Science: Thomas Gold

Thomas Gold has died. George Sassoon says: He was a great scientist, and had no fear of expressing unfashionable views.  I bought a copy of The Deep Hot Biosphere when it came out, and found it most convincing and fascinating.  I lent it to my friend William Graves (son of Robert the author) who works for French companies drilling in the Sahara.  He too agreed with all its conclusions.  Though no oil specialist myself, I think it quite reasonable that the Earth might be full of hydrocarbons since its formation, because radio-astronomers have
found clouds of them drifting around in space.  Thomas' discovery of oil and bacteria at great depths below igneous rocks in Sweden I would think clinched it. A German author whose book I was reading suggested that the natural nuclear reactor discovered by the French in Gabon, W. Africa in 1972, might not have been totally natural in origin.  So I asked my friend Stephen Thomas, a nuclear physicist, about it.  He referred me to a web site which said that the 1.7 billion-year-old deposits contained 'organic' matter, which at that age cannot have been of biogenic origin.

Ronald Hilton 2005


last updated: April 16, 2005