September 11, 2012 | David F. Coppedge

Hopes for Wet Mars Diminished

The clays on Mars that were thought to be indicative of a wet past could, instead, be formed by volcanoes.

Live Science said: “New Mars Theory Questions Red Planet’s Watery Past.

Astrobiology Magazine said, “Clay Not Evidence of Lakes on Mars.

New Scientist said, “Not so moist Mars: Clays may come from lava, not lakes.”  The article quotes Brian Hynek saying, “Such a result would imply that early Mars may not have been as habitable as previously thought at the time when Earth’s life was taking hold.”  Live Science, though, said Hynek is holding out hope that some of the Martian clays could have had a watery origin.

Live Science includes a 6-minute video update by John Grotzinger, project scientist for the Curiosity rover.  He’s still hoping to find evidence of a watery past in Gale Crater.  If history is a guide, scientists expected to find water-lain deposits in Gusev Crater where the earlier Spirit rover landed.  Spirit, however, only found dry volcanic deposits (8/06/2004).

Belief in Martians dies hard, though.  In a PhysOrg article, Lawrence Krauss states in a video clip he would “not be surprised” if Curiosity finds evidence of life on Mars.  He even thinks life evolved there first and polluted the Earth with life when Martian meteorites landed here, like the infamous ALH84001 that launched the new “science” of astrobiology (see 9/02/2012).

Do astrobiologists have anything better than hope and imagination?  How can anyone call their faith scientific?

 

 

 

 

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