Directed Panspermia

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Directed panspermia posits in regards to the question of origin of life on earth that "organisms were deliberately transmitted to the earth by intelligent beings on another planet."[1] In 1973, Francis Crick and the chemist Leslie Orgel published an article in the International Journal of Solar System Studies (Icarus) which presented their Directed Panspermia proposal to the origin of life on earth.[1] The abstract for the aforementioned Icarus article stated the following:

It now seems unlikely that extraterrestrial living organisms could have reached the earth either as spores driven by the radiation pressure from another star or as living organisms imbedded in a meteorite.

As an alternative to these nineteenth-century mechanisms, we have considered Directed Panspermia, the theory that organisms were deliberately transmitted to the earth by intelligent beings on another planet.

We conclude that it is possible that life reached the earth in this way, but that the scientific evidence is inadequate at the present time to say anything about the probability.[1]

Behe's Criticism of the Materialistic Science of Francis Crick

In 1992, the science magazine Scientific American published an interview which explored Sir Francis Crick's belief in the hypothesis Directed Panspermia as a proposed hypthesis for the origin of life on earth.[2] Behe wrote regarding the Scientific American interview the following:

The primary reason Crick subscribes to this unorthodox view is that he judges the undirected origin of life to be a virtually insurmountable obstacle, but he wants a naturalistic explanation.[2]

Directed Panspermia Labeled Absurd Pseudoscience

In 2003, the creation science organization Creation Ministries International stated that Francis "Crick’s atheistic faith leads to absurd pseudoscience."[3]

Creation Ministries International further stated the following:

Unfortunately, Crick was not being entirely forthright in this regard. He does hold a religious view. Atheism is a religion in the sense of answering the ‘big questions’, such as ‘Where did we come from?’ and ‘What is our destiny?’, and is foundationally a belief system, since the non-existence of God could hardly be said to have been proven! So he must explain the origin of DNA from his religious perspective, and, subsequently, the origin of life on earth.[3]

Crick described himself as an agnostic with "a strong inclination towards atheism."[4] Panspermia was disproved by Gary Bates of CMI in his book Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection, the only creationist book to ever reach the top 50 list on Amazon.

Directed Panspermia and Science Fiction

Directed panspermia is a major theme in a number of science fiction television shows. Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek: the Next Generation has one episode positing panspermia as the origin of life for a number of species, and building on this idea to suggest the need for peace amongst those species with common ancestry. Stargate SG-1 also suggests all humanoid life is the result of panspermia from a predecessor, master humanoid race called only the "Ancients."


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2
  2. 2.0 2.1 Reprint of an Creation Research Society Quarterly September 2001 article The Spontaneous Generation Hypothesis by David P. Woetzel
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bates, Gary, Designed by aliens?, Creation 25(4):54–55, September 2003.
  4. Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit: a Personal View of Scientific Discovery, Basic Books reprint edition, 1990, ISBN 0-465-09138-5, p. 145.

See also