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Martian meteorite may contain evidence of extraterrestrial life

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posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 12:22 PM
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originally posted by: DexterRiley
a reply to: JadeStar

My greatest concern is that there seems, to me, to be an environment of conformity in most all sectors of the science community. While I would expect there to be some push-back on unique and radical theories, it is my perception that these theories are treated with such disdain that they are completely unable to gain any traction, no matter how much evidence is accumulated.


Unfortunately, this is an all too common view. I would happily say it is also an inaccurate one.

Most of the scientists both at my school and elsewhere who I have interacted with have a diversity of ideas. They don't all march to the same drummer other than the scientific method.

You can name any discipline within astronomy and astrophysics or biology and I can find more than a few well respected scientist who are unconventional and often have unconventional ideas or lines of research.

That is actually encouraged because it is often from the margins where the greatest discoveries are made. As long as research is based upon sound methodology and subject to peer review then its fine.

Assumptions can often lead to missing something and accepting something before all the evidence is in can often lead to a false conclusion

In the end the only thing that matters is the truth.

So from the outside we might all appear to be this homogenous crowd there is a lot of debate within it which goes on in scientific journals most people seldom if ever read.

On an entertaining note, I urge you to try to get a copy of the film "Heaven, Earth and Joe Davis" for a fascinating look at one such scientist who is about as unconventional as we get.




I've talked with him by email BTW, he helped me when I was writing a paper on METI (Messages to Extra Terrestrial Intelligence). He is a genius and very interesting.



I think that some of this push-back also results in lack of funding for study of these alternative theories, which results in unnecessarily slow progress despite how promising they may be.


That can often happen but it isn't hard to find other funding sources beyond the normal ones these days. There has been research money raised through Kickstarter for instance.



Yes, a discovery of this magnitude should be vigorously debated. To confirm extra-terrestrial life even in Mars distant past would fundamentally alter our perception of our place in the universe. There has been much discussion of the repercussions of the proof of such a theory. But, I am more hopeful that there will actually be a debate, rather than the summary dismissal of these theories as has occurred in the past.


Debate is the life blood of science. It's how it works. Without debate, there is no science and that debate begins within the individual researcher.

Without that we'd still be in the dark ages.



Thank you for the feedback!

dex


You're welcome.
I hope this helps clarify things.
edit on 8-12-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 03:37 PM
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double post
edit on 8-12-2014 by neoholographic because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 03:37 PM
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Here's more evidence:


NASA Mars rover finds key evidence for lake at landing site

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Billions of years ago, a lake once filled the 96-mile- (154-km) wide crater being explored by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, bolstering evidence that the planet most like Earth in the solar system was suitable for microbial life, scientists said on Monday.

The new findings combine more than two years of data collected by the rover since its sky-crane landing inside Gale Crater in August 2012.

Scientists discovered stacks of rocks containing water-deposited sediments inclined toward the crater’s center, which now sports a three-mile (5 km) mound called Mount Sharp. That would mean that Mount Sharp didn’t exist during a period of time roughly 3.5 billion years ago when the crater was filled with water, Curiosity researchers told reporters during a conference call.

"Finding the inclined strata was ... a complete surprise,” said lead scientist John Grotzinger, with the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


Shortly after landing, Curiosity found that Mars once had the chemical ingredients and the environmental conditions needed to support microbial life, fulfilling the primary goal of its mission.

“The size of the lake in Gale Crater and the length of time and series that water was showing up implies that there may have been sufficient time for life to get going and thrive,” said NASA's Mars Exploration Program scientist Michael Meyer.


news.yahoo.com...

So, I think there's more than enough evidence to reach the conclusion that microbial life existed and may still exist on Mars. This isn't saying that the evidence is conclusive, but we always reach conclusions based on what's most likely or what's less likely based on the available evidence.



posted on Dec, 11 2014 @ 12:10 PM
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a reply to: JadeStar
a reply to: JadeStar

Hi JadeStar:
I most profoundly apologize for the delay in my response. Please forgive me. I was involved in one of those time-sensitive projects that held my exclusive attention for the past few days. Imagine having a paper due and waiting to the last minute to get it done, including all of the research.

Thanks for the wonderful and informative reply to my post.


Most of the scientists both at my school and elsewhere who I have interacted with have a diversity of ideas. They don't all march to the same drummer other than the scientific method.

You can name any discipline within astronomy and astrophysics or biology and I can find more than a few well respected scientist who are unconventional and often have unconventional ideas or lines of research.

That is actually encouraged because it is often from the margins where the greatest discoveries are made. As long as research is based upon sound methodology and subject to peer review then its fine.

Assumptions can often lead to missing something and accepting something before all the evidence is in can often lead to a false conclusion

In the end the only thing that matters is the truth.

So from the outside we might all appear to be this homogenous crowd there is a lot of debate within it which goes on in scientific journals most people seldom if ever read.

I'll take your word for it. You are certainly closer to this community that I have ever been. I suppose I am relegated to that segment of the population subject to getting my information from the mainstream media, rumor, and innuendo.

I know that this is the way it is supposed to work. I was just under the impression that things had changed in the last few years. Where radical dissent from established theory was punished by harsh criticism and professional ostracism.

I suppose I have become quite jaded in my old age. I hope that as you progress in your professional career that you continue to have such productive interactions with your peers.




On an entertaining note, I urge you to try to get a copy of the film "Heaven, Earth and Joe Davis" for a fascinating look at one such scientist who is about as unconventional as we get.

Wow!!!
Now that's my kind of mad scientist: Peg leg, wild hair, writer, artist, poet, scientist, genius. This guy comes straight out of a super-hero comic book.

OMG: Poetica Vaginal: A project to transmit vaginal contractions into deep space to communicate with aliens.

I could not have conceived of something like that in my wildest imagination. Yes, I have to get ahold of a copy of this documentary!



That can often happen but it isn't hard to find other funding sources beyond the normal ones these days. There has been research money raised through Kickstarter for instance.

That is true. However, I have to wonder whether Kickstarter funding can provide enough capital for some of the heavy duty research. Then again, a small amount of funding may allow the researcher to produce some results that may encourage the more conventional funding sources.



A good example of what happens when we become too wedded to an idea of what we think we'll find based on a sample size of 1 is a story famously told by the "king of the planet hunters" Geoffrey Marcy of the California exoplanet search which was based out of San Francisco State University....

That is an interesting story. I find that the older I get, the more I tend to fall into that same trap. In many cases, we simply don't think about the limits we are placing on ourselves because of our previous experiences. In other cases, we tend to dismiss alternative directions because of our own hubris. That mistaken belief in our own utter infallibility sometimes limits our imagination.

On the other hand, this is what I find quite refreshing about our exchange. I am stoked to communicate with someone like yourself. You are young, adventurous, have an open mind, and are quite enthusiastic. While I believe that the scientists of whom you speak are of a similar mindset, I question whether they will ever be able to think as freely as you will.

I also find Mr.Joe Davis an interesting character. However, I suspect that if you asked some of your senior academic advisors about their opinion of him, they would consider him little more than a silly old man. On the other hand, the fact that you would seek counsel from such a free and original thinker speaks volumes about you. Please never lose that sense of intellectual independence. Based on our communications, I have regained some of my faith in the next generation of scientists coming along.


dex



posted on Dec, 11 2014 @ 03:09 PM
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a reply to: neoholographic

Here's the JPL Article .

Very interesting. It looks like they are accumulating more evidence for potential past life on Mars all of the time. A Martian lake several hundred meters deep, that existed over a time period of several tens of millions of years sounds like a good place for life to have developed. However, there remains the issue of the conflict between existing climate models and the newest wet Mars theory. But, there is also strong evidence for subsurface water on Mars today.

The Curiosity Rover has detected organic compounds. But it's currently questionable whether those were of Mars origin or not. Apparently there will be a news conference on December 14th:

Last spring, several Curiosity team members reported the detection of some simple organics that appeared to be Martian. The findings were not definitive, but NASA has scheduled a news conference Dec. 14 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union with “new information” about the search for organics. “Our original interpretation — that there was a good chance the organics we were seeing are Martian — hasn’t changed,” said Daniel P. Glavin of the Goddard Spaceflight Center, an author of the earlier paper. “This interpretation will be expanded on at A.G.U.”

NY Times

The downside of all of this is that the lake would have existed at least 3.5 billion years ago. After that time Mars apparently became inhospitable to life. Given the Terrestrial model, that would indicate that at best there would have been primitive microbial life there, as there was on Earth at that time.

A major problem there is that it is quite difficult to detect such microbial life on Earth, even with ready access to the fossil paleo-environment, and a multitude of analytical tools at our disposal. Thus, given the extremely limited availability of Mars samples and the proper context in which to analyze them, it will be tough to substantiate the connection between the perceived Mars lifeforms in the OP and a supportive environment.

So, the evidence is building for pre-historic ancient life on Mars. But there are several missing pieces of the puzzle that are needed for the science community to accept it as "clear and convincing."

For my part, as a subscriber to the Panspermia++ theory, I already accept that life is common in the universe. So, I expect life, both ancient and extant, to be discovered throughout our solar system.


dex



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