Panspermia is a topic that falls into and out of favor often. It is not that there is no substance to the paradigm, revolutionary and normal science will find other ‘grails’ worthy for investigation. However, the present research problems surrounding panspermia deal in areas of survivability–can life survive long periods of radiation and an extreme cold–or can life survive the multi-megaton impact upon reaching Earth?
Perhaps one measure of how life’s molecularity can survive cometary impacts is the near-extinction event of early Earth history. Dinosaurs became extinct when a large NEO impacted the Yucatan peninsula. Generations afterward, the first mammals took over the Earth–life didn’t quite resemble the previous generations. Genetic analysis seemingly points towards an abrupt but distinct lineage. Thus–it may be posited that life’s molecular nature, once established, is not readily displaced from its ‘beachhead.’
With this prefatory comment in place, I now discuss the issue of comets…
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