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New Research Claims Octopuses Came From Space


A summary of decades of research on a rather 'out-there' idea involving viruses from space has recently been published, and it's raising questions on just how scientific we can be when it comes to speculating on the history of life on Earth. This may sound weird and strange but its serious.


It's easy to throw around words like crackpot, rogue, and maverick in describing the scientific fringe, but every now and then a paper like this comes along, leaving us blinking owlishly, unsure of where to even begin.



A total of 33 names are listed as authors on this review, which was published by Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. The journal is peer reviewed and fairly well cited. So it's not exactly small, or a niche pay-for-publish source.

Science writer Stephen Fleischfresser goes into depth on the background of two of the better known scientists involved: Edward Steele and Chandra Wickramasinghe. It's well worth a read. For a tl;dr version, Steele is an immunologist who already has a fringe reputation for his views on evolution that relies on acquiring gene changes determined by the influence of the environment rather than random mutations, in what he calls meta-Lamarckism.


Wickramasinghe, on the other hand, has had a somewhat less controversial career, recognised for empirically confirming Sir Fred Hoyle's hypothesis describing the production of complex carbon molecules on interstellar dust.



Read more here.

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