Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Martian Deception? Perhaps Not

My colleague, Listener 43, may have jumped the gun in posting his commentary on the discovery of life on Mars.
  1. He does note that this was based on a study of only one experiment, ignoring the data from two other contemporary experiments.
  2. He seems not to realize that this analysis runs counter to many others of the same data which found no evidence of life.
  3. While sampling technology has certainly advanced in the intervening years, the analysis of this data has noting to do with updated sampling, but rather only with new analyses of the same samples.
Given the relatively short distances between Earth and Mars, there is little doubt that material from each planet can be found on the other - in fact, we have found Martian rocks in the antarctic - likely due to its being "splashed" out of the planetary gravity well by comet, asteroid, or meteorite impact.
It is much easier to believe - if any of this material really does represent the presence of life - that  its source was actually Earth rather than Mars.
Of course, there is still little reason to believe that there is the evidence of life in those samples at this point.

Clearly, my skepticism on this subject should not be taken to imply that I doubt the existence of any extraterrestrial life. It simply means that we haven't really found any evidence in these experiments, any more than we have evidence of global warming in the carefully curated sub-sample of tree-ring data.
In much the same way, I know that the Earth has warmed since the depths of the Ice Age; I simply don't know that the global fleet of HUMMERs is uniquely to blame, and would never use such a paucity of evidence to claim it to be so.

Posted by Procrustes 17

Related Posts:
More Mars-Related Deception
The Ice Age is Coming, Baby!
Travels in Space and Time
Occam and Lunatics
NASA Avoids Smelling Like Musk
Arctic Ozone Depletion

The Sun in Spain Shines Mainly in the Day

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