Professor Nalin Chandra Wickramasinghe is considered the world’s leading authority on the “theory of Panspermia” and is also known for his contributions toward the “theory of cosmic dust” – stating that life on earth originated in the deepest part of space while traveling on comets and their dust to arrive within our solar system – an individual who was under the supervision of the late Sir Fred Hoyle for his PhD. We get excited when we think of space dust, but when we think of life coming here from Venus or Mars through that same pathway – well, can we only imagine?
The research that was done by Professor Wickramasinghe and his daughter, Dr. Janaki Wickramasinghe, shows that Venus has a microbial ecology that is high in its atmosphere, traveling not only from the farthest part of the universe but also from planet to planet. Ian O’Neill wrote an excellent July 25, 2008 article in Universe Today, “If Life Exists on Venus, Could it be Blown to Earth?” which refers to this very same topic. When giving a keynote address in Slough, England, distinguished astronomer Professor Wickramasinghe’s speech referred to the fact that the Sun, Venus and Earth were in a direct line every 580 days. His study showed that it was during this time that the Venus microbes could be transferred to Earth.
Going even further, Professor Wickramasinghe stated that he felt the three planets of Venus, Earth and Mars were also interconnected biologically (excellent reading at “Biomineralization and Biological Metal Accumulation: Biological and Geological Perspectives: Papers Presented at the Fourth International Symposium on Biomineralization”, Renesse, the Netherlands, page 90, June 2-5, 1982). Because of this, life on Earth was thought to be represented by a “chain of being” that extended to the furthest remote corners of the entire cosmos. Recently the study of cosmic dust has taken on a slightly different meaning with new findings of recent studies – Professor Wickramasinghe feels that microbial life could be harbored on the top layer of clouds.
Back in the mid-1900s, scientists actually thought that life originated in a little pond that was warm in temperature somewhere out in the middle of nowhere. But Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe have lately developed some pretty controversial ideas which state that life is actually a cosmic phenomenon – harbored in comets and traveling through our planetary system. Their theories have become more and more accepted within the scientific field, as their model seems to be vindicated by many space missions and what is being discovered elsewhere in laboratories.
About 100 billion comets exist in our own planetary system. The theory of Wickramasinghe and Hoyle states that it is to our advantage to have this “comet-born bacteria” introduced to all habitable planets. Because of the space dust and bacteria, all comets bring life and life-sustaining water in our oceans or water on other planets. What the men have discovered is that the Oort Cloud consists of organic matter, an area where the most spectacular comets originate from – the furthest reaches of the solar system. Once Earth, Venus and the Sun form a line, what is transferred are approximately 1 to 10 grams of bacteria – matter of not only primitive life but also evolved life. What has been recently found on Mars – methane – possibly is related to life material.
Professor Wickramasinghe’s address to the Professional Sri Lankans in Britain:
“From time immemorial, our ancestors have gazed at the night sky, the Milky Way, comprised of billions of stars, and wondered how we humans fit into this grand scheme of things. When he grew up in Colombo and the city’s atmosphere was less polluted, he could recall the finest view of the canopy of stars he enjoyed. Early depictions of constellations can be seen in primitive cave paintings that go back nearly 15,000 years. Well formulated ideas about the Universe, however, can be traced back to ancient Greece in the 5th century BC. Plato and Aristotle favored a world view where the Earth was at the center of the Universe. Despite a few dissenters, notably Aristarchus of Samos, the Geocentric model prevailed in Western philosophy until the 16th century AD, when Copernicus, Galileo and Newton finally demoted the Earth to the position of a planet orbiting around the Sun. Likewise, the idea that life is Earth-centered and that living organisms are created spontaneously from inorganic matter prevailed in Western philosophy from the time of Aristotle, who supposed that “fireflies emerge from a mixture of warm earth and morning dew.”
This address of this knowledgeable man refers also to the fact that the origin of life has been approached by many areas – religion and philosophy. Now it is being approached by science as a cosmic phenomenon that is slowly being spread throughout the entire universe, but 50 years is too short of a time to find anything out when looking for life. After all, it is still just a piece of space dust.