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SkinWalker
02-17-2003, 01:57 PM
Not now... but in the past?

Recently, scientists released that their research indicated that the polar caps on Mars were the result of frozen Carbon Dioxide rather than water, which caused some to reject serious likelyhood that life could have existed without the water they previously expected.

Now, however, Nature (http://www.nature.com/nsu/030210/030210-9.html) is reporting that the polar caps on Mars are most likely frozen Water, capped by a thin layer of frozen CO2. This, they say, is the only model that would give the profile or features as seen from satellite imagery.

That would seem to return us to the possibility that the Martian environment would have been more hospitable to life as we know it.

Do you think that life could have existed on Mars prior to the advent of life on our own planet? Perhaps over a billion years or more ago?

SkinWalker

Pnut_Man
02-17-2003, 02:06 PM
I'm guessing that carbon dioxide means cellular respiration, which means life.

Clemme w/Stick
02-17-2003, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by Pnut_Master
I'm guessing that carbon dioxide means cellular respiration, which means life.

What he just said..!

-Clemme

dvader28
02-17-2003, 06:22 PM
i think it's pretty likely. it boggles the mind when people say "i think we're the only life in the universe." how arrogant can you get? 100,000,000,000 stars in OUR GALAXY ALONE, countless galaxies....there's gotta be something out there...UFO's are a load of crap tho :D

Clemme w/Stick
02-17-2003, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by dvader28
i think it's pretty likely. it boggles the mind when people say "i think we're the only life in the universe." how arrogant can you get? 100,000,000,000 stars in OUR GALAXY ALONE, countless galaxies....there's gotta be something out there...UFO's are a load of crap tho :D

Hmm, the chances of life in space are pretty good. With all those stars and galaxies, it should be able to find something out there! Yeah, UFOs are a bunch of crap!

-Clemme

C'jais
02-17-2003, 06:39 PM
It wouldn't surprise me, and I'll leave it at that.

However, I find the prospect of finding live life on Europa, much more fantastic. It would once and for all shatter the terracentric world view and place the earth as something insignificant, yet a part of a larger whole.

I can't wait.

BCanr2d2
02-18-2003, 05:55 AM
Cjais, not until they work out how to get into Lake Vostok without bringing in outside contamination will they attempt to try and explore Europa. Both have a similar kind of challenge, extremely thick ice layers to get through, but not to bring any contamination from anywhere else in.

Lake Vostok has a 4 km thick ice layer, no doubt similar to Europa's potentially frozen over lakes.

dvader28
02-18-2003, 09:13 AM
The main problem with Europa is not only the ice (something like 8 miles thick i think) but the lack of heat...scientists conjecture that if life exists it will be near the core where it's warm...introducing the further problem of massive pressures.

SkinWalker
02-18-2003, 11:43 AM
One of the things I find fascinating is the study of thermal vents in deep sea trenches here on Earth. Certainly the conditions are more hospitible than that which may be found under the ice of Europa, but they are extreme none-the-less.

Between the extremes in temperatures (an inch could mean the difference between scalding or freezing), the pressure of water above, the lack of sunlight for photosynthesis, and the toxins produced by the vents, life still manages to find a way to flourish.

In fact, I would venture to say that there are few if any environments on Earth where life of some sort cannot be found. Even in the hottest geo-thermal gysers, bacteria have been found. In the coldest arctic environments, bacteria have been found in core samples.

I would not be surprised to learn that even in Lake Vostok bacteria or even small marine organisms thrive.

Also, isn't it one of the theories about Europa that says the patterns we see in the sat images from temperature variations due to thermal conditions below the surface? And that under the ice, temperatures are much more habitable? I've not studied about Europa, so I'm going off of something my sponge of a brain soaked off of Discovery Channel probably.

SkinWalker

SkinWalker
02-18-2003, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by C'jais
terracentric world view

LOL... I've not heard (or read) that term before.... it's so appropriate, though.

Originally posted by C'jais
and place the earth as something insignificant, yet a part of a larger whole.


I wouldn't say insignificant... only because if we eventually impact our solar system in the way we have our planet... that will be significant in many ways. We, as a society on a planet, are probably much less significant than we would like to admit, however. Of course, compared to the remaining mass of the universe, Earth is relatively insignificant, so I see your point....

I'll stop rambling now ;-)

Skin

El Sitherino
02-18-2003, 10:22 PM
Originally posted by dvader28
UFO's are a load of crap tho :D no they arent ufo's are real UFO means unidentified flying object it could be anything from a bird being picked up on radar to a russian mig. so stop classifying alien craft as ufo's.

ShadowTemplar
02-20-2003, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by Pnut_Master
I'm guessing that carbon dioxide means cellular respiration, which means life.

From what I've heard there was loads of carbondioxide on the protoearth before life started to come along... And I've also heard (in the same place) that oxygen was actually poisonous to the early life. So CO2 wouldn't be an indicator IMO.

InsaneSith: Fair enough point, lol.

I wouldn't be surprised either if someone told me that there had been life on Mars. But I guess that I wouldn't be surprised either if someone told me that there had never been life on Mars.

BTW, Skin: The thing about thermal vents is also what makes me certain that the thought that humans can kill the entire biosphere is laughable... Sure enough, we can kill enough to give our own ass a kicking, but all of it? No.

SkinWalker
02-20-2003, 06:33 PM
Originally posted by ShadowTemplar
BTW, Skin: The thing about thermal vents is also what makes me certain that the thought that humans can kill the entire biosphere is laughable... Sure enough, we can kill enough to give our own ass a kicking, but all of it? No.

Agreed. It's amazing how life finds a way. It is as though the natural condition or state is to LIVE rather than not. That's why I don't find it so implausible that life developed from random bits of protien and amino acids, etc. And that's why I don't find the idea of life elsewhere in the universe as a rare event.

In fact, I would not be surprised to learn from future study, that a civilization existed on Mars, though I would agree that it's unlikely. The news just wouldn't shock me.

SkinWalker