Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

Water on Mars? It is more likely clay, many now think

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David F. Coppedge has the story:

The paper in Geophysical Research Letters by I.B. Smith et al., “A Solid Interpretation of Bright Radar Reflectors Under the Mars South Polar Ice” (GRL, 15 July 2021, DOI: 10.1029/2021GL093618) says that clay is a sufficient material to account for the observations. The water interpretation is problematic, because “the amount of dissolved salt and heat required to maintain liquid water at this location is difficult to reconcile with what we know about Mars.”

Clays, not water, are likely source of Mars ‘lakes’ (NASA). This press release from NASA points to another time when hydrobioscopy led planetary scientists astray. Remember the streaks on some crater slopes that were interpreted as flows of water leaking out from the subsurface? Notice the tendency to jump to biological conclusions; the first sentence in the article is, “Where there’s water, there’s life.”

David F. Coppedge, “Water on the Planetary Science Brain” at Creation-Evolution Headlines (July 30, 2021)
Colored dots represent sites where bright radar reflections have been spotted
The colored dots represent sites where bright radar reflections have been spotted by ESA’s Mars Express orbiter at Mars’ south polar cap. Such reflections were previously interpreted as subsurface liquid water, but their prevalence and proximity to the frigid surface suggest they may be something else.
Credits: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech

Disappointing, of course. The paper is closed access but Coppedge points to this NASA story for more info:

Three studies published in the past month have cast doubt on the premise of subsurface lakes below the Martian south pole. Where there’s water, there’s life. That’s the case on Earth, at least, and also why scientists remain tantalized by any evidence suggesting there’s liquid water on cold, dry Mars. The Red Planet is a difficult place to look for liquid water: While water ice is plentiful, any water warm enough to be liquid on the surface would last for only a few moments before turning into vapor in Mars’ wispy air.

Hence the interest generated in 2018, when a team led by Roberto Orosei of Italy’s Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica announced they had found evidence of subsurface lakes deep below the ice cap at Mars’ south pole. The evidence they cited came from a radar instrument aboard the ESA (European Space Agency) Mars Express orbiter.

Isaac Smith of Toronto’s York University bundled up while working in a lab, freezing smectite clays with liquid nitrogen to test how they respond to radar signals. The results have challenged the hypothesis that subsurface lakes can be found at Mars’ south pole. Credits: York University/Craig Rezza Radar signals, which can penetrate rock and ice, change as they’re reflected off different materials. In this case, they produced especially bright signals beneath the polar cap that could be interpreted as liquid water. The possibility of a potentially habitable environment for microbes was exciting.

But after taking a closer look at the data, along with experiments in a cold laboratory here on Earth, some scientists now think clays, not water, might be creating the signals. In the past month, a trio of new papers have unraveled the mystery – and may have dried up the lakes hypothesis.

Andrew Good and Karen Fox, “Clays, Not Water, Are Likely Source of Mars ‘Lakes’” at Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (July 29, 2021)

5 Replies to “Water on Mars? It is more likely clay, many now think

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    The article makes an unstated assumption that life requires LIQUID water. Not true. Bacteria live in water vapor (clouds) and algae lives in year-round ice.

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    Can water exist on Mars? Is the mass of Mars too small to prevent liquid water or water vapor from dissipating into space?

  3. 3
    martin_r says:

    Polistra @1

    The article makes an unstated assumption that life requires LIQUID water.

    the ones who are well informed on origin-of-life research know, that presence of water is a problem for origin of life. Darwinists call it a WATER PARARDOX. There are lots of articles on this subject.

    for example (from a mainstream paper)

    December 10, 2020


    “Water is essential for life, but it breaks down DNA and other key molecules. So how did the first
    cells deal with such a necessary and dangerous substance?”

  4. 4
    martin_r says:

    Water on Mars – it perfectly illustrates, how Darwinists always see what they want to see …
    and there is always another explanation … the same with the theory of evolution …

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Martin_r, you may appreciate this from ENV:

    In a New Book, Longtime Agnostic Dumps Darwin – August 2, 2021
    Excerpt: Neil Thomas was a steadfast Darwinist, until an unexpected event.
    “I had something of an epiphany in a nightmare that Darwinism could not be true,” he said. “I decided to read around a bit to see if this subconscious flash of insight could be true, and my research (which was diligent) confirmed the theory to be absurd.”
    “I realized I had been conned,” he said. “I felt there was something dishonest about the huge claims made by Darwinism compared with the negligible evidence to support the thesis.”
    He was so alarmed by this conclusion that he felt impelled to write a book as a sort of warning call to humanity: “Beware! You have been fooled!”
    That book has just been released by Discovery Institute Press: Taking Leave of Darwin: A Longtime Agnostic Discovers the Case for Design.,,,

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