Damn.... there goes pangea lol

I saw this yesterday on Kurzweil's blog and went back to the post to check
it and saw they had put out this UPDATE to the original, which I am pasting
below.
-Chris

UPDATE Sept. 21, 2013 1:00 EDT

In a blog post on KurzweilAI, theoretical biologist Dr. Richard Gordon
called these conclusions into question, noting that just one broken diatom
shell was found (not statistically impressive), no controlled experiment was
reported in a dusty environment, collection methods and lab conditions were
unspecified, and the study failed to provide data on the condition of the
balloon-borne equipment.

He also noted that there is literature on how hurricanes and storms move
diatoms through the atmosphere, and that there have been several mechanisms
suggested for the transfer of particles to the upper atmosphere. For
example, bacteria and other biological materials are common components of
cloud condensation nuclei.

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 sampling trip.

"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 stratosphere.

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 month.

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.

-----Original Message-----
From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Telmo Menezes
Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2013 5:47 AM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Scientists claim discovery of life coming to Earth from space

Unfortunately this appears to be bs:
http://science.slashdot.org/story/13/09/20/136220/alien-life-story-of-dubiou
s-provenance-goes-viral

(but what do I know!)

Best,
Telmo.


On Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:53 PM, Chris de Morsella <cdemorse...@yahoo.com>
wrote:
> Seems like the Pangea hypothesis might have gotten some evidence... 
> wouldn't say this is conclusive though, but it is intriguing.
> -Chris
>
> 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 sampling trip.
> "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 stratosphere.
> 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 month.
> 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.
> http://www.kurzweilai.net/scientists-claim-discovery-of-life-coming-to
> -earth-from-space?utm_source=KurzweilAI+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=
> 60630eb1c2-UA-946742-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6de721fb33-60630eb1
> c2-281942553
>
> --
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