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Life on Mars, revisited

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posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 10:27 AM
This article has been presented twice already, but neither thread quite got the import of it:

Mars life may have been missed years ago

New analysis of data sent from Mars 34 years ago showing there was no organic material on the planet suggests maybe there was after all, U.S. scientists say....

"We can now say there is organic material on Mars, and that the Viking organics experiment that didn't find any had most likely destroyed what was there during the testing," said Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, who performed a re-creation of the original testing....

Researchers replicated the Viking mission with soil from the most Mars-like environment on Earth -- the Atacama Desert in Chile -- and heated the sample in the same way it was heated by the Viking instruments on Mars. The small amount of organic material known to be in the Atacama soil was detectable low temperatures, but was broken up into water and carbon dioxide when heated.

Mars Daily

In other words, when the initial results of the Viking lander were published, they contained a "false negative." Being conservative in their judgement, the scientists reported this in the form of "no evidence for life on Mars." This statement was acknowledged at the time as being the result of inconclusive evidence. No-one ever stated that there was definitely no life present on Mars, simply that the experiment didn't provide any evidence for it. Now we know why. This still can't be construed to mean that there is life on Mars, simply that we have yet to devise an experiment that has found definitive proof.

posted on Sep, 16 2010 @ 12:30 PM
reply to post by DJW001

It also gave NASA a credible 'out' if indeed they did find evidence of life, didn't it.

Scenario; Perform a low temperature test of the sample, detect organics...perform a high temperature test of the sample, destroy organics, result = inconclusive test result reported to the public.


posted on Oct, 11 2010 @ 06:39 AM
This article was in the Daily Mail today - apparently evidence of Carbon Dioxide has been found:

New research has found that the Red Planet was once rich in carbon dioxide, increasing the chances that Mars has harboured life.

Widespread deposits of carbonate rock are buried a few miles beneath the surface, according to scientists.

I've included this text and link in one of my threads about Mars. I'll put a link there to your thread for people who want to come and discuss it.

edit on 11-10-2010 by berenike because: edit to add link and text

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