Some years ago, my friend and college Chandra Wickramasinghe gave me to study a thick manuscript written by him and Fred Hoyle showing that Charles Darwin had not originated the idea of natural selection, but instead gave most of the credit to another English naturalist called Edwin Blyth.
Critics of panspermia often say that the idea is of no interest, since it merely removes the problem of life’s origin from Earth to somewhere else.
Oh the problems of assigning credit to discoveries! Just when I thought I had pinned down the discoverer of the ‘Petri’ dish as the English scientist, Percy Frankland (.lGzi4 Quarterly 25, 98-99) I receive news of a counter claim.
An Edinburgh surgeon was the first person to recognize and cure a bacterial infection, a British biologist is claiming1. John Goodsir realized that microbes make people sick in 1842 – nearly 20 years before Louis Pasteur’s breakthroughs in microbiology, argues Milton Wainwright of the University of Sheffield.
For some twenty or so years I have been interested in the idea that bacteria and other non-virus microorganisms are the cause of most, if not all, cancer in humans. It is interesting how I became involved in researching this idea.
Originally, the term ‘panspermia’ was used by microbiologists (of the late Victorian period, e.g. Roberts, 1874) to refer to the observation that terrestrial air is full of microorganisms. Panspermia, was later used to cover the view that life on Earth originated from space.
The sulpha drugs, together with penicillin and the other antibiotics that followed, had a massive effect on medicine, saving countless lives in peace and war, as well as making possible many of the medical advances we now take for granted.
Until recently, few people had heard of Patrick Matthew. His name would occasionally appear in biographies of Charles Darwin, but for a long time it looked like he would remain a footnote in the history of biology.
Cancer remains an enigma despite over 150 years of intense scientific research. While considerable research effort has been devoted to demonstrating that viruses causes cancer, the potential role of non-virus microorganisms in cancer aetiology has largely been ignored.