September 21, 2004

Here's Why Nobody Asked Me

from - smijer

Every once in a while, I form an opinion on a subject that I am simply too uneducated to form a reliable opinion on. This is one of those times. Without further apology, this is my opinion:

This represents the best evidence so far of life on Mars, and better evidence than I expected to be seen based on my rudimentary understanding of extraterrestrial geology and chemistry, along with my skepticism that Mars ever harbored life.

I'm by no means convinced that Mars harbors or ever did harbor life, but my threshold of skepticism is tangibly lowered by reports that traces of methane and water vapor are found in the same atmospheric regions there.

Furthermore, as long as water exists in any form on or under the surface of Mars, and as long as there was a time when Mars harbored life, I would expect that life would continue there. When temperatures there began to drop, I would expect that living organisms there would adapt by evolving mechanisms for harvesting solar, geothermal, or chemical energy to keep small pools of liquid water melted out of any icebanks that were near such an energy source, allowing life to continue into the extreme conditions of the modern Martian environment. My skepticism is applied to the idea that Mars ever harbored life to begin with. I think that idea is very far-fetched, and it is for that reason that I am skeptical that there exists life on Mars now.

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Posted by smijer at September 21, 2004 10:41 PM
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