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Nasa avoids using the F' word on mars.

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posted on Jul, 2 2004 @ 11:24 AM

Almost saying the forbidden word
Now, twice during NASAs news conference, scientists danced very close to this line. They had the word on their minds, it seems, and they were determined not to pronounce it. Instead, they talked around it.

With what looked to me with a gleam in his eye, project scientist Stephen Squyres gave some background about the mineralogy in the crater that Opportunity had done its exploring of the bedrock layers.

"What kind of rocks preserve signs of ancient life? he mused. Minerals that precipitated from water. They can trap the evidence for that." And the minerals at Opportunity's site are exactly such minerals, the results indicate.

MITs Dr. John Grotzinger, in response to a question, cautioned that even on Earth, fossils were very rare in ancient rocks. But he too mentioned off-hand that "these minerals [provide] ideal candidates to be time capsules, to preserve something that was there."

So is Nasa hiding evidence of fossils I don't think so. Read this

If there are fossils, though, he continued, in order to be recognized as such they'll have to meet the Knoll criterion. This is named after Andrew Knoll, an expert on fossilized Earth bacteria who is on the mission science team. He is the author of Life on a Young Planet.

Morton explains: The Knoll criterion is that anything being put forward as a fossil must not only look like something that was once alive -- it must also not look like anything that can be made by non-biological means.

And so far, on Mars, weve obviously just scratched the surface on the non-biological surprises that the planet has to offer. So however much we may be tempted by exotic shapes, we arent justified in classifying them with what on Earth we can prove were formed by living things.

So are these really fossils? I think so. I think nasa does also. They wouldn't put out these pictures of obvious looking fossils if they were trying to hide something. They just can't classify these as fossils untill they know for sure.
They don't understand martian geology completely well enough to classify what anything is really.

[edit on 2-7-2004 by Hoppinmad1]

posted on Jul, 2 2004 @ 11:29 AM
Very interesting, indeed. Sounds exactly like something NASA would do...

posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 09:41 AM
I have recently (Thursday?) read an article in which Nasa states that evidence that liquid water flowed in rivers and lakes and seas on Mars has been found. That was 3 billion years ago, when the planet was warmer. I just can't find it anymore... Any help appreciated.

posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 09:45 AM
I think that it's highly doubtful that the Rovers would make a fossil find.
You only have to look at the Earth to see how rare fossils actually are. And when I say rare - I do mean rare.

You also need a totally specific set of condtions that Mars has not shown so far.

posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 09:59 AM
didnt a meteor or meteorite hit antartica that was like 13000 years old and came from an impact on mars. wasnt microbe organisims found fossilized in it. so maybe no life now. but wasnt there life at one time?

posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 10:08 AM
I think also, yes. But some have argued that this microbe or fossile thing would have been captured on earth anyway...

About life on Mars itself, I wouldn't say it is likely, but it is definitely possible. We know now that water flowed, and it is one of the most important thing for life to develop as far as we know today. So maybe was it only unicellular organisms or microbes, nothing really evolved, but honestly, what a tremendous news it would be if we found it!

posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 10:14 AM
well why would organisims need water or oxygen i think we need it because it is what we have. but if they had helium or nitrogen or something i think they could breath that. and couldnt they survive by eating minerals in the planets ground. maybe there are small underground organisims on mars.

posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 10:17 AM
Yes, why not? I mean, really, anything is possible, and probably some other forms of life can evolve without water or in totally different environments. But what we're looking for, basically, and at this time at least, is something that we can recognize as life, i.e. some life that is somewhat similar in a way to terrestrial life.

posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 10:22 AM
yes but see evoloution and adaptation is changing to your surroundings so you can survive so i mean an organisim could survive on mars.

posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 04:46 PM
Well I've seen lots of photographs on this website and others that show things that are almost convincingly some kind of fossil. And while fossils are rare on earth what if there was life on mars abundantly then it had a rapid enviroment change to what it is today. Basically it would freeze dry everything and preserve fossils well. I don't know but it sounds very possible.

posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 07:02 PM
why would it be hard to find fossils on mars here on earth if we look at river beads or where once ocean floors had been we find a lot of fossils and aren't these the places that the rovers are looking at on mars.

posted on Jul, 3 2004 @ 07:09 PM

Originally posted by WestPoint23
why would it be hard to find fossils on mars here on earth if we look at river beads or where once ocean floors had been we find a lot of fossils and aren't these the places that the rovers are looking at on mars.

Its because it's another planet, and we really don't know what to look for. We have absolutely no idea what life would have been like on mars and untill we find some 'living' organisms on another planet(doesn't nessisarily mean mars tho) then we 'might' be able to ID some mars rocks as a fossil. Until then anything that looks like a fossil on mars just 'looks' like a fossil. Doesn't necessarily mean it is a fossil.

posted on Jul, 4 2004 @ 03:29 AM
Even if NASA found fossils they probably
wouldnt tell us on account of them being complete
ass holes

posted on Jul, 4 2004 @ 03:35 AM
N.A.S.A= Never A Straight Answer

posted on Jul, 4 2004 @ 04:29 AM
Hrm, all this whining, would you rather they just came out and announced fossils when they werent sure and theres not a great deal of reason to suspect its correct?

Would that be more responsible scientific behaviour?

Firstly, that article appears to be talking about the Press conference held a few months ago when Opportunity confirmed that the Meridiani site had once had water. I watched it at the time, and have seen it since, and if its the one I am thinking about, James Oberg was being a little irresponsible about how he covers. Yes they were avoiding saying the word, but its not like it was 'on the tip of their tongue', its just that the questions were clearly (and in one case literally if I recall correctly) pushing towards that topic.

If there was a confirmable discovery of this type on Mars there would be a great deal of fuss about it. Its a surefire way to give space exploration a kickstart.

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