New -- 1 May 2007
Exogenesis is the hypothesis that the creation of life in one location may have stemmed from its being transported from an altogether different location where said life had already existed. It typically refers to life on Earth being the result of a transfer from an extraterrestrial source.
But one might also think of a more mundane form of exogenesis in terms of Johnny Appleseed. Okay, it’s a stretch! But bear with me for just a moment.
Strictly speaking, Johnny’s efforts speak more of directed exogenesis than the more general hypothesis. In general, there is the intentional transfer of life or seeds from one location to another. A subset of such an activity is where the Johnny Appleseed scenario is carried to the point where the transferring intelligence not only plants seeds, but nurses them (perhaps with assistance from others), and returns periodically to check on things and... of yes... prune where appropriate.
The latter scenario is apt to attain one’s attention should it be applied to the seeding of Earth with life from an extraterrestrial source. Just when might we expect pruning?
The idea of directed exogenesis (or directed panspermia) has been proposed by numerous scientists, including the world famous astrophysicist, Fred Hoyle, and the Nobel Prize winner, Professor Francis Crick. What has been suggested is that the seeds of life on Earth have been purposely spread by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization. On the one hand, “small grains containing DNA, or the building blocks of life… could be fired randomly in all directions… as the best, most cost effective strategy for seeding life on a compatible planet at some time in the future.” 
On the other hand, a somewhat more directed form might skip the “shotgun approach” and focus on a truly advanced extraterrestrial civilization sending interstellar probes (ETed or non ETed – as opposed to manned or unmanned) to distant solar systems and then disseminating its seeds in a far more controlled and directed fashion.
The actual choice of the “transfer mechanism” is obviously important. On the one hand, the shotgun approach is more in keeping with mainstream science’s conservatism [I think there’s a pun in there somewhere]. For example, Scientific American, among others, has claimed that “microorganisms could have survived a journey from Mars to Earth.” 
Such a mechanism is in keeping with the current level of science in terms of its limited understanding of the universe. It is also nonthreatening. It’s all very natural and there is no hint of intelligent life infringing upon our paradigms. Somewhat more challenging is the idea of life of Earth stemming from an intentional interstellar seeding program.
In 1973, molecular biologists Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel proposed in the mainstream planetary science journal, Icarus, just such a possibility.  In terms of the transfer mechanism, they suggested that this was simple as well – “once the ‘small problem’ of building interstellar spacecraft essential to carrying the ‘seeds’ across interstellar space was overcome by ‘a suitably advanced civilization’.” 
The authors went on to note that
The problem these authors were addressing was the mathematical improbability of evolving DNA from random thermodynamic processes on Earth – even over the billions of years that would be needed. In 1981, Crick added,
Hoagland  went further to note that,
What becomes even more astounding is that the transfer mechanism to accomplish this Earth-bound miracle has been tentatively identified as Iapetus, the moon of Saturn known for its extraordinary anomalous characteristics.
So how did Iapetus make the long journey… i.e. how did it solve “the small problem” of an interstellar spacecraft capable of performing planetary seeding on distant horizons?
The obvious answer is anything that gets around Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity and its speed of light limitation on interstellar travel. Observations of objects and information far exceeding the speed of light – for example, bad news traveling at near instantaneous speeds – have already seriously challenged the relativity limitation. All sorts of modern, mainstream science have proposed other alternatives. For example, the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society has published an analysis by Haisch, Deardorff, Maccabee and Puthoff, entitled “Inflation-Theory Implications for Extraterrestrial Visitation. 
Their central thesis was:
Ward  has expanded the concept of extraterrestrial visitation to include the possibility that such visitations have already occurred, and are in fact recorded in human historical records. The fact that Iapetus likely suggests a prior visitation to the historically recorded event only increases the likelihood of advanced physics being able to leave the speed of light in the dust… so to speak.
On this basis, if Iapetus is a modified moon/spacecraft, developed by an advanced interplanetary/interstellar civilization… then it is foreordained to have embodied physics and engineering far beyond of any current capabilities or even highly speculative, mainstream theories. Ergo: Iapetus was NOT propelled by rockets in the Roman candle tradition.
As Hoagland  notes:
Suddenly, Saturn being known as the God of Seeds  makes complete sense. This is the same planet which “gives off up to about three times the amount of energy it receives from the Sun.”  Considering the possibility alluded to above concerning the barest possibility of the gardener returning to nurse and/or prune his harvest… we might want to reemphasize all the delights of Saturnalia  and spend the last seven days prior to the winter solstice making do wiht banquets, festivals, gift giving, and merrymaking. If in the process, we are honoring our progenitors… then all the better!
 Crick, F. H. C., and Orgel, L. E. "Directed Panspermia," Icarus, 19, 341 (1973)
 Bernard Haisch, James Deardorff, Bruce Maccabee, and Harold Puthoff, “Inflation-Theory Implications for Extraterrestrial Visitation”, Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, January -- February 2005. http://www.ufoskeptic.org/JBIS.pdf
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