Saturday, August 26, 2006

Meteorite find suggests life on Mars

Scientists have discovered tiny tunnels in the rock that may have been bored by micro-organisms on Mars.

But researchers are cautious after the embarrassment over another Martian meteorite once alleged to contain signs of life.

Ten years ago, scientists from NASA said they had found small rod-like structures in the meteorite that were believed to be fossil bacteria.

But most experts now believe there is no evidence of life in the 1.9 kilogram rock, ALH 84001. The rods and other "biosignatures" could all have been produced by inorganic processes, scientists say.

Needless to say, there are considerable problems with the "inorganic processes" argument. And in any case, ALH 84001 is the tip of the exobiological iceberg; it's possible we wouldn't even know it existed if not for leaked data.


Jv said...

I still believe that there is life somewhere out there, out of our home earth. I mean, the solar system is only 1 galaxy and there are many other galaxies out there other than us. So there's a probability that there is life out there.

Mac said...

There's an absolutely overwhelming probability of life elsewhere. The real question is: How much of it is "intelligent"?

W.M. Bear said...

There seems to me to be an outright strong prejudice among the scientific communinity AGAINST finding life on Mars despite the extraordinary evidence (Viking, Martian meteorites) that there is currently at least microbial life on Mars. I think I have a sense of why this is -- most people just don't want to risk their careers, I think. But I somehow find it extremely depressing.