Proof of Life in Martian Meteorite Alleged Again
Some Aussies are trying to scoop the Mars prize, it seems from a headline in the down-under Daily Telegraph. While two American rovers are busily sniffing about for evidence of water (as a prerequisite for life) on opposite sides of the surface of Mars, the Australians are saying, “No worries, mate,” they already found Martian life, right here on Earth. (Initial results of the search for water from Spirit in Gusev Crater, by the way, appear negative; scientists announced today that Mossbauer spectrometer data from the rock “Adirondack” show a strong signature of olivine. This mineral, characteristic of volcanic basalt lava, could not endure much weathering by water. Stay tuned.)
The Martian meteorite story has been a teeter-totter since its flamboyant announcement to the world press in 1996. Just when everyone had pretty much concluded it was a dead rock (see 03/18/2002), the Australian team of Tony Taylor and J.C. Barry has announced in the Journal of Microscopy1 that they have found “conclusive proof” the magnetite structures in Martian meteorite ALH 84001 were formed by living bacteria. The story gets stranger. According to a report in the English edition of the Islamic news service Aljazeera, the credit for the discovery seems to go to Tony’s dog, Tamarind.
Apparently, the dog, trained to sniff sewage, found in some Queensland mud a type of earthly bacteria that produces structures identical to those in the Martian meteorite. The structures matched according to 11 criteria they used. The photo caption says, therefore, “Australian dog: been there, done that.” There’s another strange twist.
Since the meteorite is supposed to be 4 billion years old, it predates the assumed date for the origin of life on earth. That can only mean one thing. Life on earth came from Mars.
The bacteria still might be on Mars, but the Aussies suspect it would be deep down where the rovers couldn’t find it. Aljazeera seems pleased at the American defeat: “Two US-backed rovers are now exploring the red planet and transmitting unprecedented images of the barren landscape, but may achieve little else.”
1A. P. Taylor and J. C. Barry, “Magnetosomal matrix: ultrafine structure may template biomineralization of megnetosomes,” Journal of Microscopy 213:2 (Feb 2004), p. 80, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2828.2004.01287.x.
Evolutionists are funny because they are so serious. Dog discovers origin of life. Americans lose spirit over lost opportunity to be first. Muslims snicker, “G’day, mate.”