Author Topic: Fossils found in meteorite pieces?  (Read 402 times)

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Fossils found in meteorite pieces?
« on: March 11, 2013, 10:27:52 AM »
An online technology/science news site from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reports that fossils of of what appear to be marine algae have been found in meteorite pieces from a fireball that struck over Sri Lanka in late December, 2012.

If true, this would presumably indicated that there is life elsewhere.

I assume this will be controversial, and disputed, and perhaps even retracted over time, but it might be an interesting story to follow:

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/512381/astrobiologists-find-ancient-fossils-in-fireball-fragments/
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Re: Fossils found in meteorite pieces?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 10:35:35 AM »
Interesting.
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Re: Fossils found in meteorite pieces?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 10:57:40 AM »
Well, the controversy has begun. I should have done a little more research. Since the article was in an MIT newsletter, I assumed it had some legitimacy. It still might, but Phil Plait (the Bad Astronomer) isn't too impressed, and in the past, PZ Meyers hasn't been too impressed with the group (The Journal of Cosmology) that is making the claim.

Here is that article:
http://www.livescience.com/26526-meteorite-wickramasinghe-diatoms.html

Here is the original paper:
http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Polonnaruwa-meteorite.pdf

It might be a false alarm, but I'm hoping someday in my lifetime to get a bit better news. Oh well.
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Re: Fossils found in meteorite pieces?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 11:16:11 AM »
I would think that, given all the long odds regarding various things that would be necessary for this to be true, it's probably going to turn out to be some kind of an error.  If it is confirmed, though, it's going to be a really huge deal.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Fossils found in meteorite pieces?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 12:22:49 PM »
PZ has been a little more definitive than "not too impressed"

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/16/diatomsiiiiin-spaaaaaaaaaaace/
Quote
You all know that the Journal of Cosmology is complete crap, right? In addition to some of the worst web design ever — it looks like a drunk clown puked up his fruit loops onto a grid of 1990s-style tables — the content is ridiculous, predictable, and credulous.

also:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/18/chandra-wickramasinghe-repliesand-fails-hard/

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Offline Nick

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Re: Fossils found in meteorite pieces?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 01:37:03 PM »
I knew it...dinos got here riding the back of a fire ball. ;)
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Re: Fossils found in meteorite pieces?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 03:18:32 PM »
PZ has been a little more definitive than "not too impressed"

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/16/diatomsiiiiin-spaaaaaaaaaaace/
Quote
You all know that the Journal of Cosmology is complete crap, right? In addition to some of the worst web design ever — it looks like a drunk clown puked up his fruit loops onto a grid of 1990s-style tables — the content is ridiculous, predictable, and credulous.

also:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/18/chandra-wickramasinghe-repliesand-fails-hard/

I know that now. I made the mistake of thinking that something posted on an MIT site would have so automatic legitimacy. My bad.

Unless it turns out to be real. In that case I'll take all the credit for being first!  ;D

My track record for sciencey stuff this week is pretty bad (this and the underground lake bacteria in Antarctica). I'd better stick to dissing christians for awhile.

Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Fossils found in meteorite pieces?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2013, 12:58:06 PM »
PZ has been a little more definitive than "not too impressed"

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/16/diatomsiiiiin-spaaaaaaaaaaace/
Quote
You all know that the Journal of Cosmology is complete crap, right? In addition to some of the worst web design ever — it looks like a drunk clown puked up his fruit loops onto a grid of 1990s-style tables — the content is ridiculous, predictable, and credulous.

also:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/18/chandra-wickramasinghe-repliesand-fails-hard/

I know that now. I made the mistake of thinking that something posted on an MIT site would have so automatic legitimacy. My bad.

Unless it turns out to be real. In that case I'll take all the credit for being first!  ;D

My track record for sciencey stuff this week is pretty bad (this and the underground lake bacteria in Antarctica). I'd better stick to dissing christians for awhile.

Well It's pretty basic: What is the more extradinary claim: Fossils, nearly all of which appear in sedimentary rock, which from some planet that broke up surviving in recognizable form into meteorite, surving in recognizeable form through reentry, and surviving in recognizable form after impact.....when sedementary rocks do not survive such a process.

or some over enthusiastic scientists making an error.



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