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The Debate Over Whether We’ve Already Found Life on Mars

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posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 12:50 PM
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Is an expert panel really needed to assess whether Viking discovered life? I don’t think so. Scientists compare older data with newly obtained results—such as those from the Curiosity Rover—all the time. And the consensus remains that the bar for claiming current life on Mars has not been reached. What we need is a new mission dedicated to life detection, especially before we send humans to Mars.

But I do agree with Levin’s second request. It would be highly instructive to run the Labeled Release Experiment one more time on Mars, with amino acids separated into left (L)-handed and right (R)-handed compounds.

If carbon dioxide is produced by L-amino acids only, it would indicate life as we know it, because life on Earth—with very few minor exceptions— only uses L-amino acids. If it is produced by R-amino acids only, it would indicate life as we don’t know it, and possibly a separate origin of life on Mars (more exciting!). And if both types of amino acids react at roughly the same rate, it would support the explanation that there is no life, and that the observations are only due to a chemical reaction, because chemistry does not distinguish between the different handedness of molecules.


The Debate Over Whether We’ve Already Found Life on Mars, Continued

The author of this story agrees that the Viking’s Labeled Release Experiment should be run on Mars again. He is no Daily Mail hack either. His name is Dirk Schulze-Makuch.



Dirk Schulze-Makuch is a Professor at the Technical University Berlin, Germany, and an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University and Washington State University. He has published eight books and nearly 200 scientific papers related to astrobiology and planetary habitability. His latest books are The Cosmic Zoo: Complex Life on Many Worlds and the 3rd edition of Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints.


So again I will ask the question why has the Labeled Release Experiment not been run again. Why has no experiment to test for life on Mars been run since Viking’s Labeled Release Experiment.

The first Viking launched on 20 August 1975. The US has had five successful Mars landings since the Viking landers and two unsuccessful missions. The 2020 Mars rover will launch in less that a year and it will have no experiment to look for life on Mars. It will look for signs or markers of past life and look for organics on Mars. Organics can be present without life.

That is eight times over almost 45 years that NASA has passed on looking for life on Mars. Many say, "Oh if NASA found life they would tell us, it would mean increased funding for them. It would be the biggest discovery in our history." Then I have to ask why are they not looking for it?

The best answer I can come up with is NASA already knows there is life on Mars. They are sending experiments and they are classified. The Viking landers did find life and it is classified. There is good reason to keep this information classified. This would also mean they are getting black project funding. This is the best answer IMO.

If you can think of a better answer to this question, please post it here if you have the time.


edit on 25-10-2019 by LookingAtMars because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 01:15 PM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars

If you can think of a better answer to this question, please post it here if you have the time.


Sure. NASA ran the experiment. It did not find life on Mars according to the definitions at the time. It has decided to look for evidence of past life on Mars in subsequent experiments. End of story. No conspiracy needed.



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

The purpose of government is to suppress the public from becoming "excited" about anything. This is why they haven't run the Labeled Release Experiment ever again.



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 01:20 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: LookingAtMars

If you can think of a better answer to this question, please post it here if you have the time.


Sure. NASA ran the experiment. It did not find life on Mars according to the definitions at the time. It has decided to look for evidence of past life on Mars in subsequent experiments. End of story. No conspiracy needed.


They way I understood what they ran the second time was designed differently. The scientist who designed the Viking experiment was ranting about it. I will try to find a video.



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 01:21 PM
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a reply to: schuyler



It has decided to look for evidence of past life


More than 40 years later it has decided to look for evidence of past life?

What about "it would mean increased funding for them. It would be the biggest discovery in our history."

I can't accept nothing to see here. It does not compute for me. Your answer is not logical to me.



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 01:28 PM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015
a reply to: LookingAtMars

The purpose of government is to suppress the public from becoming "excited" about anything. This is why they haven't run the Labeled Release Experiment ever again.



That may be the case. That is a good reason to keep it classified. There are other reasons to keep the information classified also.



edit on 25-10-2019 by LookingAtMars because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 02:06 PM
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ATS readers and writers may find it of interest that the Viking Lander's LRE technology was the basis of a clinical laboratory instrument which can ID a microbial sample, say, from a body fluid, within hours. I once worked in a hospital lab that used one.



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 02:13 PM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars
a reply to: schuyler



It has decided to look for evidence of past life


More than 40 years later it has decided to look for evidence of past life?

What about "it would mean increased funding for them. It would be the biggest discovery in our history."

I can't accept nothing to see here. It does not compute for me. Your answer is not logical to me.


You asked for an alternative explanation. I gave you one. You have provided zero evidence that there is some sort of conspiracy here. You have to make up stuff to make your explanation work. Your answer is not logical to me.



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 02:15 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: LookingAtMars
a reply to: schuyler



It has decided to look for evidence of past life


More than 40 years later it has decided to look for evidence of past life?

What about "it would mean increased funding for them. It would be the biggest discovery in our history."

I can't accept nothing to see here. It does not compute for me. Your answer is not logical to me.


You asked for an alternative explanation. I gave you one. You have provided zero evidence that there is some sort of conspiracy here. You have to make up stuff to make your explanation work. Your answer is not logical to me.


Sorry, but you are wrong. This is evidence.



The first Viking launched on 20 August 1975. The US has had five successful Mars landings since the Viking landers and two unsuccessful missions. The 2020 Mars rover will launch in less that a year and it will have no experiment to look for life on Mars. It will look for signs or markers of past life and look for organics on Mars. Organics can be present without life.

That is eight times over almost 45 years that NASA has passed on looking for life on Mars. Many say, "Oh if NASA found life they would tell us, it would mean increased funding for them. It would be the biggest discovery in our history." Then I have to ask why are they not looking for it?


ETA-


You asked for an alternative explanation. I gave you one.


And I do appreciate your answer. You have every right to beleive that. I was just letting you know:


Your answer is not logical to me.





You have to make up stuff to make your explanation work.


Can I ask what you think I made up for my explanation to work?




edit on 25-10-2019 by LookingAtMars because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 03:26 PM
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Well, the argument has some logical merit... Brandenburg's theory was that finding life on Mars would disengage JPL's robotcs program in favor of a human rush there ... though a human trip might favor NASA in a way, though I'm not clear on the current funding trees between the two orgs.

The argument for life being found with the Viking mission in the 70's has always seemed logical to me, too.

I'd venture something to do with Martian life is being hidden ... aside from the whimsy and idiocy, there seems a living there there.



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 03:53 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

NASA is a hoax.



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 04:15 PM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars

Can I ask what you think I made up for my explanation to work?


Everything you listed above. Your argument sounds like this: "NASA ought to be looking for life because I think if they found life that would mean increased funding for them. They are not looking for life in the way I think they ought to, therefore there is life on Mars."

That's a circular argument. Let me make it even simpler: Because they are not looking for life, therefore there must be life. That makes no sense at all.
edit on 10/25/2019 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 05:20 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler

originally posted by: LookingAtMars

Can I ask what you think I made up for my explanation to work?


Everything you listed above. Your argument sounds like this: "NASA ought to be looking for life because I think if they found life that would mean increased funding for them. They are not looking for life in the way I think they ought to, therefore there is life on Mars."

That's a circular argument. Let me make it even simpler: Because they are not looking for life, therefore there must be life. That makes no sense at all.


Nothing in the below quote is made up. It is historic fact. Do you need links?



The first Viking launched on 20 August 1975. The US has had five successful Mars landings since the Viking landers and two unsuccessful missions. The 2020 Mars rover will launch in less that a year and it will have no experiment to look for life on Mars. It will look for signs or markers of past life and look for organics on Mars. Organics can be present without life.

That is eight times over almost 45 years that NASA has passed on looking for life on Mars. Many say, "Oh if NASA found life they would tell us, it would mean increased funding for them. It would be the biggest discovery in our history."




You have to make up stuff to make your explanation work.


What I made up is the explanation. I may be wrong about it. But there must be a reason why NASA quit looking for life on Mars.

I never said "there must be life" and clearly wrote:



The best answer I can come up with


Let me make it even simpler:

NASA looked for life.

NASA stopped looking for life after one set of experiments, even though "it would mean increased funding for them. It would be the biggest discovery in our history."

I don't buy they just said "meh... it didn't work, lets give up". That's not what scientists do. That is not good science.

That is in no way a circular argument.


edit on 25-10-2019 by LookingAtMars because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 05:30 PM
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It's always going to be hard to prove that there isn't life on Mars because you can't prove a negative. So what we're stuck with is debating about the efficacy of the tests. But that's science in a nutshell, anyway. Test, test, and then test again. It just takes a long time and a lot of money to try to replicate the tests or design something better and send it all the way to another freekin' planet.

Like everything else, we'll have to wait. Then argue more about the new tests.



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 05:48 PM
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originally posted by: Blue Shift
It's always going to be hard to prove that there isn't life on Mars because you can't prove a negative. So what we're stuck with is debating about the efficacy of the tests. But that's science in a nutshell, anyway. Test, test, and then test again. It just takes a long time and a lot of money to try to replicate the tests or design something better and send it all the way to another freekin' planet.

Like everything else, we'll have to wait. Then argue more about the new tests.


Agree 110% with everything you said. My bolding in the quote.

The life on Mars question is one of the bigger questions to answer. So for eight missions and over 40 years we send all kinds of test equipment to look at just rocks. I don't buy it and it is not logical. Spend all that time and money on Mars to just look at rocks, because one set of tests we did were said to have failed.


edit on 25-10-2019 by LookingAtMars because: add s



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 06:41 PM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars
So for eight missions and over 40 years we send all kinds of test equipment to look at just rocks. I don't buy it and it is not logical. Spend all that time and money on Mars to just look at rocks, because one set of tests we did were said to have failed.

To be fair, not all of them have been focused on rocks. And there have been quite a few failures, so you can't count them. Don't worry. We have plenty of time to find it if it's there and forever to look some more if those answers aren't satisfactory. Unless we die before then, and in that case, we won't care.



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 07:04 PM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars

That is in no way a circular argument.


Yes, I read links. That is not proof of ANYTHING. Your argument is COMPLETELY circular. There is no logic in it at all. Basically NASA did not do what YOU think they ought to have done, THEREFORE there must be life on Mars. This is completely nonsensical, one of the worst arguments I have ever read on ATS.



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

So you say.



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 07:40 PM
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originally posted by: Blue Shift

originally posted by: LookingAtMars
So for eight missions and over 40 years we send all kinds of test equipment to look at just rocks. I don't buy it and it is not logical. Spend all that time and money on Mars to just look at rocks, because one set of tests we did were said to have failed.

To be fair, not all of them have been focused on rocks. And there have been quite a few failures, so you can't count them. Don't worry. We have plenty of time to find it if it's there and forever to look some more if those answers aren't satisfactory. Unless we die before then, and in that case, we won't care.


Thank you for pointing that out. I should of been clear and stated that a very large majority of the money spent on Mars exploration is for the study of Mars geology. In comparison a very small amount is spent on Mars biology.

Is there life on Mars is a much bigger question than how did this rock come about. Not to say Mars geology is not important.

edit on 25-10-2019 by LookingAtMars because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 25 2019 @ 08:03 PM
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originally posted by: LookingAtMars
Is there life on Mars is a much bigger question than how did this rock come about. Not to say Mars geology is not important.


I have always said that all of our space exploration has the ultimate goal of finding ET life. Some missions are more direct about it than others. We'll keep looking. Until perhaps we just give up on it someday, like a passing fad. Not everyone in the world cares about it. In fact, I'd say most people don't. Finding bacteria on Mars isn't going to pay their bills.



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