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Directed Exogenesis

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.

“The popular image of Johnny Appleseed had him spreading apple seeds randomly, everywhere he went. In fact, he planted nurseries rather than orchards, built fences around them to protect them from livestock, left the nurseries in the care of a neighbor who sold trees on shares, and returned every year or two to tend the nursery.” [1]

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.” [2]

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.” [3]

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. [4] 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’.” [5]

The authors went on to note that

“Several orthodox explanations of the universality of the [terrestrial DNA] code can be suggested, but none is generally accepted to be completely convincing.   It is a little surprising that organisms with somewhat different codes do not coexist. The universality of the code [on Earth] follows naturally from an ‘infective’ theory of the origin of life.  Life on Earth would represent a clone derived from a single set of organisms [emphasis added]…” [6]

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,

“…an honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life [on Earth] appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have to have been satisfied to get it going [emphasis added]…” [6]

Hoagland [6] went further to note that,

“By removing the sticky question of life’s ultimate origins to a completely separate location in the Galaxy, with uniquely favorable (if currently unknown) conditions, and replacing its ‘miraculous’ appearance on this planet with a secondary ‘seeding’ scenario from somewhere else, Crick was attempting to salvage the central tenant (and rising problem) of all contemporary evolutionary biology: that Life [on Earth] even has a “natural” origin! 

"What he was trying to say scientifically, was 'Yes… 'It just wasn’t… here'.”

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. [7]

Their central thesis was:

“It has recently been argued that anthropic reasoning applied to inflation theory reinforces the prediction that we should find ourselves part of a large, galaxy-sized civilization, thus strengthening Fermi’s paradox concerning ‘Where are they?’  Furthermore, superstring and M-brane theory allow for the possibility of parallel universes, some of which in principle could be habitable. In addition, discussion of such exotic transport concepts as ‘traversable wormholes’ now appears in the rigorous physics literature.  As a result, the ‘We are alone’ solution to Fermi’s paradox, based on the constraints of earlier 20th Century viewpoints, appears today to be inconsistent with new developments in our best current physics and astrophysics theories.  Therefore we reexamine and reevaluate the present assumption that extraterrestrials or their probes are not in the vicinity of Earth, and argue instead that some evidence of their presence might be found in certain high-quality UFO reports.  This study follows up on previous arguments that (1) interstellar travel for advanced civilizations is not a priori ruled out by physical principles and therefore may be practicable, and (2) such advanced civilizations may value the search for knowledge from uncontaminated species more than direct, interspecies communication, thereby accounting for apparent covertness regarding their presence [emphasis added].”

Ward [8] 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 [6] notes:

"If Einstein’s UFT ideas, or any of the modern variants which have evolved -- from super strings to M-brane theory – can ultimately be engineered into workable technologies for literally bending space and time... then, all bets are off.  Anything could be waiting inside Iapetus…” 

“Its very name – ‘Iapetus’… the father of Prometheus, the ‘maker of Mankind’ --- [may be an] eerie foreshadowing of all we might one day confirm. Could that stark possibility – that, in Iapetus, we are confronting our very origins… if not the origins of every living thing on Earth -- explain the startling series of events… from the Vatican to Washington DC… that Cassini’s shocking close-ups set in motion at the turning of 2005?”

Suddenly, Saturn being known as the God of Seeds [9] 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.” [10] 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 [11] 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!



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Appleseed based on (1871) Johnny Appleseed: A Pioneer Hero, "Harper's New Monthly Magazine", LXIV, 830-831

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia

[3] http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&colID=1&articleID=00073A97-5745-1359-94FF83414B7F0000

[4] Crick, F. H. C., and Orgel, L. E. "Directed Panspermia," Icarus, 19, 341 (1973)

[5] http://www.enterprisemission.com/moon1.htm

[6 ] http://www.enterprisemission.com/moon1.htm

[7] 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

[8] http://www.halexandria.org/dward899.htm

[9] http://www.varchive.org/itb/ecseeds.htm

[10] http://www.varchive.org/itb/satjup.htm

[11] http://altreligion.about.com/library/weekly/aa121305a.htm


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