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Life on Mars (NASA, not show)


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#1 of 9 mattCR

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Posted April 28 2010 - 09:41 AM

http://www.thesun.co...fe-on-mars.html

That's an incredible discovery.


Quote:

The recent missions have gathered evidence of sulphates on Mars, a strong indication there is water on the planet and therefore life.

Previous missions to Mars have concluded there is probably water on the planet.

But the NASA boffins said the recent missions have gone further than any others in proving there is life on Mars.

They were particularly excited about the discovery of a sulphate called gypsum which, it has emerged recently, is found in large quantities among fossils in the Mediterranean.




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#2 of 9 Johnny Angell

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Posted May 02 2010 - 02:26 PM

I wonder two things: 1) What kind of discovery will be required to get Earth's attention to the fact that life is or has existed outside of Earth; and 2) Once that realization is made, what effect it will have on Earth's cultures?

Even a fossil of a microbe, if that's possible, would be a fantastic discovery.

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#3 of 9 Edwin-S

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Posted May 08 2010 - 07:21 AM

Why would the discovery of life outside of Earth change anything in regards to Earth's cultures?


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#4 of 9 mattCR

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Posted May 08 2010 - 07:47 AM



Originally Posted by Edwin-S 

Why would the discovery of life outside of Earth change anything in regards to Earth's cultures?


There are many faiths who have used as a proof of the existance of god the fact that life only exists on earth.  Some use it as a sign of the importance of humanity.  Some branches of very fundamentalist faiths (both Islamic and Christianity fundamentalists) have contended that this is proof of the story of creation.


Small groups, but it would be a bit like discovering the earth is round to flat-earthers.


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#5 of 9 Johnny Angell

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Posted May 10 2010 - 04:10 PM



Originally Posted by mattCR 




There are many faiths who have used as a proof of the existance of god the fact that life only exists on earth.  Some use it as a sign of the importance of humanity.  Some branches of very fundamentalist faiths (both Islamic and Christianity fundamentalists) have contended that this is proof of the story of creation.


Small groups, but it would be a bit like discovering the earth is round to flat-earthers.


I think it would disturb more than a few small groups.  Don't forgot, we used to think the universe revolved around us and culture wise, I don't thank we've come very far from that.  I think the culture shock would be severe if in addition to discovering life elsewhere, we found there was intelligent life elsewhere.


Actually, I think it would be a culture shock if we discovered non-human intelligent life on this  planet.  What would happen if we discovered that porpoises were as intelligent and humans?


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#6 of 9 Chris Lockwood

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Posted May 19 2010 - 11:52 AM

I think people are reading too much into this.


First, the existence of water doesn't mean there is or was life.


Second, if there is or was life on Mars, odds are pretty high it's something very basic like bacteria or the like. No one expects to find anything even as complex as am insect there.


Third, there would be doubt as to whether the life was from Mars or some sort of contamination from whatever devices were "finding" it. Or whether the life got there from Earth some other way, or the scientists misinterpreted the data or made it up.


I don't think this would really conflict with most people's beliefs since however life got on Earth, it could have gotten on another planet the same way, therefore it doesn't prove or disprove any faith.


As uninterested as most people seem to be in things like this, I doubt it would be seen as the big news it is. That would probably take finding some more complex life forms on another planet.



#7 of 9 Johnny Angell

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Posted May 20 2010 - 06:40 AM



Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood 

I think people are reading too much into this.


First, the existence of water doesn't mean there is or was life.


Second, if there is or was life on Mars, odds are pretty high it's something very basic like bacteria or the like. No one expects to find anything even as complex as am insect there.


Third, there would be doubt as to whether the life was from Mars or some sort of contamination from whatever devices were "finding" it. Or whether the life got there from Earth some other way, or the scientists misinterpreted the data or made it up.


I don't think this would really conflict with most people's beliefs since however life got on Earth, it could have gotten on another planet the same way, therefore it doesn't prove or disprove any faith.


As uninterested as most people seem to be in things like this, I doubt it would be seen as the big news it is. That would probably take finding some more complex life forms on another planet.

Presumably, the vehicles we send to Mars are sterlized and I also think it's likely we could tell the difference from something native and something foreign.


I think it would be BIG news if we found so much as a microbe on Mars.  I also think it would disturb a lot of people.  We've got a bunch of people killing other people simply because they believe something different than the killers do.  Humans can be very inflexible.


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#8 of 9 Chris Lockwood

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Posted May 24 2010 - 04:01 AM



Originally Posted by Johnny Angell 



Presumably, the vehicles we send to Mars are sterlized and I also think it's likely we could tell the difference from something native and something foreign.


I think it would be BIG news if we found so much as a microbe on Mars.  I also think it would disturb a lot of people.  We've got a bunch of people killing other people simply because they believe something different than the killers do.  Humans can be very inflexible.


We've already had an incident where the experts had trouble telling what planet something came from. Remember a few years ago, when there was a story that microbes from Mars had been found on a meteor (or something) that came from Mars to Earth? It didn't get big headlines. Then later they said they think the microbes got on it after it got to Earth.


So if they have that much trouble identifying stuff that's on Earth and can be accessed pretty easily, it seems like it would be even harder to determine if what they're looking at is on Mars at the time.


If it's a manned mission, how would they be sure everything was sterile when it left Earth?



#9 of 9 Johnny Angell

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Posted May 24 2010 - 06:11 AM



Originally Posted by Chris Lockwood 




We've already had an incident where the experts had trouble telling what planet something came from. Remember a few years ago, when there was a story that microbes from Mars had been found on a meteor (or something) that came from Mars to Earth? It didn't get big headlines. Then later they said they think the microbes got on it after it got to Earth.


So if they have that much trouble identifying stuff that's on Earth and can be accessed pretty easily, it seems like it would be even harder to determine if what they're looking at is on Mars at the time.


If it's a manned mission, how would they be sure everything was sterile when it left Earth?

I recall it getting big time news attention.  If I recall correctly, the Prez (Clinton at the time) held a news conference about it.  Some of the news conference footage was incorporated into the movie Contact, I think.


It's already extremely important for space vehicles to be extraordinarily clean in order to work in outer space.  I don't think it's unreasonable task to completely sterilize the vehicles totally.  Human explorers on Mars will be in self-contained suits that will been have sterilized as all their equipment will be.


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