A visual visit to Mars
August 4th, 2011
02:34 PM ET

Mars may have flowing saltwater, study says

Scientists have found new evidence for possible saltwater flows on Mars. The discovery was announced at a NASA news conference Thursday at the space agency's headquarters in Washington.

Alfred McEwen, lead author of the Science journal study showing these observations, and his team observed Mars using the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. His team identified features on some planet slopes that appear to fade in the winter and come back in the spring.

These flows occur near Mars' equator in its southern hemisphere, where temperatures would be suitable for liquid water. Since Mars is about 50 million miles farther from the sun than Earth is from the sun, temperatures rarely break the freezing mark. Before the new findings, water was thought to exist in the form of ice in Mars' polar regions, and has also been detected at mid-latitudes. This is the first time there's good evidence for liquid water existing on the planet.

At the equator, summer highs can reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 20 Celsius). But in the middle latitudes, where the observations disclosed Thursday were taken, temperatures range from about 32 degrees F at summer noon to overnight lows of -75 F (-60 C).

The water implicated in the new study is expected to be briny because previous study of Mars has shown that its surface is salty. The flows are finger-like and small; nowhere near the size of major rivers on Earth. They are also very narrow: 0.5 to 5 yards, or meters, wide.

Seven sites with these possible liquid flows have been confirmed on the planet, with 20 to 30 more possible, scientists said. In some locations, there are more than 1,000 individual flows.

“What makes these new observations so interesting is they occur at much lower latitudes [closer to the equator], where temperatures are much warmer and where it’s actually possible for liquid water to exist,” said Arizona State University geophysicist Phil Christensen, one of the scientists who studied the images beamed back from the orbiter.

The study does not prove water exists, but identifies it as the best explanation. It's worthwhile to think about alternative reasons for these observations, but none seems to fit as well as briny water, McEwen said.

"I think it’s going to be laboratory experiments on Earth that give us the best confirmation or refutation," he said.

The water may be more dense and viscous than what we're used to on Earth, to the point that it may appear syrup-like.

So what does this mean for life on Mars? If organisms live on the planet, they might go into a resting state during winter, if Mars does have water that flows as a liquid in warmer times and freezes at others, said Lisa Pratt, professor of geological sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington.

"It is our first chance to see an environment on Mars that might allow for the expression of an active biological process, if there is presently life on Mars,"  Pratt said.

CNN's Matt Smith contributed to this report.

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Filed under: In Space
soundoff (977 Responses)
  1. Merlin

    It's sad NASA has to release this story during upsetting economic times, but what a discovery. Imagine what could happen if a greenhouse could be constructed on Mars. There are some real possibilities, here. It could become habitable and a viable and sustainable base could then be constructed. Yeah, I know, it would mean spending money and taking risks. Say, isn't that what our pioneer descendents did??!!

    August 5, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  2. Charles H.

    The people who say we should stop "wasting" money on space programs when there are so many problems here on Earth/with the debt/with the economy/etc. demonstrate conclusively why math education is so important. I will demonstrate:

    U.S. economy: $14 trillion GDP per year
    U.S. budget: $3.1 trillion FY 11 = 22% of GDP
    NASA budget: $16 billion FY 11 = 0.5% of U.S. budget = 0.1% of U.S. GDP

    World economy: $40 trillion GDP per year

    If we can't solve the world's problems now with that kind of money swirling around, how is bumping up the spending a few more fractions of a percent going to solve anything?

    Now, let's take a look at the REAL benefits of space technology (not the spin-offs, which, while cool and useful, can never justify the investment in and of themselves):

    Communications satellites - everything from television to satellite phones to GPS
    Earth-sensing satelllites - early detection of crop failures and droughts, super-accurate pinpointing of agricultural conditions to help farmers get maximum yield
    Weather satellites - self-explanatory
    Sun-observing platforms - early detection of heightened solar activity, mitigate damage to telecommunications and energy infrastructure

    Direct economic payoff - in addition to all these things, at the height of the Apollo program, over 400,000 people were working in high-tech jobs, whether as feds or contractors; that's 400,000 households earning middle-class salaries and SPENDING that money back into the community - or do people think we just launch bundles of cash into space and set fire to them?

    John Maynard Keynes proved long ago that public spending has to make up for lost private spending to get out of a recession - not only that, but investments in high-tech have an immediate, intermediate, and long-term payoff in boosting present spending and future intellectual and technical capital. President Hoover moved to cut spending in the face of the Great Depression... how'd that work out for him?

    The most important reason to explore space is to understand our place in the cosmos and how it all works. But along the way, there are real, tangible benefits that earn a solid return on investment. Space exploration is a net boost, not a net drain, for the U.S. and world economies.

    August 5, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Keel Hauler

      Very well said! I agree completely. 🙂

      August 5, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • ADiff

      "John Maynard Keynes proved long ago that public spending has to make up for lost private spending to get out of a recession".... Actually not at all. Were that the case, then the 'Great Depression' would have been ended by the massive (for the time) spending and public works programs of both Hoover and Roosevelt. But these not only failed to end the downturn, but may actually have even made it more persistent. Unless you're an economist, you might want to be a tad more cautious claiming what this or that expert proved or said. In this regard you remind me of those laymen conservatives who argue against individual tax increases of any kind with reference to the Laffer Curve, without any real understanding of it's scope, limitations or context..... You make a cogent argument. Why devalue it with spurious claims to 'Authority'?

      August 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  3. Edsr

    With all the problems we have now on earth and in this country...who in hell cares about water on Mars?

    August 5, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Keel Hauler

      Lots of people care.

      August 5, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  4. Barry

    Water is important, because the earth is currently facing a freshwater shortage, which shows no signs of improving.

    Although approximately ¾ of the earth is covered by water, most of the water is saltwater, and humans, other animals and plants need freshwater to survive.

    A couple of years ago Harper’s Magazine published a lengthy article about the currently diminishing freshwater supply.
    I encourage others to read this fine but troubling article.

    August 5, 2011 at 9:53 am |
  5. Tonelok

    @Me
    .
    Can't tell if troll, or just stupid...

    August 5, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  6. Barry

    I would like to see the international community engage in a joint mission to Mars. The expense could be shared internationally, the world could pool its resources, and leading experts from all over the world could be employed to accomplish this.

    August 5, 2011 at 9:39 am |
  7. curtegg

    Congratulations Alfred M. and the HIRISE team. Let's hope that science lab follow-ups will prove your hypothesis. Its been a pleasure working with the MRO team gathering enough science data for future study for many years.

    Well done!

    August 5, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  8. SpaceTheFinalFrontier

    Beam me up already! lets do this, you say theres water, i say lets hop in a ship and check it out! worst case scenario we find nothing of use but at least id be among endless possibilities of something new, instead of stuck on a rock where everything is restricted and peoples favorite phrase is "no thats impossible, we have no money". @#$%! not having any money to do anything, id rather be poor and transcend then slump down to your depressive level. GO NASA!

    August 5, 2011 at 9:24 am |
  9. CitizenJP

    Why are we curious? Where does it arise from? What is it supported by and how can it finally be satisfied completely?
    It is a mechanism of self-preservation or preservation of the ego or our individual identity. It is supported by the ignorance inherent to ego as ego itself is a product of ignorance. It can only be satisfied when we find our true Self by going within not without to Mars.

    August 5, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • suportivemom

      We are afraid of what we don't understand, so we try to destroy it, bad-mouth it or ignore it. Once we were afraid of fire until we learned to harness it to benefit ourselves and his society. How much money was spent over countless generations to better utilize "fire" and make it safer and more productive using less. We have gone from burning sticks to LED light and chemical heat. Space exploration is not much different., the sciences earth-bound or space motivated impact all life here and ultimately on other worlds as well.

      THE Spanish inquisition and other religious and political suppression, only shows how we cannot harness our own fear and let it control us rather than us controlling it and letting it fuel our curiosity.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  10. alex

    hey would you all shut the fuck up and look at what were talking about here this could be proof of life on mars who knows maybe one day we will colonize there and you fucks can get jobs on the new planet so you can quit your bitchen

    August 5, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  11. Longlive Bohdi

    Salt water? If there is surf than I'm there duuuuuuuuude

    August 5, 2011 at 8:34 am |
  12. Alex

    It really bothers me how scientists always look for water on planets. They think that if there iswater, then there might have been life there at some point or its a beginning stage. But they're extraterrestrial. No one said they live off water or oxygen. Maybe their bodies run off something else. You think that if there were aliens aware us and they used water, that they wouldve taken it away and used it for themselves.

    But maybe its just me who thinks this.

    August 5, 2011 at 8:25 am |
    • The Guy

      The researchers are primarily looking for signs of life and because water is the standard for all life as we know it across the board, they have to start there. Because our atmosphere is so similar to Mars' it's possible and likely that water is the essence of life just as it is here.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  13. Joe - Providence

    Forget about Mars – it is science fiction – the radiation alone is fatal to higher orders of organic life. It has no magnetic poles to deflect solar rays and its far too cold for humans to ever inhabit – poison atmosphere’s, freezing temperatures and harmful radiation means we could never be able to colonize Mars – We would never be able to stray from a radiation shield in the event of a solar flare because even a space suit isn’t protection enough. The Moon is a better less hostile place to colonize because at least it is close enough to the earth for support.

    August 5, 2011 at 7:38 am |
    • Alex

      Who said that mars cant have extraterrestrial life? Isnt that why they're extraterrestrial? If they can live out in space or on another planet, don't you think they'd be a lot different then we are. Their bodies are probably completely different and run off different things. We aren't looking for humans.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  14. Jeff

    The solar system (and any supposed "water") is nothing but a liberal conspiracy orchestrated by the unions to take away our guns and destroy the American family. We all know "God" only put water on Earth for us to drink 7,000 years ago and since the Bible mentions nothing about water on Mars, it obviously doesn't exist.

    August 5, 2011 at 6:21 am |
    • The Guy

      @Jeff, I'm not going to field that since I assume your post is extreme sarcasm.

      August 5, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  15. trapjaw

    i could write a lot of stuff but to keep it simple for simple minds. Thumbs up for NASA and the space program, three cheers to God, and it sucks to be the people who have no faith in either one.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:39 am |
    • Joe - Providence

      What has this story have to do with your imaginary god? Mars is real, the science that enabled us to learn about it is real and NASA is real – But god is an invention by man just like the Stay puff Marshmallow man – its fun and serves a purpose but it’s just imaginary. Remember Mars is named after a god honestly and earnestly worshipped by the Greeks and Romans even great and wise thinkers like Socrates believed they were real.

      August 5, 2011 at 7:46 am |
  16. Joseph Stalino

    Anyone who thinks investment in science and technology is wasteful is untermenschen and needs to be exterminated, or at least sterilized.

    August 5, 2011 at 5:14 am |
    • Barry

      Two wrongs do not make a right.

      August 5, 2011 at 9:44 am |
  17. FlyGuyInSJ

    @capercorn

    Maybe if you alleged math and science types went out and got real jobs instead of relying on NASA to give you a government job, you'd be better off.

    WRT salty water on Mars, well, that's just fine but it doesn't put food on anyone's plate here on Earth, so it'll have to wait until the economy improves a lot before we even think about funding it. It's a simple matter of priorities (and no, getting a government handout job at NASA doesn't count as putting food on anyone's plate; the taxes it takes to pay for that take food off of others' plates, and that's a non-starter when we have 400K new unemployment claims every month).

    August 5, 2011 at 4:25 am |
    • Keel Hauler

      So it's OK to "take the food off of the plate" of thousands of specialized workers at NASA, to unreallistically try to feed thousands more? The guys at NASA, and the thousands of people at other companies that build stuff for NASA, don't matter because they don't, in your self-centered, narrow-minded opinion, contribute anything to our society? Well you're not only a hypocrite, your just dumb. Space studies contribute something that you have little of: KNOWLEDGE. Technology too, including the kind that you've used here use to express your garbage-like thoughts.

      August 5, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  18. gupsphoo

    Mars isn't even mentioned in the Bible. That's why Christians don't even want to acknowledge the existence of Mars.

    August 5, 2011 at 4:00 am |
  19. Hi

    ? Why all the excitement? We've been monitoring the Martian icecaps growing and shrinking for years.

    August 5, 2011 at 3:58 am |
  20. somebody smarter than you

    i hope there would be ailens there!!!!

    August 5, 2011 at 3:54 am |
  21. somebody smarter than you

    I hope there would be martian living there!!!

    August 5, 2011 at 3:53 am |
  22. Rob

    A few erosions on Mar's doesn't prove or even indicate that water could have caused it because a billion other things could have caused it too. I think scientists make these kinds of claims ("Mars may have salty water") so they can prove to ignorant politicians/businesspeople that they are making progress so they can keep their funding.

    Mar's atmosphere and geological makeup is vastly different from ours and maybe, just maybe, life on Mars has evolved in a much different way too. Look at how complex life is here on Earth. We once thought that the stomach was far too acidic to support life– but now we know certain bacteria can survive in it. Just look up extremophile (Archaea) and you'll see how diverse life on Earth can be– life in the universe is probably much more diverse than ours. Scientists need to think outside of the box. I'm sure something is living on Mars.

    August 5, 2011 at 3:46 am |
  23. brijesh

    Dear Author,

    Pass message to NASA that rather to spend money on MArs to find water and all why cant spend those money on earth to help & develop nation so debt kind of situation will be avoided in future

    August 5, 2011 at 3:44 am |
    • FlyGuyInSJ

      As a government organization, NASA cannot reduce debt except by reducing its budget. Governments do not produce, they only consume. Moreover, even if it wanted to work on that, NASA is not an economics think tank; space exploration is its area of expertise.

      August 5, 2011 at 4:27 am |
  24. Nostalgia

    So what? Mars is a dead world. Scientists should work to revive Sahara desert or Siberia or Canadian prairies and halt the dying of our own oceans on Planet Earth.

    August 5, 2011 at 3:25 am |
    • Crocker

      Man has this need to explore. To go where no Man has gone before. To screw up those places like we are doing here on Earth.

      August 5, 2011 at 3:28 am |
  25. Alien

    I saw rover yesterday.. taking photographs of my backyards.. do you guys want to come here..

    August 5, 2011 at 3:11 am |
    • Crocker

      I didn't know they had internet access at the state mental hospital.....

      August 5, 2011 at 3:14 am |
  26. Engineering Services Chennai

    yes., i agree with this.NASA needs more proofs to prove this Info.............

    August 5, 2011 at 3:06 am |
    • Crocker

      Huh?

      August 5, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • FlyGuyInSJ

      Borat? Is that you?

      August 5, 2011 at 4:28 am |
  27. sapsxy

    Isn't Mars much closer to Sun ? ..so if thats true,..then how are humans suppose to bear the heat when we already can't bear sun's heat intensity in the hot summer months ?

    August 5, 2011 at 3:03 am |
    • Crocker

      Go to the polar regions?

      August 5, 2011 at 3:25 am |
    • FlyGuyInSJ

      Earth is the third planet, Mars is the fourth. You figure out which is closer to the sun.

      August 5, 2011 at 4:30 am |
  28. Grace

    OK so now there is or may have been water on Mars. To the creationists our world was created 6000 years ago, dinosaurs walked with Jesus and Adam and Eve were the first people on earth (nobody can tell me though who the "daughters of ham" were who their sons married.) Unless Adam had a middle name Ham, then there were other people on this planet. Now we all know there were civilizations around and people way before 6000 years ago and other religions tell us about wars in the heavens,there are 50,000 year old cave paintings of what appear to be spacemen, etc, etc, etc. Now if we haven't been visited by aliens, don't worry we are not alone in this universe. To think that we are, in this incalculable vastness and that only WE are God's chosen planet, talk about a bunch of pompous @sses we are. I really hope that one day beings from other planets come down and say Oh by the way we were there when Sodom and Gomorrah were wiped out by nukes, or we were there when the Red Sea parted, when Ezekiel saw his wheel within a wheel, that was one of our ships, and oh ya, angels???? Those were us with jetpacks or antigrav packs on. What in the heck are the priests and pastors going to do then? Go broke probably!

    August 5, 2011 at 3:00 am |
  29. Crocker

    "I think it’s going to be laboratory experiments on Earth that give us the best confirmation or refutation," he said.

    Nope, its going to take a MANNED mission to the planet to find out once and for all. THAT will be the best confirmation.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:56 am |
  30. eclectic

    I think Indians will find water on Mars in one mission instead of many missions of NASA as they did on moon.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:30 am |
    • Ibanezrg82

      It's not a competition it's already there. There only question is how do we pay for such a mission? It's going to be a world effort. I'm 29, I'm hoping to see it when I'm 50.

      August 5, 2011 at 2:35 am |
  31. Ibanezrg82

    The cool thing about a manned mission to Mars is that we could do it, last there for a while, but those people would have to come back at some point, or die there. The main problem is that Mars lacks a magnetic field, like we are so blessed to have on Earth, that most people would have at 60% chance of getting some form of cancer after a year or two. The magnetic field is like a force field protecting all life on Earth, and it has lasted since the start, weakend, and started over again. Mars Doesn't have that. If anything it would be underground, Total Recall was somewhat scientiffically correct.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:25 am |
    • Ibanezrg82

      Lol sorry for no spellcheck but it's true. If we do a manned mission to Mars, people are going to die if anyone comes back. We just don't have the technology to prevent radiation. We don't have shields like in Star Trek. Or Deflector Shields. Let alone gravity inducing technology.

      August 5, 2011 at 2:28 am |
  32. eclectic

    ktisis

    I loved the way you wrote but only to the point that it contained some nice syntax. As for meaning, I couldn't find nor the desire to find for it was all too long & boring.

    Anyway love you for I love all.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:23 am |
  33. CDaeda

    Start building condo's on Mars so tourists can go native in this alien environment.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • Ibanezrg82

      Screw that, the deposit for such a condo would be at least 500 billion, plus 500 million a month. You want a desert view? Move to Vegas.

      August 5, 2011 at 2:20 am |
  34. Logistics

    there once was life on mars. then the planet became uninhabitable. pperiod, lol let it be known. as time progresses the planet regains its structure as anything would. example like how our earth once thrived in an ice age. now look at the planet. now whenever we get to mars and go out on expeditions. we'll dig up some ancient ruins. as farr as the bible,? i don't believe in it. its been how longg since it was made? we honestly don't know what could've been altered in that that book. i believe in god. we as in this whole universe was created by something. not just a particles and atoms and what not happen to mix up. scientists. gett real. for all we know aliens could've messed with our DNA, created us, and brought us from mars ageses ago. rightt?

    August 5, 2011 at 2:15 am |
  35. ktisis

    Indeed, there can be no possible greater investigation than the meaningful and open-minded study of my relationship to my creator. All other disciplines pale into insignificance by comparison, but are yet not diminished in their own respective and relative importance. Read what Pascal had to say about the matter, I believe that he understood the solemnity and the significance of the ramifications of that important inquiry.

    To know everything there is to know about a rocking chair in the middle of your living room (including its physics, chemistry, geographic position, and function) does not prove that it wasn't created by someone. Unfortunately, some have unwittingly veered down the illogical path which postulates that greater and greater knowledge about the universe equals less and less of evidence for an intelligent origin.

    It is an axiom of logic that nothing can completely explain itself (in the physical universe). A does not explain A. The law of causation and the principle (law) of cause and effect affirm that something at least equal to or (more likely) greater than the universe must have caused it, and that logically we must arrive at an ultimate uncaused cause greater than the universe. Since the effect cannot be greater than the cause, and since intelligent, personal, independent beings (humans) exist in the universe, whatever led to the universe (the cause) must also be at least as intelligent, personal, and independent. It is inescapable and conclusive, only the conclusions aren't comfortable to many.

    Good night.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • ADiff

      If you convinced by the arguments of Pascal, who however brilliant was a Jansenian crackpot, you should at least read Spinoza and Kant, to see why the Reductio argument you summarize is wrong, and were it not, does not lead deterministically to either God or meaning. I hate to break it to you, but logic cannot justify faith.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  36. Joe

    The only problem I have with liquid water on Mars is the low pressure of the Martian atmosphere. At pressures that low, water on the surface would quickly vaporize and frozen water (ice) will sublimate. On the moon you could pour liquid water onto the surface and it wouldn't last long due to the lack of any atmosphere. Mars has an atmosphere, but it's very thin and produces very little surface pressure; much let than on earth.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:13 am |
    • Ibanezrg82

      The atomosphere of Mars is thin, you are right. But being thin, it fluctuates. In the lowest "sea levels" it may be possible enough to sustain it at the surface. But that's not what this is about. They are suggesting a liquid "ocean" occasionally seeps up out of the surface, flows, and freezes and boils at the same time.

      August 5, 2011 at 2:18 am |
  37. eclectic

    Its takes decades to simpliyfy things whereas it takes a couple of years know the ways to load ones narration with encyclopaedic data & jargon.

    God save the humans from the acamedicians & illusory & verbose lecturers.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:11 am |
  38. ktisis

    Andrew, it is very late here, and as a teacher, I must retire to bed. I have enjoyed your discourse. I would love to discuss Quantum fluctuation theory, (which incidentally does not deny causation, merely it fancies a type of hyper-or-other dimensional sourcing). And we could discuss entropy, and the possibility of overcoming it through the addition of external energy sources and biological mechanics...it would be delightful. You can visit some further writings of mine over at god-and-logic.blogspot.com if you wish, and perhaps there we can become acquainted in a forum that holds not the limitations of this cnn blog.

    I applaud your studies, but it is of utmost importance to seek to rid one's self of biases which tend to only lend credence to comfortable and desirable conclusions. It is a process I went through in college many many years ago. Uncomfortable, but worthwhile. Read some of Anthony Flew's journey from abject materialism to his (non-Christian) theism of his latter years. Muggeridge and Ravi Zacharias are also some interesting reads (the latter a former Hindu-turned Christian theist).

    The debates of John Lennox with Richard Dawkins are worthwhile, as well as the debates of William Lane Craig versus many of the most prominent atheists/agnostics of our time.

    Talk to you soon. I wish you the best.

    August 5, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Andrew

      I have a personal hatred for William Lane Craig, I find his philosophy to be simplistic (that's being cheritable), and his discussions reliant on very poor understandings of science. And I would suggest you keep in mind my biases are perhaps no more extreme than yours. I have my own inherent biases, but you are not without your own.

      I'd perhaps have been a bit more willing to indulge you if you hadn't taken that Wald quote woefully out of context. That indicates a lack of integrity which I find a bit disturbing. You asked me to respond to the quote, and I did, by showing you that you misrepresented what he was trying to say. That's a very poor place to start if you want to convince me you are interested in honest discourse.

      August 5, 2011 at 2:20 am |
  39. eclectic

    ktisis

    The genius lies in simplyfying things & not in Obscurantism.

    August 5, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  40. dex

    i can tell you wear exactly to find water on mars...on the moon as well...it is salt water as well...they did not come from their own sources...they came from here... during the flood of biblical times the underground water spewed up during the earthquakes and created projectiles of ice, water, and rock into space...colliding with the surface of mars and the moon creating crators (the majority on one side of the moon and mars) meaning most impacts were around the same time (later in life more projectiles from other sources impacted as well)...so within those craters you will definitely find salt water....it doesnt take a scientist to figure that out...they look for the evidence of water they need to dig into the craters... the moon would be a good start for them...but supposely they cant make a moon base..instead they throw an ISS in orbit that will end up pretty much be abandoned in a decade

    August 5, 2011 at 1:46 am |
    • Ibanezrg82

      Tell me where your craters and cracks dealers are, because you don't know anything about the geosphere of Mars.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:50 am |
      • dex

        lol foolish atheists

        August 5, 2011 at 1:57 am |
      • dex

        i follow the nasa site quite often... i like atheists coming up with theories and concepts of hwo we got here...quite entertaining... i know more about mars than you in fact lol

        August 5, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • Ibanezrg82

      I believe atheists are foolish as well. They don't understand the data we have been receiving, just like the fundamentalist religions. There is no scientific conclusion that proves a God or gods or spirits do not exist. But it would be cool if the religous right confirms evolution and astronomy as well, shove it in their face.
      As a student of science, I can't help but think the reason I can think for myself is rooted in something deeper. The universe is so huge, that we are a piece of sand, there a so many solar systems out there right in our neighborhood, and thanks to Mr. Marcy and others we now have over 60 solar systems, and we detected them through light fluctuations.

      August 5, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  41. ktisis

    Thanks for your thoughtful and cited response. The "god of the gaps" is not the thesis I am positing. I am familiar with your observations concerning the "latest" studies involving an RNA-world approach to DNA creation. But now this range of theories seem implausible due to the (apparent) impossibility of real pre-biological RNA production/sythesis, and further because the catalytic involvements of RNA have not lived up to initial, highly-optimistic expectations.

    The problem is 2-fold (in the macro). (1) Just because someone can imagine a possible process, it has no bearing on the real truth of the process. 17 biochemists can attempt to give 17 possible explanations, but since historical truth is outside the domain of the hard sciences (testable, repeatable, observable) then they are merely assumptions.

    Since no biochemist was present when "life" began, whether divine fiat or naturalistic abiogenesis, the scientific speculation about possible processes and potential pathways must stay near the section in the library more associated with Mother Goose than Mother Nature. I am not discounting science, I am pointing out the fallacy associated with such constructs. Since their is precious little in the way of hard evidence prior to the Cambrian explosion, most, if not all such imaginations regarding RNA-worlds, crystal-back-theories, and bubble-life should be viewed through the lens of critical thinking.

    The second problem is much more serious. DNA has been demonstrated to be a language. It has encoded information, and a system to decode that encoded bio-information. It follows syntax, rules of grammar, punctuation, and even contains one of the world's most phenomenal error correction routines. The problem is thus: language has never been demonstrated from a non-intelligent source. To go further, for conveyed language to function, there must be two things: (1) some type of written/encoded information, and (2) A language system to decode that encoded information. They must BOTH be present simultaneously or there is no function.

    If I type "HELLO THERE", that specified and complex arrangement of bits of information is only meaningful to those who already possess an immaterial property known as language, specifically english. Show that to a "primitive" savage in micronesia and it is meaningless to them. There must be an intangible language to interpret the syntax, symbols, "words", "phrases" and genetic "sentences" for life to exist.

    A recent study at an engineering school showed that the DNA method of utilizing 4-nucleotides to encode for a 23- amino acid table, thereby creating the specified complexity of language, revealed that DNA is not only good, their conclusion: "it may be IDEAL."

    It's the age-old paradox of the chicken or the egg. Which came first, the language of DNA that reads and understands the physical arrangement of the 3billion+ bits of human genetic material, or the physical arrangements of the nucleotides themselves? Be careful how you answer. Nucleotides in long strands offer no meaning without the attendant language of DNA to read them through start/stop codons, etc. to then interpret, utilize, and sythesize. But you couldnt have the language of DNA first, without the attendant strands of nucleotides for it to work upon, unless you believe that the DNA language is metaphysical/immaterial. Therefore, since DNA transcription involves a real and complex language (it took us about 20 years with super computers and teams of scientists to crack) it is logically invalid to assume a naturalistic origin for such a specifed and complex arrangement.

    No one looks at a computer and says, "My, my, it is amazing what millions of years of erosion, chemical deposits, and random processes has created." The Windows operating system is shamed into the corner in terms of the complexity of DNA and life processes.

    I have arrived at my convictions and conclusions by study. Look into what Francis Collins has to say about DNA (he was/is the head of the multinational/multidiscipline Human Genome Project).

    Just because you can look at a circuit board and IMAGINE a mutli-eon long process of how that could have arrived by slow, gradual, undirected forces has nothing to do with negating the fact that it was designed and built by geeks in silicon valley.

    August 5, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • Ibanezrg82

      It's a plausible argument sir. You back up your discussion with data. But that doesn't mean that many in the scientific community will agree with you. And believe it or not, as someone that believes in the scientific data, I respect what you think.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • Ibanezrg82

      It's kind of funny, I don't believe God invented DNA or RNA or anything here on Earth. I believe God invented the universe, and set the laws of physics and that's about it. I think your "God" has an overflowing email inbox with such opinions. Imagine how many different worlds ask the same question? The only shame is either we are not worth the others time, or they are too far away to talk to us. We'll get there. I think it's healthy for people to ponder the existence of God.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • Andrew

      "The second problem is much more serious. DNA has been demonstrated to be a language. It has encoded information, and a system to decode that encoded bio-information. It follows syntax, rules of grammar, punctuation, and even contains one of the world's most phenomenal error correction routines. The problem is thus: language has never been demonstrated from a non-intelligent source. To go further, for conveyed language to function, there must be two things: (1) some type of written/encoded information, and (2) A language system to decode that encoded information. They must BOTH be present simultaneously or there is no function. "

      Isn't this you shooting yourself in the foot? If you define DNA to be a 'language', and it's been shown to be possible by biochemists, by your own admission, for DNA to come about, then wouldn't DNA itself be an example of a 'language that comes about by a non-intelligent source'?

      You can't have it both ways. If you admit that there are possible pathways for DNA to come about, because, frankly, that's what a good chunk of the scientific community is currently trying to produce with all their competing models, then you don't get to likewise say 'but then it's still impossible cause I define it as a language'.

      August 5, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • NASA

      This conclusion is not backed by data. Your conclusion is "The genetic code is complex, therefore you must assume it was created/designed." That is not scientific deduction by any means.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  42. eclectic

    Surviving of humanity is a stupid goal. Eliminating suffering should be the goal if at all life should exist.

    August 5, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • Ibanezrg82

      That's a righteous goal, but unfortunatley, the entire planet is completely broke. There isn't enough money or resources left.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • eclectic

      Ibanezrg82

      De-population of the world to about a billion in say 100 years through mandatory birth control & then equi-distribution of resources can perhaps solve the issue.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:54 am |
  43. Ibanezrg82

    Maybe there will be some weird combination of sulfides that turns Mars into the Dune story.
    The spice makes everything nice!
    It would be good for the DEA. Drug busts that costs trillions of dollars a pop. Talk about helping the job market!

    August 5, 2011 at 1:18 am |
  44. just me

    You would if you had a slightest amount of intelligence!

    August 5, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  45. Cassandra

    @CAW

    Great examples, and many more where those came from. I did not realize what a small percentage of our tax dollars were being used to create so many things that make our lives easier (and that we mostly take for granted). If only, as taxpayers, we could allocate our tax dollars to programs we believed would make our world a better place. Imagine how many wonderful things could be accomplished.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:21 am |
  46. Emelia Kanson

    @Crimson
    I'm Buddhist, but amen to that anyway.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • ktisis

      I have often found it interesting that many Buddhists will belittle Christianity and claim that they reject any notion of an absolute faith, and that they consider Christianity to be intolerant. But, remember, it was the Buddha, who upon investigation said that Hinduism was wrong (not true) and that the Vedas (Hindu scriptures) were not divinely inspired and did not contain the truth. Any statement of truth is exclusive by nature, because by affirming any one position (due to the law of non-contradiction) you are effectively condemning (or rejecting) the antithesis of your statement..else, all statements of position are meaningless. The term DEFINE even means to "reveal the boundary around an object, or truth, word, or concept." To define is to say that thus-and-thus is "IN" and all else is "OUT", otherwise conversation and language can have no meaningful effect. Even the most (imagined) tolerant statement: "All religions are true" is self-defeating because by fundamental declaration many of them claim unique truth, therefore, all cannot be true. All may be wrong, but all cannot be true. But evaluating it logically, one can determine that truth must exist, and that it is by very nature exclusive in it's very essence, else truth is not truth. Some will claim: "There is no absolute truth!" To which the thoughtful person replies: "Are you ABSOLUTELY sure?!?" Absolute truth does exist, and it is up to us to get in line with it, not to attempt to conform truth to fit our predispositions, assumptions, or preferences.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  47. crimson

    let me be clear for some of you neo-Christians, who are hell bent on destroying our world with your everyone goes to hell but me and who i consider faithful ect ect, repeat clone program.., you are a disease to humanity, i seen the types like you you always want from god but never give to god, GOD GAVE man science as a tool to go forth and multiply amongst the stars not just Terra firma, and yes there is life out there created by god, see its real simple god created the big bang, everything after the big bang is product of gods work, my faith thankfully does not hear your cries of destruction, it reaches to god and the heavens he created, and yes im Christan, not that neo Christan that you poison my great country with,this the true nature of your faith and its implications means in the future your type will try to genocide non believers, your type has always had this programming flaw, but when the true believers prevail over your type, meanwhile ,ME and all the other true believers of god will descend upon the stars and planets god made and spread the word of his love to others ,weather there are other humans or aliens don't matter they were created by the one true god and that is the one true word of god that youll never hear again, because unless you see the light the type of thinking you posses always leads to ...... nothing,extinction, and you call yourself a believer in god, i call your blasphemy to god and pray he forgives you because i wont, your trying to destroy gods people and you don't even understand or realize it. god-bless the universe. im out.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • ktisis

      Just curious...@Crimson, who on this forum has talked about "people going to hell" and that "we are the faithful?" No offense, just not seeing it.

      Secondly, if you have personal knowledge of extra-terrestrial physical life, please divulge any or all of the following (1) logical evidences for such (2) scientific evidences of such, or (3) the revelatory evidences for such (scripture).

      August 5, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  48. ktisis

    Not my words, but those of a former atheist. To quote the late-and-eminent astronomer/mathematician Sir Fred Hoyle "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question."

    For those seeking more "common sense", it sounds like scientific inquiry has found it.

    Recently, the most distinguished biochemist in the world was interviewed and asked the simple question: "Is the evolution of life possible at the biochemical level?" He responded: "It is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE." The interviewer then asked: "And what is your view of origins?" The biochemist proclaimed: "I am an evolutionist." The interviewer was perplexed and followed up: "I don't understand, you just said that evolution was impossible?" He replied: "It is impossible, but the alternative (special creation) I WILL NEVER ACCEPT."

    Now, let's talk about presuppositions and evidence and logic. Hmmmm. Now who is following "blind" faith, who is being guided by fundamental biases? Food for thought...for those who are brave enough to think, even if the conclusions are a bit uncomfortable.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Andrew

      I find it interesting you cite Hoyle, but don't cite 'the most distinguished biochemist in the world'. Your appeal to authority fails spectacularly, for so many reasons.

      Seriously, 'an unnamed uncited source said something and thus it shows evolution to be false'? Really?

      August 5, 2011 at 12:14 am |
      • ktisis

        I had recently finished a logical and philosophical investigation into the God-hypothesis in a book by Hereen, "Show Me God." That is why my Hoyle is so forth-coming, the other conversation I referred was in another investigative piece I read before. Since the biochemist (living) is not a pre-eminent figure is cosmology (which I study) his name has escaped me. I will see if I can find the name (I have loaned out the book to a neurosurgeon friend of mine, and have yet to get it back.) Anecdotal or otherwise, though, the presuppositional biases are astounding. Here is a quote from Alsous Huxley: "I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption...For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political." –Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means (page 270ish)

        August 5, 2011 at 12:33 am |
      • ktisis

        I'm not certain, but it may have been biochemist George Wald (Nobel prize recipient-Biology). He has a similar quote: "One only has to contemplate the magnitude of this task (spontaneous generation) to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is IMPOSSIBLE. Yet, we are here as a result, I BELIEVE, of spontaneous generation." I will look further, I wish I had the book in my possession, but the conversation recorded there was so striking that the impression of that revelation of presuppositional bias has never left me.

        August 5, 2011 at 12:42 am |
      • Andrew

        If you actually study cosmology, you should be just as aware as I am how meaningless it would be then to say 'someone' without an actual citation on hand. Hell, just on the basis of confirmation bias on your own part you should understand how important it is to have the actual citation before making a claim.

        August 5, 2011 at 1:16 am |
      • ktisis

        The fact that the source of a statement is not readily at hand does nothing to diminish the value of the postulation. So, if I had given name, chapter and verse, you would then....what?

        You attack the messenger, but not the message. I have substantiated that Wald (perhaps the author) made a similar proposition. So, now, please address the issue, and avoid the strawman of attacking the delivery method. If a statement is substantial/true, it is true or substantial regardless of the origin. N'cest pas?

        August 5, 2011 at 1:47 am |
      • Andrew

        If you had given me a name, chapter, and verse, I'd have looked it up on google books, and done one of either two things. Seen that the quote was taken out of context, and chide you for misrepresenting what the person you are quoting was attempting to say. Or, if the line had not been taken out of context, I'd have probably done research as to who this person was, why this person was coming to this view, and then proceed to discuss why a single individual's statements do not necessarily mean that evolutionary biology is bunk. But it'd be nice to figure out why the scientist in question would have said so.

        I however am not in the habit of discussing and disputing non-cited claims, for the same reason I refuse to indulge in a Gish Gallop. The message you point out may, or may not, be what the speaker wanted to express. As such, it seems silly to me to begin arguing about a quote from a person I know nothing about in a context I know nothing about.

        I like context.

        Why do I like context so much? Because your Wald quote lacks it. In context...

        "One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are - as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation. It will help to digress for a moment to ask what one means by "impossible....

        When we consider the spontaneous origin of a living organism, this is not an event that need happen again and again. It is perhaps enough for it to happen once. The probability with which we: are concerned is of a special kind; it is the probability that an event occur at least once. To this type of probability a fundamentally important thing happens as one increases the number of trials. However improbable the event in a single trial, it becomes increasingly probable as the trials are multiplied. Eventually the event becomes virtually inevitable....

        Consider a reasonably improbable event, the chance of which is 1/1,000. The chance that this will not occur in one trial is 999/1,000. The chance that it won't occur in 1,000 trials is 999/1,000 multiplied together 1,000 times. This fraction comes out to be 37/100. The chance that it will happen at least once in 1,000 trials is therefore one minus this number - 63/100 - a little better than three chances out of five. One thousand trials have transformed this from a highly improbable to a highly probable event. In 10,000 trials the chance that this event will occur at least once comes out to be 19,999/20,000. It is now almost inevitable.

        Time is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience is meaningless here. Given so much time, the "impossible" becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles....

        The important point is that since the origin of life belongs in the category of at-least-once phenomena, time is on its side. However improbable we regard this event, or any of the steps which it involves, given enough time it will almost certainly happen at least once. And for life as we know it, with its capacity for growth and reproduction, once may be enough."

        Wald didn't quite mean what you were trying to make him say. The reason I like context is so that we avoid quote mining.

        August 5, 2011 at 2:07 am |
      • ktisis

        I said I was going to bed when I caught your recent post. Quickly, Wald does nothing to diminish the earlier point. He only goes on to use a random mathematical computation. When we discuss protein synthesis, we are talking about specific probabilities on the order of only one chance in 10(raised to the 270th power). Since there are only an estimated 10(raised to the 80th power) atoms in the entire universe, even a simple protein is unsaved by time, the hero of the plot. Wald's later point changes nothing because he does not link it to specific genetic processes, just merely a fairly simple mathematical iteration. Statisticians like to say that anything with a chance less than 1 in 10(raised to the 40th power) is effectlvely zero. Some proteins are so complex that it is actually 10(raised to the thousands).

        He still placed himself in the untenable position of believing in something he admitted is "impossible" by placing blind faith in something with no creative power or physical capability-viz a viz TIME. Wow.

        I love it, given enough time, anything is possible....really? Not according to real genetic math and known limitations, such as regarding chirality and the encoding-decoding function of DNA (which is theoretically impossible as well, unless one subscribes to metaphysical explanations). This time it is truly good night, my good sir.

        August 5, 2011 at 2:24 am |
      • Andrew

        You're bringing in a whole wide spectrum of different arguments to try to cover the larger point. Wald doesn't believe it's actually 'impossible', the entire discussion of probabilities is meant to show how highly improbable events become more likely both with time and with more trials. Extreme improbability becomes, as he put it, "virtually inevitable". Your quote made it seem as though he were calling evolution impossible, in context, it becomes clear that Wald was attempting to say that the origin of life on the surface seems 'impossible' but becomes increasingly likely as time progresses.

        You could say "well, no, it's still highly improbable regardless of what he says" all you like, but that doesn't change the overwhelming fact that you grossly misrepresented the point Wald was trying to make, and made it seem like he was making a statment that in NO way reflects his actual opinion on the subject.

        ΤΗΑΤ is why context matters. If you want to go throwing out a quote and pretending it substantiates your argument, you don't get to turn around and say 'the quote is still valid, even if the argument the person was making directly contradicts the quote'. That's akin to quoting Darwin on the eye and then missing the entire rest of his argument. You misrepresented Wald's point, simple as that.

        August 5, 2011 at 2:40 am |
  49. Coolius Unroolius

    @ktisis: Obviously God provided you linguistic skills but forgot to install your common sense program. Perhaps you should read your Bible another 10,000 times and look for every answer. With people like you around it's no wonder America is in so much trouble.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • ktisis

      Please address the specific "weaknesses" in common sense that you are referring to. I used logic and philosophy to delineate my points, what are yours...then we can discuss them.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
      • Ibanezrg82

        Specifics, your quoting of scripture. Many of the other things you have to say about the existence of God, and your arguments hold water, to many scientific unknowns. It's sad actually, the Vatican just recently stated that evolution does not go against the bible, and thinking that intelligent alien life forms would not be either. I Think ktsis is being bullied here. Whoever ktisis is is trying to form a philosophical debate on the whole thing, and that is always welcome. I may disagree, but there is no need for bashing.

        August 5, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • Andrew

      Your logic relies on a fundamentally untestable premise of 'god', and your philosophy is entirely irrelevant when it comes to discussing matters which center around science. My sources, on the other hand, tend to be peer reviewed scientific journals. They're a lot stronger than 'some guy said something'.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:16 am |
      • ktisis

        Actually my logic revolves around the following fundamental issues AND their implications: (1) The 1st and 2nd laws of thermo. (2) The law of cause and effect (3) The impossibility of infinite energy (4) The ramifications of the big bang (finite universe, finite time) (5) Specified complexity in DNA/RNA (6) Mathematical probabilities in protein synthesis and formation. What are your primary sources of evidence and how do they relate to your current position?

        August 5, 2011 at 12:46 am |
      • Andrew

        I always fear those "the laws of thermodynamics" arguments. They're effective only so far as to point to the obvious problem in cosmology of entropy not being time symmetric, but too often I see that silly 'entropy is chaos, hence complexity cannot arise naturally' garbage. (Though if you claim to be a cosmologist, I a-sume your premise concerns the former, than the latter. Which, admittedly, is a tricky problem for current modern cosmologists but I hardly see it necessitating a god. It just requires any explanation of the universe to be time symmetric... not easy, but not only solvable by postulating some cosmic sky daddy.)

        The laws of cause and effect? As a cosmologist, what would you say the 'cause' of a virtual particle would be, what 'causes' a quantum fluctuation? Yes I know how the description is laid out as far as the HUP's time-energy uncertainty is concerned, but that just allows for virtual particles, I'm curious what you'd say 'causes' them. What would 'causation' necessarily imply when you come to particles simply appearing for remarkably short amounts of time from, erm, more or less, nothing.

        Anyway, I already addressed the whole "DNA" thing, and your big bang thing is roughly the same problem as the time symmetry problem, and would be addressed by any coherent model that explains the asymmetry problem as it relates to entropy. So as for what I base my own philosophy on?

        Simple. I am willing to say 'I don't know' a lot more than you are. I'm not, however, willing to adopt any belief that I cannot show to be false. I make two rather large assumptions, first, that the universe exists and is in some way consistent. And second, that my senses contain some bit of truth value of the universe. Not that they're always right, just that they contain some value of truth about what the universe is like.

        Given that, then any methodology which looks for consistencies in the universe, and is able to test for consistencies, is possible to find how the universe behaves. Also, it implies that I can obtain this information and preform these tests using my senses. Again, this doesn't imply infallibility, just general reliance, and things with more evidence provided are hence considered more true.

        That which I cannot test, that which I cannot show to be false, is omitted because it does not fit into my philosophy. A god isn't testable, because a god could do anything, even hide evidence of its existence. There is no consistent methodology one could apply to a god, no senses which could generate necessary positive information regarding one, and as untestable, it is far more untenable to me than any other hypothesis. As an explanation, because it cannot be falsified, it is the rough equivalent of 'magic did it'. It yields no further information, and allows no further inquiry, it is a solution that cannot be questioned because there is no mechanism to question it. That's why god is utterly outside of my scope of inquiry, until I am provided with an actual emperical method of testing for and confirming a god. Remember, that's just before I consider it, before I believe I need that evidence to have been provided. So tell me, how COULD you test for a god? What would prove to you god doesn't exist?

        August 5, 2011 at 1:34 am |
      • Ibanezrg82

        @ Andrew, even I am a hound for the data, but when you look at all of it, even if the Big Bang was true, what created the Big Bang, what created evolution, religion aside, what created the universe before that? The basic law of matter is that matter cannot create itself, or destroyed. It just changes. Even if our universe crunches in on itself in 200 trillion years, the theory is it will start another big bang, so who or what created the first one? God, allah, whatever tongue you want to say it in?

        August 5, 2011 at 1:40 am |
      • Andrew

        Ibanezrg82, define 'before' the big bang. The entropy problem is significant in cosmology, it's a nasty thorn in cosmologist's sides, but with regard to the big bang itself, you are assuming something caused it, but remember, time is a dimension. You're asking me to tell you about a 'time before time' as though it makes sense. What's north of the north pole?

        If you want a more candid answer, I don't know what 'created' the big bang (if that use of term is appropriate, as it implies a time before time), I do not know, or wish to comment on, ANYTHING prior to a planck time. That's because there is no evidence for ANYTHING prior to the planck epoch. Anyone studying cosmology if they wish to be intellectually obvious will tell you that we have no coherent physics to model anything from that early. Any laws as we commonly understand them might not apply. Saying they do is making a lot of assumptions that are difficult to justify. Regarding the big bang, or 'pre-big bang' if there was such a thing, the most honest answer anyone could possibly give you is 'we don't know, we're working on it, but it'd be nice if we had a model of quantum gravity first'.

        What 'created evolution' however, is a much simpler and much more intuitivly obvious solution. Things that live and reproduce more sucesfully tend to have more kids than things which don't. Whatever the first proto-cell was that could replicate itself would 'live' and pass on its genetic material more than those that can't because those that can't, well, can't. Evolution is 'created' in any system where you have descent with modification. (It's also a very useful algorithm for designing structures in engineering as well)

        PS. It's not 'the basic law of matter', you're looking for 'conservation of mass-energy', which is valid only for large timescales, but falls apart for really short timescales, that's the basic premise concerning 'time-energy uncertainty'. You've got a very simplistic view of physics, don't you?

        August 5, 2011 at 1:50 am |
    • Ibanezrg82

      There is nothing wrong with a religous or spirtual angle on the discussion, but I agree that scripture has no meaning in the scientific community.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • Ibanezrg82

      I don't think it's possible to read the bible ten thousand times in one lifetime. It gets pretty boring when you hit Numbers. A boring read.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  50. helenecha

    We have stared at Mars for long time. Here is a question. How will scientists reply to it if Mars asks: "can I help you?"

    August 4, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  51. Coolius Unroolius

    @ Really!: Perhaps your atrocious English skills prevent you from getting a job. The word is "livelihood" not "livelyhood." Jobs abound in the U.S for those well educated in math and science. The caveat: don't expect to have the language skills of an elementary school student and find a well paying job in the U.S. you dunce!

    August 4, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  52. Emelia Kanson

    For the love of...! Must we argue and complain about EVERYTHING? My little sister is more mature and sensible than many of those commenting... For the record, she hasn't even hit her pre-teen years yet. NASA is simply investigating the possibilities; if you don't like it, please use your coping skills, because complaining does not benefit anyone or anything.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  53. ktisis

    There are those who posit that this type of research is to discover evidence to attempt to deny the existence of a Creator. To put a finer point on it, it is not so much a race to find evidence to deny a creator (per se) but a race to show that "we are nothing special" and that "earth isn't important to God", etc etc. This, of course, is easily disproved, since God became a HUMAN to die on the cross to pay for our sins. He said that he "took on the nature of humanity" to die once, and that He would never die again. If there are sentient, moral, physical agents elsewhere in the universe, then, if fallen, there can be no redemption. Also, the scripture states that when God is finished with His plan for planet Earth, He "creates a new heavens, and a new earth"– it says in II Peter 3 that, at that time, the "universe will pass away....and the elements will dissolve with fervent heat" (a reverse big bang-talk about "heat" death!?) So, the center of God's affection is His redemptive love for mankind in paying for our sins, and that His plan for the entire Universe is linked with His plan for earth. The immensity of the universe is to accomplish 2 things: (1) humble us from thinking too highly of ourselves (in other words-loved, but pretty insignificant–we are prone to ego) and (2) the power of the Creator to be able to create time/space/(matter/energy). Since the complexity of DNA precludes a non-intelligent origin, the possibility of "undirected" evolved life elsewhere is effectively zero. Those who study protein synthesis and DNA/RNA transcription do not buy into such "fad science" such as extra-terrestrial life. Read the latest (respected) journals, the research is conclusive. Specified complexity (such as DNA) has never been shown to be the result of non-intelligent causation. Ever. Additionally the existence of non-material realities such as logic, mathematics, and natural law defy a non-intelligent origin (Einstein). Throw in the law of cause and effect and this court case is over, only debated by those with an a-apriori agenda of skepticism, those who place their materialistic faith in bent spoons, aliens, and self-organizing matter.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Ibanezrg82

      I don't deny the existence of a creator. I don't think there is any possible way that intelligent life exists on Mars, but if we ever contact intelligent life in the universe, I think it would make the existence of God more believable to many people. Imagine what a completely different race of beings religion might be? I wouldn't be suprised if they believed in a creator as well.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
      • Ibanezrg82

        BTW, I think philosophical points on these discussions are fine, but when you start quoting scriptures the religous community loses all credibility in the discussion.

        August 4, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • ktisis

      So, it is quite acceptable when one quotes Einstein, or Hoyle, or Newton, but, alas, provide a quote from the best-seller of all time (the Bible-in fact, best seller every year since printing was developed) and all credibility is lost???? That's incredulous to me. To quote scripture when dealing with issues involving ultimate truth and God's revelation is not only necessary, in fact, to preclude it would be an impossible attempt to arrive at knowledge unavailable to mere observation/contemplation. Please refute the discussion points, do not engage in the inexperienced lawyers tactic of "your honor, I don't like their witness, please strike their testimony from the record!" Is it so illogical to surmise that a creator who has designed creatures with interpersonal communication at the very core of our beings, that the Creator would not have communicated with those beings He loves and has designed for a relationship with Himself? It is not the scripture that most protest, it is the weight of the philosophical and logical arguments that their a-priori skepticism has already precluded from the discourse. Use the intellectual faculties you have been blessed with in an unbiased contemplation of all of the evidence. To quote the late-and-eminent astronomer/mathematician Sir Fred Hoyle "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question." Whether scripture or statement from respected scientists, the points of logic still stand.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
      • Andrew

        Dear god what is it with the devout and the persistent lack of decent writing mechanics? Paragraphs, they make things easier to read, use them.

        It's acceptable to go quoting anyone on anything, but generally quotes are a weak way to form an argument. Einstein for example was certainly not the be all and end all source on issues. General relativity was brilliant, but that doesn't make his hatred of quantum mechanics any more reasonable. And I personally object to his philosophy centering around Spinoza's god, I vastly prefer a reductionist like Dirac was. There's no reason to consider Einstein's quotes, or Newton's quotes, or Hoyle's quotes any more importnat than Dirac's quotes, or Sagan's quotes, or Feynman's quotes. Quote wars are poor tactics.

        And the bible selling well doesn't make it any more accurate. Harry potter sold brilliantly, doesn't make it any less fiction.

        You have structured this entire argument as an appeal to authority. Why should we care what Hoyle said? Why should we consider it more correct than Feynman? As far as scientists go, I myself, a physics major, vastly prefer Feynman. You, an apparent theist, vastly prefer Hoyle. That doesn't help substantiate either argument, and that isn't providing any facts or reason. It's simply using his job as an appeal to authority to give his opinions an undeserved gravitas.

        Ken Miller is a brilliant biologist but that doesn't make me think his religious views are any less silly. Just because people say something doesn't mean we should care.

        August 5, 2011 at 12:24 am |
      • ktisis

        But Andrew, your entire post has completely undermined your fundamental position. Your position is that it doesn't matter what anyone posits (no matter how elevated, educated, or established in their particular sphere) and that no particular person's thoughts or observations are to (essentially) be taken to hold more of a credible sway than any other.

        In effect, you have denounced your own authority in challenging me or making a statement of your own. If informed, well-supported, and evidentiary based assertions have no bearing concerning the formulation of conviction or of consensus, then my, my...I would like to see you explain that to any university that has just spent thousands of dollars bringing an "expert" for a lively presentation and Q&A.

        It is interesting that eminent thinkers, when quoted, are discounted when those statements oppose the presuppositional biases or worldviews of "intellectuals." So, it's ok to read and ponder Russell, Hume, and even Flew (before he abandoned atheism) but how dare a theist even imagines to bring in the likes of C.S. Lewis, Planck, Newton, Solzhenitsyn, Pascal, or Francis Collins (head of the human genome project).

        I apologize for earlier posts not having paragraph distinctions, but my browser makes it difficult to see but a few lines, and to include breaks is to multiply inconvenience in authorship.

        August 5, 2011 at 12:59 am |
      • Andrew

        You didn't bother to read what I wrote, did you?

        I denounce the principle of quote wars. "My quotes come from a bigger person than yours, thus the quote should be accepted!"

        Notice, in my response to your 'DNA couldn't possible come by naturally' claim, I went through a fairly detailed (especially since it's not my major) discussion regarding the peer reviewed literature. I don't go through a quote war, I instead make claims, and cite research in order to validate my claim. I therefore don't base my argument on the authority of someone saying something, I base my argument on the strength of the scientific literature. That is the proper way to discuss information.

        Just citing quotes from random people and saying 'they're an expert on X, Y, and Z', doesn't help your argument. For every Hoyle quote, I could give you a Hawking. For every Pauli, I could give you a Dirac. For every new-age sounding Einstein quote, I could give you a down to earth Feynman quote. Quote wars mean nothing. Research, however, is very different.

        No particular person is that important. Quotes can be taken woefully out of context or made without thinking how the audience will take it. Einstein often cited god, but a very different god from anything you'd believe. People often quote "science without religion is lame", but seldom do they quote the entire paragraph, or worse, the entire paper, for if they do they realize that Einstein's use of 'religion' is very different from a common use of the word.

        But peer reviewed literature stands on its own merits. It doesn't matter if someone is a no-name researcher, or a world-class one. Einstein when he published his 1905 papers on Brownian motion, relativity, and the photoelectric effect, was a no name. But his papers stood regardless of the name attached. They mean a lot more than random quotes from an 'authority figure'.

        If you want to engage in discussions regarding what is real or what is not, and engage in discussions centring around evidence, than quoting is NOT how to go about it.

        If me quoting Sagan, Feynman, Dirac, Hawking wouldn't impact you, why should you quoting Flew, Hoyle, Newton, etc matter? Because you yourself understand, quote wars are meaningless.

        August 5, 2011 at 1:12 am |
      • The Guy

        @ktisis, it's acceptable to quote those men because they actually exist or existed. quoting god from the bible is the same as quoting santa from the polar express – they're both fabrications of the human mind.

        creationists need to get over themselves and stop making excuses for why their theories are dated and obscure. "god put dinosaur bones on earth only to test our faith" and "asteroids hit earth during biblical floods spinning water out of the atmosphere and landing on the moon and mars" – by estimations like this, god then is deceiving you and is thus the devil and god just left out that whole part about Mars and the Moon.

        August 5, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Andrew

      The complexity of DNA in NO way precludes non-intelligent origins. The only real thing we can say about DNA is that, because of it's stability and inability to act as a catalyst, it could not have been the original genetic material. That doesn't mean "it must have an intelligent origin". Consider, for a moment, the RNA world hypothesis.

      We know the early earth atmosphere was reducing, (See: A hydrogen-rich early Earth atmosphere. Science, 2005, Tian et al) and studies like "Outgassing of ordinary chondritic material and some of its implications for the chemistry of asteroids, planets, and satellites" (Schafer et al. Icharus 2007) make it clear that the conditions in the Urey-Miller experiment, and others like it, are fairly accurate. This implies amino acids could easily have formed naturally in the early earth.

      Now, scientists do have a problem here. We know the first genetic material couldn't be DNA, because it couldn't possibly self-replicate, but RNA is able to act as a catalyst, so we have the "RNA world hypothesis" where the first genetic material is RNA. But, conventional wisdom had RNA very hard to form, and it's very complex still, so this is the major source of research concerning abiogenesis, but, we do now have new studies, such as "Synthesis of activated pyrimidine ribonucleotides in prebiotically plausible conditions" (Powner et al. Nature, 2009) or "Systems chemistry on early Earth" (J. Szostak, Nature, 2009) which demonstrate new pathways for RNA production in prebiotic conditions.

      These, for interest of full disclosure, are not fully set in stone. We do have competing models for original genetic material, but we're discovering more and more ways that life could have formed, entirely naturally, in an early earth. We still haven't answered all the questions, if we had, it wouldn't be research.

      Anyway, while exactly how RNA synthesis came about isn't fully understood yet, lets say one of the pathways that we currently have studied is able to create some self-catalysing RNA. We already know the chemical makeup of the earth from around that time, in studies like "Prebiotic Chemistry and the Origin of the RNA World." (L. Orgel, Crt. Rev. Biochem. and mol. bio. 2004) where fatty acids were around. These naturally form little 'bubbles' in water, primitive cell membranes if you will. These protocells, as they're called, actually could have had the capibility of even dividing as we commonly understand, and able to intake nucleotides while prohibiting the loss of larger RNA molecules, preserving the RNA (see: "Coupled Growth and Division of Model Protocell Membranes", Zhu et. al. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2009). More successful protocells, ones which are able to stay more stable and divide more frequently, would naturally exist more than those that cannot. Where exactly, however, the RNA would have lost its hydroxyl group and thus transition to the more stable DNA is still fairly unknown, but it's certainly not beyond the reach of our research.

      So, to recap, there is a LOT we currently do not know about abiogenesis. It is a difficult science requiring lots of biochemistry, and it still has a lot of unanswered questions. But to say that it isn't possible for DNA to come about without divine intervention is quickly being shown to be patently false. There's a lot we don't currently know, but 'we don't currently know' does not equal 'it's impossible so god did it'.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  54. slippery slope judge

    I do!

    August 4, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  55. Spock

    With the almost intractable problems Earthlings are facing these days, your only chance of continued existence as a species
    lies in exploring and ultimately settling on other worlds. Pay heed to what your Prof Stephen Hawking says.. Fascinating..

    August 4, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  56. Ibanezrg82

    As a rational person, I seriously hope there is no life on Mars of any kind. It has enough resources, an ocean of frozen water, and enough sunlight to grow plants even in greenhouses to be a second chance if we screw Earth up enough. If there is life there of any kind, not only would we wipe it out with terraforming, but alien microbes could be very hostile to even the human body. Even if they are microbes and live underground, they are probably still used to extreme temperature changes, and the human body would be a nice home.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  57. enricorosan

    I am very certain that Mars will become our second home away from Earth in a century or two. China will probably reach there first and build manufacturing and mining colonies using their slave labor population. Then they will ship back the finished products to the U.S at very competitive prices cheaper than if they were manufactured here on Earth.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Ibanezrg82

      I doubt the China idea, but I think it will be a worldwide cooperation, and the world is far too broke to fathom that. Some estimates for a manned mission to Mars clock at around 1 trillion for a sixth month self sustained stay, and that's putting it cheap.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  58. Coach Lew

    Well blow me down, there may be water on Mars. Am I shocked, No. I say there is also some form of life on Mars and we know it but are not saying it. Too many signs say Mars has life and those little Mars rovers can't find it because they haven't seen but a fragment piece of a piece of the rock.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • jimi bonus

      Not water, I think it's pee. When I pee, it looks like that. Yep. Pee. Ever pee on sand???

      August 4, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  59. Ibanezrg82

    Okay. First of all, I read some posts from some people that I totally agree with when it comes to scientific articles. I would like to see more of a scientific discussion here. Keep your whining about the economy and the president out of it. Second of all, the MRO that took these picture's program was implemented years before Obama was even an Illinois State Senator. Third of all, most people that are interested and keep an open mind on science and astronomy don't give your God a Sh*^t when it comes to serious data, and we don't care about your Creationist beliefs, so get a life. Go back to church and leave us alone.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • jimi bonus

      Could it be caused by pee???

      August 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
      • Ibanezrg82

        Lol no, but it would be interesting to take the first piss on the surface of Mars. It would boil away very quickly and leave a nice trail of all of the salt and ammonia crystals from your body.

        August 4, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • dex

      lol atheists.... so funny when christians get in their face... they get so angry lol

      August 5, 2011 at 2:06 am |
      • The Guy

        not angry, just disappointed that you haven't been naturally selected out of the human population yet.

        August 5, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  60. someone

    Seriously, that many people just don't care? What is wrong with mankind... I guess no one cares:

    -That in 200-500 years we'll be so overpopulated that land will be scarce and resources will be likewise or extinct?

    -No one cares that the earth could be destroyed and we'll all die?

    -No one cares that space has resources not available on earth that could be used for building supplies, energy, science, technology, and the common good?

    -No one cares that space could create NEW jobs and a better economy?

    -No one cares if new highly advanced technology is invented because of the testing that can ONLY be conducted in space?

    Seriously people, quit being greedy and only thinking about what is happening now, in your time. It may not be your children, your children's children, or 3-6 generations from now, but the time WILL come and there is NO exception to it!

    Quit thinking about yourself and think about what the world will be like in centuries from now when we've not even bothered to colonize and do things in space!

    August 4, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • Coach Lew

      Think back 70 years ago when there were no Jet Airplanes, no TV, No flat screen TV's, no color motion pictures, nothing to do except work and play outside and talk with each other, no space station, no rockets, no air conditioning, no video games, hardly any men around in 1938 to do the work because most were in the military fighting and the wives and mothers were all working in the factories making bombs, jeeps and clothing. Poor little Johnny had to actually work in the victory garden for his food. Now ain't that just something. to think about? So what will we discover on Mars and other planets, believe it or not we will find life. Some probably more advanced than we are. By 2081 we will have mastered many different ways to get from one point to the other by using only our brains. We will have robots doing all the menial tasks that we do now and the human race will all become much heavier and taller.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
  61. Leo

    I want to see detailed photo's of that cylinder like object that was goggled on google mar's last couple of weeks ago........Where's the detailed photos of that...... huh...........

    August 4, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  62. Jon

    WOW Saltwater Kool Aid on Mars or orange Tang like on the moon? Who Cares! Ahhhhhhhhhhh, Poor babies need help finding decent jobs while everyone else is supposed to feel sorry for them. This is the best they can do now is find saltwater on Mars. Ha, They must not be too smart if they need help finding a job. Kennedy Space Center is hosting a job fair to help some of the nearly eight-thousand soon-to-be unemployed staff members land new jobs. So sad =( my bad. They all had opportunities to set up their new careers years ago knowing way back in 2004 that the shuttle program was ending around 2010. If they took all that time for granted let them wait in the unemployment lines with the rest of us who never had 6 years advance notice of our job ending. Never forget George W.Bush's words..."We cannot find any justification to continue the deficit funding of a program that has no application other that proving that with enough money America can do anything," said Bush. "The whole world knows that already, so why keep spending money on it," he added. For what it's worth, We can make the best or the worst of it. Like everyone else who have lost their jobs, may they find the strength to start all over again.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • slippery slope judge

      You win!

      August 4, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
  63. Robert

    Interesting comment made in the article: "The water may be more dense and viscous than what we're used to on Earth, to the point that it may appear syrup-like."
    About 60 years ago George Adamski claims he was taken aboard a flying saucer and offered a glass of water, which he said had the consistency of light oil. Coincidence???

    August 4, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  64. Puma

    now that we found water up there, we can send all right wingers there

    August 4, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  65. nemo

    What do you think would happen...if NASA said...there is oil on mars....or gold....we would destroy the planet in 4 weeks....when our "god" comes in the ships...in the clouds...I hope I get a glance of all the open capped mouthed people looking at the sky and the tv like some coma patient...money...my friends...is a sick...perverted thing holding us back from our true potential...but hey...we can't all be good and work toward perfection ....right....leave that to idiots like kim cumdashington and lindsay blow* ob....now there is the future...... I hate you all....and will cut any of ya...if ya come near my last bag of dogfood. I say we go to Washington......get some people together...and give em all a good spanking! I'm just kidding...I think they should a11 be gut like fish...happy 2012!!!!!!!! Vote NEMO

    August 4, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  66. JohnnyDash

    Quite an amazing video describing humanity's space program and desire to explore our stars:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wJYpRJQVbo&

    August 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  67. Noble9

    By the time the US gets its act together and goes to Mars, the Chinese will already be living there.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  68. Frank Errico Jr

    Why not just once send a rover where there are current signs of ice or possible seasonal surface water? I have always wondered why not go to the edge of the carbon-polar-ice-cap, where there are also signs of near surface h20 ice. Isn’t that more exciting than looking at ancient erosion?

    August 4, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  69. tcaros

    There may be muslims on mars. We'll have to track em down.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • Cameron

      Suicide bomb the water!

      August 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  70. Franc

    Who cares?
    It wont bring jobs!

    August 4, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • slippery slope judge

      I hate jobs. So this works out well in my opinion.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
  71. Cameron

    To all the NASA supporters...how many planets has man set foot on in it's 50+ year existence?

    Big fat 0. That's why some of us don't care.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Cameron

      Not including Earth, of course. but that should be obvious

      August 4, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • tcaros

      If you count landing electronics, it would be about 2. You can't land on a planet if it's too hot or cold.

      August 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  72. tcaros

    Send a Republican fact finding committee. Then when they disappear we can send another Republican fact finding committee.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  73. nemo

    Sire snot!...someone been watching toooooooooo much history channel..."its not a matter of if but when...blah blah blah"....do you know how stupid YOU are...well...let me tell you....money...our big problem on.."earth"...a man made problem....a man made situation...your an idiot...and "when" the asteroid hits...I pray it hits you right on the head....billions of years later....you too....will be gasoline...haaaaaaahaaaaa! Wrap your empty head around that one...jerk *ff

    August 4, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  74. Susie

    With all the messes going on here on planet earth, how relevant is it that there might be water on Mars? I've been wondering about it all day!!

    August 4, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  75. Robert

    The article said, "The water may be more dense and viscous than what we're used to on Earth, to the point that it may appear syrup-like."
    This is interesting, because 60 years ago, George Adamski said he was taken aboard a flying saucer and they gave him a glass of water that had the consistency of light oil. Must be just a coincidence,,,,,,,,,

    August 4, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  76. lex

    This is nothing more than prepping the public for what is to come, nothing new here.
    They have known about water on Mars for a very long time. Disclosure is coming. Keep an open mind and prepare yourselves for the reality that yes, life does exist all over the Universe.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • ktisis

      Not according to the latest scientific research, the laws of probabilities, and genetic studies involving DNA/RNA transcription and protein synthesis. To say otherwise is only to speak from ASSUMPTION, it is not speaking from INFORMATION. To claim extra-terrestrial physical life is a statement of blind faith, not informed science. I mean no offense, I am just stating the research. What are your current sources of conclusive evidence for actual physical life outside of earth? Many people feel as you have posted, but we have to keep our feelings in check by observation, research, and logic. I wish you well in your investigation. The truth is out there, and maybe not as far as you think.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:14 am |
      • The Guy

        Whoa whoa whoa, did you just say, "To claim extra-terrestrial physical life is a statement of blind faith". Besides the fact the hypothesis for water on Mars is based on actual evidence, I'm going to let the rest of the wolves eat you alive for that absolutely ignorant and hypocritical statement.

        I also hope you realize that using "truth", "logic", and "reason" in your argument for creationism is totally contradictory to the concept.

        I fear for any child who has you as their teacher.

        August 5, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  77. nemo

    Hey....hello...people of earth... F #* k all y'all! If I were an alien...I'd destroy the earth...in a heartbeat...you are ALL! All disgusting...like any kind of termite or roach!

    August 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  78. tcaros

    Looks like a close up of the wrapper of a Three Musketeers bar.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  79. tcaros

    Send a Republican fact finding committee. They will disappear and then we can send another Republican fact finding committee.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  80. tcaros

    It's a bunch of BS. We pump billions into space exploration to find out it's HOT, NO Oxygen, and cannot support life.

    The answer keeps coming back the same.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  81. Brian

    Who cares if there is life on another planet? We can't afford to go there. Maybe the aliens can afford to take a day off work and come here. If there are aliens on another planet let's study their form of government so we can learn how to run things much better down here.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  82. jimi bonus

    Maybe it's pee??

    August 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
  83. realist

    Hope you get one

    August 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
  84. quickstrong

    like Mr.. E said a long time ago, "until man has the capacity to visit the universe first hand he will only be a casual observer". So what he is saying is that we can theorize until the cows come home. We need to visit these places to do do real science, until then it is all speculation and makes know difference unless of course you need a new grant.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  85. oneSTARman

    Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kid; besides its cold as HELL and there's NO ONE THERE to raise them if you did. All this SCIENCE I don't understand. Its just a Job Five days a week. A Rocket Man is what I am Am a ROCKET Man. And I think its going to be a long long time till touch down takes me back again to find another man they think I am at Home Oh no...

    August 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  86. Wayne

    Very cool information (Discovery) and photo's. Since the sun is so far away it's possible there is no or little life there.
    Than why would Mars be out there. Why do planets with no life exist at all. We are limited in knowledge and ONLY the creator knows the absolute truth but one thing is for sure. The more we know the less we know for sure and that the creator exists. The interesting thing is it's so cold. And that there is no sun closer. Don't some galaxies have more than one Sun?? And some planets have many moons.. Why?? What is the purpose just cosmetic or is there a reason that they are there. Of moons are tiny earths than why don't they have atmosphere's?? And you have to think that on earth the oceans have LIFE. Lots & Lots of it.. Why? They seem to have been designed just for the oceans & Lakes.. etc.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  87. Michael

    It's interesting that so many people in this generation simply don't care about "space and technology" because it's a waste of time. I think it's ironic that when Americans DID care about this stuff was also the time of our greatest technological and economic prosperity. If you ask me, I say that the decline in interest in space and technology goes hand in hand with American's decline in innovation, imagination, creativity, and determination. We have become a country of whiners who want the government to take care of us all. The past generations should be ashamed of us...

    August 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  88. coolstorybro

    Nice. Maybe china can find some good use for it since they have money and not us

    August 4, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  89. oneSTARman

    NASA occasionally find LIFE in 'nano-microbe-fossils' or in a statistical hum of out of sight Nebular Fluffery – but People have been seeing CANALS on Mars for Centuries – at least till the SHROOMS wear off.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  90. Joh

    People who actually care about space exploration have known this for years even decades.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  91. iwat

    To all,

    Explorarion is human nature and how how we as a civilization advance. First man dared to travel across the plains. Then into the mountainsof Arfica, Europe and Asia. Then across the seas like the Mediteranean and Brithish channel. In 1492 the Greatest explorer to date dared to cross the Atlantic and the "flat" world. In turn, the world was found not to be flat and North America was colonized by Europeans. Then there was Lewis and Clark who crossed this great country in the mane of "Exploration". Last of all in 1969 there was Apollo 11 that was the defining moment of human exploration, the moon landing.
    The one common thing with all of these happenings are that they are great events that will be remembered by all human for eternity.This country and world and its people need a "REAL" goal, and it is not to be a millionaire, billionaire, president, CEO, congressmen, or senator. Exploration has ALWAYS furthered human civilization not money, greed or power. Those three have always ended civilizations.
    The goal of Earthlings on Mars is what humanity needs. It will bring the world together and will prove to create more jobs, revenue and better educated indivduals than you can possibly image. Look at what crossing the Atlantic or North American continent did. Those two events started some of the most prosperous times in history.
    I am a mechanical engineer and I believe this goal would enthrill all engineers, physicists, chemist and all scientists in general. If there is 1 scientist who would not be thrilled to be part of a goal like "Mars" they are not scientists.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Jimi Bonus

      Maybe it's pee???

      August 4, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • Barry

      Is there currently any discussion about conducting a joint, international mission to Mars and other planets?

      If not, why not?

      August 5, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  92. John

    Soon,Mars will be warm enough for humans to live there.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • agonyflips

      Warm. Maybe but without a magnetic field like earth's, they'll all die from radiation poisoning in a short while.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
      • oneSTARman

        Most of the Spiders live underground to escape the Radiation. But just below the surface it actually helps the sands to glow for the Trans-Dimensional Mice. By the way – the Dolphins said, "Thanks for all the Fish"

        August 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  93. ToeCrusher

    Uh oh, all the religious people are going to be in a conundrum if we find life on Mars. I wonder how this will be force fitted into the 6000 yr old earth "theory" with the devil planting dinosaur bones to "test"our faith". I imagine we will see some very entertaining creativity. However, if all else fails, the universal explanation of the god "works in strange and mysterious ways" I'm sure will be posited.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • XRAY.DL

      And what's funny is people belive that he's testing our faith with Dinosaur bones. I'm with you, that's insane. I just have a problem with God as a trickster... "Ha! Let's see who believes in my NOW!" Life certainly exists elsewhere. It is unspeakably arrogant to assume otherwise.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
      • ToeCrusher

        You believed in that dinosaur bone! Ha I got you, to eternal hell fire with you!!!! You will burn for all eternity for your curiosity (which I supposedly created as part of you) !!!

        August 4, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
      • The Guy

        The best part about that, is it's totally contradictory to the bible – if god puts dinosaur bones on the earth to test our faith, then he is essentially deceiving us and is thus the devil.

        August 5, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • quickstrong

      we have been spending hundreds of billions of dollars searching for life outside the earth since the late 1960s and still no answer. I really wonder why, maybe were are not as smart as people think???

      August 4, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
      • ToeCrusher

        No we are not that smart actually, just a step and half maybe above a chimp. Religion is proof we are not that smart and still hang on to our savage and barbaric past.

        August 4, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
      • Electro-Jesus

        Universe is about 13-14 billion years old. Universe is ridiculously huge, boarding to infinite, and therefore it takes a long time to discover new phenomena. It is like an enormous book filled with information and we have just started to read and interpret it with our instruments (that will improve with time).

        The modern civilization with computers and stuff is about 60-70 years old (PC, about latest 30 years). Modern telescopes and satellites are a quite new inventions too indeed.

        Ask yourself this question: Do you think 50 years of research with rather modern instruments will be enough to tickle out the most of universe secrets? Of course not..

        There are a lot more to discover – to say at least! It is a job that will go on for generations – perhaps million of years. Perhaps we will never fully understand universe, but while we research it, we will unlock one secret at a time and progress as humanity's knowledge -bank improves.

        August 5, 2011 at 4:45 am |
  94. jiwat

    To all,

    Explorarion is human nature and how how we as a civilization advance. First man dared to travel across the plains. Then into the mountainsof Arfica, Europe and Asia. Then across the seas like the Mediteranean and Brithish channel. In 1492 the Greatest explorer to date dared to cross the Atlantic and the "flat" world. In turn, the world was found not to be flat and North America was colonized by Europeans. Then there was Lewis and Clark who crossed this great country in the mane of "Exploration". Last of all in 1969 there was Apollo 11 that was the defining moment of human exploration, the moon landing.
    The one common thing with all of these happenings are that they are great events that will be remembered by all human for eternity.This country and world and its people need a "REAL" goal, and it is not to be a millionaire, billionaire, president, CEO, congressmen, or senator. Exploration has ALWAYS furthered human civilization not money, greed or power. Those three have always ended civilizations.
    The goal of Earthlings on Mars is what humanity needs. It will bring the world together and will prove to create more jobs, revenue and better educated indivduals than you can possibly image. Look at what crossing the Atlantic or North American continent did. Those two events started some of the most prosperous times in history.
    I am a mechanical engineer and I believe this goal would enthrill all engineers, physicists, chemist and all scientists in general. If there is 1 scientist who would not be thrilled to be part of a goal like "Mars" they are not scientists.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • logan

      put the bong down and go put your laundry in the dryer..........other people are waiting in line......

      August 4, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • Emmanuel Goldstien

      Magellan crossed the Atlantic in 1492?

      August 4, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • ADiff

      Those are noble sentiments, and I would heartily endorse them...were it not that they woefully underestimate the challenges. Space exploration cannot be analogized to the exploration of Earth. When the ship gets to the 'New World' (which to be completely honest, never was for any civilization), one can get off and just live there. Not only does one almost instantly die doing the same everywhere in Space, but its virtually certain one doesn't even live to get there, given what we know of the challenges of long-term Space travel in our solar system. No, the idea we're going to be a bunch of explorers venturing forth like Magellen, Cortez, or Cook is too at odds with the actual situation to work in the long-run. Something far more fundamental and existential will be needed to keep mankind to the task long-enough and with realistic expectation levels during the incredibly long path ahead.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
  95. Peacefulguy

    What would be really big news is if they found Martian water on Earth and not Earth water on Mars.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      Another GED hopeful who never took a day of science.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
      • Peacefulguy

        Sorry, but you must be from another dimension. No GED taker here – no need since I did quite well enough to earn my PhD. You must have a very "wet" sense of humor.

        August 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • Spock

      Did you say beer or water ? Whatever, I'll drink to that.

      August 5, 2011 at 3:18 am |
  96. Chris

    People who can see past the tip of their nose.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
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