Panspermia

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panspermia

[pan′spər·mē·ə]
(biology)
The theoretical ability of life to travel from body to body within the solar system.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Panspermia

 

a hypothesis that living beings were brought to the earth from space. The theory was advanced by the German scientist H. Richterin 1865 and supported by H. Helmholtzand S. Arrhenius.

According to panspermia, living embryos were brought to the earth by meteorites or by means of light pressure. Maintenance of their life in interplanetary space was considered possible because at low temperatures primitive organisms in a state of anabiosis can remain alive. But since it was later proved that they would have been destroyed by ultraviolet and cosmic rays, the transfer of living embryos through space must be regarded as unlikely. The panspermia hypothesis is also methodologically untenable since it does not answer the question of the origin of life.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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