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The Unity of Cosmic Life and the Inevitability of Evolved Life Forms


Chandra Wickramasinghe & Fred Hoyle


Copyright, Paul Shuch



Recent research in astronomy, geology and biology appear to converge in support of the theory of panspermia.  The consequences of panspermia for terrestrial evolution are discussed, and by analogy the case for similar evolutionary developments of life elsewhere in the universe are explored.  The prospects for SETI and Optical SETI are examined in relation to the theory of panspermia.



Panspermia, evolution, life, universe, SETI, Optical SETI.

  • The paper (author Web site)


Principal Author Biography

Chandra Wickramasinghe, a former student of Sir Fred Hoyle, is a distinguished astronomer who has made important contributions to the theory of cosmic dust.  In 1974 he first proposed the theory that dust in interstellar space and in comets was largely organic, a theory that has now been vindicated.  Jointly with Sir Fred Hoyle he was awarded the International Dag Hammarskjold Gold Medal for Science in 1986, and in 1992 he was decorated by the President of Sri Lanka with the titular honour of Vidya Jyothi.  He was awarded the International Sahabdeen Prize for Science in 1996.  He holds the highest doctorate (ScD) from the University of Cambridge and an honorary doctorate from the Soka University of Tokyo, Japan, along with several other international distinctions. Formerly a Fellow of Jesus College Cambridge, he is now Professor of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy at Cardiff University of Wales.  He is an award-winning poet and the author or co-author of over 20 books and over 250 scientific papers.  He has held visiting professorial appointments in a large number of Universities world-wide and has at one time been advisor to the President of Sri Lanka.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Principal Author Affiliation

Professor of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy
Cardiff University
Email: xdw20@dial.pipex.com


Secondary Author Biography

Sir Fred Hoyle, a world-renowned astronomer, is acknowledged to be one of the most creative scientists of the 20th century. He has held the position of Plumian Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge University, and was also the founder of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge.  He is currently an Honorary Fellow of both Emmanuel College and St.John's College Cambridge and an Honorary Professor at Cardiff University of Wales.  He is best known for his seminal contributions to the theory of the structure of stars and on the origin of the chemical elements in stars.  He is a joint proponent of the Steady-State model of the Universe, and in collaboration with Chandra Wickramasinghe he has pioneered the modern theory of panspermia.  Amongst the numerous awards and distinctions bestowed on him are the UN Kalinga Prize, 1968, the Royal Medal of the Royal Society and the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.  In 1997 he was awarded the highly prestigious Crafoord Prize by the the Swedish Academy in recognition of outstanding basic research in fields not covered by the Nobel prize.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences.  He has published over 40 books, including technical science, popular science and science fiction.  Sir Fred Hoyle is now retired and living in southern England.

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