Rule Five Alien Octopus Friday

I can’t believe that the editors of the Express published this with a straight face. Science news: Octopuses came to Earth from space as frozen eggs millions of years ago.  Excerpt:

Octopuses are “aliens” which evolved on another planet before arriving on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago as “cryopreserved” eggs via a process known as panspermia, radical new research has suggested.

The extraordinary claims were made in a report entitled Cause of Cambrian Explosion – Terrestrial or Cosmic? which was co-authored by a group of 33 scientists and published in the Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology journal.

The paper suggests that the explanation for the sudden flourishing of life during the Cambrian era – often referred to as the Cambrian Explosion – lies in the stars, as a result of the Earth being bombarded by clouds of organic molecules.

But the scientists go on to make an even more extraordinary claim concerning octopuses, which seem to have evolved on Earth quite rapidly something like 270 million years ago, 250 million years after the Cambrian explosion.

The paper states: “The genome of the Octopus shows a staggering level of complexity with 33,000 protein-coding genes more than is present in Homo sapiens.


“One plausible explanation, in our view, is that the new genes are likely new extraterrestrial imports to Earth – most plausibly as an already coherent group of functioning genes within (say) cryopreserved and matrix protected fertilized Octopus eggs.

About this article, I can only say this:

What utter horseshit.

For crying out loud, the place in the Earth’s tree of life occupied by cephalopods has been known for a long time now.  Yes, octopuses are rather unique; they are quick to learn, adaptable and capable of exploiting lots of different environments.

But then, so are lots of other animals.  Like, for example, us.

This is pseudo-scientific woo along the lines of anti-GMO or anti-vaxxer hysteria; clueless and utterly unsupported by anything with a remote resemblance to a fact.

Not only is the evolutionary and genetic relationship of the cephalopoda well documented, there’s another problem with this idea:  We have several metric tons (or tonnes, if you prefer) of meteorites to examine, and to date not one iota of genetic material has been found in any of them.

To the authors of this research, I can only say this:  Gwyneth Paltrow called.  She wants her bullshit back.