Martians Might Be Troglodytes

first_imgAccording to an article on Space.Com, Spirit and Opportunity aren’t going to find critters on the surface.  Since the surface is harsh because of radiation, a safer environment might be found in caves.  The discovery of soluble rock and methane is leading some to imagine that extensive caves might exist on Mars, and maybe that is where the methane is coming from.  Could methane emissions be a signature of life?  “The fact that you find methane does not mean you have to have life,” said Tobias Owen (U of Hawaii), one of the discoverers of methane on Mars (and also a member of the Huygens team).  “You have to be very careful.”  John Rummel agrees.  He’s a NASA planetary protection advisor tasked with avoiding undue contamination of Mars (and, conversely, of Earth from Martian organisms).  Apparently smarting from the fallout of the over-hyped Martian Meteorite saga of 1996, he said, “It’s an art of managing uncertainty.  The public deserves an honest agency.”We deserve it, but we’re not getting it.  All the rhetoric about water indicating life and methane indicating life is giving NASA a bad name, at least among logically-minded people.  Water is to life what iron is to a city.  Cities need iron, but the element does not imply the other.  Life is characterized by functional information – specified complexity – not the basic elements of which it is composed.  Neither does finding earth-life in extreme environments imply it originated there by evolution, and astrobiologists know this.  The public deserves an honest agency.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Tainted athletes await decision on Asiad

first_imgThe three dope-tainted wrestlers will be waiting with bated breaths to know their fate which is likely to be announced on Thursday and will decide their participation in next month’s Asian Games. Eleven sportspersons, including six wrestlers, were tested positive for methylhexaneamine, a banned stimulant, during the dope tests conducted ahead of the Commonwealth Games.Provisional suspensions on all of them were lifted after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) reclassified the stimulant as a ‘specified substance’. The athletes have so far appeared twice before the antidoping disciplinary panel headed by Dinesh Dayal but no decision has been reached so far.It was only in the last hearing in September that the panel concluded that the tests, which were done on the wrestlers, were incompetition and therefore their cases will continue with other accused athletes. After that, RK Anand, the counsel for all the athletes, had sought more time to prepare the case and the three-member panel agreed to his request.The list of 11 sportspersons includes six wrestlers, three swimmers, two athletes and a weightlifter. Among the six wrestlers, Arjuna awardee Rajiv Tomar, Mausam Khatri and Gursharanpreet Kaur were on Tuesday named in India’s Asiad squad but if any sanction is imposed upon them by the threemember disciplinary panel, they will be dropped from the team.The swimming and athletics federations included the athletes in the final squad for the Commonwealth Games despite a case pending against them with the NADA panel. Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) however, chose to be on a safer side and did not pick any of the four wrestlers who were originally part of the CWG team.advertisementBut their stand has changed as well and WFI president GS Mander is confident that all the athletes will be let off with warnings. “Things have changed now and we are sure that they (wrestlers) will get away with a warning,” Mander said. However, Tomar, for whom it was a heart break to miss out a place in the Commonwealth Games, is optimistic about the outcome.”It was very disappointing to miss out on a place at the Commonwealth Games for which I had prepared so well,” Tomar told MAIL TODAY.”I have spoken to our counsel and he is very confident. Hopefully, we all will come out clear tomorrow,” he added. But there is also a possibility that the case may not be decided on Thursday as well and could well go for another hearing. The documents that Anand is likely to come up with would be cross examined and argued upon by the NADA counsel and could take time.last_img read more