Scientists are saying rock analyses by the Mars rover, Curiosity, indicate that Mars may have supported microbial life. Moreover, they are saying Curiosity has ascertained that the nature of the water determined to have existed on Mars may have been benign enough to drink. Per the article:


The first analysis of powder samples drilled out from the inside of once water-soaked rock shows Mars was a suitable place for microbial life to evolve, scientists with NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity mission said Tuesday. Among the chemicals discovered inside the rock, called “John Klein,” were sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon, all key ingredients for life. The analysis showed that water which once soaked the rock had a neutral pH – not too acidic and not too salty...“We  have found a habitable environment  that is so benign and supportive of life that probably if this water was around and you had been on the planet, you would have been able to drink it,” Grotzinger told reporters... 

Views: 75

Replies to This Discussion

I don't understand the excitement over this. So what? The kind of life Mars might have supported was certainly rather primitive. We know that the Martian atmosphere was much thicker some billions of years ago, and so yes, it may well be that some single-celled life formed on Mars. But a quick comparison with Earth does not bode well for the hypothesis that life formed on Mars. Remember, Mars receives about half as much sunlight per unit area that earth receives; with half the negentropy, a rough rule of thumb would suggest that life should develop at half the speed it did on earth. 

The best guess now is that single-celled life took at least several hundred million years to appear, and eukaryotes took maybe two billion. The best guess for multi-cellular creatures first appearing is between one and two billion years ago. 

Thus, multi-cellular creatures took at least two billion years to develop on earth; on Mars, they would have taken four billion -- not enough time. Therefore, the most optimistic guess is that we might find advanced single-celled creatures, but I think it more likely that we're talking about very primitive bacteria. 

If so, it would be very interesting to see how similar their biochemistry is to ours, but I doubt that we'll ever find anything that will resolve that question; we certainly don't have any data of that nature for early life on earth.



Update Your Membership :




Nexus on Social Media:


Latest Activity

tom sarbeck replied to Daniel Wachenheim's discussion Wow, we've survived 3 US presidential debates!
27 minutes ago
Amy May is now a member of Atheist Nexus
28 minutes ago
Joan Denoo posted photos
29 minutes ago
Kaleb Denton Smith posted a status
"Hey there. Being as recently Atheist as I am I'm currently interested in conversion stories. being born open minded or Christian extremest"
51 minutes ago
Bertold Brautigan commented on Joan Denoo's group Politics, Economics, and Religion
1 hour ago
The Flying Atheist commented on Ruth Anthony-Gardner's group Hang With Friends
1 hour ago
Plinius commented on Calla's group Nexus Book Club
1 hour ago
Bertold Brautigan replied to Daniel Wachenheim's discussion Wow, we've survived 3 US presidential debates!
1 hour ago

© 2016   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service