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Did life begin in space?

by C1ay / August 14, 2007 6:03 AM PDT

Recent probes inside comets show it is overwhelmingly likely that life began in space, according to a new research paper by Cardiff scientists.

Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe and colleagues at the Cardiff Centre for Astrobiology have long argued the case for panspermia ? the theory that life began inside comets and then spread to habitable planets across the galaxy. A recent BBC Horizon documentary traced the development of the theory.

Now the team claims that findings from space probes sent to investigate passing comets reveal how the first organisms could have started.


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Well, the author and I agree on one thing anyway ...
by Bill Osler / August 14, 2007 6:21 AM PDT

The author and I apparently agree that life did not start as the result of random processes on Earth.

I don't know about any further agreement with the author's hypothesis. I guess it might depend on precisely what the phrase 'began in space' means. Happy

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Well, of course it did:
by drpruner / August 14, 2007 6:33 AM PDT

Gen 1:1. Happy

Chandra Wicker ... Wiksim ... Ramalam ...
Chandra Smith Happy is a top level scientist with a balanced view of his disipline; long associated with the redoubtable Fred Hoyle. As such he's often quoted in our publications because of his reasoning. Many times he comes close to having the Christian view of man's background. Of course, he remains an evolutionist and we don't try to portray him as something else. Ditto Dawkins, BTW.

I hope you browsed around the Cardiff site. Intersting stuff.
This one http://www.astrobiology.cf.ac.uk/redrain.html ANALYSIS OF RED RAIN OF KERALA [India] has a picture (the second of two) of great and unintentional hilarity. "They're here!!"

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Will try to find links but recently heard
by Steven Haninger / August 14, 2007 8:15 AM PDT

that polar studies on our own planet are trying to prove the possibility that comets could have transported micro-organisms to Earth. It said nothing of having them develop in the ice from a comet. The study is trying to determine the survivability of such organisms when frozen for long lengths of time. What I do recall is that they have established something of a "half life" for such. The study shows deterioration but some retention of viable genetic material on even very old samples. It does suggest that some loss DNA information occurs even in organisms that can be made to become active. I suppose this study might be trying to look into the feasibility that Earth was "seeded" from somewhere in the beyond.

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That theory simply confirms the failure of the evolutionary
by Kiddpeat / August 14, 2007 8:32 AM PDT

hypothesis to account for the origin of life. Pushing it off into space doesn't help. It simply adds to the magic of the story, and continues to beg the question of what caused life to begin.

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Evolution is not about origins.
by C1ay / August 14, 2007 9:10 AM PDT

It's about change, adaptation, mutation, the division of species into new species. The origin of life is a seperate question for which there are nothing but theories. This is just another, nothing more, nothing less. For now the only correct answer to the question "where did life begin" is "we don't know".

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I think the wording could be more precise ...
by Bill Osler / August 14, 2007 10:32 AM PDT
The origin of life is a seperate question for which there are nothing but theories. This is just another, nothing more, nothing less. For now the only correct answer to the question "where did life begin" is "we don't know".

I'd suggest a different wording: For now the only scientifically acceptable answer to the question "where did life begin" is "we don't know." Actually, IMO, that is also the only scientifically legitimate answer to the question of HOW life began but I digress.

Strictly speaking, there should be at least one correct answer to the question and I doubt that the final set of correct answers will include "we don't know." Some of us believe we already have answers that have not yet been scientifically validated. We are just waiting for the scientists to catch up. Happy
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I don't know where you learned your theory, but
by Kiddpeat / August 14, 2007 11:35 AM PDT

the university biology course I took included the origin of life within the presentation on evolutionary theory. If the scientific community has now admitted that it cannot explain origins, then I think it has made a lot of progress in the interim.

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The origin of life,
by dirtyrich / August 17, 2007 11:22 PM PDT

which I believe the currently favored explanation is the heterotroph hypothesis, is less grounded than the modern theory of evolution. While the origin of life is usually taught in evolution units or courses, it is a separate topic.

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Overwhelmingly likely?
by EdH / August 14, 2007 10:45 AM PDT

Interesting idea, but I think they are going way out in a limb there.

But, you never know.

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Life = any place it wants to be
by Willy / August 14, 2007 1:13 PM PDT

After watching so much of space pgms. and educational reading, it appears life's chemistry is so common that really all it wants is a place to start. Like the proverbial, "not in my neighborhood sorta thing" life keeps a constant outlook to break out and settle down. Of course, it may not be what we're used to but akin to bacterial or similar but a start is a start and progress as we've come to know it to bigger and better things. All theories aside, it seems one theory is as good as another at times or when it becomes welcomed to be accepted. -----Willy

"Houston, we got something growing here" naaaah! it was some yellow ice breaking off the capsule wink, wink

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Until life is actually discovered somewhere other than Earth
by EdH / August 14, 2007 10:35 PM PDT

I don't think you can say anything one way or the other about how common it might be. Organic chemicals are interesting, but they are not life.

I saw the tail end of a PBS show on this comet theory (or it was covered in the show) last night.

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A start...
by Willy / August 15, 2007 4:21 AM PDT

Those chemical soups form the basis to have life come forth. It also needs time, a place to grow and a stable environment or desirable one to get the process going. In no way as we become to understand was life an overnight success(exclude religion) but certainly the blessing to get a toehold and start, that's where the chemical soups come-in.

What's to say, if we send a space craft and for whatever reason the life abroad expired(astronauts) but the spacecraft crashed landed, could our own bacterial or germs cause a leap in a possible life to an alien planet? Just a theory.

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Those chemical soups form the basis to have life come forth.
by EdH / August 15, 2007 7:07 AM PDT
In reply to: A start...

Maybe yes; maybe no. We don't know at this point. All I'm saying.

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We did not evolve out of the soup.
by drpruner / August 15, 2007 10:31 AM PDT
In reply to: A start...

According to my newspaper, we're still in it.

BTW your seeding "theory" was the subject of some excellent sci-fi stories by either **** or Blish. Astronauts crash; there's no way back; their biology team plants 'seeds' of each in a 'primitive sea'; intelligent life evolves and tries to determine its origins. I remember that the premises and developments were well-grounded in science at that time and I believe would still read well.

(I don't have to believe a well-written story to enjoy it.) Happy

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So called chemical soups have been debunked.
by Kiddpeat / August 15, 2007 11:00 AM PDT
In reply to: A start...

Other than fanciful story telling, there is NO plausible theory as to HOW a chemical soup could produce life. It takes a lot more than stories and hand waving to build a credible theory.

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Another thought....
by EdH / August 17, 2007 9:54 PM PDT
In reply to: A start...

What if we find life elsewhere and it's silicon based instead of carbon based? That's theoretically a possibility. Or "life" could be energy/electrical instead of matter-based.

We know very little.

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Or that
by Steven Haninger / August 17, 2007 10:17 PM PDT
In reply to: Another thought....

our universe is nothing other than something similar to a sub-atomic particle of another form of matter and that there is actually life that exits in forms both too small and too large for us to see.

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(NT) You are watching too much Star Trek
by duckman / August 17, 2007 11:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Another thought....
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by EdH / August 18, 2007 12:06 AM PDT

Believe me, I was well versed in science fiction stuff long before Star Trek even existed.

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I heard that and raise you....
by Willy / August 20, 2007 9:51 PM PDT
In reply to: Another thought....

Many theories and and our greater understanding come from the "grains of bedrock fact". We expound from it and produce what we hope a greater view of how things work or what they are. If we don't start with that, then we have nothing. Of course as theories they can be revised/updated or even disposed of once real facts become evident, but until then.

If anything, I come to believe God was on the cheap and allows all things to be reproduced using the same process, over and over again, provided they fall into the creation of that process. In other words, isn't our solar system very much alike to the mechanics of a galaxy. that gravity behaves the same way, on a planet as well as on a moon or even the sun. That there are suns all across the universe and each small or big does the same job to its solar system. Excluding alot of ifs, ands or buts, lets say, I'm happy with what has happened in our neck of the galaxy and expect similar results elsewhere as we progress along our evolutionary trail. That's to include any discoveries or facts as they become entirely new to our knowledge. -----Willy

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"I'm happy with what has happened
by drpruner / August 21, 2007 6:13 AM PDT

in our neck of the galaxy"
Scientists- real ones; card-carrying atheists- call that the Goldlocks Problem. "Goldilocks" because 'the third one was [always] just right' and "problem" because it makes them think about "why", and atheistic scientists officially don't bother with "why" questions. Happy

We do, though, and the bible does: Isa 45:18. "... the Former of the earth and the Maker of it ... who did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited"

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I hear what you're saying, but ...
by EdH / August 21, 2007 6:53 AM PDT

the difference is that we can observe gravity, light and such working all over the universe, so we can be fairly confident that the laws of physics here are the same as the laws of physics across the galaxy or in the far reaches of space and time.

However, we have only observed life in one place, here. We don't even know whether life exists anywhere else, and we haven't even discovered all there is to know about life on Earth. So I don't think we can generalize it to the rest of the universe. Things may be very different on another planet or in another solar system, or even in a corner of "our neck of the woods" that we haven't discovered yet.

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Forms of life: I'm surprised I didn't already
by drpruner / August 21, 2007 6:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Another thought....

post this. (Please don't tell my church. Happy )

John 4:24
God is a Spirit.

1 Cor 15:43 ~
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised up in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised up in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised up in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised up a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one. It is even so written: "The first man Adam became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
["So also" presupposes something. That is Paul's illustration, beginning at verse 40:]
And there are heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies; but the glory of the heavenly bodies is one sort, and that of the earthly bodies is a different sort. The glory of the sun is one sort, and the glory of the moon is another, and the glory of the stars is another; in fact, star differs from star in glory.
[Note that the illustration is apt, and cosmologically accurate.]

Job 38:7
And all the sons of God began shouting in applause.
[Context: Before the creation of the earth and physical life on it.]

The travels of angels, especially as they are considered to be carriers of prayers, implies 'at the speed of thought', or faster than light. That, in turn, is the latest hot topic in heavy science circles.

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(NT) Just babel
by Dango517 / August 23, 2007 12:34 AM PDT
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Did you mean
by drpruner / August 23, 2007 12:50 PM PDT
In reply to: Just babel

babel (n.) A confusion of sounds or voices. See synonyms at noise
babel (n.) A scene of noise and confusion.
Babel (p.n.) In the Bible, a city (now thought to be Babylon) in Shinar where God confounded a presumptuous attempt to build a tower into heaven by confusing the language ...
babble (v.) To utter a meaningless confusion of words or sounds: Babies babble before they can talk.
babble (v.) To utter rapidly and indistinctly.
babble (n.) Inarticulate or meaningless talk or sounds.
The American Heritage

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"the" I Newton? famous for
by jonah jones / August 23, 2007 5:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Did you mean

sitting under an apple tree, and when an apple fell on his head he went home and invented Aspirin (for his head-ache)



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(NT) Exactly
by Dango517 / August 24, 2007 2:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Did you mean
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And whatever you do,
by drpruner / August 14, 2007 11:16 PM PDT

don't show emotion. Happy

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Related stuff, from my favorite
by drpruner / August 17, 2007 1:39 PM PDT

godless commie evolutionists at NewScientist:

Spooks in space
The possibility of conscious beings popping up in space has cosmologists rethinking the fate of the universe

A rock will be hurled into space on a rocket and subjected to the fiery heat of re-entry into Earth's atmosphere to test whether life could have hitched a ride from one planet to another in debris from an asteroid strike.

And the home page link also has comment on Wickramasingh's study.

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Maybe life on Mars after all.
by Dango517 / August 23, 2007 1:53 PM PDT
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