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Seeding the earth

10 May 2010

At http://calderup.wordpress.com May 10th … Nigel Calder freely admits he was not keen to embrace the idea comets seeded life on earth when it was first proposed by Hoyle and Ramasinghe (when he was editor of New Scientist). In the meantime he has changed his mind and reports on a French team that has found extraterrestrial dust grains rich in carbon  in the snow of Antarctica (see also Science May 7th). The very high carbon content in micro-meteorites may have implications for the delivery of organic molecules to the early earth. This means Fred Hoyle (deceased) and Chandra Wickramasinghe (still alive and kicking at Cardiff University) are in vogue – rather, their hypothesis. Bill Napier has an article with JT Wickramasinghe and NC Wickramasinghe in the International Journal of Astrobiology volume 6, p321-3 (2007). Chandra Wickramasinghe has an article in the same journal but different issue, volume 9 (2010).

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