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Old 11-19-2019, 11:12 PM
 
3,695 posts, read 2,655,521 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
As I've said a number of times before in this forum, the claim that scientists are denying the existence of life on Mars is just plain false. Saying they're making up "clap-trap" reasons is unfair to the researchers in question as well as being a misunderstanding of how the scientific method works. Scientists admit there are suggestive results, but in the absence of further data that's all they are -- suggestive. That's why we're sending a rover intended to directly target the discovery of life next year.
  • When the Viking biology experiment gave positive results in the 1970s, researchers were initially excited then tempered their enthusiasm when an alternative explanation involving peroxide chemistry was proposed. Today, the issue has been reopened and some suggest the original experiment did in fact discover life on Mars.
  • In 1996, objects were found in a Martian meteorite that may represent fossil life. Or not. There's been a lot of discussion and back and forth. More than 20 years later, we still don't know the answer.
  • In 2004, the Spirit rover showed signs of cohesion in the soil in its tracks; this is consistent with it having disturbed a microbial mat under the top level of soil. To date we don't have a better answer than that.
It's a dialog over time, and eventually the answers are found. At present, we don't know whether any of these things represent life on Mars. The answer is more research and experiments targeted to find additional data that will resolve the ambiguities in the interpretation of the earlier data. This is not anyone being short sighted or pushing an agenda; it's how science works. No one would be more excited to identify life on Mars than these researchers who have devoted their lives to finding it.

Sources supporting the above:
Repped and great, great post.

One other small point is that for a couple of decades now I have heard scientists represent the changing methane levels as a potential sign of life. The evidence is not there yet, but no one is more hopeful of finding life than the scientists who are looking for it, and it is a we bit strange that our friend thinks so.
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Old Yesterday, 11:17 AM
 
5,213 posts, read 8,214,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
You know how they make up all kinds of clap-trap reasons why there is no life on Mars.
I know how you're using the term "clap-trap", but I have to admit it gave me quite a chuckle. The very first thing that came to mind is that Claptrap is also the name of a humorously eccentric and annoying character (a mono-wheeled general purpose robot) in a popular computer game franchise: "Borderlands".
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Old Yesterday, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
4,962 posts, read 3,896,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cachibatches View Post
One other small point is that for a couple of decades now I have heard scientists represent the changing methane levels as a potential sign of life. The evidence is not there yet, but no one is more hopeful of finding life than the scientists who are looking for it, and it is a we bit strange that our friend thinks so.
Based on what we know at present about planets and moons and the conditions needed for life, I'd rank the places where life might be found in the solar system like this (from most to least likely):

Europa (Jovian moon)
Enceladus (Saturnian moon)
Mars
Titan (Saturnian moon)
Venus (clouds)
Ganymede and Callisto (Jovian moons)

Least likely to host life:

Venus (surface)
Mercury
Io (Jovian moon)
then everywhere else in solar system
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Old Yesterday, 06:13 PM
 
Location: PRC
3,262 posts, read 3,369,306 times
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Quote:
Based on what we know at present about planets and moons and the conditions needed for life, I'd rank the places where life might be found in the solar system like this (from most to least likely):
This says it all - we just dont know how life will evolve on distant galaxies because the conditions are going to be different. By assuming life is like ours - even in our solar system - is a total misunderstanding and oversimplification of the whole issue.

Life will develop in ways which are best for the environment they live in. Low gravity means less muscle is needed to move around for example - hence the image of skinny ET. We do not even know if the life form will have 2 arms and 2 legs let alone breathe oxygen or have a physical body.

THAT is how fixed and unimaginative science is.
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Old Today, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
4,962 posts, read 3,896,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
This says it all - we just dont know how life will evolve on distant galaxies because the conditions are going to be different. By assuming life is like ours - even in our solar system - is a total misunderstanding and oversimplification of the whole issue.
You really don't understand science or how evolution works. At all.

The laws of physics are the same everywhere in the universe. The forces driving evolution are the same everywhere in the universe and are based on the laws of physics and the propagation of inherited features that increases the likelihood of survival. The relationships between organisms in an ecosystem are conditioned by their environment and the "agreements" they've come up with for using each other and the environment: things like symbiosis, competition, ecological niches, etc. There are only so many possible solutions to a problem like killing prey, or viewing in the electromagnetic spectrum.

This is why you see some organisms in a forest living on the ground, some in the middle levels of the trees, some in the top of the canopy; why you see organisms that have specialized for activity in the night hours and others for the day or at twilight; why you see some mushrooms associated with certain species of trees; why the independently developed eyes of the squid and the mammal are so similar.

Quote:
Life will develop in ways which are best for the environment they live in. Low gravity means less muscle is needed to move around for example - hence the image of skinny ET. We do not even know if the life form will have 2 arms and 2 legs let alone breathe oxygen or have a physical body.
ET is a fantasy, as is unbodied life. There are plenty of life forms here on earth that have more than two arms and legs, no biologist would disagree with this paragraph, so what you're saying is just a straw man argument. What an organism that is capable of developing technology DOES need is sufficient brain power (however it's structured) to solve complex problems, a good visual system no matter what part of the electromagnetic spectrum you're talking about, a long enough life to develop relationships and build a culture (which is why you don't see octopi building spaceships - they're intelligent but not social and live about a year), limbs that can manipulate as well as our hands do with our opposable thumbs, etc.

All these requirements are going to be the same no matter where you go in the universe. Because again: the laws of physics and the forces driving evolution and ecosystems will be the same no matter where you go. Claiming otherwise is fantasy, not reality.

Quote:
THAT is how fixed and unimaginative science is.
Sure, Paul.

Last edited by Vasily; Today at 02:03 PM..
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Old Today, 08:56 PM
 
3,695 posts, read 2,655,521 times
Reputation: 7217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
Based on what we know at present about planets and moons and the conditions needed for life, I'd rank the places where life might be found in the solar system like this (from most to least likely):

Europa (Jovian moon)
Enceladus (Saturnian moon)
Mars
Titan (Saturnian moon)
Venus (clouds)
Ganymede and Callisto (Jovian moons)

Least likely to host life:

Venus (surface)
Mercury
Io (Jovian moon)
then everywhere else in solar system
Nice post,and , interestingly enough, Pluto is now believed to have a liquid ocean in the interior, probably from radioactive decay.
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