Well this is interesting. It turns out that the Viking Mars Robot, which landed on Mars decades ago, might just have found life after all.
The viking mission carried up a device designed to detect the complex molecules that make up life. It did this by taking some Mars dirt, mixing it with water, and then analyzing the result.
The experiment yielded some interesting results, but most were attributed to geologic activity.
Until now. A new study, performed by an international team of researchers and mathematicians, arrived at a different result. And their logic was fairly simple.
The experiment yielded a sample that was too complex to be geological in nature.
Geology, in all its impressive forms, is fairly simple. Complexity is dependent on scale. The things that geology produces have low complexity. Biology, on the other hand, introduces complexity. If you completely factor out everything but the complexity of the sample, all known biology will exceed the complexity of all known geology every time.
So when the team saw a level of complexity in the sample similar to what they would have found on Earth, well, they came to the natural conclusion.
There is life on Mars.
"On the basis of what we've done so far, I'd say I'm 99 percent sure there's life there," said neuropharmacologist and biologist Joseph Miller, with the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. "The ultimate proof is to take a video of a Martian bacteria. They should send a microscope -- watch the bacteria move,"
The evidence is hardly concrete, and there are plenty of critics of the science. But then, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Either way, it is something to think about.
Source: Fellow GEEK