Extraterrestrial life

Organic product, methane, found in soil samples from Mars

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An artist's drawing of one of NASA's Mars rover on the surface of Mars

Organic matter has been found on Mars in soil samples taken from 3 billion-year-old mudstone in the Gale crater by the Curiosity rover, NASA announced Thursday. The rover has also detected methane in the Martian atmosphere.

It is not evidence for life as such, but methane is mostly produced on Earth by life forms.

See also: Signs of life on Mars from 4 billion years ago?

8 Replies to “Organic product, methane, found in soil samples from Mars

  1. 1
    vmahuna says:

    One of the things I REALLY hate is that Sciencists insist on using “organic” as a technical term meaning “includes molecules that include Carbon” when they make a statement aimed at the general public.

    Most normal “man on the street” kinda folks, however, assume that this what is implied is the STANDARD meaning of “organic” which means something like “made by Organs”. I don’t think most vegans are gonna let you get away with calling something “Organic tofu” if you brewed it up in a lab starting with coal tar, which is of course rich in Carbon.

    Finding carbon compounds on Mars says NOTHING about whether living Organisms made those compounds. And of course the existence of carbon compounds is NOT a precursor of Life. Otherwise why are the rotting remains of some dead animal, which contain ALL of the raw materials used by Life, not spontaneously producing new Life instead of just acting as fertilizer for slime mold spores?

  2. 2
    News says:

    vmahuna, I noticed that too. They refer to “organic matter” as well, as if dead leaves had been found. But the methane would seem to require some explanation.

  3. 3
    Nonlin.org says:

    Darwinism is a religion and abiogenesis after Miller Urey is one of their main gospels. Believers need to be reminded periodically about the miracle of abiogenesis or else they might loose faith.

    Too bad this one particular religion is demonstrably wrong:

  4. 4

    Nonlin.org @ 3: Well said.

  5. 5
    Querius says:

    Apparently, scientists have also detected Organic Methane, a byproduct of Life and flatulence in the atmosphere of Uranus and Neptune as well. While doesn’t Actually Prove Conclusively that there is Life that musta evolved on these planets strictly speaking, technically, as such, if you close your eyes tight and wish really, really hard . . .

    But I guess the organic, signs-of-life methane on Mars is different than regular old boring CH4 methane found elsewhere.

    Isn’t “Science” wonderful?


  6. 6
    Jon Garvey says:

    But I guess the organic, signs-of-life methane on Mars is different than regular old boring CH4 methane found elsewhere.

    It sure is! Can’t you tell the difference between a building block and a stone?

  7. 7
    jfd145 says:

    What I don’t understand about mars exploration is this need to be sending all these missions to mars to look for this supposed life at such a fast pace. I understand why they send them every two years but is there a need to keep doing that. Mars isn’t going anywhere, why not spread them out and spread the cost over a few years. How about NASA getting back into our manned space flight and getting a settlement on the moon. We have to at least see if we have the technology to live in that type of environment.

  8. 8
    bb says:

    Video quote (1:19):

    It doesn’t last in the atmosphere very long, compared to the three billion years that you mentioned. And so we know it has to be created…it’s being created today in some shape or form, or released.

    So life is on the planet now, or is it some sort of geologic process? Maybe that rock that looked like some type of rodent, was actually a rodent. Is Olympus Mons active?

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