - Thanks Again - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 15:51, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
I fail to see how its growth inside the ISS (with all nutrition and protection requirements met) relate to panspermia. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 01:37, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for your recent comments and edit - I agree - the edit content may not have much to do with panspermia per se - I would not object at all to removing the edit - my thinking at the time was that the notion microbes could successfully adapt to space-related conditions (albeit microgravity in this instance) may have been demonstrated - as a result, this ability to adapt to the space environment may enable life forms to travel more easily from one place to another in space - this may be over-reaching on my part - removing the edit would be *entirely* ok w/ me - Thanks again - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 02:23, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Do you mean human-directed panspermia? The paper seems more relevant in the context of astronaut's health or forward contamination. Anyway, have a nice weekend. (talk) 03:06, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I agree - the study has been briefly noted on the Space medicine & Medical treatment during spaceflight articles - also - my thinking at the time of adding the edit was panspermia-in-general (ie, microbes that could adapt to space for better space travelling - before, during, after humans - and not only human related) - apparently, microbes have been found 40 miles high in the atmosphere - perhaps inside vented volcanic debris and related - some may adapt to space conditions and successfully travel through space - to a different ok host environment - as before, such notions may be over-reaching on my part - entirely ok w/ me to remove the edit from the panspermia article - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 12:45, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
On second thought, yes, there were changes apart from the morphology (column-and-canopy structure). Spaceflight was observed to increase the number of viable cells, biofilm biomass, and thickness relative to normal gravity controls. That could be very well an adaptation to microgravity, as the researchers stated. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 01:40, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the *Excellent* edit - the edit's *greatly* appreciated - added several wikilinks - ok to rv/mv/ce of course - Thanks again - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 02:09, 7 July 2013 (UTC)


There is something not quite right in the 'Extremophiles' section. It seems it is becoming a sort of discovery timeline with lose entries. It keeps growing and needs cohesion. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 03:27, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Indeed, just chopped a bunch of WP:SYN/WP:OR. Rather than adding any such news reports etc into the article because "we" wiki-editors think it relevant -- there needs to be some evidence of a connection stated in the reference used. There needs to be a reliable source making the connection. Vsmith (talk) 02:36, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
And it's been restored by BSmith821. Presumably he will comment here shortly. Vsmith (talk) 12:50, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
There are several experiments in Earth orbit specifically crafted to test panspermia hypothesis on the resilience extremophiles. My point is that it has to be explained in this section -the purpose of this encyclopedia- not just create a list of extremophiles' exploits. Agreed? BatteryIncluded (talk) 15:50, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Editorial comments in the article[edit]

I am needing your guidance on the paragraph I added today to the Panspermia page. I was adding a paragraph referring to a set of recent discoveries of microbes deep inside ice in the Antarctic. I used words from the article. Is this not allowed? even if the citation takes one to the article.

The significance of this is growing evidence that microbes flourish deep in ice. When the 2014 Rosetta Mission arrives at the comet and probes deep into the ice, we will truly have the opportunity to test the Panspermia theory. It will be more than interesting. As you know the comets come from the Oort Cloud (and in certain cases, from completely outside the solar system.

Guidance on how to include this discovery is appreciated.


BSmith821 (talk) 21:39, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

so I will have a go here - below

My second effort - this is what I want to add

February 5, 2013 : US scientists confirm living microbes found for the first time deep in ice - in an Antarctic lake over 1 kilometer deep. The life forms are unlike any on the earth's surface and are possibly chemolithotrophs. The existence of these microbes provides a model for the hypothesis that COMETS, containing mostly ice and water, will contain microbes. This hypothesis will be tested when the Rosetta Mission arrives at a comet in 2014 [1] [2]

My first effort was (below)- provided for comparison

(removed - no need to repeat the problem edit here - Vsmith (talk) 02:17, 17 July 2013 (UTC))

Does that work better for you. I get it now - no cutting and pasting :-)

BSmith821 (talk) 22:14, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Yes, you have solved that problem. Next problem: synthesis, there is nothing in the reference about comets or the Rosetta Mission. Further, the National Geographic news release says nothing about the subject of this article. To use that news report here it would have to include or indicate a connection. Vsmith (talk) 02:17, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

I see. So I am not allowed to introduce any of my own experience of thinking here. So the extension to COMET ice must come from a reporters article or science journal. I see. Let me see if I can find that. I think you see where I am coming from but you are guiding me on how to document it in terms of published papers. Correct?

BSmith821 (talk) 02:46, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

How is this?

February 5, 2013 : US scientists confirm living microbes found for the first time deep in ice - in an Antarctic lake over 1 kilometer deep. The life forms are unlike any on the earth's surface and are possibly chemolithotrophs. The existence of these microbes provides a model for the hypothesis that COMETS, containing mostly ice and water, will contain microbes[3] . This hypothesis will be tested when the Rosetta (spacecraft) Mission arrives at the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014 [4]


BSmith821 (talk) 06:39, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

I am going to add this to the WIKIPAGE on the assumption this now correctly reflects the WIKI policies. Hope I have assumed correctly that it is now OK.

BSmith821 (talk) 17:45, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Where is the link between the Antarctic lake article and comets? The ESA Rosetta question/answer page doesn't seem to provide a link other than speculations re: "comet seeding". Don't think a "Q & A page" is really WP:RS. Also the doi and pmid number links above don't work. I assume it is to this paper written before the Antarctic lake discoveries. The synthesis problem remains. Vsmith (talk) 20:17, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

OK. I am getting it I think. Is this OK.

Feb, 2013 : : US scientists confirm living microbes found for the first time deep in ice - in an Antarctic lake over 1 kilometer deep. The life forms are unlike any on the earth's surface and are possibly chemolithotrophs. This discovery provides strong evidence that microbes can survive in ice.

March 5, 2013 : Experiment confirms building blocks of life created in Interstellar Dust. Strongest evidence to date for {Panspermia] — Preceding unsigned comment added by BSmith821 (talkcontribs) 22:50, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

No, unfortunately you haven't understood the problem. Juxtaposing a report of microrganisms discovered in the water of a lake under Antarctic ice with a cometary probe looking for organic molecules is pure synthesis. Making matters worse the ESA Q&A page is not a good source. Vsmith (talk) 23:31, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

I removed the whole reference to Rosetta and so there is no possibility of a synthesis issue. OK?

The March 5 para is quite separate. It announces some important new evidence. I telephoned Dr Wickramasinghe and got the quote TODAY. The reference is provided to give his quote credibility as it confirms him as the only living father of the theory. I am sure you would not deny him this credit.

BSmith821 (talk) 02:07, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Confused here. The quote you cited was provided by Wickramasinghe today? Or is it from his 2000 book and he quoted it to you today? Either way it isn't relevant to the announcement of the simulation experiment ... we're not giving him credit for that. That he may be the "father of the theory" is irrelevant here. It would be relevant on his bio page or in a section on the history of the panspermia concept. Vsmith (talk) 02:28, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

OK. I understand. I accept that.

BSmith821 (talk) 02:32, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

BUT how do we help the reader of the Panspermia page, realize the significance of each para. This is why I need your support to restructure the whole HYPOTHESIS section around a set of hypotheses. A point would only be significant if it addressed evidence for one of the hypotheses.

BSmith821 (talk) 02:36, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

I wonder if either Vsmith or BatteryIncluded live anywhere near San Diego. I'd like you to meet Dr Chandra. He is flying in for a conference tomorrow. You need to meet this man to understand why the "fringe" Innuendo is silly. I recall when Galileo was a fringe scientist.

By the way I am going to explain how all the innuendo about the Journal of Cosmology being a "fringe" journal has resulted in a major acquisition by a reputable science journal group.

BSmith821 (talk) 03:10, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

It looks as if you added text to the article that was intended for the talk page. There's your signature at the end of the introduction, signatures don't belong in articles. And don't use ALL CAPS in articles. In the rare case where emphasis is needed in an article, use boldface or italics. -- (talk) 07:41, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I have reverted the all-caps entries. I agree with comments abouts parts of this article should be on the Talk page. David J Johnson (talk) 10:05, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I've removed a cquote of unsourced content from another WP article and a bit of editorializing. Reworded the "The slowly accumulating evidence..." bit and added a cite needed as the specific JPL page linked is not relevant. Although NASA and others are focusing more on complex organic molecules in comets and Mars soil in their programs — the jump to conclude that as support for the panspermia hypothesis is premature. Although I can see how a proponent of panspermia would want to make that jump. Vsmith (talk) 12:28, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

The Hypothesis - a case to restructure this section[edit]

The Panspermia hypothesis, along with the history of "evidence" needs to be better stated and verified. As Wickramasinghe is the scientist with the longest involvement in this hypothesis, I propose to ask Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe to review my efforts below; and then to improve.

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 that are made of earth rock: 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.



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 will be asking 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.

Dear User:BatteryIncluded - as there is a long history of confusion (I call it the Panspermia Apples and Oranges Controversy) even though I argue Hypotheses 2->9 should NOT be on the Panspermia Page, perhaps putting this list in the Hypothesis Section and having each hypothesis pointing "off" to its own WIKIPAGE makes sense. Right now much of the content of the page are citations which are not to do with Panspermia as defined above. We should be able to help clarify what has got very confusing to most people. BSmith821 (talk) 18:47, 17 July 2013 (UTC) BSmith821 (talk) 18:57, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Yesterday we defined the propositions that evidence will be made against over the coming 5 years. We added 8 propositions. In your effort to simplify this section you have removed 3 important propositions which we want to include as future evidence for Panspermia. For example :

1. proposition that life can survive in extreme conditions on earth - in ice and deep in the ocean. : this might seem unrelated, but in fact the latest evidence was significant new knowledge to counter the theory that life could not survive in the conditions inside comets. We still do not know if life is inside comets, but we are now much more optimistic about finding it. I ask your permission to leave this important proposition in.

2. proposition that life can survive in the stratosphere. Much money has already been spent doing experiments in the stratosphere. The evidence is in and needs to be reported against the hypothesis. I ask your permission to leave this important proposition in. The Japanese are readying another major experiment on this proposition

3. proposition that life can survive on Mars and other bodies in the solar system. We need to report and assess existing evidence that there is a continual exchange of "life" between planets (esp Earth and Mars). Existing evidence needs to be documented and the experiments planned for MARS Icebreaker is valid discussion. I know you think this is quite separate from Panspermia. But that is just your personal position. Chandra feels the exchange of meteorites between bodies shows life can survive the cosmic ray damage which occurs even on a short journey to Mars. I ask your permission to leave this important proposition in. I would agree to provide a sentence that some believe that this irrelevant to Panspermia.

4. We also included a proposition around the completed and future experiments planned for the ISS space station. Even the completed ones provide valuable evidence for the survival of life in space - and worryingly important information on the damage to DNA .

BSmith821 (talk) 17:57, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

I have already made this request to you before: Wickramasinghe's fringe ideas are best dealt with in his biography. His visions and wild extrapolations are in no way representative of the main-stream scientific method.
Re #1, experiments on extremophiles in low Earth orbit directly related to panspermia will be added in a few days, and will be replacing the existing loose and unrelated extremophile entries (done done under WP:Synthesis).
Re #2, Bacteria in the atmosphere only shows there are bacteria in the atmosphere.
Re #3, see #1.
The undisputable fact is that there is no evidence for panspermia, so please stop introducing that word and implying that there is. Some studies have produced data to validate some aspects of the hypothesis, and none are meant to be used to "demonstrate" the observations on trrrestrial extremophiles are evidence. I can't be clearer that that.
On a wider scope, we know that you have already been introduced to the concepts of WP:SYNTHESIS, WP:POV and WP:FRINGE. At this point we must assume that you are already quite familiar with them so I ask you politely to please tone down your single-focus campaign to sanitize and promote Wickramasinghe's work. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 18:49, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
BatteryIncluded writes : undisputable fact is that there is no evidence for panspermia.
We are not at this point discussing evidence. This is a hypothesis. We are trying to help the reader understand the hypothesis. We are then giving the reader propositions against which the evidence (over the next 10 years) can be assessed.
There are many reputable scientists who will deny your statement - here is just one citation but I can give you many : [5] . I am personally communicating with perhaps the most important astrophysicist in the UK - and it is not Chandra Wickramasinghe. Even he is nervous about "coming out of the Panspemia closet" because of the bad name Wikipedia has been giving Panspermia and its advocates. This might make you laugh but many believe that somehow the CIA/NSA is behind this smokescreen you are trying to maintain. Prove me wrong and make a transition in your own thinking.
Secondly your comment on #2 - "Bacteria in the atmosphere only shows there are bacteria in the atmosphere."
Measuring the change in volumes by virus and bacteria type, by height - in the upper atmosphere? would not these stats be worth having?? And if the experiment proved the reverse of the Panspermia proposition, would not that be an important result to document in this Panspermia page? By the end of the day I will have gathered citations (not from Journal of Cosmology) that prove your statement is incorrect. Panspermia scientists believe that the inflow of viruses and bacteria is worthy of study and of asking for evidence. For these reasons I ask that this proposition be included. BSmith821 (talk) 19:41, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Polonnaruwa Meteorite - P-Meteorite[edit]

Papers Published in Journal of Cosmology

These 5 papers are the sum total of Chandra's published works on Polonnaruwa Meteorite as of May 30th 2013. As at July 2013 there is another paper being readied and I hear it is a stunner.

1) Vol 21 No. 37 (a) published 10-1-2013 Fossil Diatoms in a new Carbonaceous Meteorite

Abstract : We report the discovery for the first time of diatom frustules in a carbonaceous meteorite that fell in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka on 29 December 2012. Contamination is excluded by the circumstance that the elemental abundances within the structures match closely with those of the surrounding matrix. There is also evidence of structures morphologically similar to red rain cells that may have contributed to the episode of red rain that followed within days of the meteorite fall. The new data on “fossil” diatoms provide strong evidence to support the theory of cometary panspermia.

2) Vol 21 No. 38 (b) published 13-1-2013 On the Cometary Origin of the Polonnaruwa Meteorite

Abstract : The diatoms discovered in the Polonnaruwa meteorite are interpreted as originating in comets and the dust in interstellar space. The exceptionally porous structure of the Polonnaruwa meteorite points to it being a recently denuded cometary fragment. Microorganisms that were present in a freeze-dried state within pores and cavities may have survived entry to be added to the terrestrial biosphere. We conclude by reporting that an extract from the interior of a Polonnaruwa meteorite sample, studied under a light microscope at the Medical Research Institute in Colombo, was found to contain living diatoms (See Fig.4). If this result is confirmed in future studies and contamination is excluded, the meteorite would have been shown to contain both fossil as well as living microbes, and panspermia thus demonstrated in real time.

3) Vol 21 No. 39 © published 4-2-2013 Authenticity of the Life Bearing Polonnaruwa Meteorite

Abstract : We show that the Polonnaruwa stones that were collected on 29 December 2012 following a witnessed fireball, in which we found biological structures, do not possess properties that are consistent with fulgurites on the basis of X-ray diffraction studies, and other data. The existence of distinct diatom frustules fused into the rock matrix makes recent contamination unlikely. Contamination

4) Vol 21 No. 40 (d) published 8-2-2013 Living Diatoms In Polonnaura Meteorite – Possible Link to Red and Yellow Rain

Abstract : Meteoroids belonging to a cometary meteor stream, upon entering the atmosphere, could undergo hierarchical fragmentation, and the smallest micron-sized dust might serve to nucleate rain. The larger fragments that survive passage through the atmosphere may end up as the spray of meteorites such as were collected in Sri Lanka on 29th December 2012 and 3rd January 2013. We show tentative evidence for the presence a wide range of genera and species of diatoms which are living, in addition to those discovered in SEM studies that are fossilised.

5) Vol 22 No. 2 published 5-3-2013 Oxygen Isotope, Crystalline and Biological Composition

Abstract: Results of X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis, Triple Oxygen Isotope analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopic (SEM) studies are presented for stone fragments recovered from the North Central Province of Sri Lanka following a witnessed fireball event on 29 December 2012. The existence of numerous nitrogen depleted highly carbonaceous fossilized biological structures fused into the rock matrix is inconsistent with recent terrestrial contamination. Oxygen isotope results compare well with those of CI and CT-like chondrites but are inconsistent with the fulgurite hypothesis.

Equipment Used :

1. Light Microscope 2. Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

a. Cardiff : Philips XL30 FEI FEG ESEM :  
b.      NASA : Hitachi S-3700N Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope : no gold coated samples 

3. EDX Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX, EDS, EDAX)

a. Cardiff : EDS Oxford Instruments INCA
b.      NASA :  ? not stated in paper

4. Triple Oxygen Isotope Analysis

a. Thermo MAT 253 spectrometer

5. Xray Powder Diffraction

a. Philips PW1710 Automated Powder Diffract meter X-ray diffraction

6. ATR-FTIR  : NASA 7. Wavelength-Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (WDS) : ? unavailable

Teams : 3 teams in USA, Wales and Germany

BSmith821 (talk) 01:30, 18 July 2013 (UTC) User:BatteryIncluded User:Vsmith please help me understand an acceptable way to document the evidence from these experiments? BSmith821 (talk) 02:34, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

whether the Journal of Cosmology uses a reasonable peer review process[edit]

Dear : Vsmith concerning the question over whether the Journal of Cosmology uses a reasonable peer review process : I have set up this section for this discussion on this topic.

I believe you (or the WIKIPEDIA editors) should make sure any statement of this kind is backed up with a strong citation. Even IF it was found that 1 paper had a weak maybe un-independent peer review, surely that is NOT grounds for WIKIPEDIA to label the journal Fringe Science.

Reading the WIKIPEDIA definition, I can see that there are differing definitions of fringe science.

1) By one definition (see below) it is valid, but not mainstream, science,

2) whilst by another broader definition it is generally viewed in a negative way as being non-scientific.

The way some of the editors and contributors talk in the TALK areas clearly shows their attitude that the Journal of Cosmology is publishing "non-scientific" papers. The problem is that certain types of people take these comments at face value. I believe you should remove the word "fringe" from all references to the Journal of Cosmology - unless you can prove by at least a valid citation, that this is true.

Panspermia is now emerging from (1) above (ie valid, but not mainstream, science) to mainstream science[6]

BSmith821 (talk) 22:06, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

I suspect you might be on a hiding to nothing here. I actually checked out the article on the Journal of Cosmology yesterday, and found it well balanced. The article withholds explicit judgement on it, but does note that significant numbers of reputable sources have questioned the integrity of its peer review on several occasions in the past. (refs 2-6 on that page). The fact that it appears in [2] on a list of possible predatory open access journals is particularly troubling. I would imagine a significant majority of editors around these parts share that view (something we could easily have a quick straw poll on if necessary). IMO, not all research in the JoC is fringe, but the JoC does carry non-trivial quantities of fringe science—especially on extraterrestrial life. Its stated editorial policy that it carries "speculation" [2] I find particularly problematic for a consistently reliable journal.
My view is that panspermia in its broadest, least controversial guise is not "fringe"—i.e., most scientists would not reject claims that life could spread at least some distance through space—but that there remains very little actual evidence. i.e., it remains an unproven but valid hypothesis. BUT the JoC I would guess will be regarded as suspect. So I would avoid basing arguments too tightly off "it says so in the JoC". You'll have trouble getting it past other editors. Yes, cite it, but I personally would want general claims backed up in other literature too. DanHobley (talk) 23:33, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Some further links supporting concerns over the JoC:
1. Their senior editor has some decidedly fringe views: [3]
2. They appear to commission a good proportion of their articles, and the acceptance fractions seem pretty high on these articles. This includes the extremely controversial Hoover paper from a couple years back (which was in fact invited by Wickramasinghe!): [4]
3. The tone of their press releases, e.g., [5][6], makes me extremely concerned for the judgement and professionalism of the journal's board. (see also the JoC page)
4. Here [7] is an anecdote from an enraged external peer reviewer over the editor's "vituperative" reaction to his critical responses.
5. A nice 3rd party reference backing up concerns of the scientific community over this journal: [8]
DanHobley (talk) 00:56, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Don't rightly know why this section was addressed to me, have I missed (or forgotten) something? Anyway DanHobley sums it up quite well. Vsmith (talk) 12:33, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Panspermia Hypothesis - Rapidly Evolving Reassessment[edit]

The slowly accumulating evidence[7] for Panspermia has seen a gradual return to respectability for this much maligned hypothesis. This is reflected in the way NASA now accept and talk about organic molecules important to the incubation of life coming to earth via COMETS[8]. There is still resistance to the idea that biological organics can come to earth from space. And that is just good science as until there is clear evidence this hypothesis is still just that - a hypothesis. Assessment will come after the data is gathered perhaps after 2014 Rosetta but more than likely after MARS Icebreaker Life Mission in 2019.

The definition of "seeds of life" includes both biological and non-biological organics, (esp DNA/RNA molecules and fragments). BUT it really IS hypothesizing about the promulgation of Life. We discuss below the question this raises.

Under a second hypothesis the theory is extended to include microbes (live, dormant or fossilized) including viruses, bacteria, mitochondria and as yet unidentified early life forms.

But as more and more evidence for complex molecules are discovered in the Interstellar Medium, so we have a responsibility to better define what Life really is in terms of biological or non-biological organics. For example Viruses are most often considered replicators rather than forms of life. They have been described as "organisms at the edge of life". The List of interstellar and circumstellar molecules talks only of complex molecules. Perhaps the best discussion of biological or non-biological organics is in Icebreaker Life where it is stated :

Panspermia though is NOT hypothesizing about the distribution of complex molecules BUT it IS hypothesizing about the promulgation of Life. The challenge is to define what we mean by life - especially as one of the main microbes in the second hypothesis includes viruses : WIKIPEDIA states "There is ongoing debate as to whether viruses, obligate intracellular parasites that are not capable of replication outside of a host, can be included in the tree of life. A principal reason for inclusion comes from the discovery of unusually large and complex viruses, such as Mimivirus, that possess typical cellular genes".

BSmith821 (talk) 05:34, 19 July 2013 (UTC) (talk) 15:57, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Folks, please stop using caps in your contributions. This is considered to be "shouting" and does nothing to advance any of your opinions. Please discuss any points in a calm manner and then we can get on with a proper discussion. Thank you, David J Johnson (talk) 19:50, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
The text above was added by User:BSmith821 to the article (including the signature) and subsequently removed from the article for various reasons by myself and two other users (see the article history). The ip ( has copied it here without comment or explanation. Vsmith (talk) 22:48, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

I am proposing a clarification paragraph to replace this one at the top of panspermia: "The slowly accumulating evidence for complex organic molecules in space, support this hypothesis.[5][not in citation given][6][not in citation given]"

This is my proposed paragraph to replace the sentence. Vsmith Please help me improve this. The objective is to clarify the "scope" of the Panspermia hypothesis. FYI Wickramasinghe feels this needs to be clarified.

Scope of Panspermia Hypothesis

Panspermia is not hypothesizing about the distribution of complex molecules but it is hypothesizing about the promulgation of Life once incubated somewhere in the galaxy or universe. The fundamental tenet of Panspermia is that life is a cosmic phenomenon.

Biologists feel they are moving closer to understanding the incubation of life from complex molecules. In 2012 it is known that all the nucleic acids bases necessary for the build-up of nucleic acids are abiotically obtained from formamide[9] Panspermia provides the promulgation hypothesis for already incubated life.

Evidence for the Panspermia hypothesis will include finding microbes such as viruses, bacteria, mitochondria and even as yet undefined nano-microbes (dormant, live or fossilized) in comets and meteorites, and on other planets and moons. Finding complex molecules in interstellar space and even life on Mars[10], i.e. Finding life anywhere off earth, will be considered as evidence not inconsistent with the Panspermia hypothesis.

BSmith821 (talk) 19:37, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

That poorly cited paragraph does need replacing. I assume that you would replace it with a new first section following the lead and I can see that.
Your first paragraph should start out with a clear statement of what the hypothesis is - rather than what it isn't. It seems clear to me that the lifeforms proposed/hypothesised do require biochemicals and thus any such observed would be important. However the reports of "complex organic molecules in space" are problematic by themselves as references unless the refs make the connection. Likewise a reference about the Icebreaker mission and its search for lifeforms on Mars is a problem, or do they discuss panspermia? Vsmith (talk) 00:14, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

New Information on Kepler Results[edit]

Today I asked Professor Ravi to allow me to quote him on Wikipedia. I told him that one of the editors was unwilling to accept that the latest estimate of earth-like exoplanets in the galaxy had increase from 17B to 144b in just 6 months.

This is what he said :

“we have estimated, using the latest available Kepler Mission data, that 48% of low mass stars have Earth-size planets in their habitable zones.

So if we want to get a 'number' out of this, assuming that there are 400 billion stars of all types in our Galaxy, about 75% are low mass stars. That is about 300 billion low mass stars in our Galaxy. Then my estimate (which is validated by other researchers) shows that nearly 48% of these 300 billion low mass stars have Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone. That is, about 144 billion potentially habitable Earth-sized planets around low mass stars. And this is a conservative estimate ! There could be more.

Note that these billions and billions are not actually exact numbers but only estimates. Since we don't know EXACTLY how many stars AND PLANETS are in our Galaxy, this number (144 billion) changes a bit.”, Ravi Kopparapu.

This is one of the top scientists connected to the Kepler Mission responsible for this calculation

I am unclear why you have deleted this important quote. You keep saying Kepler has not yet announced any earth-like exoplanets. How is that relevant. Kopparapu's quote is an estimate for the whole galaxy. It is based on data he has access to - not you. But is nothing to do with confirmed earth-like planets.

Please clarify and help me better understand your position. I would like your support to use the quote and get this important and relevant information availkable to Wikipedia readers.

I am quite aware that Kepler needs (approx.) 3 years for a true earth-like planet to be announced, but I can assure you the catalog of earth-like planets into year 2 analysis are many. We have (as I expect you know ) already confirmed "super earth-like planets". Prof Kopparapu's estimate is important because he is "the man managing the numbers". I remind you the Wikipedia policy : Don't be a dick. Inexperienced, new, confused, and just plain inquisitive users must experience a warming, friendly environment. This requires helpers to remain positive in providing the best service possible, even if the person that is being helped is hostile. [[Batterincluded}} FYI you are being very hostile to me and I am very distressed.

User:Vsmith you owe me support as his behavior is worrying.

In conclusion : How do I get help havingBatteryincluded to be a little kinder to me? I have never even been hostile to you. I am a potential resource available with time and energy to help you cope with the paradigm shift we are going through as the reality of the universe changes. Going from 50 exoplanets to 144 B will distress many readers. But it is the reality. It seems to have really affected you. But then I expect you feel that all these 144 Billion exoplanets are totally devoid of microbes.

Sure they will be habitable and have beautiful mountains and oceans. But you see these planets as devoid of animals and plants and even bacteria and microbes. Likely? I think not :-) Kind of like MARS with water, or Nevada. Valid hypothesis? - yes. But history will record it as "yours" and "only your". And even "foolishly wrong" based on even the evidence in 2013. But then future experiments and evidence might provide you right. BUT - If not I will remind you - you can be sure. BSmith821 (talk) 03:03, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

BSmith - You're a new user so I'm not sure if this has yet been made clear to you, but these quotes you are directly seeking from the Professor are not citable for wikipedia. If you edit the article based on them, you are introducing Original Research, and those edits will likely be removed. Also, I share some of BI's concerns looking over the above threads; your text here reads as very Point-Of-View pushing and gets pretty WP:SOAPBOX-y. If you aren't already familiar with these WP policies - WP:NPOV and WP:OR in particular - I'd recommend reading up on them. You are also likely to come up against WP:WEIGHT - people will challenge you if you try to put too much emphasis on a single viewpoint into an article. We would of course welcome your input, but please try to see why some of your approach above has drawn some criticism. DanHobley (talk) 03:30, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Dear Bill, I apologize if I came across as "unkind". You know I posted welcoming and helpful comments and guidelines in your talk page, which you did not answer nor implemented. Since you have not acknowledged them nor been responsive to the required WP:neutral point of view, and reliable sources, along with other basic concepts to be used in Wikipedia, I was left with no choice but to seek help from WP community. I am not attacking your beliefs, just enforcing neutrality in the article. I am a scientist and I adhere to the neutral and self-corrective scientific method when I edit in Wikipedia. So if there ever was unambiguous, confirmed evidence of extraterrestrial life (which would make me very happy), I will update the relevant Wikipedia articles accordingly.
Once again: WP:Fringe claims can be briefly mentioned on their own WP:Weight, but cannot be used to re-frame the whole article. I think this is your main problem to overcome, to accept that this is non-negotiable.
Regardless of what you think of me, the fact that the universe has the potential for billions of exoplanets, does not come as a surprise, and all that is required of you is to find published reliable sources (that excludes e-mails) and cite them without bias, and in the context it was written. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 15:31, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

NPOV, off-topic tags added[edit]

I read through the whole article this evening, and I had some pretty major concerns. Mainly:

  • All of the Life on Earth and Habitats sections are spurious to this article. The material appears accurate, but by their inclusion here they constitute OR - things are being implied by the relevance of these sections without support from citations. I want to remove them, but will give a chance for someone to clean them up to make them relevant first. The Extremophiles section has some context at the opening, but it isn't clear to the reader why the organisms discussed are relevant to panspermia.
  • There are major issues with the extraterrestrial life section from a POV perspective. These are all fringe theories as far as I can tell. There's certainly a place on WP for this material, but the frame on it needs to make it clear that this stuff is outside the mainstream. There are also multiple issues with the subsection titles - in particular, "Disputed" implies the other sections aren't disputed, and they most certainly are, and "Spaceborne organics" is not relevant to Life as currently written (as noted somewhere above).

I suspect this stuff just needs to be pruned back, but if anyone wants to make improvements before I go in, please be my guest. DanHobley (talk) 03:45, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

DanHobley- All we are asking is to improve the structure of the Wikipage. We wish to improve the structure the page as per the best practice on hypotheses. We need to define the original observation, the hypothesis, the propositions, and the evidence against the propositions. BSmith821 (talk) 03:57, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Dear DanHobley- you have quickly sensed the issue. If (as we believe should be) the hypothesis is defined as a series of propositions to be tested, then the extremeophiles is actually very important. Unfortunately it is currently unclear why it is even included on this page.
The reason is that one of the propositions for Panspermia is that there are microbes surviving in extreme conditions of deep ice (in Antarctic and Comets) and even deep in the ocean -asteroids). This is evidence for the survivability of microbes. It is important these results are recorded against the hypothesis. BSmith821 (talk) 04:05, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
It is important these results are recorded against the hypothesis - then we (you?) need to dig up a good reference that explicitly says these topics are relevant. The relevance has to be cited, not just the accuracy of the information, otherwise it remains likely this material will get deleted. It's not for us as editors to make this kind of judgement, as if we do, we leave ourselves open to accusations of WP:SYNTHESIS (another WP style position I strongly recommend you read up on). DanHobley (talk) 04:57, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

A Google search on "extremophiles astrobiology" turns up lots of references. This is hardly fringe theory. A major goal of NASA's multibillion dollar Curiosity Mars rover is checking conditions for life on that planet and there are serious proposals to launch mor ambitious life speaking missions to Mars and Europa.--agr (talk) 11:30, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for posting the tag. That section contains too much WP:Synthesis so am glad there is consensus emerging. It will be replaced with information on extremophiles as they directly relate to the panspermia hypothesis. I have been working on that off-line for a few weeks. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 12:54, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
The latest accepted scientific results on life in deep ice and water, is significant to Panspermia, in the following way.
As the first proposition of Panspermia Hypothesis is basically that the "seeds of life" can survive in extreme conditions (comparable to space). if we could have proven that life was not found deep in ice and deep in the ocean trenches, then that would have been evidence consistent with Panspermia being a false hypothesis.
But, the fact we have found life, is a necessary but not sufficient condition for Panspermia. So now we move onto the next proposition. There is no attempt to say this "proves" Panspermia - but it is a "necessary condition". We must leave this section in. I think it could be crafted in 2 sentences - one on deep ice and the second on deep ocean. BatteryIncluded could likely word that concisely and fairly.

BSmith821 (talk) 17:46, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

I appreciate your vote of confidence, Bill. Rest assured that I am not against you nor panspermia, I just emphasize that the world's scientific community has not confirmed nor endorsed any ET life claim. As I said, I have been working for several weeks on the section dealing with extremophiles (including a brief mention of those in deep ice and in deep ocean) that will cover several experiments exposed to outer space to test some aspects of panspermia. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 19:02, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Just wanted to add my support for BatteryIncluded's views and work on this article and look forward to the result of those efforts. Best regards, David, David J Johnson (talk) 19:29, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
I am finished with the bulk of changes. Please edit and correct as well; I am flexible with the content and format, as long as it is specific to panspermia and suitably referenced. Regarding the "Spaceborne organics and structures", it seems to me it is off-topic (unless you want to include abiotic organic compounds in the panspermia menu) so I rendered it invisible, and I propose to delete or better yet, move it to the abiogenesis article. I'm open to your thoughts and desires.
There are more references and panspermia-specific experiments in orbit that I will add in the future. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 19:42, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Space Organics - What then IS Life?[edit]

I recommend you keep this section in BUT reduce it to a sentence or two around . I'd hate you to lose all that work which probably should be moved to its own page. I would leave in :

1. ALMA - and its ability to detect the growing number of complex molecules in the ISM; and soon to be pointed at Comets

2. a discussion on the fact we have not defined life or the "seeds of life" . This morning I had this discussion with a biologist on LIFE

As Panspermia is all about the promulgation of "the seeds of life"", then it does suppose we have some idea what the needs are. In fact this is a controversial "can of worms". I hope this inspires you to write a good summary paragraph rather than simply deleting the whole topic.


Just a quick question then. What is the definitive test for “life” ? I feel from my reading that even this statement assumes we know what “life” is. But have we got an agreed definition and is it testable?

Good questions...and here's something to muddy the issue further. Is a virus particle "alive" ? Viruses have C, N, H, O, P, and maybe a bit of Ca like most other biological samples. Viruses have, and transfer, genetic material (RNA or DNA). Yet they do not consume or generate energy. The "standard" view of life is something that consumes or generates ATP.
Viruses do not do are they alive or not ? I spent a 10 years working on viruses and many of the experts still debate this point. There is no consensus from the experts about whether viruses are "alive" or not.
I can't think of any one test that says if something is life or not. A combination of analytical techniques is required...including your images, EDS results, and biochemical assays. All you can do is put your results out and hope for a consensus from the people reading your paper.

Panspermia (as defined by all the books and papers) concerns microbes (viruses, bacteria, diatoms, and as yet undefined life forms). But it does include viruses which are not accepted as life by mainstream science. Mars Icebreaker Life in its search for life will look at : Target biomolecules will be aminoacids, proteins, polysaccharides, nucleic acids (e.g., DNA, RNA) and some of their derivatives, NAD+ involved in redox reactions, cAMP for intracellular signals, and polymeric compounds such as humic acids and polyglutamic acid —formed by bacterial fermentation. ALMA will be using the same science as it looks for life remotely. BSmith821 (talk) 20:21, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

I just moved the above comment from my talk-page to here, for open discussion.
At the moment I have a sick child under my care so I can't elaborate. Briefly, non-biological material (PAHs, aminoacids, etc) are not life. "Seeds of life" is a semantic game of words that could be very sneaky in an encyclopedia. Will gladly discuss this more tomorrow. Sorry for the short reply. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 20:39, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
My 2 cents- Thinking about organics per se aren't helpful in discussing Panspermia. "Organic molecules", widely defined, are pretty common in space. This seems uncontroversial to me (in meteorites, etc etc). But the whole point of the Panspermia hypothesis is it gives you a dodge for having to kickstart life on Earth really fast (from basic organic molecules) basically as soon as the planet was cold. Demonstrating that there's lots of organics about up there doesn't gain you anything from the Panspermia point of view, as you've still got that rapid-increase-in-complexity problem to solve every time.
So I guess what I'm saying is that "organics" widely defined isn't relevant here. But if it were demonstrated that, say, DNA or RNA (and all the associated chemical complexity necessary to support them, e.g., proteins) were knocking about abundantly in space, I'd be super excited from the panspermia point of view. i.e., I'm saying the relevancy comes from molecule and structure complexity, not from it just being an organic. The "atom" of panspermia has to be a self contained functional, replicating unit; something that evolution can act on directly.
I'm guessing that was pretty rambling. Sorry. Very interesting question though. I'm guessing finding citable material on this will prove challenging, however. This may be the sticking point for being able to incorporate this into the page. DanHobley (talk) 22:59, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I agree - good question - several of us have had similar discussions in the last few years on Wikipedia - including HERE and (to some extent) HERE - fwiw, my own thinking at the moment may be summarized in my NYTimes publication not too long ago - some material seems supported in the responsible scientific literature - some not (at least not yet) - yes, a truly fascinating subject - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 23:27, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Got some time to look around in the net, and I found something called soft panspermia, some kind of variation of panspermia: Soft panspermia argues that the organic building blocks of life originated in space and were incorporated in the solar nebula from which the planets condensed and were further (and continuously) distributed to planetary surfaces where life then emerged. Hard panspermia advocates that not only organic building blocks (various complex organics including amino acids) but also the "design" elements in the form of DNA and even bacteria or bacterial spores, were (and some believe still are) deposited on Earth. [9]
It sounds like soft panspermia propose that abiogenesis used "only" extraterrestrial non-biological organics. That is the only reference I got. Not much, but a possibility for us in Wikipedia could be to change the subtitle from "Space Organics" to "Soft panspermia" and list it under the other hipotheses. I mean, if we include the "Garbage hypothesis" thing, we could include this section as "Soft panspermia". Sleepy BatteryIncluded (talk) 03:35, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
That sounds like a pretty good solution to me, BI. Also, well done on the Extremephiles section. That looks way better. DanHobley (talk) 03:59, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
@BatteryIncluded - Yes, I agree w/ your solution as well - also, thanks for the "soft panspermia" reference - seems consistent w/ some of my own thinking on all this these days - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 11:23, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Since BSmith821 has not commented further on this topic, I assume he is not opposed to move that info under "Soft panspermia". Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 14:26, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Jackpot: The popular term for "soft" panspermia is "pseudo-panspermia". BatteryIncluded (talk) 15:08, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I think this is looking good. I just need more time to think about the soft spermia concept. ie after making this effort to simplify the page does it make sense to add this. If I believed in abiogenisis (ie the magical moment of life happening on earth) and if I also believed (as per the evidence) in complex molecules in ISM, then this softspermia would be a good compromise for me. The concern I have is that it is so far from Panspermia, does it make any sense to link it to Panspermia. I am sure all the biologists who are probing life already accept that complex molecules have come from space (ie ALMA). They would not want to link their theories to Panspemia. Would they? But then you could argue they should because if life did incubate here, then I bet they pretty much all believe panspermia (after asteroid collisions) carried life across the solar system, and many papers argue, out of the solar system. BSmith821 (talk) 15:36, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

BSmith821 (talk) 15:40, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Talk:BatteryIncluded can you include any of this :
In 2013, ALMA has confirmed that researchers have discovered an important pair of prebiotic molecules in the icy particles in interstellar space (ISM).
The chemicals, found in a giant cloud of gas about 25,000 light-years from Earth in ISM, may be a precursor to a key component of DNA and the other may have a role in the formation of an important amino acid.
Researchers found a molecule called cyanomethanimine, which produces adenine, one of the four nucleobases that form the “rungs” in the ladder-like structure of DNA. The other molecule, called ethanamine, is thought to play a role in forming alanine, one of the twenty amino acids in the genetic code. Previously, scientists thought such processes took place in the very tenuous gas between the stars. The new discoveries, however, suggest that the chemical formation sequences for these molecules occurred not in gas, but on the surfaces of ice grains in interstellar space. In February 2013, NASA ALMA spokesman announced[11]

Anthony Remijan.BSmith821 (talk) 18:53, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

But all that is already in the article. BatteryIncluded (talk) 21:08, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
another beginners mistake. I misread. Apologizes. Please correct. (talk) 21:49, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Extra Terrestrial Life[edit]

Talk:BatteryIncludedYou have left in the reference to Kopparu's estimate of the number of earth-like planets attached to sun-like stars (ie 144B) . But you have deleted mention of this new announcement. Please could you re-add the new estimate - up from 17B in January. This is a 8times increase and is significant to Panspermia because of the major increase in the statistical unlikelihood that these earth-like planets have no life.

Note this is connected (but not the same as) announced Earth-like planets in the Kepler Field of View. I realize so far only super-earths have been announced.BSmith821 (talk) 02:23, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Please feel free to add the info and reference. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 02:40, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

[[Talk::BatteryIncluded]] please could you change the date of ref 38 to 2013. BSmith821 (talk) 03:02, 25 July 2013 (UTC) BSmith821 (talk) 03:00, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Are there any other pending issues with this subsection, or can remove the neutrality tag? Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 14:29, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Nice work. I placed the tag; removal fine by me now. DanHobley (talk) 14:34, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

[[Talk::BatteryIncluded]] Based on Today's news from NASA I'd like to suggest the following small but significant change  : If you agree (check the ref) then please add worded as you wish.

Extraterrestrial life[edit]

Earth has been considered the only planet known to harbor life in the solar system. Recent discoveries by Mars Curiosity are providing strong evidence of a past environment suitable for life[12] .

Life on Titan discusses the relation between chemical reactivity and life, in a 2007 report on life's limiting conditions prepared by a committee of scientists under the United States National Research Council. The committee, chaired by John A. Baross, considered that "if life is an intrinsic property of chemical reactivity, life should exist on Titan. Indeed, for life not to exist on Titan, we would have to argue that life is not an intrinsic property of the reactivity of carbon-containing molecules under conditions where they are stable..."[13]

The sheer number of planets in the Milky Way galaxy make it seem probable that life has arisen somewhere else in the galaxy and the universe. It is generally agreed that the conditions required for the evolution of intelligent life are probably exceedingly rare in the universe, while simultaneously noting that simple single-celled microorganisms may be more likely.[72] BSmith821 (talk) 18:32, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done.
Unrelated to panspermia.
Potential past habitability ≠ inhabited.
BatteryIncluded (talk) 13:49, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

WikiProject Paranormal[edit]

Could anyone explain why this page comes under WikiProject Paranormal? I propose it is time to remove it from there. Anyone object? BSmith821 (talk) 15:39, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

i'll leave it to you OK BatteryIncluded BSmith821 (talk) 16:53, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Icebreaker Life[edit]

This section is a place to talk about the section on the proposed (but not yet funded) Icebreaker Mission in 2019. I am interested in this because it proposes to drill deep in the ice of the north plain. Certainly the kind of place where on earth there would be microbes. I wrote to the Principal Investigator today and asked the following :

I notice you write : in
The Mars Icebreaker Life mission focuses on the following science goals:[2]
1. Search for specific biomolecules that would be conclusive evidence of life.
So it seems you do have a clear definition of what biomolecules are necessary and sufficient for life?
But how do you determine “live” v. “dead” life? Does that question have any meaning in 2013? Ie are dormant DNA strands “life”?
Does NASA generally agree with your definition or does it have its own definition of Life? Ie better than Wikipedia:
I am trying to get WIKIPEDIA updated to reflect the latest thinking. Your guidance (esp in the form of journal citations) would be valuable.

I will post the reply here in the next few days - that is "if" I get a reply :-) This should give us a current perspective on how NASA defines "life". BSmith821 (talk) 23:18, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Why highlight that mission over Viking, Phoenix, MSL, ExoMars, etc? I still think that the search for life on Mars is unrelated to panspermia. BatteryIncluded (talk) 23:43, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
as we have discussed before the transfer of material (and microbes) between planets and moons in the solar system is definitely a part of Panspermia/Prop 1 and 2
so if Icebreaker and Curiosity find no life over 8 feet down (and say also in caves and 2-3 feet into rock faces at Mount Sharpe) then many would argue that it is unlikely that Panspermia is a valid hypothesis. You could still not say for sure, because microbes might exist very deep into the rocks or ice as on earth. And there might be fossilized diatoms in rocks from earth. So there could be zero life and yet Panspermia could be true.
I would support some mention of Viking because if you scan Gil Levin's July 2013 paper, you can start to understand why Wickramasinghe states in many publications that Gil discovered the first "Life on Mars"[14] .
After Viking, all the other missions did not search for life. They were searching for "water". Icebreaker will be the first to openly state a "Search for Life" mission. I know Wickramasinghe has had much communication with Gilbert Levin and believes he should already be credited with the first discovery of "Life on Mars". In a recent paper, Levin shows respect for 2012 Curiosity and lays out SAM results that over the next 12 months would confirm Viking's discovery. This is an interesting paper - using latest data from Curiosity at "John Klein". BSmith821 (talk) 00:46, 27 July 2013 (UTC)BSmith821 (talk) 00:59, 27 July 2013 (UTC) BSmith821 (talk) 01:16, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

NASA Mission statement - time for a vision[edit]

Here is a suggested Press Release from the White House :

Oct 31, 2013 : Washington DC. The President today called on NASA to follow a new vision for the decade 2013-2023. This will be the “Search for Life” decade. Everything that NASA will do should have a component which fits into this vision. The goal is to explore inner space, comets, moons and solar system planets for life - not just fossilized life but current life. Missions focused on the Milky Way Galaxy will be asked to focus on the “Search for Life”. Even Deep space Missions will even be asked to look for the indications of life. We believe most NASA scientists are already acting in this way. We want to free them from constraints and ask them to “Imagine”.

“You are the ‘Star Trek’ Generation. The American people expect you to live your work-life in the ‘Star Trek’ spirit free to ‘imagine’ ”, said Barak Obama.

So just as Bill Gates refocused Microsoft around the Internet with his “Internet Tidal Wave” memo on May 26, 1995: so Obama re-focussed NASA around the ”Search for Life” with his “Search for Life, Tidal Wave” email in September 2013.

History will then record that in 2013, Barack Obama inspired a new generation of NASA scientists and a new generation of young people in the USA and across the globe.

Best wishes Bill Smith

PS please excuse me for having the presumption to write this. I felt compelled  — Preceding unsigned comment added by BSmith821 (talkcontribs) 03:39, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

I have removed this material [10] for the original research and synthesis that it is. If the mainstream sources are not discussing panspermia, it is original research to link them to this article through synthesis with fringe sources. It is particularly problematic when being done to try to provide extra legitimacy for a fringe view. Much of the content is already at Astrobiology#Missions minus the panspermia fringe claims, IRWolfie- (talk) 08:48, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Hello. After weeks of arguments, article re-write and a pending ANI resolution, the experiments section in Panspermia was created and reviewed by the main editors against Fringe, Synthesis and OR. Your mass deletion was reverted as the content is now directly related panspermia as indicated in the references. Please review the panspermia talk page, ANI case, and references, and then discuss any such mass deletion you may still propose. Having said that, the article is still in the process of re-write and your input and edits are appreciated. Thank you, BatteryIncluded (talk) 14:40, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't care about any reviews by "main editors", and I do not care about past disputes. Original research is original research, and it should be removed. Particularly the WP:SYNTH. IRWolfie- (talk) 14:21, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
I repeat: all OR, Fringe, Synthesis was removed. What you see now in the extremophiles section is research by NASA and ESA specifically testing aspects of panspermia. Did you bother to read any of it? BatteryIncluded (talk) 14:30, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Panspermia Hypothesis - Propositions[edit]

did you delete the section which defined the hypothesis and listed the propositions against which evidence will be assessed?

I spent all day getting citations and have 4, only to find the whole section removed. BSmith821 (talk) 23:40, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

do I rekey in the section and add the citations? (talk) 00:36, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

I'd like your support (and your action) to include the following :

New section == The Hypothesis ==

As defined earlier, Panspermia is the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by meteoroids, asteroids, comets[1][2] and planetoids.[3]

The hypothesis defines the following propositions to guide the investigation :

(use these 3 citations :

Rauf, K. and Wickramasinghe, C., 2010. Evidence for biodegradation products in the interstellar medium, Int.J.Astrobiol, 9(1), 29-34

Wickramasinghe, C., 2010. “The astrobiological case for our cosmic ancestry”, International Journal of Astrobiology 9 (2) : 119–129

Wickramasinghe, C., 2011. Bacterial morphologies supporting cometary panspermia: a reappraisal, International Journal of Astrobiology, 10 (1), 25 -30; )

Defn : In the following propositions, "seeds of life" include some but usually not all :
desiccated DNA/RNA
live, dormant or fossilized non-cellular life (viruses), and
live, dormant or fossilized cellular life (bacteria, archaea)
complex molecules are assumed to exist everywhere
1. that dormant viruses and desiccated DNA/RNA can survive unprotected in interplanetary space
2. that the seeds of life can survive protected from cosmic rays in asteroids, comets and meteors (Lithopanspermia)
3. that desiccated DNA/RNA exists in the interstellar medium

Thanks fro your help and guidance BSmith821 (talk) 03:13, 1 August 2013 (UTC) Evidence and experiments will be structured around these propositions.

No. We already explained to you in various ways that Wickramasinghe's methodology and beliefs should not dominate the scope of this article. Please stop. Please! BatteryIncluded (talk) 03:49, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Talk:BatteryIncluded This is northing to do with Wickramasinghe. This is my effort to provide missing structure. It also helps explain that this is a hypothesis which needs propositions against which to measure the evidence. Can you confirm you understand scientific hypotheses? And on what basis you keep deleting the propositions. For example you decide to "include" Lithopanspermia, implying it is some new hypothesis when all it is is someone giving a name to just one part of the proposition that comets, meteors and asteroids carry microbes and dessicated life.
If we don't use a proper scientific structure then we lose the very essence of scientific process.
The hypothesis defines the following three propositions to guide the investigation:[19] [20] [21]
The three propositions around which evidence will be assessed:
  1. that dormant viruses and desiccated DNA/RNA can survive unprotected in interplanetary space
  2. that the seeds of life can survive protected from cosmic rays in asteroids, comets and meteors (Lithopanspermia)
  3. that the seeds of life are promulgated from solar system to solar system by a process of comet and asteroid collision with planets and matter ejection from planet to planet/moon and then on outside that solar system to the adjacent solar system
Definition : In the above propositions, the "seeds of life" include some but usually not all :
  1. desiccated DNA/RNA
  2. live, dormant, desiccated or fossilized non-cellular life (viruses)
  3. live, dormant, desiccated or fossilized cellular life (bacteria, archaea, eukarya (fungi))
List of interstellar and circumstellar molecules - complex molecules are assumed to exist everywhere
Talk:BatteryIncluded of these 3 propositions, which do you not believe needs to be tested? and proved?
please believe I am not trying to railroad in anything from Wickramasinghe. I am simply offering a structure that will help YOU as you Talk:BatteryIncluded document the future experiments and evidence from all scientists. There are now 3 simple clear propositions that are independent of any researcher in this field.

As a Wikipedia editor I am simply offering this structure to the page team. There is nothing in this structure to help or support any one scientist - esp CW. BSmith821 (talk) 15:54, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Once again:
1) those are speculations by Chandra W., a proponent in the fringe side.
2) His fringe assumptions are already included in this article under the appropriate sections.
3) His premises, beliefs and speculations cannot be used as a pivot to restructure the whole article.
BatteryIncluded (talk) 16:08, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
from this response it tells me we are definitely not communicating effectively. The positions are from me not CW.
But maybe the issue is that Wiki editors are not allowed to generate original material. Is this the issue?
I think I have found a solution that might be acceptable. This morning I found a good paper dated 2003, that talks about : The Hoyle-Wickramasinghe model of Panspermia[15] requires a fraction of bacterial particles released from solar system comets to become available in viable form to seed embryonic cometary/planetary systems forming elsewhere in the galaxy (Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, 1981).
would it be possible for me to either create a new Wikipage actually called "Hoyle-Wickramasinghe model of Panspermia" or add a section with this title on the Panspermia page. Or if this bothers you, to have such a section on his own wikipage? BSmith821 (talk) 17:50, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

BSmith821 (talk) 17:59, 1 August 2013 (UTC)


You moved the paragraph to the top but you got it the wrong way around.:-) I recommend you keep in the clarification of Pans v. LS, as it will help people understand. Basically LP is microbes in some liquid or solid (ie meteors and comets) whereas Panspermia is LP+ free moving microbes (singly or in clumps). Personally I think it makes little sense to even discuss LP, unless you believe that it is likely LP is the only method. CW believes the opposite. (talk) 00:36, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Fixed that; thank you. Regarding lithopanspermia, it will stay in the article because it is not neutral to mention only the mechanism proposed by Chandra W. After all you've been through, you should be aware of not being biased in this encyclopedia. Thanks again. BatteryIncluded (talk) 01:16, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I recommend you expand its scope to include any object that shields the "seeds of life" from cosmic rays. ie this is not just rocks but it includes comets and asteroids, as well as rocky meteors.
FYI - the "free sailing" mode is called RadioPanspermia and should be mentioned at the same time as Lithospermia is introduced. The first 2 propositions that I proposed should read :
  1. that dormant viruses and desiccated DNA/RNA can survive unprotected in interplanetary space (RadioPanspermia)  :
  2. that the seeds of life can survive protected from cosmic rays in asteroids, comets and meteors (LithoPanspermia)

BSmith821 (talk) 18:09, 1 August 2013 (UTC)


I am becoming increasing concerned that BSmith821's contributions to this article are advertisements for Wickramasighe's views and we are seriously in danger of overturning the neutral conventions of this, or any, Wikipedia article. I endorse the comments above in asking for BSmith821 to stop this constant plugging of just one view, amongst many. Regards, David J Johnson (talk) 13:22, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

you write : BSmith821's contributions to this article are advertisements for Wickramasighe's views
this is untrue and a little disrespectful.
I need to again stress these are not Wickramasinghe's views. This is the scientific hypothesis process of "observation=>hypothesis=>propositions=>evidence=>conclusion" that I have been wanting to get the Panspermia editors to understand and perhaps agree would be useful and correct for this page.
The worry I had was that Wikipedia was attempting to develop a page on a hypothesis, but with no current (or even historic) definition of the hypothesis, and certainly no propositions against which to document the recent experiments and evidence (for or against). This was why the page had become a "mashup". talk:BatteryIncluded has done an amazing job improving it, but the only thing missing and left to do, is to define the propositions.
The v1 proposed propositions are my design. I have read much from almost everyone involved, and have designed what I believe are 3 propositions against which all evidence (existing and future) can be assessed. They are simple and all encompassing but certainly not from Wickramasinghe or any one scientist.
I would be happy to have a open debate here about the "validity" and "orthogonality" of the propositions I am proposing.
but please stop saying and thinking that somehow Wickramasinghe is somehow guiding my proposals here.
I have admitted to feeling the guy should be getting the Nobel Prize for 50 years dedication to Astrophysics, so yes I am biased towards him as a man. But with 4 weeks full time effort I have finally understood and accepted the Wikipedia process - even to the point of understanding why I must accept points of view which I believe are clearly "poor" - ie Lithospermia. You in turn need to show a little respect to me when I offer reasonable suggestions on the Talk page. I made a huge effort yesterday to find 3 citations for the Propositions only to find the section deleted just when I was ready to provide them. BSmith821 (talk) 17:31, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi BSmith. Just a note to say that what you've written above catches a lot of why I don't think we should include what you're proposing. You say "The v1 proposed propositions are my design." This is more or less the definition of synthesis, which we do not want in wikipedia. This is one of the main reasons you're meeting so much resistance. (The other is that it is synthesis based primarily on one author's WP:FRINGE-y work; all 3 of your proposed refs have CW as an author). DanHobley (talk) 19:52, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi DanHobley . Is this a good place to debate the propositions of Panspermia? I have suggested we open a new page dedicated to the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe Model. Are you OK with this solution? Or would you recommend we add the propositions to CW's own Wikipage? (talk) 06:16, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

BSmith821 (talk) 06:17, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

are you OK with the scientific hypothesis process of "observation=>hypothesis=>propositions=>evidence=>conclusion" ?? BSmith821 (talk) 06:20, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Not really. Your approach to how you want to write this up is synthesis, as I explained above, so we can't put it anywhere. Also, making a new article on just this model would probably be considered a content fork, and a likely candidate to get deleted. Please read up on both these policies, it might save you some time in the future. Also, please note Wikipedia is not a forum. Articles never "debate" anything, they report. It's just not what this wiki is for. DanHobley (talk) 22:05, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Hypotheses on extraterrestrial sources of illnesses?[edit]

"Hoyle and Wickramasinghe have advanced a number of concrete instances where they say outbreaks of illnesses" How are people getting away with this? They have advanced theories, that's all; there's nothing concrete here. This is doing nothing for their credibility. Kortoso (talk) 19:58, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Totally agree with you Kortoso. Unfortunately, for several months myself and other editors have had a problem with one particilar "editor" who sees his mission to advertise the theories of Wickramasinghe and I'm afraid I, and others, have missed this one. He has been warned numerous times that his contributions are against Wikipedia's policy of neutrality and has recently started again (see Talk page contributions on both article and his Talk page). I am hoping that this person will eventually abide by Wikipedia conventions, but if not I believe a block may be in order. Regards, David J Johnson (talk) 20:19, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
The extraterrestrial risk of NASA astronauts encountering pathogenic viruses and bacteria was reemphasized this month in Griffin's paper in Astrobiology Vol 13 Number 8 2013 ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2012.0959. The paper discusses the issues around the possible evolution of pathogenic viruses on other moons and planets - as well as in comets. This is exactly what Hoyle-W hypothesized in their 1986 book "Viruses from Space" [16] Several papers were presented at SPIE 2013 which will be reported on when officially published.

BSmith821 (talk) 23:41, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Griffin (U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg, Florida) - The Quest for Extraterrestrial Life: What About the Viruses? DOI: 10.1089/ast.2012.0959[edit]

BatteryIncluded I understand my role as editor is only to report existing information from citable sources. Your guidance and patience on this has been appreciated.

Having said that, I believe your changes to my reporting do understate or even miss the main point of Griffins Paper. The Abstract says "In our quest for extraterrestrial life, we should be looking for viruses; and while any encountered may pose no risk, the possibility of an encounter with a virus capable of accessing multiple cell types exists, and any prospective contact with such an organism should be treated accordingly". I believe this should be documented.

Background (just between you and I) : Griffin's paper would be direction and encouragement to NASA's two astrobiologists - Chris Walker (on the Mars Icebreaker Team) and Carol Stoker (on the Mars Curiosity 2020 Team). The paper would support Walker and Stoker in any current effort to improve the "life detection" capability - ie to include virochips . As NASA moves from "Search for Water" to "Search for Life" (see video at "forward slash" 18XsZ8Z ), this is a the first time a US government scientist has openly and confidently discussed the risk of finding viruses and bacteria on other bodies. Part of the challenge for NASA is that we (humans: US, Russia, Japan etc) have already contaminated everywhere we have sent probes. I hope you will make an effort to capture the significance of this paper for the WIKIPEDIA reader even if you do not totally agree with my own editing. I do not expect anything in this paragraph to be reported. But the abstract needs to be reported surely? BSmith821 (talk) 18:02, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Astronaut bio-protection protocols have been in place since Apollo program, so there is nothing new in his "warning". I can't see any justification of including more than on line on Griffin's paper, unless you want to keep boosting Chandra's hype. BatteryIncluded (talk) 02:37, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Completely agree with BI's comment above. Still feel "editor" is trying to boost CW's hype. David J Johnson (talk) 10:14, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
The 2019 MARS Ice-Breaker Mission (whose design and funding application is happening right now) needs an experiment which could actual detect viruses. By finding there are no viruses (or bacteria) in the ice this would be valuable knowledge in planning manned landings - ie finding the risk to astronauts was not as large as is currently hypothesized. Currently there is no virus detection experiment planned - but the technology now does exist (Virochip etc). Griffin's emphasis on viruses, which also warns of the possible pathogenic development, is very important. By the way if Ice-breaker does not find viruses, I would then say the H-W model of Panspermia is disproven. Remember you can never prove a hypothesis - only disprove. Hopefully the Griffin paper will provide added ammunition for Chris Walker's Ice-Breaker proposal. I leave it to BatteryIncluded to craft the words.
BSmith821 (talk) 17:05, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Rationale for the Panspermia Hypothesis?[edit]

While the Wiki entry discusses the feasibility of Panspermia, I'm still puzzled by what necessitates the Panspermia hypothesis in the first place. Are there some glaring problems with the idea of a terrestrial origin of life that the Panspermia hypothesis addresses? Is there any evidence anywhere that supports the idea of an extraterrestrial origin for life? Or even makes the idea relevant and worthy of consideration?

I have no quarrel with the entry or its inclusion in Wikipedia. As an idea, it deserves to be represented. But as a scientific theory, Panspermia fails the Occam's Razor test rather spectacularly, multiplying complexity while providing no heuristic advantage over more conventional hypotheses, and in fact begging the very question it purports to address: how life arose (wherever it did) in the first place. Shouldn't Panspermia's weaknesses as theory be more clearly stated in the piece? Dr mabeuse (talk) 20:03, 21 September 2013 (UTC)dr_mabeuse

Hello. This page is not the place to discuss the subject but how to improve the article. Please note that panspermia poses the hypothesis that life is distributed by asteroids and comets; it does not attempt to address the origin of life. If you have a specific change proposal, please cite the reference(s) and we'll work on it. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 23:54, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

4.1.4 Needs confirmation and/or CORRECTION[edit]

"Named Beer". While the living conditions needed to make alcohool are known, that an experiment would be named Beer is hopefully statistically null. We all know that it is not age, but maturity that is the difference between siting at the adult or kids, lunch table. (talk) 03:37, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Please read the whole sentence, and while you are at it, the whole paragraph and its reference. BatteryIncluded (talk) 07:35, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

4.2 Criticisms[edit]

Where is the section which lists criticisms of the panspermia theory? Most good wikipedia pages have a section like this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:27, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Kaufman, Marc (Feb 5, 2013). "National Geographic News". Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Rosetta. "Rosetta's frequently asked questions". Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Wickramasinghe, Chandra (2010). "The astrobiological case for our cosmic ancestry". International Journal of Astrobiology. 2 9: 119–129. doi:10.1017 Check |doi= value (help). PMID 1473550409990413 Check |pmid= value (help). 
  4. ^ Rosetta. Retrieved 17 July 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Gladman, B (2005). "Impact seeding and reseeding in the inner solar system". Astrobiology. 4 5: 483–496. 
  6. ^ Sanders, Robert. "New evidence that comets could have seeded life on Earth". Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Sanders, Robert. "New evidence that comets could have seeded life on Earth". Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Mission to Catch a Comet". NASA JPL. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Saladino, Raffaele (12 2011). "Formamide and the origin of life". SciVerse. doi:10.1016/j.plrev.2011.12.002. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Davé, Arwen (2013-04-11). "The sample handling system for the Mars Icebreaker Life mission: from dirt to data.". Sensei Scholar. 
  11. ^ Finley, Dave (February 28, 2013). "Discoveries Suggest Icy Cosmic Start for Amino Acids and DNA Ingredients". National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "NASA's Curiosity Nearing First Anniversary on Mars". NASA. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Committee on the Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems, Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life, National Research Council; [11]; The National Academies Press, 2007; pages 74-75
  14. ^ Levin, Gilbert. "Evidence for microbial life on Mars?". Spie. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  15. ^ Wickramasinghe, Chandra; Wickramasinghe, J.T. (2003). "RADIATION PRESSURE ON BACTERIAL CLUMPS IN THE SOLAR VICINITY AND THEIR SURVIVAL BETWEEN INTERSTELLAR TRANSITS". Astrophysics and Space Science 286: 453–459. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  16. ^ Hoyle, Fred (1986). Viruses from Space. Cardiff, Wales: University College Cradiff Press. ISBN 0-906449-93-6.