No, no, this is NOT a broadcast from Moonbat Central! “False” fossils are objects that look like fossils
A group of astrobiologists from the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford have identified dozens of processes that “can produce structures that mimic those of microscopic, simple lifeforms that may once have existed on Mars.”News, “Will the fossils we find on Mars be fakes?” at Mind Matters News (December 4, 2021)
Dr Sean McMahon, Chancellor’s Fellow in Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Physic and Astronomy, said: “At some stage a Mars rover will almost certainly find something that looks a lot like a fossil, so being able to confidently distinguish these from structures and substances made by chemical reactions is vital. For every type of fossil out there, there is at least one non-biological process that creates very similar things, so there is a real need to improve our understanding of how these form.”University of Edinburgh, “Life on Mars search could be misled by false fossils, study says” at ScienceDaily (November 16, 2021) The paper is open access.
It won’t be surprising if we hear heated controversies about whether new finds on Mars are really fossils but that’s a step in the right direction.
Takehome: It happens on Earth too. The trouble is, simple life forms leave only evidence, not messages and the evidence can be hard to identify.