viruses in meteorites (was Sci censorship)
bss166 at clss1.bangor.ac.uk
Fri Apr 7 03:22:56 EST 1995
> A snippet from the Scientific Censorship and Evolution thread
> >>: Fossil micro-organisms have been found in meteorites,
> >>: indicating that life is universal -- not a lucky break in the
> >>: primeval soup. This view is shared by Sir Francis Crick, co-
> >>: discoverer of the function of DNA 
> >>Not fossils. Amino acids have been found on meteorites which are
> >>skewed in their entiantomeric distribution, but not fossils.
> >I'm afraid your homework is defective again.
> >Viruses resembling _Pedomicrobium_ and influenza were
> >identified by Hans Dieter Pflug in a meteorite in 1981 (see
> >"The Facts of Life" page 239 for further details).
Author: R. Milton
Incidentally, Pedomicrobium is a bacterium, not a virus, which again
shows the lack of homework behind Richard Milton's writings.
> Let's hear it, folks - is there *any* decent reason to think
> that these viruses were not simply contamination? I've
> never heard of this, and I would have thought that the story
> would have been widely publicized... If you know of such
> a reason, let's hear it. This sounds like a really good one
> for Occam's razor.
No such paper was published by Pflug in a reviewed journal in 1981 or
anytime since. There were letters to editors and conference abstracts
about such life in space, but the Science Citation Index contains no
paper from a peer-reviewed journal reporting the discovery of
microorganisms in meteorites.
Those Pflug articles concerning possible life from space have not exactly
set the world alight, judging by the numbre of citations. As has been
said before, if there were genuine evidence of life in meteorites, then
I'd expect to read about it on the front cover of Nature.
Unless of course it's all just censorship...
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
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