March 16, 2005 | David F. Coppedge

Mars Makeover Underway

Amazing claims about Mars are coming in almost too fast to fathom, reports Space.Com, especially from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter.  These include evidence for recently active volcanos, frozen ice beds, methane and vestiges of glaciers and waterfalls.  Activity is “only yesterday” in the standard geological timescale.  One said, “it could start up again tomorrow.”  Victor R. Baker (U. of Arizona) also talks about these findings in Nature.1.  See also “Mars still alive, experts agree” on the BBC News, and a New Scientist article that claims some of the activity may still be going on today.   The discussion about heat, methane and water is also triggering more verbal outgassing about possible life on Mars.  Though it is becoming less likely to find life at the surface, Leonard David on Space.com says, “it is not unreasonable to suggest that life on Mars not only emerged but could have survived to the present in underground niches.”


1Victor R. Baker, “Planetary science: Picturing a recently active Mars,” Nature 434, 280 – 283 (17 March 2005); doi:10.1038/434280a.

It would be very exciting to find active volcanos on Mars, and would raise new questions about the age of the planet: how could a smaller planet than Earth remain hot today?  The halitosis from the media about finding life comes from the Chef Charlie cookbook.  Recipe for life: heat rocks in a warm little pond till mud broth forms, sprinkle with meteorites, then store in a cave and wait a few million years.  When methane is emitted, it’s done.  Season with balderdash on a website.  Serves a million suckers.

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