Comets as Cosmic Storks
Chandra Wickramasinghe and colleagues at Cardiff University have raised the bar on tale-telling ability. They believe that comets splatting on earth can carry away germs of life that gradually spread farther and farther out, eventually escaping the sun’s pull. Over time, they might spread life to other worlds. They estimate that since the origin of the Milky Way galaxy, over 10 billion worlds could have been seeded with life by this process. Story in EurekAlert.
Wickramasinghe, former colleague of the late Fred Hoyle (see 08/22/01), is a useful idiot-genius who has helped demolish arguments for a chance origin of life, but replaced it by a tall tale even more incredible. Since storytelling has become part and parcel of science, anything goes if you have a PhD, the whoppier the better, and the science news outlets will publish it with nary a guffaw. (Unless you are a creationist.)