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Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2018 Aug;136:3-23. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2018.03.004. Epub 2018 Mar 13.

Cause of Cambrian Explosion - Terrestrial or Cosmic?

Author information

1
CY O'Connor ERADE Village Foundation, Piara Waters, WA, Australia; Centre for Astrobiology, University of Ruhuna, Matara, Sri Lanka. Electronic address: ejsteele@cyo.edu.au.
2
Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology, University of Buckingham, UK.
3
Center for the Physics of Living Organisms, Department of Physics, Michigan Technological University, Michigan, United States.
4
Department of Geology, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
5
University of Melbourne, Office of the Dean, Faculty Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, 3rd Level, Alan Gilbert Building, Australia.
6
Metallurgical & Materials Engineering IIT, Kanpur, India.
7
South African Brain Research Institute, 6 Campbell Street, Waverly, Johannesburg, South Africa.
8
University Toronto Health Network, Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada.
9
Department of Physics, Cochin University of Science and Technology Cochin, India.
10
Centre for Astrobiology, University of Ruhuna, Matara, Sri Lanka.
11
School of Veterinary and Life Sciences Murdoch University, Perth, WA, Australia.
12
Studio Eutropi, Clinical Pathology and Nutrition, Via Pompei 46, Ardea, 00040, Rome, Italy.
13
Department of Infectious Disease Control, Tianjin Center for Disease Control and Prevention, China.
14
School of History and Philosophy of Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
15
Institute for the Study of Panspermia and Astrobiology, Gifu, Japan.
16
Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F, 3001, Leuven, Belgium.
17
CY O'Connor ERADE Village Foundation, Piara Waters, WA, Australia.
18
The History of Chinese Culture Foundation, Conway Hall, London, UK.
19
Institute of Astronomy, The Observatories, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, UK.
20
Pestalozzi- Gymnasium, 11, D-81247, München, Germany.
21
Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology, University of Buckingham, UK; Centre for Astrobiology, University of Ruhuna, Matara, Sri Lanka.
22
School of Biomedical Sciences, Perth, Curtin University, WA, Australia.
23
College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
24
Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology, University of Buckingham, UK; Centre for Astrobiology, University of Ruhuna, Matara, Sri Lanka; Institute for the Study of Panspermia and Astrobiology, Gifu, Japan.
25
Henan Collaborative Innovation Center of Modern Biological Breeding, Henan Institute of Science and Technology, Xinxiang, 453003, China; Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H7, Canada.

Abstract

We review the salient evidence consistent with or predicted by the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe (H-W) thesis of Cometary (Cosmic) Biology. Much of this physical and biological evidence is multifactorial. One particular focus are the recent studies which date the emergence of the complex retroviruses of vertebrate lines at or just before the Cambrian Explosion of ∼500 Ma. Such viruses are known to be plausibly associated with major evolutionary genomic processes. We believe this coincidence is not fortuitous but is consistent with a key prediction of H-W theory whereby major extinction-diversification evolutionary boundaries coincide with virus-bearing cometary-bolide bombardment events. A second focus is the remarkable evolution of intelligent complexity (Cephalopods) culminating in the emergence of the Octopus. A third focus concerns the micro-organism fossil evidence contained within meteorites as well as the detection in the upper atmosphere of apparent incoming life-bearing particles from space. In our view the totality of the multifactorial data and critical analyses assembled by Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe and their many colleagues since the 1960s leads to a very plausible conclusion - life may have been seeded here on Earth by life-bearing comets as soon as conditions on Earth allowed it to flourish (about or just before 4.1 Billion years ago); and living organisms such as space-resistant and space-hardy bacteria, viruses, more complex eukaryotic cells, fertilised ova and seeds have been continuously delivered ever since to Earth so being one important driver of further terrestrial evolution which has resulted in considerable genetic diversity and which has led to the emergence of mankind.

KEYWORDS:

Cambrian Explosion; Cosmic biology; Hypermutation & evolution; Origin epidemics & pandemics; Panspermia; Retroviruses

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