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Can Panspermia really be labeled as Pseudoscience? Here at Spain we're taught that it's an actual scientific theory still in vigor, with Carl Sagan defending it and all.

I agree - I wouldn't call it a pseudoscience either. It is a valid position and one that is quite seriously considered. Acei9 22:35, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
Neil deGrasse Tyson said "Panspermia remains an intriguing idea, perhaps even likely, for the spread of life among neighboring fertile planets."--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 13:48, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps a protoscience? I've removed the pseudoscience template & replaced it with ufology, which isn't an exact fit but is the one on other articles about extraterrestrial life. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:55, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Well, I don't know... the "woo is out there" part of the UFOlogy template would still imply that it's pseudoscience. Besides, does there really need to be any navbar? There are probably loads of wikilinks to this article.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 13:57, 2 November 2013 (UTC)


while this is a valid and interesting theory to the origins of life, it is a probably the most prominent example in science of "moving the goal posts" its kinda hard to figure out how life formed, so saying "somewhere else" is just a cheap and easy way to avoid having to explain something difficult to explain. (talk) 15:13, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

I think the difference here is that the scientific community isn't jumping on board and saying it's correct without proof. Abiogenesis certainly hasn't been ruled out, so I'm not certain why there would even be a need to "move the goalposts". Scientific advances often result from multiple theories being checked, cross-checked, and eventually distilled until the most "correct" one emerges. How is this any different? - GrantC (talk) 15:15, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
There's no difference between panspermia and moving the goalposts. As for motivations, I have no clue; I'm no psychic, nor is anyone. However, it is indeed moving the goalposts from the question of the origin of life. Panspermia isn't a theory of the origin of life, but rather a theory of the origin of life on planet Earth. There still remains the question of the origin of life. Regardless of whether or not this is ever proven beyond all reasonable doubt, this remains a moving the goalposts theory. -RationalTorquoise (talk) 01:11, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

False logic?[edit]

' organic material, from dust clouds or other planets, made its way to Earth via meteors, survived the entry and thrived on Earth...' Up to 'entry' seems plausible ('the stuff' + the kinetic energy of the meteor/comet landing caused a transformation) - but there is a jump to 'thrived': unless there are 'viruslikes' already extant. (talk) 15:29, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Actually, "surviving re-entry" is relatively plausible. Re-entry is actually quite rapid, and rock doesn't conduct heat very well. The hottest parts that warm up via friction actually char and ablate, but the core of the meteor will remain cold - Randall Munroe's What-If blog did the calculations on whether it's possible to cook a steak via re-entry, it'll blacken the outside but will barely defrost the interior. So organic matter could survive impact easily enough. The jump to "thrive" on Earth is a leap, but no more so than Earth-based abiogenesis. Scarlet A.pngtheist 16:03, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
So rashers of bacon might cook nicely? ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:05, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Or turn to carbonised dust. But FOR SCIENCE! Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:11, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
I was going to point out that most meteors don't get far enough through the atmosphere to gain the status of meteorite. But I used the wonder of the internet and came up with this which seems to suggest that both the very smallest and the very biggest get through. The biggest because they can tough it out and the smallest because the slow down very easily. In consequence most reach the Earth - at least according to the link - becasue most are very small.--Weirdstuff (talk) 18:50, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

My point was 'rich organic material' ≠ 'life' - the text needs rephrasing slightly. (talk) 15:57, 28 August 2013 (UTC)


I think you need to qualify what you are talking about. Meteors bringing bacteria from another place is one thing. Meteors or comets spreading organic compounds is even more likely. An alien civilization seeding the galaxy with life is something else. A UFO dropping buy and unloading cows and chickens would be even worse. There is I believe sufficient science behind the compounds or bacteria in meteorites, deliberate acts by aliens not so much. Not sure where the Raelians or scientologists fit. Hamster (talk) 15:35, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Neil deGrasse Tyson once more[edit]

He went onto Bill Maher's show and said this Avengerofthe BoN (talk) 23:51, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

Theory or hypothesis???[edit]

This article seems to use the words theory and hypothesis interchangeably, even though (from a scientific rationalist standpoint) there is a HUGE difference between the two. So which one is it? The article should pick one of the two and uniformly stick to it. (talk) 08:00, 14 May 2018 (UTC)

Hypothesis, for sure. It probably means theory in the layman's sense. —Kazitor, pending 10:17, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
For what it's worth, Wikipedia calls it a hypothesis[1], but many pop science sources use the word theory[2][3][4]. Does RW stand for a strict definition of "theory"? In the case of panspermia you might want to keep a distinction between panspermia (life originated off-planet) and directed panspermia (intelligent aliens bred us); neither has much evidence but the latter is clearly much less reputable. --Gospatric (talk) 10:21, 14 May 2018 (UTC)