Polonnaruwa meteorite: confirmation of Panspermia?

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Polonnaruwa meteorite: confirmation of Panspermia? Empty Polonnaruwa meteorite: confirmation of Panspermia?

Post by Galzi on 13th March 2013, 10:41 am

Scientists claim Algae-like structures found in a meteorite fell in Sri-Lanka last December:


The results of these tests, which the Cardiff team reveal today, are extraordinary. They say the stones contain fossilised biological structures fused into the rock matrix and that their tests clearly rule out the possibility of terrestrial contamination.

[...] Wallis and co. say that one image shows a complex, thick-walled, carbon-rich microfossil about 100 micrometres across that bares similarities with a group of largely extinct marine dinoflagellate algae.

They say another image shows well-preserved flagella that are 2 micrometres in diameter and 100 micrometres long. By terrestrial standards, that’s extremely long and thin, which Wallis and co. interpret as evidence of formation in a low-gravity, low-pressure environment.

Skepticism is required, as pointed out by Phil Plait:


I read the paper, and really it’s more of the same as from the first paper. In some ways, it’s even shakier; they provide lots of technical data that gives their work a veneer of credibility, but when you look a bit deeper you find they didn’t do a lot of critically necessary tests to establish the veracity of their claims. All the technical stuff obfuscates the fact that they missed the boat in some very basic ways.

In a nutshell, they don’t establish the samples they examined were actually meteorites. They don’t establish they were from the claimed meteor event over Sri Lanka in December 2012. And perhaps most telling, they don’t eliminate the possibility of contamination; that is, diatoms got into the samples because those rocks were sitting on the Earth where diatoms are everywhere.

There’s more, too, including some unusual methods if you’re trying to establish a paradigm-overthrowing claim: They don’t consult with outside experts (including those in the fields of meteorites and diatoms), they don’t get independent confirmation from an outside lab, and they published in a journal that is, um, somewhat outside the mainstream of science.

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Polonnaruwa meteorite: confirmation of Panspermia? Empty Re: Polonnaruwa meteorite: confirmation of Panspermia?

Post by Lazarus on 13th March 2013, 1:29 pm

Wickramasinghe and the Journal of Cosmology strike again!!!!111oneeleven

No more convincing than the last time round, really.
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