Meteorites and Life on Mars
There has been a great deal of dis-information and misunderstanding recently about the report of a supposed Mars meteorite which indicated, hinted or otherwise proved that there was life on Mars sometime in the distant past.
To all this I would like to set the record straight. This was a predictable finding! It has little to do with real science, BUT it does have everything to do with the old Watergate slogan, "Follow the money!" This finding is smoke and mirrors to get the American public to believe that there was and/or is life on Mars; and, therefore, it is our civic duty to spend the money to go to Mars to investigate this - the greatest piece of evidence yet found that the Theory of Evolution is true!
TIME Magazine, one of the two most prolific publishers of evolutionary propaganda in the world (the other is National Geographic), put out a seven page article touting the possibility of LIFE ON MARS.
Well, what are the facts? The rocks (yes, 12 rocks) were found twelve years ago embedded in the blue ice sheet of the Allan Hills in Antarctica. For the last eight years one of these rocks, ALH84001, has been housed in a storage cabinet at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. It weighs 4.2 pounds and is about the size of a large Idaho baker.
The rock contains small traces of organic molecules that researchers say, might be associated with life, several minerals characteristic of biological activity, and tiny tubular and egg-shaped structures that resemble the fossils of ancient, single-celled bacteria found on Earth.
The researchers found two specific compounds, iron sulfide and magnetite, along with carbonate globules and possible microfossils of bacteria.
What are the facts supposed to be? This rock is supposed to be a piece of Mars, blown off the planet by the impact of an asteroid some 16 million years ago (or one billion years ago according to another report). The debris which escaped the Martian gravity floated in space for three million years until finally striking the earth 13,000 years ago. The rock contains what some think to be the chemical and fossil remains of single celled life forms which lived on Mars 3.6 billion years ago.
What does President Clinton, supposedly a Christian, have to say about this rock? "Today Rock 84001 speaks to us across all those billions of years and million of miles. It speaks of the possibility of life. If this discovery is confirmed, it will surely be one of the most stunning insights into our universe that science has ever uncovered." [Leon Jaroff, LIFE ON MARS, Time Magazine, Monday, Aug. 19, 1996]
The evolutionist scientist, Carl Sagan, states, "If the results are verified it is a turning point in human history, suggesting that life exists not just on two planets in one paltry solar system but throughout this magnificent universe." [Leon Jaroff, LIFE ON MARS, Time Magazine, Monday, Aug. 19, 1996]
Buried in the back pages of a local newspaper there was an Associated Press report which contradicted this enthusiasm. According to James Papike, Director of the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico, "We concluded in our paper that our measurements give no evidence for life" (in the Mars rock 84001). His team looked at chemical ratios which indicate biological activity and found, "... there was no evidence that it was in a ratio for life forms. In fact the ratios were in the opposite direction." [Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA) 8/9/1996]
UCLA paleobiologist William Schopf, discoverer of the world's oldest fossils, noted that the supposed microfossils are a hundred times smaller than any found on Earth. He said that there was no evidence of cell structure and suggested that the material found was only dried mud.
What is NASA doing? They are re-examining their launch schedules for Martian probes; ten of which are already scheduled over the next ten years. These were mostly tentative, but now with this news and President Clinton's pledge to support space exploration, the people at NASA are once again whispering in the halls about a manned mission to Mars.
The timing of Martian launches is critical because they may only be scheduled during an eight week period every 25 months when the two planets are at their closest proximity to each other. Presently, the Mars Global Surveyor is scheduled for launch in September of 1997, and the Mars Pathfinder is scheduled for October, 1997. The Surveyor will orbit Mars and Pathfinder will land a small rover.
What can we expect for our money from these two robots? Director Norm Haynes of the Mars Exploration Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena says, "There's nothing we can send from Earth that can even begin to duplicate what the people who studied the Martian meteorite did in the lab. It has always been clear that we're aiming for a sample-return mission (manned mission). A recent study projects one around 2005, but with more money we could probably do it sooner." [Leon Jaroff, LIFE ON MARS, Time Magazine, Monday, Aug. 19, 1996]
NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin did not immediately ask for more money, this being an election year; BUT, he made absolutely sure that there was total media saturation coverage of the announcement. When asked about his thoughts he said, a sample-return mission becomes more tantalizing than ever.
What are some of the possibilities that we can derive from this rock? It may or may not be a legitimate Martian rock. It may or may not contain evidence of life on Mars. It may have been contaminated during its stay on Earth. Maybe a rock was blown from Earth to Mars in the past and contaminated Mars with Earth life forms which were then sent back to us via meteorite mail.
Then, of course, there are men like Stanford's biochemist Richard Zare who suggest that we are the product of life which came from Mars prior to life becoming extinct there. Or, men like Sir Fred Hoyle, who believed in panspermia, the idea that billions of years ago the universe was peppered with the seeds of life which took wherever they found a good home. This idea only begs the question, "Well then, where did that life come from?"
What then is the bottom line on this discovery? This is a piece of evidence with many possible interpretations. Did this rock come with a little white tag saying Made in Mars? Are the guesses as to its age in any way reliable? NO! Is it being used as a pawn in a gigantic philosophical-political chess game? YES!
This was a predictable discovery because the evolutionists needed to find it. It doesn't have anything to do with truth or the acquiring of knowledge. It has everything to do with NASA and various university researchers/teachers wanting to stay employed and asking the new scientific question, "How do I get the next grant?"
MARS METEORITE UPDATE
The supposed meteorite from Mars; supposedly containing evidence of life on ancient Mars, continues its forensic travels. Now researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have demonstrated that purely inorganic happenings can make identical marks to those NASA claims to be evidence of life on Mars. When will the American public realize that they are being duped by NASA into funding a manned flight to Mars justified upon false information?