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Could Life From Other Planets Have Been Carried to Earth by Meteorites? (1880)


In 1880 Lawyer, Swedenborgian, poet, agent for Canadian emmigration, economist, and amateur petrologist in Reutlingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany Otto Hahn published Die Meteorite (Chondrite) und ihre Organismenwith 32 plates containing 144 images of photomicrographs of cross-sections of meteorites. Hahn claimed that the mysterious structures shown in his photographs were  evidence of fossilized plants and simple animals, carried within meteorites from extra-terrestrial origins.

Though other scientists realized that Hahn had confused mineral structures with organic structures, it was claimed, without concrete substantiation, that Darwin enthusiastically endorsed Hahn's interpretation, even making an uncharacteristic reference to God in the context. See The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online at this link (accessed 05-28-2009). Darwin did own copies of Hahn's works and may also have visited with Hahn at Down House.

My thanks to Jörn Koblitz of MetBase for this reference.