Sir, The recent report of Winston Churchill’s unpublished essay News, Feb 16. 2017), in which he argues that planets outside the solar system are likely to be inhabited, came days before Nasa’s announcement of the discovery of seven Earth-like planets
39 light years away orbiting the star Trappist-l (News, Feb 23).
The two announcements have a rare consonance. If life does indeed
exist on a multiplicity of planets, it would mean either that life starts
everywhere de novo with ease or it spreads from a single unknown
starting point. In view of the continued failure of science to demonstrate that life can start spontaneously in a planetary
environment, the more likely option is the latter — one proposed and developed by the late Sir Fred Hoyle and myself over the past four decades.
Microbial life from which all other life derives is transported with
comparative ease and spreads across the galaxy like an infection.
The Life of Chandra Wickramasinghe : a TV Interview on TV1 – Sri Lanka’s Number One News Provider.
Towards the end of this 30 minute interview Professor Wickramasinghe comments on Anthropogenic Global Warming theory with some optimism that a new era of more open, critical, scientific thinking has begun.
The dawn of 2017 is set to usher in a suite of socio-political changes of unprecedented moment – in the US, UK, Europe and the wider world. A long overdue paradigm shift in astrobiology may overshadow them all. We are aliens.
Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso (PUCV)
Students, academics and researchers came to the Hall of Honor of the PUCV to participate in a meeting with the noted astronomer and astrobiologist Chandra Wickramasinghe and renowned astrophysicist internationally Jayant Narlikar, at which time both eminences attended doubts and shared details and anecdotes about their careers.
Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe is co-author of the theory of panspermia, which suggests that life on Earth may have originated abroad, reaching the first molecules to the planet via meteorites or comets.
India’s first Astrobiology Conference Life in Space – was organised in the city of MUMBAI by the Indian Astrobiology Research Centre and IARC Centre for United Nations in collaboration with Nehru Science Centre.
Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe from Churchill College, Cambridge University, UK delivered the first Arthur C Clarke memorial lecture, based on his four decades long quest for extraterrestrial life.
In particular his lecture reviewed his lifelong efforts to test the Panspermia Theory. In 2016 this remains the most likely hypothesis for the spreading of life across the galaxy.
As humans review the wonderful data from the recent ESA visit to Comet 67P, and as we prepare to visit Mars and moons of Jupiter and Saturn, evidence converges to Panspermia as still the most likely explanation on the spread of viruses, bacteria, algae etc across the Milky Way.
The theory of panspermia hypothesizes that life did not originate on Earth but was delivered to Earth from some other part of the galaxy or even from another part of the universe.
On this occasion, a new fund called, “Chandra Wickramasinghe Fund for Panspermia Research” was announced. This fund will encourage astrobiology research amongst students in India.
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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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
On October 5th Chandra Wickramasinghe will deliver a lecture “Cosmic Life: A brave new world view” to the Astronomical Societies of Chile:
From 9th to 25th October he will be giving lectures and engaging in joint research projects in India and Sri Lanka.