Author Topic: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.  (Read 1040 times)

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2018, 07:08:50 PM »
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I like it! Lake Hillary - I wonder how you could spread the idea? :-)
If you have the Curiosity, the Spirit and the Opportunity you could find a way.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Baruch

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2018, 07:58:59 PM »
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Well, it is where you'd expect to be able to find water on Mars — underneath something rather solid.

There is liquid water well under Antarctica, not just the ice shelves.
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Offline Baruch

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2018, 07:59:44 PM »
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I like it! Lake Hillary - I wonder how you could spread the idea? :-)

An icy dame with wet ideas?
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Offline trdsf

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2018, 08:10:45 PM »
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I would be insanely happy with a microbe.  A mere suggestion of an RNA structure would make me at least giddy.
I'd be even happier with an information-carrying molecule that isn't anything like RNA or DNA.  Something completely alien.  That would be completely mindblowing.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2018, 06:37:04 AM »
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I'd be even happier with an information-carrying molecule that isn't anything like RNA or DNA.  Something completely alien.  That would be completely mindblowing.
I'd be more pleased with a close match to DNA. We've found RNA "precursors" (right word?) in the spectra of distant stars, hinting at a ubiquity of the stuff. I think that we find another intelligent species it will be sharing some characteristics with us. (Murray Leinster's "First Contact" comes to mind.)
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2018, 07:01:08 AM »
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Is this mentioned in the Bible?  How can we know it's true then?

Sorry, I'm still reeling from the recent Mouse invasion.
I just looove your reply!
Evolution, the religion whereby one believes your children more human, and your parents more ape, than you!

The Human Mind, if it has nothing to do with Evolution...What an incredible entity...
If it does, what a waste!

Atheism, what a wonderful religion, where one believe to believe is erroneous.

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2018, 07:04:56 AM »
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I hereby name it Lake Hillary.  Let Trump go nuts, LOL!
Yeh!
An old ice cold,dried up, crumbling rock, with some salt water deep in her interior!

 
Evolution, the religion whereby one believes your children more human, and your parents more ape, than you!

The Human Mind, if it has nothing to do with Evolution...What an incredible entity...
If it does, what a waste!

Atheism, what a wonderful religion, where one believe to believe is erroneous.

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2018, 07:05:45 AM »
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Ice + low pressure = water.  OK.

What am I missing here?
Actually, high pressure
Evolution, the religion whereby one believes your children more human, and your parents more ape, than you!

The Human Mind, if it has nothing to do with Evolution...What an incredible entity...
If it does, what a waste!

Atheism, what a wonderful religion, where one believe to believe is erroneous.

Offline trdsf

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2018, 12:46:56 PM »
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I'd be more pleased with a close match to DNA. We've found RNA "precursors" (right word?) in the spectra of distant stars, hinting at a ubiquity of the stuff. I think that we find another intelligent species it will be sharing some characteristics with us. (Murray Leinster's "First Contact" comes to mind.)
The two reasons I don't want to see DNA/RNA on Mars are:
  • We could never be sure if it was the result of one abiogenetic event or two.  We know material has transferred between the Earth and Mars.  ALH84001 is probably the You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login of Martian material reaching the Earth; while we've found You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login, of course we don't have the equipment in place to test their origins, but the same process that allows Martian ejecta to reach Earth allows Terrestrial ejecta to reach Mars.
    So if we find RNA/DNA based life on Mars, it could have come from Earth, or Earth life could have come from Mars, or both could have come from elsewhere.  As a side note, I don't like panspermia as a theory of how life came to Earth.  It seems to me to be a punt on the question of how abiogenesis occurs.  It's possible, but I hope research rules it out some day.
  • Martian DNA/RNA wouldn't de-parochialize biology.  We'd still be studying life as we (more or less) know it, when it would be much more interesting to study life as we don't know it.
Of course, it's entirely possible that DNA/RNA are the most easily formed information-carrying molecules on which to base life, but Mars can't answer that question for us because we know there's been a transfer of material between Earth and Mars.  Current DNA/RNA based life on Mars only tells us that once life gains a foothold, it doesn't let go easily.

If, on the other hand, we find DNA/RNA life on the outer moons, especially Enceladus and Titan, that would strongly suggest DNA/RNA are the most likely data-carrying molecules because there is no plausible model for cross contamination between those moons and either the Earth or Mars.  Alternately, it would be a data point in favor of panspermia, also because cross-contamination with the inner worlds isn't an option.

Whether or not it's DNA/RNA-based, however, I think you're right about sharing physical characteristics with other intelligent life.  We should expect to see extensions capable of fine manipulation, multiple sensory organs, a brain or brains protected by an exo- or endoskeleton of some sort, and a means of locomotion.  There are good evolutionary reasons to expect a cluster of sensory organs to be on an elevated scanning platform of some sort, because of the advantages in detecting predators that arrangement gives -- we call ours our heads, what the poet Russell Edson evocatively referred to as a "teetering bulb of dread and dream".

I don't think we can go much farther than that, though.  There are too many other variables — first environmental, then after the rise of intelligence also social — to be able to predict more than with the broadest strokes.  I would expect them to be physically symmetric in some way, but not necessarily bilaterally as we are.  I would expect them to be self-sealed (as we are by skin), but wouldn't care to guess if by skin/hide, chitin, or exoskeleton, or some means that hasn't appeared in Terrestrial biology.  They would have a means of communication with each other, but I wouldn't expect it to have to be by means of forcing air through vibrating meat.

I would not be surprised if they're pattern matchers like we are, but only because I can't think of another plausible route from instinct to intelligence.  So by the same token, I also would not be surprised if there's something else they're innately good at instead of pattern matching.

I would also not be surprised if they had (or still have) religion(s), or something analogous to them, nor would I be surprised if there are broad similarities between theirs and some of the ones practiced here.  I would be shocked if they were similar in detail to just one Terrestrial religion — while yes, that might indicate a divine power at work, it also can indicate cultural cross-contamination through the intervention of a third and unknown intelligent species.  Since that latter explanation does not require stepping out of the universe for an explanation, it's the more likely.  I'm still not sure how you differentiate between a god and an extremely advanced alien, Clarke's Law being perfectly applicable here.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2018, 01:03:03 PM »
Finding ANY life on Mars would be HUGE. I won't ask too much of the event.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Online Mr.Obvious

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2018, 01:30:04 PM »
In any case, let's all pray they find extraterrestial life.


...

Oh, shit. Wait!
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, requesting 69 last night.

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2018, 01:38:02 PM »
My dream is that they find intelligent life. Somewhere.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2018, 01:40:59 PM »
My dream is to find intelligent life on Earth.
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Soon the national motto that'll be printed on our money will be "In GOP We Trust."

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2018, 02:06:28 PM »
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My dream is to find intelligent life on Earth.
Come back in a few million years.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Online Shiranu

Re: This is huge: *current* liquid water on Mars.
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2018, 02:15:20 PM »
One step closer to making Mars viable for habitation then.
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"Intellectualization creates a gap or lack of rapport between you and your life. You may think about things so much that you get into the state where you are eating the menu instead of the dinner." -Alan Watts

 

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