last updated December 30th, 2006 and
is permanently morphing...
(5 Caban (Earth) / 10 K'ank'in - 57/260 - 188.8.131.52.17)
The theory that microorganisms or biochemical compounds from outer space are responsible for originating life on Earth and possibly in other parts of the universe where suitable atmospheric conditions exist.
[Greek, mixture of all seeds : pan-, pan- + sperma, seed.]
"Panspermia" is the name for the theory that life exists and is distributed throughout the universe in the form of germs or spores.
Biological immortality would be very dangerous for the planet - if there was nowhere else for organisms to go, then the planet would quickly become overcrowded and swamped in biological waste products. But our planet, we know now, is not a closed system. There are other planets throughout the universe. Through space travel, humans have essentially eliminated one of nature's key rationales for mortality. And so, Philip K. Dick and other science fiction writers have dared to suggest, possibly opened an avenue for overcoming it. Indeed, "panspermians" suggest that life is constantly being "seeded" throughout the universe by comets and meteors, and thus arises throughout the cosmos. Humans will become part of the panspermian process soon too, once we bring ourselves, the microorganisms that live within us, and other lifeforms to other worlds. Perhaps through "terraforming," lifeless worlds can be made to support life.
What the mushroom says about itself is this: that it is an extraterrestrial organism, that spores can survive the conditions of interstellar space. They are deep, deep purple -- the color that they would have to be to absorb the deep ultraviolet end of the spectrum. The casing of a spore is one of the hardest organic substances known. The electron density approaches that of a metal.
Is it possible that these mushrooms never evolved on earth? That is what the Stropharia cubensis itself suggests. Global currents may form on the outside of the spore. The spores are very light and by Brownian motion are capable of percolation to the edge if the planet's atmosphere. Then, through interaction with energetic particles, some small number could actually escape into space. Understand that this is an evolutionary strategy where only one in many billions of spores actually makes the transition between the stars -- a biological strategy for radiating throughout the galaxy without a technology. Of course this happens over very long periods of time. But if you think that the galaxy is roughly 100,000 light-years from edge to edge, if something were moving only one one-hundredth the speed of light -- now that's not a tremendous speed that presents problems to any advanced technology -- it could cross the galaxy in one hundred million years. There's life on this planet 1.8 billion years old; that's eighteen times longer than one hundred million years. So, looking at the galaxy on those time scales, one sees that the percolation of spores between the stars is a perfectly viable strategy for biology. It might take millions of years, but it's the same principle by which plants migrate into a desert or across an ocean.
I don't necessarily believe what the mushroom tells me; rather we have a dialogue. It is a very strange person and has many bizarre opinions. I entertain it the way I would any eccentric friend. I say, "Well, so that's what you think." When the mushroom began saying it was an extraterrestrial, I felt that I was placed in the dilemma of a child who wishes to destroy a radio to see if there are little people inside. I couldn't figure out whether the mushroom is the alien or the mushroom is some kind of technological artifact allowing me to hear the alien when the alien is actually light-years aways, using some kind of Bell nonlocality principle to communicate.
The mushroom states its own position very clearly. It says, "I require the nervous system of a mammal. Do you have one handy?"
- Terence McKenna - _Tryptamine Hallucinogens And Consciousness_
I had never heard of Crick's hypothesis, called "directed panspermia," but I knew that I had just found a new correspondence between science and the complex formed by shamanism and mythology.
Jeremy Narby - _The
Cosmic Serpent: DNA
And The Origins Of Knowledge_