The new scientific study, “The Polonnaruwa Meteorite: Oxygen Isotope, Crystalline And Biological Composition,” appeared in the March 5 edition of the Journal of Cosmology. It was first reported on March 11 by Sebastian Anthony, in ExtremeTech, who claimed that the new study “is the strongest evidence yet of cometary panspermia.”The March 5 study directly addressed the main criticism leveled against the January paper that the meteor rock samples were contaminated by Earth water, and that the Diatom fossils were of terrestrial origin. Professor Patrick Kociolek from the University of Colorado wrote a response to Phil Plait from Bad Astronomy that:
… the diversity present in the images represent a wide range of evolutionary history, such that the “source” of the diatoms from outer space, must have gone through the same evolutionary events as here on earth. There are no extinct taxa found, only ones we would find living today…for me it is a clear case of contamination with freshwater.Plait and other critics used Kociolek’s claim that the meteor sample was contaminated by freshwater. Using a sophisticated testing process, the new study, however, conclusively dismissed the contamination thesis:
The presence of a number of carbonaceous biological structures exhibiting severe nitrogen depletion is highly indicative of ancient fossilised biological remains. Some of these were deeply integrated in the surrounding mineral matrix suggesting they could not have been recent terrestrial contaminants.The March 5 study also addressed criticism that the Sri Lanka rock samples were not meteorites; it concluded:
We conclude that the oxygen isotope data show P1 59/001-03 and P/159001-04 are unequivocally meteorites, almost certainly fragments originating from the fireball-causing bolide. The most likely origin of this low density meteorite with delicate structures, some highly carbonaceous, is a comet.This March 5 scientific study helps confirm Wickramasinghe’s theory of Panspermia which the authors themselves point out: “The presence of fossilized biological structures provides compelling evidence in support of the theory of cometary panspermia first proposed over thirty years ago.” The new study is sure to raise more scrutiny of the Sri Lankan meteor sample and the idea that life is quite common throughout the universe, and can be spread by comets.
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