This is the "panspermia" hypothesis, first proposed by astronomers Sir Fred Hoyle
and Dr Chandra Wickramasinghe in 1974.
The lecture will feature a number of prominent scientists, including Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, who originally discovered bacteria in space with the famous Yorkshire astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle
Lord Kelvin (the age of the Earth), astronomer Fred Hoyle
(the expansion of the universe), Linus Pauling (the nature of the DNA helix), and Albert Einstein (the cosmological constant) are here as well, all testament to the rewards of perseverance and the scientific method as Livio attempts "to correct the impression scientific breakthroughs are purely success stories.
Countless scientists have made major mistakes over the centuries, but Livio wisely focuses on gaffes from just five great minds: Pauling, Darwin, Einstein, astrophysicist Fred Hoyle
and William Thomson, also known as Lord Kelvin.
The professor, an expert on interstellar dust, spent decades working with Sir Fred Hoyle
- a British astronomer and mathematician who was well known for rejecting the Big Bang theory.
Holt quotes cosmologist Fred Hoyle
, the man who coined the phrase "the Big Bang," as finding the whole idea undignified, like "a party girl jumping out of a cake.
predicted that there must be a resonance in carbon, based upon the strong interaction, to allow carbon to form in stars.
A different theory about life's coming from outer space was published in the same year as Francis Crick's book, 1981, by the astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle
In 1957 he and his wife were co-authors, together with Fred Hoyle
and William Fowler, a noted nuclear physicist, of a famous work on stellar nucleosynthesis.
The scientists named these new species as Janibacter hoylei, after the distinguished Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle
, the second as Bacillus isronensis recognising the contribution of ISRO in the balloon experiments which led to its discovery and the third as Bacillus aryabhata after India's celebrated ancient astronomer Aryabhata.
He has since helped to found one of the top astronomy departments in Britain and has published more than 25 books on the subject, in collaboration with the late Sir Fred Hoyle
For example, prominent Cambridge astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle
concluded that the mathematical probability of life evolving randomly was "so utterly minuscule" (listing the odds of it happening at 1 to 1 plus 40,000 zeroes) that it was too ridiculous to believe.