ICAMSR - International Committee Against Mars Sample Return
Cover of Astronomical Origins of Life - Steps Towards Panspermia Astronomical Origins of Life
Steps Towards Panspermia

by Fred Hoyle and N.C. Wickramasinghe.
Kluwer Academic Publishers, 324 pages, 1999, $156.

Book Review from ICAMSR

The unfolding story of the search for life in the universe has been getting more interesting on a daily basis. Are we on the verge of a new bio-cosmic renaissance? New scientific evidence supporting the notion that meteorites can transfer microbial spores from other planets is now becoming well established in the scientific literature. Researchers now suspect that hardy microbial spores can survive journeys between planets of up to 100,000 years protected from lethal solar UV and galactic radiation while sequestered safely within meteors. The cutting edge pioneering work that Wickramasinghe and Hoyle have proposed for many years is represented in Astronomical Origins of Life by their research papers spanning decades. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Sir Fred Hoyle and NASA's Richard Hoover are among the authors that contribute to the books thesis: that microbial spores are not only occasionally being exchanged between planets like Earth or Mars, but actually have their origins as ancient spores frozen, dormant spores while adrift within interstellar clouds, then later becoming entrapped and protected within cometary ices, perhaps even dividing and growing as their interiors are warmed by stars. Their hypothesis suggests life from space then become deposited on all planets, dropped onto them from the depths of space by riding in on cometary dust particles. If proven correct, this theory would be the most profound revelation in scientific history because it would mean that the entire cosmos is filled with life awaiting arrival to solar systems and their habitable planets where it can take hold and evolve to higher forms.

Copyright 2001 ICAMSR.