Disclosure Starting in Mainstream Media: Viking Robots Found Life on Mars, Scientists Say
Posted by John MacHaffie
Viking robots found life on Mars in 1976, scientists say
Researchers put data into sets of numbers, then analyzed the results for complexity
New analysis of 36-year-old data, resuscitated from printouts, shows that
NASA found life on Mars, an international team of mathematicians and
scientists conclude in a paper published this week.
Further, NASA doesn't need a human expedition to Mars to nail down the claim,
neuropharmacologist and biologist Joseph Miller, with the University ofSouthern California's Keck School of Medicine, told Discovery News.
"The ultimate proof is to take a video of a Martian bacteria. They should
send a microscope — watch the bacteria move," Miller said.
"On the basis of what we've done so far, I'd say I'm 99 percent sure there's life there," he added.
Miller's confidence stems in part from a new study that reanalyzed results from a
life-detection experiment conducted by NASA's Viking Mars robots in
Researchers crunched raw data collected during runs of the Labeled Release
experiment, which looked for signs of microbial metabolism in soil
samples scooped up and processed by the two Viking landers. General
consensus of scientists has been that the experiment found geological,
not biological, activity.
The new study took a different approach. Researchers distilled the Viking
Labeled Release data, provided as hard copies by the original
researchers, into sets of numbers and analyzed the results for
complexity. Since living systems are more complicated than
non-biological processes, the idea was to look at the experiment results
from a purely numerical perspective.
NEWS: Viking Found Organics on Mars, Experiment Confirms
They found close correlations between the Viking experiment results'
complexity and those of terrestrial biological data sets. They say the
high degree of order is more characteristic of biological, rather than
purely physical, processes.
Critics counter that the method has not yet been proven effective for
differentiating between biological and non-biological processes on
Earth, so it's premature to draw any conclusions.
"Ideally, to use a technique on data from Mars, one would want to show that the
technique has been well-calibrated and well-established on Earth. The
need to do so is clear; on Mars we have no way to test the method, while
on Earth we can," planetary scientist and astrobiologist Christopher
McKay, with NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., told
NEWS: Life Possible On 'Large Regions' of Mars
While not iron-clad, the findings are an additional plank of evidence
challenging the popular contention that Viking did not find life, Miller
Miller also is reanalyzing the data to see if there are variations when
sunlight was blocked by a weeks-long dust storm on Mars, with the idea
being that biological systems would have acted differently to the
environmental change than geologic ones. Results of the research are
expected to be presented in August.
The research is published online in the International Journal of Aeronautical and Space Sciences.
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