Seems like the Pangea hypothesis might have gotten some evidence... wouldn't
say this is conclusive though, but it is intriguing.
Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space
Scientists from the University of Sheffield believe they have found life
arriving to Earth from space after sending a balloon to the stratosphere.’
After it landed, scientists discovered that they had captured a diatom fragment
and some unusual biological entities from the stratosphere, all of which are
too large to have come from Earth.
Other scientists disagree, as noted here: New Alien Life Claim Far from
Convincing, Scientists Say
The team, led by Professor (Hon. Cardiff and Buckingham Universities) Milton
Wainwright, from the University’s Department of Molecular Biology and
Biotechnology found small organisms that could have come from space after
sending a specially designed balloon to 27km into the stratosphere during the
recent Perseid meteor shower.
Professor Wainwright said: “Most people will assume that these biological
particles must have just drifted up to the stratosphere from Earth, but it is
generally accepted that a particle of the size found cannot be lifted from
Earth to heights of, for example, 27km. The only known exception is by a
violent volcanic eruption, none of which occurred within three years of the
“In the absence of a mechanism by which large particles like these can be
transported to the stratosphere we can only conclude that the biological
entities originated from space. Our conclusion then is that life is continually
arriving to Earth from space, life is not restricted to this planet and it
almost certainly did not originate here.”
Professor Wainwright said the results could be revolutionary: “If life does
continue to arrive from space then we have to completely change our view of
biology and evolution,” he added. “New textbooks will have to be written!”
Professor Wainwright said stringent precautions had been taken against the
possibility of contamination during sampling and processing, and said the group
was confident that the biological organisms could only have come from the
The group’s findings have been published in the Journal of Cosmology (open
access) and updated versions will appear in the same journal, a new version of
which will be published in the near future. Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe of
the Buckingham, University Center for Astrobiology (of which Professor
Wainwright is an Honorary Fellow) also gave a presentation of the group’s
findings at a meeting of astronomers and astrobiologists in San Diego last
Professor Wainwright added: “Of course it will be argued that there must be an,
as yet, unknown mechanism for transferring large particles from Earth to the
high stratosphere, but we stand by our conclusions. The absolutely crucial
experiment will come when we do what is called ‘isotope fractionation’. We will
take some of the samples which we have isolated from the stratosphere and
introduce them into a complex machine – a button will be pressed. If the ratio
of certain isotopes gives one number then our organisms are from Earth, if it
gives another, then they are from space. The tension will obviously be almost
impossible to live with!”
The research was conducted by Professor (Hon. Cardiff and Buckingham
Universities) Milton Wainwright from the University of Sheffield, Chris Rose
and Alex Baker from the University of Sheffield’s Leonardo Centre for Tribology
and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe Director of the Centre for Astrobiology,
University of Buckingham.
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