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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old August 29 2013, 05:05 PM   #1
137th Gebirg
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Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

A not-to-subtle BSG reference, but I guess there's new evidence, based on various mineral compositions (specifically Molybdenum), that lend additional credence to life coming from Mars on a rock:

http://news.sky.com/story/1134431/li...say-scientists
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Old August 29 2013, 06:13 PM   #2
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

Gives new meaning to, "What rock did you crawl out from under?"
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Old August 29 2013, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

That's pretty flimsy evidence for such a bold claim.
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Old August 29 2013, 06:42 PM   #4
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

Nice theory. I'll file this one in the unproven category though.
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Old August 29 2013, 06:43 PM   #5
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

IIRC, the claim isn't exactly new. There have been theories and other tenuous evidence over the years (at least 20 years to my recollection) that have pretty much re-hashed the same message of a Mars-based origin of Earth life. From what I can tell, this is just the latest piece that supports the existing claim. Certainly not a "slam dunk" proof, by any stretch, but interesting nonetheless.
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Old August 29 2013, 07:06 PM   #6
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

Still no explanation for the creation of life. If it didn't originate on Earth, it originated elsewhere. It still had to originate somehow.
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Old August 29 2013, 07:07 PM   #7
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
IIRC, the claim isn't exactly new. There have been theories and other tenuous evidence over the years (at least 20 years to my recollection) that have pretty much re-hashed the same message of a Mars-based origin of Earth life. From what I can tell, this is just the latest piece that supports the existing claim. Certainly not a "slam dunk" proof, by any stretch, but interesting nonetheless.
Right.

And while the new evidence might indeed increase the likelihood that life in our solar system began on Mars, what Professor Benner says here, quoted from the OP article, is ridiculous:

"It's yet another piece of evidence which makes it more likely life came to Earth on a Martian meteorite, rather than starting on this planet."
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Old August 29 2013, 07:15 PM   #8
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

Yeah, but to be fair, he did only call it "evidence". If he had said "proof", then yes, that would be patently idiotic.
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Old August 29 2013, 07:52 PM   #9
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

To be fair, the guy just wants some headlines.
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Old August 29 2013, 08:10 PM   #10
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

Agreed. Molybdenum ores are common and moly is abundant in the ocean. He claims that the oxide wouldn't have been available on Earth because our surface didn't have much oxygen early in our history. Well, that's because all the oxygen was tied up in minerals like molybdenum oxides.
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Old August 29 2013, 08:13 PM   #11
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
To be fair, the guy just wants some headlines.
Well, yeah, it's like NASA's little trick of prepping for a major press event, spooling everyone up, with cameras and world-wide coverage, only to find out they discovered a new kind of dust particle somewhere. These research groups are so strapped for cash, they need to drum up interest somehow. If it means injecting a little hyperbole into the mix just to get people to notice, they'll likely do it. This particular case appears no different. A minor discovery, yes, with potential implications for bigger discoveries, but certainly not mind-bogglingly huge. Just a baby-step.
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Old August 29 2013, 08:35 PM   #12
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

Any news that starts with "scientists say" like we are some kind of monolithic block is most likely to be bullshit, or at least heavily sensationalized.
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Old August 29 2013, 08:56 PM   #13
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

I preferred the discovery that Mars is rich in perchlorates, which while very toxic to humans, are used in many solid rocket motors. The high concentration of perchlorates in Martian soil, around a half percent in some cases, indicates that life probably originated on Mars, built fairly crude rocket with SRB's, and then flew to Earth. The relative abundance of perchlorates on Mars and Earth (a rare pretty rare compound here, but common there) makes sense if the big boosters were used on Mars while only small braking rockets were used to land the tiny little Martian capsules on our planet.

I think I'll schedule a press conference.
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Old August 29 2013, 09:02 PM   #14
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

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Old September 1 2013, 07:14 AM   #15
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Re: Scientists are again saying that life here began out there...

gturner wrote: View Post
The relative abundance of perchlorates on Mars and Earth (a rare pretty rare compound here, but common there) makes sense if the big boosters were used on Mars while only small braking rockets were used to land the tiny little Martian capsules on our planet.
That brings to mind a story I read many years ago.

Link
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