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Is it possible that NASA would collude with Hollywood? Say it
This week NASA made a dramatic announcement regarding the
discovery of liquid water beneath the surface of Mars. The key
word is drama. In the past, an announcement was simply an
announcement. Now a new pre-announcement announcement
is released suggesting that that the discovery of a Darwinian-
evolved lifeform has finally been identified on Mars Ö then the
real announcement comes.
Remember the Meteorite 84001? In 1986 in the grandest
announcement since the Apollo 8, NASA claimed to have
discovered life on Mars. By 2002, only the most starry-eyed
astrobiologist still believed that one.
Remember the Mono Lake alien lifeform? In 2010, NASA hinted
strongly in their pre-announcement that alien life had finally
been discovered. It hadnít. Instead, Felisa Wolfe-Simon told
the world she had coaxed arsenic-based DNA out of a California
lake. She didnít. Arsenic didnít replace phosphate in any DNA,
she admitted later, but only after other experimenters were
able to prove her error.
The desire to find life on Mars predates NASA. It goes all the
way back to Percival Lowell in 1906 when he published his book
titled, Mars and Its Canals . There never were any canals. There
never were any features that remotely looked like canals, yet
sixty years later, textbooks could still be found that hinted at
Martian engineers diligently digging away to provide water to
their cities. Such is the power of Darwin.
Itís been 109 years since Lowellís book. Itís been 156 years
since Darwin published the book that changed the expectations
of astronomers. The strength of desire to find evolved life on
Mars should not be underestimated and neither should the
emotional ties to this quest. Make no mistake: proving Darwin
is the most important goal of NASA, but how far will they go?
Is the timing of the NASA announcement and the release of the
movie, The Martian, merely coincidental or dare we suggest
that it was planned? Dare we suggest a motivation for the
dramatic and emotional attempts to prove Darwin?