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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Aug 10, 2006 21:32:41 GMT -6
No...Not Evidence in Mars Rock on ancient life
Most people who have some level of personal or professional involvement in space can remember where they were on February 1, 2003, January 28, 1986, and July 20, 1969—provided they were alive at the time. These are dates indelibly marked in our minds because of the great triumphs or tragedies that took place on those days. But what about August 6, 1996?
If that date doesn’t immediately ring a bell, here’s the first paragraph of a “note for editors” sent out by NASA late that afternoon:
A team of NASA and Stanford scientists will discuss its findings showing strong circumstantial evidence of possible early Martian life, including microfossil remains found in a Martian meteorite, at a news conference scheduled for 1:00 p.m. EDT, August 7, at NASA Headquarters, 300 E. St. SW, Washington, DC. The team's findings will be published in the August 16 issue of Science magazine.
NASA won't speculate about possibility of fossils, but that doesn't mean others aren't
Aside from the junk that the two rovers brought with them and strewed across the landscape (didn’t the NASA science team expect to be confused by some of that?), are there any other shapes seen in the images that look, well, organic?
The one that intrigues me most — so far — was referred to by "New Scientist" magazine’s veteran space writer David Chandler with the delicate, neutral phrase, “resembling a piece of curly macaroni.” It’s also been called “the rotini pasta,” and similar gastronomic analogies.
There’s a word for what it might be. Everybody knows it, but it’s too risky to use it lest you get bundled up with the crackpot Martian visions of bunny rabbits, ski jumps, ribbed sandworms, capital letters, and stone faces that have been flooding the Net.
The word is “fossil”. But using it seems to be generally thought of as some sort of Howard Stern impersonation that could get a careless scientist ostracized for life.
Rock discovered in the Antarctic from Mars...I dunno. Fossils on Mars? I think so.
Would hope be a better choice for a word than think? See again the last sentence of my previous post.
Of course we all know that mountain on Mars was carved into a humanoid face. And I just know that what we often think of as clouds in our sky are actually real animals. There's a clay formation in a nearby park that appears to be a giant scorpions tail, but many of us are sure it must be a fossil. As long as we believe real, real hard, it must be true.
Last Edit: Aug 11, 2006 16:26:16 GMT -6 by Centaur
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Aug 11, 2006 16:09:57 GMT -6
No, I stand by my last statement.
To think something out - is to develop a conclusive process with available data on hand. To me, and to countless others in the field, it's a fossil. Opportunity took a picture of a segmented artifact. NASA hints at at, but dosen't say it outright. Blueberries formed under the influence of liquid water, right next to the artifact. We won't know for sure till a human collects them, but I'm beating the rush and speculating now.
Water presently flows down inclines on Mars today (THEMIS orbiter images), and most likely in deep aquifers today. No clay formation, but real hard imagery.
But to challenge any hypothisis, regardless of how apparent, is a good thing. Shake it out, and the real stuff appears.
Joe, you would enjoy two fine message boards that I frequent. You may want to present your case for Martian life to the other members. We would all certainly welcome you as a discussion participant. Don’t forget, you originally found me on another board and invited me here. I again thank you. But I'm sure you would not fear initiating discussions at sites for which you were not the administrator. At them your conclusions will find much wider audiences.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Aug 11, 2006 22:54:58 GMT -6
Great to have you part of the Chicago Astronomer family and your inclusions to the data base here most valued. People dig your Lunar calender and many search engines link to it here.
Certainly, I will scrutinize both, as I enjoy lively debate and spirited conversation. The Chicago Astronomer remains open to all slants, thoughts and ideas pertaining to astronomy and space exploration. Everybody's opinion counts - even if it's 180 to my own. The Administrator title offers me a great deal of control, but rarely have I used it to censor anybody or delete a post if they go against my grain. It's all cool...
The flavor of single minded sites, forums, chat rooms and other exchanges is reflected in the announced predisposition and antagonist attack to anything other than what the author/administrator/owner has set. Similar to different religious sects of the same belief. On the one, I understand that James Randi refuses to engage Richard Hoagland with the monetary challenge he has offered to paranormal challengers. But I go in with a clean slate.
We had two past members, (now banned), here who were vile and disrespectful to others who posted views and thoughts contrary to what mainstream says. It keeps those from wanting to participate away. I still keep the posts up on the forum as an example of bad behavior and a chuckle. But one can disagree without being disrespectful. If one can't...well, there's more going on there than just a difference of opinion.
But I will lurk for a short while and feel out the temperament and atmosphere of the two sites. If they give a chance and present an open mind with intelligent discussion and debate...then I'll play. Who knows, maybe I'll learn something. But if not, no point in exchange with closed minds and a waste of productive time...and whatever would be presented (pro or con), will not be good enough for acceptance of opinion with the established crew. Let's see what transpires.