All posts by William E. (Bill) Smith

William E. Smith, BSc (Special Maths), MBA, CITP, CEng, AKC In 1996 at the age of 50, Bill took 2 years off to do an MBA at UVIC. This led to a work term in Malaysia with Microsoft where represented Microsoft on the revolutionary Malaysia Smart School project. From 1998-2002 Bill was employed by Microsoft in London and Paris. In 2004, Bill was invited to teach a pre-MBA boot camp at Sharif University in Tehran (The MIT of IRAN). Bill moved back to Victoria in 2005 and since that time has focused his time and energy between managing the IT aspects of his family’s 25 year old successful travel agency, Athlone Travel; contributing to local municipal committees; and continuing his study of physics and astrobiology. The latter is a lifetime passion, from his undergraduate days in London, where he studied relativity under the great scientist Sir Herman Bondi, later to become Head of the European Space Agency (ESA). Over the past 2 years, 2013-2014, Bill has become a friend and colleague of one of Bondi’s peers, Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, and has dedicated his time to the study of Astrobiology co-authoring two published academic papers with Wickramasinghe. Bill shares the Chandra Wickramasinghe vision that "Life is a Cosmic Phenomenon" and takes pleasure in the fact that he lived to see a time when Panspermia finally moved into mainstream science - in 2013 with the Kepler Mission discoveries.

2017-6-8 : Life On MARS : New Method and Mass-Spectrometer for Extraterrestrial Microbial Life Detection

With the planning well underway for the “Search for Life” Missions by NASA and ESA (Saturn/Enceladus; Jupiter/Europa), scientists deliver a New Method and Mass-Spectrometric Instrument for Extraterrestrial Microbial Life Detection Using the Elemental Composition Analyses of Martian Regolith and Permafrost/Ice. 

“The instrument can be used to analyze the elemental composition of possible extraterrestrial microbial communities and compare it to that of terrestrial microorganisms”.

The developed technique can be used to search for and identify microorganisms in different martian samples and in the subsurface of other planets, satellites, comets, and asteroids—in particular, Europa, Ganymede, and Enceladus.

We are excited that further confirmation of the Hoyle-Wickramasnghe Model of Panspermia will be able to be tested against experiments on these remote objects. 

Remember as Popper always reminded us, a scientific hypothesis must be capable of being falsified. Surely the only way this hypothesis would be falsified would be that no microbes or nano-microbes are found on any of these bodies. 

The experiments on Comet 67P are consistent with life, but we have yet to “see” this life and try to sequence its DNA. 

We now understand man himself is a cloud of micro-organisms – a veritable biosystem. We know that most cells in this biosystem are not human.  And even the one’s that are, have undergone extensive viral symbiosis. Finding virus clouds in the waters of Mars, Enceladus or Europa is predicted under the H-W Panspermia Model. 

PS :  Sir Fred Hoyles great 1959 work of science fiction, the Black Cloud, was indeed visionary

READ MORE

 

2017-5-31 : Wickramasinghe – Hoyle theories vindicated – By: Piyavi Wijewardene

Wickramasinghe – Hoyle theories vindicated – By: Piyavi Wijewardene

Prof. Wickramasinghe told me: “…This new discovery combined with very many others that have come to light over the past two decades establishes beyond doubt that life on Earth came from space and still continues to do so. We are well and truly creatures of the cosmos. A major paradigm shift that has been resisted for too long must finally be conceded…”

If the claim that bacteria are constantly falling to Earth from space holds up, this will be an enormous scientific advance that will revolutionise our entire view of life and the universe. Only time will tell.

READ MORE

PS In May 2016, the Rosetta Mission team reported the presence of glycine, methylamine and ethylamine in the coma of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This, plus the detection of phosphorus, is consistent with the hypothesis that comets played a crucial role in the emergence of life on Earth. 

It is also consistent with the Theory of Cometary Panspermia that life came to Earth inside watery comets. 

 – Piyavi Wijewardene, Researcher – Academy For Global Business Advancement.

2016-9-13 : NEW BOOK – The Big Bang and God – Astro-Theology

big-bang-1

Dear Professor Wickramasinghe:

Just a note to let you know that your book has been reviewed on the new online book review site of the American Academy of Religion, Reading Religion.  You can find your book here: (http://readingreligion.org/books/big-bang-and-god). I encourage you to take a look at the review and comment on it if you would like. (You need to be an AAR member to comment.)

While you’re there, please take the time to see what Reading Religion has to offer. Our aim is to review as many titles as possible from among all the scholarly books in religious studies and allied fields. You will see that in addition to being able able to read reviews of books, you can also find out what has recently been published in religious studies. We hope you will return the service that has been extended to you already, and volunteer to review a book from among the many listed on the site as available for review.

I look forward to meeting you online! Feel free to tweet out news of your review (#readingreligion) and/or post it on social media.

Best,

Cynthia Eller

Editor

Journal of the American Academy of Religion

 

2016-8-31 : ISPA Related News September 2016

Milton Wainwright and Tareq Omairi have published a paper showing new evidence that life may be currently coming into the Earth.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299754776

The evidence is based on a series of stratospheric balloon flights in which hitherto unknown biological entities were recovered from heights in the range 23-28 km. The ISPA balloon project, which is still in its final planning stage, aims to extend this work by exploring greater heights in the stratosphere and looking for evidence of microorganisms as well as viruses.

New Collaborations
Chandra Wickramasinghe is collaborating with Professors Christopher Tout and Gehan Amaratunga of Cambridge University on a paper: “The nature of interstellar carbon grains and astrobiology”.

We are also planning laboratory experiments on microorganisms to test predictions of the biological model of interstellar dust.

Jiangwen Qu of the Tianjin Center for Disease Control and Prevention, China has published a paper in Reviews of Medicine and Virology in which they argue that maxima and minima in the sunspot cycle are causally linked to the emergence of new strains of influenza that have pandemic potential. The link is most likely to be caused by the introduction of new RNA virions with which already circulating influenza viruses can recombine or hybridize. Qu points out that keeping a watch on the impending maxima/minima of the sunspot cycle combined with ground-based epidemiology and virology might serve to predict the next pandemic.

Power100

Fig.1

The association between the sunspot cycle and influenza pandemics, 1700–2014 A.D. Red circles represent the starting years of definite influenza pandemics; blue triangles represent the starting years of possible influenza pandemics.

In other papers in press by Qu and his team in China, collaborating with Chandra Wickramasinghe, reached a similar conclusion in connection with sunspots and outbreaks of SARS and MERS outbreaks and Ebola.

Japanese translations

Gensuke Tokoro has translated “A Journey with Fred Hoyle” (2nd Edition) and “The Search for Our Cosmic Ancestry” by Chandra Wickramasinghe into the Japanese language. The first of these Japanese editions to be published is “A Journey with Fred Hoyle” the cover of which is below:

JapanTokoro

New book and interview

Chandra Wickramasinghe is co-authoring a book entitled “Cosmic Womb” with Robert Bauval to be published in Spring 2017 by Inner Traditions, USA. Interview on u-tube:


Lectures abroad

On October 5th Chandra Wickramasinghe will deliver a lecture “Cosmic Life: A brave new world view” to the Astronomical Societies of Chile:

http://www.astrosaval.cl/congreso2016-programa

From 9th to 25th October he will be giving lectures and engaging in joint research projects in India and Sri Lanka.

Aug 23, 2015 : Astrobiology Letter from Canada – Is Comet 67P a Carrier of Microbes in the solar system?

It has long been hypothesized that comets are one of the main carriers of DNA/RNA and complex molecules of life inside the Solar System.

Surely 67P/Rosetta offers an important opportunity that ESA must seize – and on THIS mission! NOT on a new mission sometime in the future.

When Chandra Wickramasinghe attended early design meetings on Rosetta as a principal investigator, it was well known that he brought the view that “life detection” experiments should be carried on each of the two parts of the spacecraft.

But in those days, just 13 years ago, the field of astrobiology was of limited respectability to the astronomers, geologists, chemists and physicists who dominated the focus of the early team.

Since the 2013 consciousness change with the Kepler Mission breakthrough discoveries and announcements, current probabilities calculate that every star in the galaxy most likely has at least one exoplanet and perhaps a large number have an exoplanet  in their “Goldilocks zone”.

This was strong evidence for the “life is a cosmic phenomenon” philosophy of  Hoyle and Wickramasinghe. NASA astrobiologist Dr. Chris McKay, is often heard confirming his adoption of this theory.

So have the local Panspermia processes already seeded most of the inner Solar System with desiccated viruses, bacteria and algae?

I believe so.

coughsneeze1[1]

Contamination

As for “contamination by humans”, we know over 500 different species of bacteria can be found in a healthy human mouth, with at least ten times that many viruses. An experiment with a probiotic yoghurt counted the number of bacteria exchanged in a 10 second “intimate” kiss – and found a whopping 80 million passed from tongue to tongue.

If that surprises you, did you know every whale on the planet excretes 1013 viruses per day in their feces.

No wonder the Space Station is considered contaminated. MARS itself has likely already been contaminated, even without humans taking our biome with us there on manned landings.

Dr. Chris McKay talks about asteroid collisions causing the ejection of microbes from a given planet with the possible transfer of life planet to planet, comet to planet. McKay is guiding us to learn that “the theory of Panspermia” is the best current guess for NASA’s short and long term planning.

This is the reason that “Seeking the Signs of Life” is “Difficult”, because not only are viruses very small and hard to remotely detect and classify, but even the larger particles such as bacteria and algae (diatoms) have similar (if not quite as challenging) difficulties.

NASA SearchforLife

At the Astrobiology conference in Sri Lanka last week, I talked with Professor Milton Wainwright, the biologist from Sheffield University in the UK. I was struck by his reaction when I pointed out new lens-free microscope technology which offers real-time bio-imaging (from a small and light device) which could allow much easier detection of viruses.

“Our tests in the stratosphere have been focused on larger particles typically algae (aka plankton; diatoms). The benefit of our focusing on these larger-sized particles has been that they are much less likely to have been lifted from the surface of Earth. Plus the particles we are finding are spectacularly interesting”, Professor Milton Wainwright .

sizeofparticles3

But comets as carriers? Many of us will recall reading that Sir Arthur C. Clark was most impressed with the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe Model but cautioned us that we would have to wait for the return of the short-period comet, Halley, in 2061, to confirm the theory.

Little did Clark know how quickly humans would be able to dance around the solar system jumping from one comet to another, taking samples and transmitting the results back to our control centres on Earth!

Chandra left the Rosetta team in frustration, around 2002, saddened that his advice seemed to have been ignored. But it now seems that many quietly heeded his input and raised their game. So we actually have a very sophisticated set of “seeds of life” detection instruments on Rosetta and Philae.

We do NOT have an instrument that actually detects a “moving” microbe. At least this is not overtly stated (MIDAS is very close). But the experiments on Philae and Rosetta together detect almost everything else you might wish to seek.

Chandra has been particularly intrigued with the MIDAS experiment which is operating at the virus–size level. It might not be able to deliver conclusive proof of microbes on this voyage, but this technology augurs well for the next comet visit.

Long Period Comets

My own particular request is for us to visit a long-period comet –similar to ISON 2 years ago. Unlike 67P, which orbits over just 8 years and in the plane of the Galaxy, the long-period comets have orbits of over 100,000 years and might well come in from adjacent stars. They also come in at a steep angle to the plane of the Galaxy.

The Solar System is at an angle to the plane of the galactic disk. This is almost certainly because the Solar system is not from the Milky Way. Rather it is now believed to be part of the Sagittarius Galaxy passing through the Milky Way. I believe the long period comets, if they come in from an adjacent star, or even from the Oort Cloud, can come in at any angle to the ecliptic – ie to the plane of the solar system. Whereas short period comets are always IN the plane of the solar system.

Typically the bulk of the long period comets, have been moving in the plane of the  Milky Way (at the constant angle to the solar system). So they usually come in at a steep angle.

Tilt of Solar System to Galaxy

I believe it is highly likely we will confirm life in the short period comets – as Hoyle and Wickramasinghe predicted. But finding life in a long-period comet would be even more significant, as this would be life not just from another star system but even from another galaxy – the Milky Way.

According to Wickramasinghe’s predictions, the whole Galaxy is a homogenized life pool, so it would be an exciting experiment to seek and discover life in a long-period comet, and to compare any of its RNA/DNA with our known Solar System RNA/DNA. Although we might predict differences in the life-form roots from the two separate galaxies, the inter-galactic contamination has been going on for a very long time, so it is unlikely there is any major differences between life in the two galaxies.

iBOL

I have recently learned much about the iBOL Project (International Barcode of Life – DNA classification project) and believe this will become very important. I will cover this in my next “Letter from Canada”.

Bill Smith

At AbReCon 2015

Astrobiology Research Conference

University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

21-23 August 2015

 

Aug 6, 2015 : New Scientist : Discoveries that would transform what it means to be human

I am happy to be able to report the rapid acceptance of Panspermia into academia. A new generation of astrobiologists  have embraced panspermia especially as it relates to the solar system.

Well worth scanning is this 1-page PDF from last Friday’s New Scientist.  New Scientist – 2015-8-8

Dr. Chris McKay, Astrobiologist at NASA AMES  gives animated explanation of panspermia.

As we visit short period comets like 67/P, the Rosetta Mission catches glimpses of the “seeds of life” without having a complete set of experiments on board.

The good news : as we have predicted, the complex molecules found are consistent with Panspermia.

organics_on_67P

We await MIDAS results from the Rosetta Orbiter, by PI  Mark Bentley. Even though he is seeing particles down at the virus size level, he is being conservative (encouraged by his peers) calling the specks “Dust”.

If only ESA scientists  would “dare to dream”, and announce the “dust” is consistent with the theory of Panspermia. Consistent with the proposal that viruses and bacteria are carried by Comets like 67P.  Let’s face it, accepting the existence of microbes in short period comets is not too far a leap from accepting the interchange of microbes between planets. 67P  is on a short 7 year orbit. Not much more mysterious than an asteroid.

We are not asking for  misrepresentations nor inaccurate statements  BUT the facts are that these specks on MIDAS  do seem to be  consistent with viral and bacterial clumps. If they are not microbial clumps and 67P has no microbes, then this really would be worthy of a paper.

Long Period Comets

But what if these were inter-stellar comets?

The Panspermia debate now switches to long period comets with orbits over 100,000 years.  Last year ISON was such a comet. Most think these comets are elliptical and come in from the Oort Cloud. But with orbits sometimes over 100,000 years there is some possibility that many are parabolic and even Inter-stellar.
But  what if these inter-stellar comets contain, and regularly bring to Earth, new types of viruses, bacteria or  nano-microbes (as yet unidentified nano- and picoeukaryotes) that are part of  the Milky Way biopool but new to the Earth?
It is possible to hypothesize that the galaxy is homogenized and that inter-stellar comets will contain the same galactic strain of microbes.  This is the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe Model and the basis of our calculations in a recent paper.
Because of the age of the galaxy and the probable evolution of microbes on bodies across the galaxy, the long period comets can be expected to be carrying microbes new to the defence systems of animals and plants on Earth even though they are part of the same galactic biopool.
In the future, an RNA/DNA sample taken from an advancing long period comet, might well be used to identify the star source and so the catalog of microbes contained within.