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(NPR)   Scientists working with Mars rover Curiosity could tell you what types of molecules their GC-MS found in the sand, but they would have to kill you. As their ChemCam laser is out of range I will reveal that [no carrier]   (npr.org) divider line 63
    More: Cool, Mars rovers, martian soil, .ms, John Grotzinger, scientific journals, molecules, sand, lasers  
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3174 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Nov 2012 at 12:02 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-20 12:06:42 PM
They found the dna of the 3 boobed woman, so we can make them here now!
 
2012-11-20 12:08:05 PM
Helium-3?
 
2012-11-20 12:08:35 PM

angry_scientist: They found the dna of the 3 boobed woman, so we can make them here now!


GET TO DA CHOPPAH!
 
2012-11-20 12:10:59 PM
It's red?
 
2012-11-20 12:13:47 PM
Turbidium
 
2012-11-20 12:13:59 PM
I'm gonna go with "evidence of microbial life" - somehow this will change everything?
 
2012-11-20 12:17:11 PM
I have two guesses, evidence of microbial life or rare earth elements.

The second one could launch a space race between the US and china that actually would change history.
 
2012-11-20 12:25:55 PM
How old is Zephram Cochrane? Has he even been born yet? If so, someone tell him he better get to work.
 
2012-11-20 12:26:13 PM
Diamonds? Gold? Aliens? They're not sayin.
 
2012-11-20 12:27:29 PM
They found oil. War on Mars in 5... 4.... 3....
 
2012-11-20 12:27:57 PM
I'm going with "the same chemical composition as they expected, thereby verifying a bunch of theories."
 
2012-11-20 12:31:58 PM

Egoy3k: I have two guesses, evidence of microbial life or rare earth elements.


What else could be huge news besides one of those? I guess you could sub-divide the discovery of life into the discovery of past life...
 
2012-11-20 12:32:33 PM
Other possibilities:

- The missing votes that would have put Romney in the White House
- Obama's birth certificate
- Jimmy Hoffa
- A Twinkie
- Kristen Stewart's acting ability
 
2012-11-20 12:35:14 PM

netweavr: I'm going with "the same chemical composition as they expected, thereby verifying a bunch of theories."


That's my guess too. I know real science isn't flashy but NASA's version of big news and everyone else's version don't always match up. If we get another "exciting" press conference about trace minerals on an uninteresting rock that suggests further study is needed I'm going to scream.
 
2012-11-20 12:36:01 PM
Dolemite?
 
2012-11-20 12:36:20 PM
Could be they reconfirmed the presence of methane. They just need to reconfirm their reconfirmation.
 
2012-11-20 12:38:05 PM
If it's not amino acids or chlorophyll or something NASA really needs to bring their hype tone down.

I mean, I love actual non-flashy science. but most regular discoveries don't rate this sort of announcement.
 
2012-11-20 12:38:16 PM

protectyourlimbs: Helium-3?


That's not really uncommon in space.

The meteorites I analyze in the lab often have really high levels of helium-3.
 
2012-11-20 12:41:51 PM

heypete: protectyourlimbs: Helium-3?

That's not really uncommon in space.

The meteorites I analyze in the lab often have really high levels of helium-3.


Sure, but it's rare on Earth, and would be great for fusion power. Why just imagine if we had an easy source of He-3 just a hundred million miles away or so! It's like a trip to the corner store.
 
2012-11-20 12:42:39 PM
Meanwhile, some poor martian child is despondently putting flyers up all around Syria Planum, looking
for his missing kitten.
 
2012-11-20 12:44:57 PM

SuperT: If it's not amino acids or chlorophyll or something NASA really needs to bring their hype tone down.

I mean, I love actual non-flashy science. but most regular discoveries don't rate this sort of announcement.


Well, that is true, how many "big discovery on Mars" announcements have turned out to be "could be water, evidence of water, more evidence of water, almost conclusive evidence of water, yup it's water".
 
2012-11-20 12:54:26 PM

LazarusLong42: Sure, but it's rare on Earth, and would be great for fusion power. Why just imagine if we had an easy source of He-3 just a hundred million miles away or so! It's like a trip to the corner store.


Indeed. The moon's got a pile of Helium-3. No need to go to Mars.

According to Popular Mechanics, "Digging a patch of lunar surface roughly three-quarters of a square mile to a depth of about 9 ft. should yield about 220 pounds of helium-3--enough to power a city the size of Dallas or Detroit for a year."

Still, that seems not so efficient.
 
2012-11-20 01:42:32 PM

heypete: LazarusLong42: Sure, but it's rare on Earth, and would be great for fusion power. Why just imagine if we had an easy source of He-3 just a hundred million miles away or so! It's like a trip to the corner store.

Indeed. The moon's got a pile of Helium-3. No need to go to Mars.

According to Popular Mechanics, "Digging a patch of lunar surface roughly three-quarters of a square mile to a depth of about 9 ft. should yield about 220 pounds of helium-3--enough to power a city the size of Dallas or Detroit for a year."

Still, that seems not so efficient.


Better than coal mining.* Probably improvable by sticking to hot spots.

*At least, if you ignore the space trip.
 
2012-11-20 01:44:50 PM
microbial life


I hope this just so I can ask awkward questions to Sky Fairy believers.
 
2012-11-20 01:56:30 PM

To The Escape Zeppelin!: netweavr: I'm going with "the same chemical composition as they expected, thereby verifying a bunch of theories."

That's my guess too. I know real science isn't flashy but NASA's version of big news and everyone else's version don't always match up. If we get another "exciting" press conference about trace minerals on an uninteresting rock that suggests further study is needed I'm going to scream.


I love these. I figure it's just the science majors getting to troll the liberal arts majors and show them how dumb they are without ever having to say it.

"So, is this discovery related to water?"
"No, what we have here is that our PUZY spectrometer has used it's very sensitive parts to detect trace amounts of DIKFER on these rocks here."
"Uh, what's a DIKFER?"
"Oh, it's very important. It's a compound found in many things. You probably have some, although it is very small."
 
2012-11-20 02:08:20 PM

Holocaust Agnostic: heypete: LazarusLong42: Sure, but it's rare on Earth, and would be great for fusion power. Why just imagine if we had an easy source of He-3 just a hundred million miles away or so! It's like a trip to the corner store.

Indeed. The moon's got a pile of Helium-3. No need to go to Mars.

According to Popular Mechanics, "Digging a patch of lunar surface roughly three-quarters of a square mile to a depth of about 9 ft. should yield about 220 pounds of helium-3--enough to power a city the size of Dallas or Detroit for a year."

Still, that seems not so efficient.

Better than coal mining.* Probably improvable by sticking to hot spots.

*At least, if you ignore the space trip.


Or the fact that we haven't been able to sustain a controlled fusion reaction that creates more power than you put into it yet.
 
2012-11-20 02:09:02 PM
If they've discovered evidence of microbial life, I will be ecstatic. I mean, literally, completely ecstatic. Euphoric.
 
2012-11-20 02:09:39 PM
www.cyclonefanatic.com
 
2012-11-20 02:13:55 PM

PapaChester: microbial life


I hope this just so I can ask awkward questions to Sky Fairy believers.


i don't see how life on mars has any effect on the major religions
 
2012-11-20 02:18:45 PM

pute kisses like a man: PapaChester: microbial life


I hope this just so I can ask awkward questions to Sky Fairy believers.

i don't see how life on mars has any effect on the major religions


I don't understand why atheists keep bringing this up. A Christian god and extraterrestrial life, even intelligence are perfectly compatible. Not being very religious myself I've even had this conversation with some slightly nutty Evangelical coworkers and some friends and they were fine with the idea of alien life. I'm sure you can find someone on the internet who says otherwise but in fact the only people I've ever heard claim that aliens disprove religion are atheists.
 
2012-11-20 02:22:46 PM

To The Escape Zeppelin!: the only people I've ever heard claim that aliens disprove religion are atheists.


Yeah but to be fair atheists almost always know more about religion than believers.
 
2012-11-20 02:28:35 PM
As a GCMS chemist for decades I'm getting a kick.....
 
2012-11-20 02:28:37 PM

Egoy3k: To The Escape Zeppelin!: the only people I've ever heard claim that aliens disprove religion are atheists.

Yeah but to be fair atheists almost always know more about religion than believers.


Aliens are the gods...
 
2012-11-20 02:34:08 PM
PapaChester

microbial life


I hope this just so I can ask awkward questions to Sky Fairy believers.
"Sky fairy believers like 99% of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Astronauts?

The thought of off earth life is NOT ...earth-shattering
airandspace.si.edu
 
2012-11-20 02:57:17 PM

heypete: LazarusLong42: Sure, but it's rare on Earth, and would be great for fusion power. Why just imagine if we had an easy source of He-3 just a hundred million miles away or so! It's like a trip to the corner store.

Indeed. The moon's got a pile of Helium-3. No need to go to Mars.

According to Popular Mechanics, "Digging a patch of lunar surface roughly three-quarters of a square mile to a depth of about 9 ft. should yield about 220 pounds of helium-3--enough to power a city the size of Dallas or Detroit for a year."

Still, that seems not so efficient.


That's the joke.
 
2012-11-20 03:17:54 PM
Life on Mars.

Called it. Suck it, people who thought we shouldn't be looking for life on Mars.

Also - Methane is definitely from the life. They didn't detect it because the large enough concentrations to detect are not near where Curiosity is. Cross reference the locations of the greatest concentration based on Wiki to where Curiosity is, combine that with the seasonal changes, add in the fact that Curiosity only detects 5 ppb or greater, and you quickly realize how much of a sham this mission really is. And now they're doing their best to prolong the discovery of life on top of it.

As for how this impacts religion, well that should be obvious. All the major religions are based on a literal interpretation of their various Bibles. When you prove now without a doubt that those texts are make believe, the entire foundation of the religions themselves are shattered. The only evidence to even support 'God' has then been dismissed.
 
2012-11-20 03:25:02 PM

codergirl42:


Perhaps the best use of this ever.

/ depending on what they found.
 
2012-11-20 03:32:23 PM

MetryPapi: Dolemite?


You don't find Dolemite. Dolemite finds you!
 
2012-11-20 03:34:00 PM
Would it kill them to say "We THINK we've found X, however bear in mind that we intend to fully review and double check everything before we can say for sure."? Come on, nerds, I want to know!
 
2012-11-20 03:45:04 PM
Space Jesus!
wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net
 
2012-11-20 03:55:24 PM

justtray: As for how this impacts religion, well that should be obvious. All the major religions are based on a literal interpretation of their various Bibles. When you prove now without a doubt that those texts are make believe, the entire foundation of the religions themselves are shattered. The only evidence to even support 'God' has then been dismissed.


The majority of Christian denominations haven't accepted a literal interpretation of the Bible for a long time. The existence of alien life shatters nothing. If aliens landed tomorrow the first thing the major religions of the world would do would be to try and convert them.
 
2012-11-20 03:57:26 PM

aspAddict: I'm gonna go with "evidence of microbial life" - somehow this will change everything?


As much as I want it to be that, it'll end up being contamination, you watch. Wasn't there already something mentioned about how some part of it didn't get sterilized properly?
 
2012-11-20 04:03:46 PM

To The Escape Zeppelin!: Not being very religious myself I've even had this conversation with some slightly nutty Evangelical coworkers and some friends and they were fine with the idea of alien life.


With that kind of attitude, you're only going to be able to get into some second-class ghetto Heaven where the streets are paved with tin. Or you may even end up in Heck.
 
2012-11-20 04:21:11 PM

To The Escape Zeppelin!: justtray: As for how this impacts religion, well that should be obvious. All the major religions are based on a literal interpretation of their various Bibles. When you prove now without a doubt that those texts are make believe, the entire foundation of the religions themselves are shattered. The only evidence to even support 'God' has then been dismissed.

The majority of Christian denominations haven't accepted a literal interpretation of the Bible for a long time. The existence of alien life shatters nothing. If aliens landed tomorrow the first thing the major religions of the world would do would be to try and convert them.


It does shatter the religion for anyone not already indoctrinated. Whether or not those people will let cognitive dissonance take over is a completely separate issue entirely. See - dinosaurs.

Rational people already know its a bunch of nonsense. But that's why they call it Faith, because it's my based in fact.
 
2012-11-20 05:03:31 PM

justtray: To The Escape Zeppelin!: justtray: As for how this impacts religion, well that should be obvious. All the major religions are based on a literal interpretation of their various Bibles. When you prove now without a doubt that those texts are make believe, the entire foundation of the religions themselves are shattered. The only evidence to even support 'God' has then been dismissed.

The majority of Christian denominations haven't accepted a literal interpretation of the Bible for a long time. The existence of alien life shatters nothing. If aliens landed tomorrow the first thing the major religions of the world would do would be to try and convert them.

It does shatter the religion for anyone not already indoctrinated. Whether or not those people will let cognitive dissonance take over is a completely separate issue entirely. See - dinosaurs.


you're really racking up the points today.
 
2012-11-20 05:10:35 PM

To The Escape Zeppelin!: I don't understand why atheists keep bringing this up. A Christian god and extraterrestrial life, even intelligence are perfectly compatible. Not being very religious myself I've even had this conversation with some slightly nutty Evangelical coworkers and some friends and they were fine with the idea of alien life. I'm sure you can find someone on the internet who says otherwise but in fact the only people I've ever heard claim that aliens disprove religion are atheists.


I don't think that it would disprove religion, but it would certainly pose some challenges to the notion of Salvation.

Did Jesus manifest and die on the [equivalent of a] cross for all those other species, or did they not suffer from original sin?

It would also be a challenge if an alien intelligence showed up and said that it had no idea what any of our religions were about. It would suggest that the all-powerful being that appeared to humanity didn't bother showing up elsewhere, which would certainly be weird if the being in question really is a universal deity.

On the other hand, no one seems to have a problem with the various gods of humanity only conveying their messages to extremely narrow regional and ethnic groups, so maybe they'd just shrug this off, too.
 
2012-11-20 05:51:37 PM

Some 'Splainin' To Do: To The Escape Zeppelin!: I don't understand why atheists keep bringing this up. A Christian god and extraterrestrial life, even intelligence are perfectly compatible. Not being very religious myself I've even had this conversation with some slightly nutty Evangelical coworkers and some friends and they were fine with the idea of alien life. I'm sure you can find someone on the internet who says otherwise but in fact the only people I've ever heard claim that aliens disprove religion are atheists.

I don't think that it would disprove religion, but it would certainly pose some challenges to the notion of Salvation.

Did Jesus manifest and die on the [equivalent of a] cross for all those other species, or did they not suffer from original sin?

It would also be a challenge if an alien intelligence showed up and said that it had no idea what any of our religions were about. It would suggest that the all-powerful being that appeared to humanity didn't bother showing up elsewhere, which would certainly be weird if the being in question really is a universal deity.

On the other hand, no one seems to have a problem with the various gods of humanity only conveying their messages to extremely narrow regional and ethnic groups, so maybe they'd just shrug this off, too.


Ray Bradbury says the first one.
 
2012-11-20 07:00:28 PM

Some 'Splainin' To Do: To The Escape Zeppelin!: I don't understand why atheists keep bringing this up. A Christian god and extraterrestrial life, even intelligence are perfectly compatible. Not being very religious myself I've even had this conversation with some slightly nutty Evangelical coworkers and some friends and they were fine with the idea of alien life. I'm sure you can find someone on the internet who says otherwise but in fact the only people I've ever heard claim that aliens disprove religion are atheists.

I don't think that it would disprove religion, but it would certainly pose some challenges to the notion of Salvation.

Did Jesus manifest and die on the [equivalent of a] cross for all those other species, or did they not suffer from original sin?

It would also be a challenge if an alien intelligence showed up and said that it had no idea what any of our religions were about. It would suggest that the all-powerful being that appeared to humanity didn't bother showing up elsewhere, which would certainly be weird if the being in question really is a universal deity.

On the other hand, no one seems to have a problem with the various gods of humanity only conveying their messages to extremely narrow regional and ethnic groups, so maybe they'd just shrug this off, too.


Or, the third option which is that the aliens therefore don't have souls and are beyond salvation. You know, like penguins and The Incredible Hulk.

Honestly, for Christianity, at least, they would just take the Great Commission (to spread the teachings of Jesus "to all the nations of the world") to mean "the world as ithe 'Universe'" and start trying to convert them. Islam wouldn't have an issue; there're verses in the Quran that could easily be interpreted as allowing for extraterrestrial life. In fact, I think almost all the major religions would handle it okay.

Not to say that they (religions) are correct, but if they survived the Big Bang Theory, space flight, and basic literary criticism and analysis, they'll survive this.
 
2012-11-20 08:43:49 PM

Lord Dimwit: Honestly, for Christianity, at least, they would just take the Great Commission (to spread the teachings of Jesus "to all the nations of the world") to mean "the world as ithe 'Universe'" and start trying to convert them. Islam wouldn't have an issue; there're verses in the Quran that could easily be interpreted as allowing for extraterrestrial life. In fact, I think almost all the major religions would handle it okay.


I'm sure they would, but I do think that it would require a certain amount of restructuring and addenda. I think that it's likely that new heresies would arise and old orthodoxies would have to shift around about to accommodate the new knowledge, and that's not even taking in the possibility that the aliens might very well have their own religions that would be introduced to us and which would level their own theological challenges.

So, yeah, the notion that ET would destroy religion is a fantasy and I agree that anyone who thinks that is fooling themselves, but it's also naive to suppose that there would be no impact and no challenge presented to the status quo. I think that, in reality, you would probably be looking at a period of religious and philosophic upheaval with no real predictable outcome.
 
2012-11-20 09:02:57 PM

To The Escape Zeppelin!: pute kisses like a man: PapaChester: microbial life


I hope this just so I can ask awkward questions to Sky Fairy believers.

i don't see how life on mars has any effect on the major religions

I don't understand why atheists keep bringing this up. A Christian god and extraterrestrial life, even intelligence are perfectly compatible. Not being very religious myself I've even had this conversation with some slightly nutty Evangelical coworkers and some friends and they were fine with the idea of alien life. I'm sure you can find someone on the internet who says otherwise but in fact the only people I've ever heard claim that aliens disprove religion are atheists.


Some "Sky Fairy" believers have said that alien life is impossible. However, they aren't a majority, and they aren't saying it very loudly.
 
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