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Thread: Clarke says Mars has life??

  1. #1
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    Clarke says Mars has life??

    Hi all,

    Was reading on space.com where Arthur C. Clarke says that orbital photos show huge areas of vegitation on Mars. Since I always considered Clarke a scientist as well as a writer I found this a little startling.

    http://www.space.com/astronotes/astronotes.html

    Does anyone know what photos he's talking about?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    First off, Vernors, welcome to the board!

    Secondly, I don't have a clue to what Arthur C. Clarke is talking about! There are NO Mars photo's showing what he claims. Startling is too mild a word. I'd call it scary. If this was April 1st, I'd say that it was some kind of joke. It's just real hard to believe that he would say something like that.
    The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. Isaac Asimov

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F.
    First off, Vernors, welcome to the board!
    Thanks for the welcome. This board looks like a gem and I'm glad to have found it.

    Secondly, I don't have a clue to what Arthur C. Clarke is talking about! There are NO Mars photo's showing what he claims. Startling is too mild a word. I'd call it scary. If this was April 1st, I'd say that it was some kind of joke. It's just real hard to believe that he would say something like that.
    I had to read it a couple of times myself. I found it hard to believe that something like that would have escaped the notice of even the general news services. The source of the quote seems reputable enough, though. Maybe Clarke's been reading too much Percival Lowell?

  4. #4
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    Let's not forget Clarke's age. While many people retain their mental faculties into their nineties, a significant number do not.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, he's lost it for sure.

    Hey Vernors, are you named after the sublime ginger ale of the same name?

  6. #6
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    Clarke has been a bit odd of late. There was his belief in Martian worms a few months back. I've no idea if Clarke really believes these things or if he's trying to use his reputation, by making these outlandish claims, to spur further space exploration. It is troubling to think that Clarke could be descending into senility.

  7. #7
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    Found this on a quick google search:
    "I'm reasonably sure there must be life in this solar system, on Mars or on Europa, and other places. I think life is probably going to be ubiquitous, though we still don't have any proof of that yet -- and still less, any proof of intelligent life anywhere.
    That quote dates from 2 years ago, so Clarke's life on Mars belief is a recent development it seems.

    However, I gotta admit that it does look like there are trees in this photo of Mars.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK
    Yeah, he's lost it for sure.

    Hey Vernors, are you named after the sublime ginger ale of the same name?
    Yep, I just happened to have one sitting on my desk when I had to think of a alias.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vernors
    Yep, I just happened to have one sitting on my desk when I had to think of a alias.
    Right on. Wish I could find that stuff around here, but it's a rare item. 8)

  10. #10
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    Let's not forget his forgettable TV series from about 20 years ago "The Mysterious World of Arthur C. Clarke" where he purported to investigate mysterious phenomena from history (Loch Ness monster, Antikithera machine, von Daniken rehash) without providing any explanations whatsoever.
    There is a difference between what IS and what we would LIKE TO BE. Arthur's opinions are coloured by his imagination, which is pretty vast. Nevertheless, he's still one of my favourite SF authors (with Gentry Lee).

  11. #11
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    He's brought this up before.

    We talked about this on the old board.

    from 2001- http://www.space.com/peopleinterview...rs_010601.html

    The pictures of what he's talking about can be found here-
    http://www.marsunearthed.com/Selecte...larkeTrees.htm

    I seem to remember (but I can't find it now) that what we were seeing was frost, and as it melted/evaporated it would look like it grew.

    (If you Google "Banyan trees clarke mars" all you get are crank sites, lol)

    I'll try to find the frost reference later.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Senor Molinero
    Let's not forget his forgettable TV series from about 20 years ago "The Mysterious World of Arthur C. Clarke" where he purported to investigate mysterious phenomena from history (Loch Ness monster, Antikithera machine, von Daniken rehash) without providing any explanations whatsoever.
    I would disagree with that. He is a SKEPTIC, just a little less rigid then most of us are. I loved that show and I thought he did a fairly good job of presenting the other side. He at least said "I don't know what to think" when presented with a real puzzle. He actually preformed experiments on that show. Like the time he had a bunch of school children try to reproduce a map of mars that was on the black board. The ones in front did a good job. The ones in back drew lines and a canal system very similar to good ole Percival. I think it is rather unfair to Clarke to say he didn't provide any explanations whatsoever. He was very skeptical of both the Antikithera machine and Von Daniken. I think maybe you're confusing his show with the lame "In Search Of" with Nimoy, which NEVER showed the other side.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rift
    He's brought this up before.

    We talked about this on the old board.

    from 2001- http://www.space.com/peopleinterview...rs_010601.html

    The pictures of what he's talking about can be found here-
    http://www.marsunearthed.com/Selecte...larkeTrees.htm

    I seem to remember (but I can't find it now) that what we were seeing was frost, and as it melted/evaporated it would look like it grew.

    (If you Google "Banyan trees clarke mars" all you get are crank sites, lol)

    I'll try to find the frost reference later.
    Hmmm, from the 2001 interview, ""I'm quite serious when I say have a really good look at these new Mars images," Clarke said. "Something is actually moving and changing with the seasons that suggests, at least, vegetation," he said.", and then from the 9/19/03 interview, ""Mars is the obvious place," Clarke said. "I'm now quite convinced that Mars is infested with life. Mars orbiter photographs show huge areas of vegetation. I don't think there's any doubt anymore on that. And where there's vegetation, they'll be something nibbling on it". Sounds like he's managed to stare at the pictures long enough in the last couple of years to convince himself, at least. Wonder how long it'll be before he sees octospiders (did I remember that name right)?

  14. #14
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    I stared at those pictures long enough and saw a three dimensional ant. :-P

  15. #15
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    He might be trying to peak interest in the minds of the public. Public opinion seems to be a better space lobbyist than the aerospace industry.

    Trees on Mars? Fish on Europa?
    Lets go see!

  16. #16
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    We should go put some cows on the Moon or something, then.

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