Exploring panspermia

“If … some form of two-way non-local communication can occur between the collective consciousness of DNA in different life forms, then what if, as scientists are now coming to believe, life did not originate on Earth? What if DNA arrived on the planet complete, with genetic instructions to create and evolve new life to its ultimate end?

This thought-provoking theory is known to the world as panspermia (which means ’seeds everywhere’), a concept proposed as far back as the fifth century BC by the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras … … He believed that the seeds of life swarm throughout the Cosmos, and are not exclusive to Earth. More intriguing is that Anaxagoras, who was an influence on Socrates and thus Plato, envisaged these ‘seeds’ not as molecular in nature, but as actual seeds containing the seeds of life itself.

Panspermia would have been accepted as the true origin of life back then had not … Aristotle … come up with the theory of spontaneous generation of life on Earth, which was preferred by the more rationally minded, and remained a workable theory until the nineteenth century, when it was finally disproved by the French chemist Louis Pasteur …

In the wake of Pasteur’s work into microbiology (which included determining that infectious diseases were caused by germs), various ideas were proposed on the origins of cellular life, but it would not be until 1903 that the idea of panspermia would raise its head again. In that year Swedish chemist and Nobel Prize-winner Svante August Arrhenius … wrote that life on Earth emerged from microscopic spores that were propelled across space by what he saw as the radiation pressure of star light.

Arrhenius‘s theories received a fuller treatment in his book Worlds in the making …It answered key criticisms of his theory, including the belief that potentially lethal ultraviolet light rays would kill any microscopic spores that existed in deep space. He was optimistic that at low temperatures the spores could remain intact for extremely long periods of time, and in his final opinion, all organisms in the universe are related, and the process of evolution is everywhere the same.”

The above is an extract termed Exploring panspermia in The Cygnus mystery by Andrew Collins.

It is interesting that Aristotle, who apparently had much to say about many things, once pontificated about the number of teeth in the mouths of women, without ever asking his wife to open her mouth – so I read. Is it not a pity that some speculative philosophers can delay the search for explanations of issues of relevance in explaining the world we live in?