Further Hints of Life on Mars

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Michael Watson

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Message 2093314 - Posted: 1 Feb 2022, 16:02:14 UTC
Last modified: 1 Feb 2022, 16:07:49 UTC

We hear a great deal about the new Mars Rover, Perseverance, but the older one, Curiosity, is still working away. It's found an excess of Carbon 12, in proportion to carbon 13.

On Earth such an excess exists, too, and is understood to be the product of living things. Life on Earth universally uses and concentrates the lighter isotope of carbon. It is simply easier for life to utilize. If life exists on Mars, this same tendency would very probably hold true.

Alternate, non-biological explanations have been imagined. Although they sound rather complicated and contrived, they can't be ruled out. So further study will be required before we can finally be certain that life, in some form, exists, or once existed, on the Red Planet.

Please find a link, below, for further information. It explains this discovery better than any other article I have read on the topic.:

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Message 2093329 - Posted: 1 Feb 2022, 18:35:28 UTC

The Angry Astronaut gives a good summary and an impassioned argument for some sort of life on Mars:

... NASA finds more proof of Life on Mars...

Greatly intriguing...

I'm very much not into conspiracies but, really? Why no dedicated follow-up?

Some strange bit of politics?... Surely some 'mistake'??

Is there any religious (USA Senate) problem to life being found on Mars?

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Message 2093349 - Posted: 1 Feb 2022, 20:51:10 UTC

I remember when the Viking labeled-release results came out. It seemed that life had been found on Mars, then and there.

The absence of organic matter in the soil was soon raised as an argument against life on Mars, though. The thinking was that if there was life in the soil, there should also be organic matter. Of course, organic matter has been found on Mars since then. It may have existed at the Viking sites, too, but simply could not be detected by the instruments available. Still, the 'non-biological chemical reaction' line of thinking got a foothold, and has been repeated since.

The history of Mars exploration since then has been one of looking for evidence for life, of one sort and another. I don't recall that a labeled release experiment has been tried on any following missions. One suspects that it is now rejected as too ambiguous a test.

The 'Angry Astronaut' makes a good case for life on Mars, in marshaling and interpreting all the available evidence. I especially liked his arguments against the non-life alternatives, as far as carbon 12 was concerned, and his general idea about not believing in excessive coincidences. Thanks for sharing that video, ML1.
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Profile William Rothamel

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Message 2093373 - Posted: 2 Feb 2022, 1:12:40 UTC - in response to Message 2093349.  

Isn't the red dust some kind of iron oxide--suggesting oxygen from plant life long ago ??
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Message 2093417 - Posted: 2 Feb 2022, 19:36:36 UTC

Hmmm . . . I think we're trying to find out if Mars had, or has life. If we assume that Mars' oxygen, currently taken up in iron oxides, came from photosynthetic plants, we're assuming what we want to prove . . . begging the question. The usual understanding of where Mars' oxygen came from is explained in the linked brief article, below:

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Message 2093551 - Posted: 5 Feb 2022, 6:00:21 UTC

I think that NASA officials are afraid that if it is revealed that life, in any form, is proven to exist on Mars or one of the moons of Jupiter or Saturn a ban on human travel to any place where this life is found will be implemented to save it from earthly contamination. In their opinion this contamination would alter the course of evolution both there and here.
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Message boards : SETI@home Science : Further Hints of Life on Mars

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