December 2, 2014 | David F. Coppedge

Earthbound Martians Go Nuts

How 90,000 Earthlings sent greetings to imaginary friends on Mars, and other Martian nuttiness.

Beam me upPhysOrg reports that 90,000 people sent greetings to Mars.  The occasion?  The 50th anniversary of NASA’s Mariner 2, the first spacecraft to orbit the red planet.  It seems there could be other ways to celebrate, but it’s the touchy-feely thought that counts.  The mission of is to help “create new ways for people to personally connect with space exploration and astronomy.”  Presumably, sending one-way signals via radio to non-sentient dust and craters counts as one of those ways.

Martian meteorites alive? Not again:  Echoing the 1996 Martian meteorite that launched the new science of Astrobiology, the French are trying that public titillation tactic again.  With a silly video on the website of Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne, scientists are tantalizing readers with “Traces of possible Martian biological activity inside a meteorite” that its promoters think “shows that martian life is more probable than previously thought.”  It’s a pretty convoluted tale about organic molecules in a piece of meteorite named Tissint; the story is high on the perhapsimaybecouldness index.  It seems more a publicity stunt to “rekindle debate” about Martian life, the press release suggests.  (Live Science doubts the claim.)  At least one of the scientists recognizes that “Insisting on certainty is unwise, particularly on such a sensitive topic.”  Ah, but there’s power in suggestion.

Here’s another suggestion for personally connecting with space exploration: take a vacation to Venus.

We won’t waste your time with other recent articles flaunting the “suggestion” of life on Mars.  Many of these people detest theists for having an “imaginary friend” in the Creator.  Well, someone said wisdom is known by its children.

Question: is it intelligent design when one party initiates a communication channel with dirt?


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