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January 17, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XL(3):178. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490030042013

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Those who have read Mr. H. G. Wells' ingenious fiction, "The War of the Worlds," in which the superior beings from another planet threatened to destroy the existing population of the earth, but were overcome by the microbes which they found, will be interested in the recent speculation of the reverse of this by a Western scientist. He asks, is there any reason why small living bodies, such as spores or microbes, should not be floating about by themselves in the interstellar space and, in some ways which are easily conceivable, from time to time enter into our atmosphere and infect our planet? In this way the origin of new diseases and possibly of many other phenomena which we can not foretell might be accounted for. The idea is not an altogether new or extravagant one; Sir William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) theorized on the introduction of life into our planet

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