Panspermia Hysteria?

Yes you would. Don't lie to me.
Yes you would. Don’t lie to me.
Panspermia (Greek: πανσπερμία from πᾶς/πᾶν (pas/pan) “all” and σπέρμα (sperma) “seed”) is the hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by meteoroids, asteroids, comets and planetoids. That little thought is the basis for some fun movies, like Evolution, and some wildly inaccurate ramblings about ancient aliens. The latter annoy me but the ancient alien adherents are easy enough to debunk when you stick to logic and easy to verify facts. I’ve done so before and will probably have to do so again some day. All that being said, that doesn’t mean that I think the universe is barren. Life, at its most basic form, is a tenacious thing (not to be confused with Tenacious D, which is an awesome thing). Life can be found in volcanic vents at the bottom of the ocean. It can be found living in moisture that circles the globe. There are life forms living inside of you. Yes, I do mean you. In other words, the odds are staggeringly in favor of life existing elsewhere in the universe.

That doesn’t mean it’s visiting here on a weekly basis. Our little ball of water is on the edge of the galaxy and not in any main shipping lanes, for lack of a better term.

Still, last year something happened that wasn’t easily explainable. I don’t mean giant UFOs buzzing a baseball game or anything like that. No, instead, I am talking about a red rain in India. I didn’t write about it when it happened because, like the alleged meteorite that supposedly contained alien life forms, and turned out to be a rock from earth, I wanted to see what happened when actual scientists looked into it and compared notes.

David Moye reports that maybe, just maybe, some of that tenacious life stuff did fall from the skies.

A two-month rain storm in southern India may be the most compelling evidence yet that extraterrestrial lifeforms have visited Earth.

Between July 25 and Sept. 23, 2001, the Indian state of Kerala was drenched by bizarre red-colored rain unlike any seen previously, according to the latest episode of “The Unexplained Files,” airing Sept. 25 on the Science Channel.

Godfrey Louis, a physicist based in Kerala, analyzed drops of the rain expecting the strange color would be a result of dust particles. But that didn’t turn out to be the case.

“Dust particles do not have this irregular shape,” Louis said in the program. “They are not transparent like this.”

Louis noticed something else when he analyzed the crimson-colored water droplets under the microscope. In his opinion, the particles appeared to be alive, with some superficial similarities to blood cells — although closer inspection revealed they were not blood cells.

At first, the official report from the Center for Earth Science Studies attributed the red rain to an exploding meteor that fell to Earth in the area a week before the first red rainstorm.

After working with the Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, the official explanation was changed to spores, according to the Indian Express.

Louis believes that the spores were on the meteor that exploded over Kerala prior to the rainstorm.

He said research showed that the supposed space cells managed to continue replicating even under temperatures exceeding 572 degrees Fahrenheit.

“It was growing at temperatures that would kill other lifeforms,” Louis said on the show.

British-based astrobiologist Chandra Wickramasinghe believes that the “alien rain” theory is not only plausible, but likely, especially since 100 tons of space rock hits Earth daily.

“The existence of life outside the Earth is amazingly regarded as an extraordinary hypothesis, but I would argue that the extraordinary hypothesis is that this tiny minute piece of dust we call the Earth is the center of life in the universe and that no life exists even next door to it,” Wickramasinghe told the program.

Earlier this year, Wickramasinghe also announced he had discovered tiny fossils inside a meteorite found in Sri Lanka in December. He used this finding to promote “panspermia,” a theory that life exists throughout the universe and is distributed by meteoroids and asteroids.

Louis and Wickramasinghe’s red rain theories are inspiring a storm of controversy, but the possibility of actual proof that life on other planets is clouded with some chilling realizations.

Earlier this year, researcher Anil Samaranayake released a paper in the Journal of Cosmology suggesting that the cells found in red rain pose a possible risk to Earth.

“A high concentratrion of uranium was found in the outer crust of the unicellular organisms,” Samaranayake said.

Now, since that is all going to be part of a TV show my BS radar was pinging like you wouldn’t believe. So, I took a walk over to some regular science sites to see if there were any notes there.

And there are.

Chillymanjaro, who writes for the scientific blog The Watcher, says that Sherlock Holmes’ famous edict is rapidly coming into play.

“Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth.”

Incidents where water bodies all over the world have been turning red have been reported for some time now. While most of these occurrences, including the ‘red rain’ of Sri Lanka, have been given sufficient explanations by scientists, some isolated incidents remain a mystery. The DNA-less structures observed by them had allegedly displayed a number of remarkable characteristics, atypical of those displayed by any known micro-organisms. These properties had included the ability to replicate and multiply at extreme temperatures of up to 300 degrees Celsius, and the ability to be cultured in unconventional substrate materials.

“As far as the Kerala red rain is concerned, there is a mysterious microorganism that has defied identification so far. We have not been able to convincingly extract any DNA from them and Prof Louis has maintained that there is no DNA, but it can multiply at very high temperatures under high pressure conditions. I think there are all the signs of an alien bug! The Kerala red rain was preceded by a sonic boom that was heard, probably indicating that a fragment of a comet exploded in the atmosphere and unleashed the red cells that became incorporated in rain. I suspect the same could be true of the Sri Lankan rain, but I would like to have samples to confirm this. I should also say that reports of red rain are found throughout history all the way back to biblical times. I think this could be more evidence for cometary panspermia theory.” Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, Director of the Astrobiological Center at the Buckingham University

I’ll save you some time. 99% of all the “red rain” stories turn out to be dust or iron ore related.

This is the 1% that isn’t.

I remind you that the lack of an explanation is not proof of anything. It never has been and never will be. It simply means we don’t know.

Still, this red rain may be the first tease that this life stuff isn’t just for us.

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