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Thread: Life discovered on Mars?

  1. #1
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    Life discovered on Mars?

    https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/scie...155500053.html


    Didn’t see an article from Universe Today. Is this legit?

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    A quick search found several links concluding that the individuals purporting life on Mars deals with shoddy schience. So bogus is the bet.
    Here is one of the links. https://www.popularmechanics.com/spa...-life-on-mars/

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    Life discovered on Mars?

    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    A quick search found several links concluding that the individuals purporting life on Mars deals with shoddy schience. So bogus is the bet.
    Here is one of the links. https://www.popularmechanics.com/spa...-life-on-mars/
    Paywall. Or enough like one.

    ETA: better link

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.pop...-life-on-mars/

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRH View Post
    https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/scie...155500053.html


    Didn’t see an article from Universe Today. Is this legit?

    Bunk.

    Rhawn Joseph is listed as lead author. Rhawn has a long history of pushing pseudoscience. If you do a Google search on this site you’ll see his name come up at times in prior stories. He was involved in the infamous Journal of Cosmology which billed itself as a serious scientific journal but let junk be published. It was initially taken seriously by some news organizations but after they got burned, that changed pretty quickly.

    Anyway, Rhawn has notions about a very odd variation on panspermia, thinks evolutionary theory is wrong (he isn’t a creationist but has a different notion), insists the universe must be eternal (no Big Bang) and takes about anything as evidence for his notions.

    Here, he is looking at pictures and saying “It looks like life to me” with no real evidence.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Paywall. Or enough like one.

    ETA: better link

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.pop...-life-on-mars/
    Still paywalled for me. I think I looked at Popular Mechanics a month or two ago, so I think it works if you haven’t looked at the site.

    This article seems pretty good though, the author says much the same as I do on Rhawn Joseph and makes some other good points:

    https://www.cnet.com/news/no-nasa-ph...on-mars-sorry/

    The author points to an earlier article they wrote that gives you an idea of what Rhawn is like:

    https://retractionwatch.com/2020/10/...ringer-nature/

    The new article also touches on one of the issues I was thinking about: The surface of Mars is a terrible place for mushrooms. It’s usually very cold, so regular fungi would freeze, dry out, or both. They would be killed by the UV, there is almost no atmosphere and what exactly would they live on? Sure, you could speculate about some kind of life that might be able to survive on Mars, but it would have to be very different from Earth life. This is just something that he thought looked like mushrooms, so that’s what’s claimed.

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    The article is published in Advances In Microbiology, a journal produced by Scientific Research Publishing, which is on Beall's List of potential predatory publishers.

    Predatory publishers offer peer-reviewed open-access publication, but in fact accept any old nonsense and then charge the authors a fee "to cover costs". View anything published in a Beall's List journal with extreme caution. Particularly when the published article is on a topic that is not within the journal's declared sphere of interest. Mushrooms are not microbiology, and a creditable microbiology journal would have returned the manuscript with a polite rejection without even sending it out for review.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2021-May-07 at 10:21 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Bunk.

    Rhawn Joseph is listed as lead author. Rhawn has a long history of pushing pseudoscience. If you do a Google search on this site you’ll see his name come up at times in prior stories. He was involved in the infamous Journal of Cosmology which billed itself as a serious scientific journal but let junk be published. It was initially taken seriously by some news organizations but after they got burned, that changed pretty quickly.

    Anyway, Rhawn has notions about a very odd variation on panspermia, thinks evolutionary theory is wrong (he isn’t a creationist but has a different notion), insists the universe must be eternal (no Big Bang) and takes about anything as evidence for his notions.

    Here, he is looking at pictures and saying “It looks like life to me” with no real evidence.
    Found basically the same thing, got me excited for a minute that I had to put aside something I was working on and write about this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    The article is published in Advances In Microbiology, a journal produced by Scientific Research Publishing, which is on Beall's List of potential predatory publishers.
    The Cnet article mentions that. It also mentions that they were caught republishing articles. They claimed it was a mistake. The Cnet article linked to this Nature article with details about it:

    https://www.nature.com/news/2010/100...l/463148a.html

    The Cnet article also mentions that the author looked into the people shown on the editorial board, and one wrote back that he hadn’t been on it for 5-6 years, but is still listed there.

    I think it is safe to say Advances in Microbiology definitely isn’t trustworthy.

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    I’m a bit annoyed, I did a Google site search and didn’t find some of the posts I expected on Rhawn Joseph. Many years ago I wrote a fairly long post on some of the things I found on him. Really “out there” claims, shady interactions with other people, how the Journal of Cosmology had the same look and feel of his personal website but he tried to look independent, how an editor on Journal of Cosmology would go around the internet to yell at people that criticized him. She did that here and a number of other sites. Also, David Brin was asked to review one of his articles for JoC and got a nasty response from her for pointing out its faults. You can read about that here:

    http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/...gins-that.html

    It also has his comments on the article. Joseph has also written about cosmology, and my impression from his articles is that he is deeply ignorant of the subject matter. The articles tend to be of the same limited quality I often see in our ATM section. He doesn’t subtly fail, the errors are at a level anyone with general knowledge on the subject would notice.

    I’ve heard he was also known for “out there” videos on YouTube, but I haven’t seen them. Anyway, there is just a lot of odd stuff about him.

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    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    https://www.researchgate.net/publica...uential_Images
    Just found this. After scimming through it, lots of pictures of stuff that looks like life. Extra ordinary claims, no extra ordinary evidence.

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    Seems like a rehash of the “martian trees” nonsense from 10 years ago.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.spa...-illusion.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Seems like a rehash of the “martian trees” nonsense from 10 years ago.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.spa...-illusion.html
    Well most fungi are saprophytic so they would need dead trees to feed upon, or animals. So it’s a shame, we nearly found a dead murdered martian to really get excited about. That would be newsworthy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Seems like a rehash of the “martian trees” nonsense from 10 years ago.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.spa...-illusion.html
    In part, it is. Those are most of the rapidly changing surface features being discussed. And the “blueberries” (hematite spherules) account for most of “mushroom” claims. There is actually a section where standard interpretations are discussed, Phil Plait is even mentioned (he apparently discussed pareidolia but the article claims standard interpretations are based on pareidolia, never mind there is much more to it than that). These aren’t new claims and they aren’t based on new data.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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    I don't know nothing, but these images looked like ice to me. That is a kind of wild speculation in itself, but the last time I checked, ice isn't alive.
    Last edited by Solfe; 2021-May-08 at 02:45 PM.
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I don't know nothing, but these images looked like ice to me. That a kind of wild speculation in itself, but the last time I checked, ice isn't alive.
    And sublimation of ice as the sun rises seems quite plausible. Even dead ice.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Scientists assume that Mars has an atmosphere containing oxygen and nitrogen, and this is a necessary condition for the origin of life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cannongray View Post
    Scientists assume that Mars has an atmosphere containing oxygen and nitrogen, and this is a necessary condition for the origin of life.
    I don’t know why you say “ assume”. The atmosphere of Mars has been measured repeatedly, so scientists know what is there.


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    Quote Originally Posted by cannongray View Post
    Scientists assume that Mars has an atmosphere containing oxygen and nitrogen, and this is a necessary condition for the origin of life.
    No, this is what is known about the atmosphere on Mars. Nitrogen and oxygen exist but as a tiny percentage of an incredibly thin atmosphere, less than 1% of the density of Earth’s atmosphere at sea level. From Wikipedia:

    95.97% carbon dioxide
    1.93% argon
    1.89% nitrogen
    0.146% oxygen
    0.0557% carbon monoxide
    0.0210% water vapor
    0.0100% nitrogen oxide
    0.00025% neon
    0.00008% hydrogen deuterium oxide
    0.00003% krypton
    0.00001% xenon

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    No, this is what is known about the atmosphere on Mars. Nitrogen and oxygen exist but as a tiny percentage of an incredibly thin atmosphere, less than 1% of the density of Earth’s atmosphere at sea level. From Wikipedia:
    Mars shows evidence of having had a thicker atmosphere, enough to support liquid water at least. Unfortunately we can only speculate the content of that early atmosphere.

    Does that mean life? No. But it means the current near-vacuum desiccation is not the whole story.
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    I predict that at the very least evidence of ancient microbial life will be found. I would not be in the least surprised and in fact also believe that life will still be found sub surface in the future as exploration continues.... Mars had and continues to have liquid water in certain places which leads me to believe this. Conditions favorable to life more than likely existed on Mars billions of years ago (according to quite a few scientists) and the degrading conditions most likely happened slowly enough for some life to adapt. In fact, there are probably multiple places in the solar system where this is true.
    Last edited by Grant Hatch; 2021-May-21 at 06:55 PM.
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    If we do discover signs of life on Mars, it would be interesting to see if it shares biochemical or genetic commonalities with Earth life, as this might be evidence confirming the panspermia hypothesis. But we haven't yet found any such signs.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  23. #23
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    And, as always, XKCD has a relevant comic:
    https://xkcd.com/2462/
    nasa_award.png
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Given the proximity of mars and known exchanges of materials between Mars and Earth I expect that genetic commonalities WILL be found. There are some interesting theories about early Venus as well...... Is it possible that Venus had the earliest conditions favorable to life in our solar system?
    Last edited by Grant Hatch; 2021-May-22 at 03:58 AM.
    The timeless ends of formless starts....all ends in dark and begins in light...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant Hatch View Post
    Is it possible that Venus had the earliest conditions favorable to life in our solar system?
    Well, we have not found life on either Mars or Venus, so any speculation on the nature or timing of that life is just blue-sky at this point. But IMO it's not looking good for those worlds so far.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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