Back to the Live Blueberry thesis - Page 3

Previous 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 Next
Author Message

Posts: 3062

Reply: 41

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 4:11 PM 

Hi "Just Rocks"

I just finished the post above and went checking today's opportunity releases and guess what? Here is an image that shows the same internal structure as well as a connection to a stem that I have alluded to above.

Your lack of internal structure point is not valid. The live hypothesis is picking up

Winston Small


Posts: 3062

Reply: 42

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 4:24 PM 

Another point for Henry, marsman, Francisco, etc. and for you too AC and Just rocks.

Look at the MI releases today sol 401. There is a distinct impression given in those images that the interior of the berries cut by the RAT is "soft". Yes "soft". I'll explain why later for Just rocks but I think AC and the regulars will see where I am coming from if they examine all the MI images today.



Posts: no

Reply: 43

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 5:56 PM 

An excellent find, Winston!

I'm not aware of any concretions that are "soft" or have this rather odd internal "texture" is that we are seeing. While there are examples of concretions that have holes like the Mars Spherules,

I am not aware of any examples of concretions that have "filaments":





Posts: no

Reply: 44

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 6:05 PM 

And this one (Courtesy of chaosman and iceman) from Sol 401:




Posts: no

Reply: 45

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 6:15 PM 

This one is from a while back showing what appears to be concentric layering:

And this one is also showing some rather strange looking internal textures:

This one seems to have the faint outline of a circular (or oval) shaped center:




Posts: no

Reply: 46

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 6:29 PM 

"Moroever, plenty of abiogenic explanations have been forthcoming to explain the "berries" on stalks. "

Then name one and provide a pictoral real-life counter example.

I've seen concretion cones already ("spires" if you will) and they are not the same as thin cylindrical "stalks". Also, in-situ, the conical spires project out of the concretion whereas here on Mars, the stalks are terminated with spherules on top.

They're Rocks

Posts: no

Reply: 47

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 6:41 PM 

I'm not really back, LWS, I only entered this thread because my name was invoked in a way that left me provoked. And I'm not going to debate this issue point by point. It's really a waste of time, and currently I am almost always offline anyway, with little time to spare. I already notice, for example, that the "default hypothesis" of flat earth was raised, as if this is supposed to be an argument against the "default hypothesis" of rock. (It's not.) But why waste time I don't have explaining this? I tried to do that with the Ptolemay/Copernicus post, apparently without success.

The signal to noise ratio here has become far to low to sustain debate. Also, the rules here need to be reformuulated. Argumentum ad hominem is permitted here (expect to Greg, apparently) and it is used liberally by those who make the most outlandish claims. To see how this tactic should be handled, please go to the link below, at the Bad Astronomy Bulletin Board, where Extra Sense tried the same crap there (outlandish assertions mixed with ad hominems against those who contest him) that he routinely gets away with here. Note that by the third page of the thread, he was banned. In part, that's because the BABB is run by a scientist and a sketpic, and one familiar with logical fallacies like the ad hom.

The berries show internal structure in those photos above? Huh? Where? All I can see are a bunch of random lines and dents and ruts. This is the very opposite of structure! How can anyone possibly claim that nonstructure is structure? Shall we next claim that War is Peace and Slavery is Freedom?

Was I there when the berries formed? No, but neither were you, nor was anyone else. Yet we can think of all sorts of plausible explanations for how these berries could have formed under the influence of water, and the hematite signature is a tip-off to past water on Mars. Thus we have plausible grounds to think that the spherules were formed under the influence of water a long time ago over a long period of time. By contrast, we have no plausible grounds to assume that the spherules are or were alive. All you have offered is speculation along the lines of: wishful thinking, ad hoc reasoning, confirmation bias and special pleading (all of which are logical fallacies).

Speaking of the default hypothesis, even if evidence points to life on Mars, this in no way affects the default hypothesis of "rocks" with respect to the spherules. The spherules are rocks. They aren't alive. They were never alive. There's no reason -- no reason at all -- to think otherwise.


Posts: no

Reply: 48

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 6:46 PM 

This another broken spherule:

To the best of my knowledge, I'm not aware of any concretions that have an oval shaped center.

Now going back to the size distribution problem:

This is the size distribution profile for Marcasite concretions in RPage's collection:

This is the size distribution profile for Ord Spherules (also concretions):

And this is the size distribution profile for the Mars Spherules at Endurance Crater:

The size distribution profiles are not the same (lognormal for concretions vs. Asymetric Logistic Peak for the Mars Spherules).

Now, this is the size distribution profile for fossilized Crinoid stems (i.e. biogenically shaped rocks) here on Earth:

Look familiar?




Posts: no

Reply: 49

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 6:49 PM 

I will give you a hint, LWS.

"They're Rocks" can not be reasoned with because his mind has been made up on the subject regardless of any facts to the contrary. Good luck!



They're Rocks

Posts: no

Reply: 50

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 8:20 PM 


I'm perfectly prepared to be persuaded of evidence for life, when you offer some. When will that be, do you think?

Typically, you evade counterarguments. You said the spherules could not have been eroded under the thin Martian air. But then I pointed out that no one claimed this -- that in fact the working hypothesis is that the spherules were molded by water (with the hematite signature providing a key clue). You ignored this. Why?

When are you going to show me the biogenic structure in the photos above, particularly the one at the top of the page? Where are they? How does one divine structure in a bunch of random dents and squiggles? No answer from you.

What oval shaped center? That photo is just too blurry for anyone to determine with precision the shape of the center. And if it is oval-shaped, so what? Do you mean to tell me that non-life processes can't create ovals and other familiar shapes? Or is the idea too incredible to entertain? In which case, you are committing the fallacy of the argument from incredulity.

People observing this discussion will observe how key questions are consistently dodged, and new unsupported assertions wildly tossed out. Thus it has ever been on this blog.


Posts: 248

Reply: 51

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 9:14 PM 

just rocks...arent you closing the door on the possibility these could be living by stating absolutley these are not living organisms. And if in the future these are found out that they are living or were living. Does this cast a shadow on any other oppinions you give on the subject.

They're Rocks

Posts: no

Reply: 52

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 9:27 PM 

To answer blito3:

There are no certainties in science. Everything is a probability. So when I say these spherules aren't alive, and have never been alive, I'm saying that based on the available evidence, a degree of probability exists against the life hypothesis that is so high, it would be preverse to withhold assent from the "no-life" view.

In other words, in the absence of evidence for spherules == life, it is perverse to claim that the spherules are, or were, living things. If new evidence were to emerge indicating that life was somehow involved in their production, then we would revise our hypotheses. It's basic science.

Forum Moderator Richard

Posts: 1921

Reply: 53

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 10:08 PM 

"I, too, am leaving this board, and this will be my last post. It occurs to me that the ignoramusus like Raptor Witness are always going to win the day, because ignorance is easy and intelligence is hard. I, Greg and others have tried to sustain this board as a place of intelligent discussion, and that is why we have responded to RW's idiocy: because if intelligent people come here and see his dingbat posts go unrefuted, they will conclude that this is a nut house not worth bothering with. Unfortunatelyl, they would be right.

I turn the asylum over to the lunatics.

Rocks, signing off."
Welcome back


Posts: 3062

Reply: 54

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 10:37 PM 

Hi "they're rocks"

You have a very interesting understanding of the Scientific method.

If I understand you properly. One should hold on to a default hypothesis, denying that any alternative exists and close one's mind to any deficiencies in the hypothesis, until some new evidence miraculously emerges that indicates that the default hypothesis is untenable.

How do you expect that new evidence to emerge? through Scientists who interpret everything in relation to the default hypothesis and discard any evidence that challenges it?

The people who progress science are those who question the validity of the default hypothesis and chip away at it, bit by bit, until suddenly, the people like you who can't think on their own, are forced to realize that the paradigm has changed.

I sense it is changing with this whole area of life on mars just as it has changed with the uniformitarianism theory, the flat earth, lamarckism, and even panspermia which seems to be coming into its own nowadays.

Have you looked at the internal structure of earth's concretions? Does that structure match the featureless (as far as you are concerned) internal structure of the blueberries? Have you looked at the internal structure of Pachytheca hooker? No. You just glibly consider that Steve Squyers says so and it has to be so.

You just deny the evidence or at least indications that the blueberries are not analagous to earth's concretions without even looking closely at that evidence.

Good science is not done that way.

They're Rocks

Posts: no

Reply: 55

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 11:14 PM 

until suddenly, the people like you who can't think on their own,...

This is precisely what makes this blog so frustrating, and the endeavor ultimately so pointless. I see no reason why this shouldn't be construed as a personal insult, or, at the very least, a disruptive tactic known as poisoning the well. But whatever.

I would maintain that I am thinking on my own, and you are succumbing to a wishful thinking syndrome.

You have completely mischaracterized my stance. I do NOT say that one should hold on to a default hypothesis at all costs, and I do NOT say that one should "close one's mind" to alternative possibilities. Please point out where I have said those things.

Nor have I ever said that the default hypothesis must be the right one. Frequently it's not.

All I've said is that if you're going to overturn the default hypothesis (and some people here even deny that there is any such thing) you've got to produce compelling evidence in favor of your new hypothesis or theory. And no, this evidence does not magically appear. Frequently, even before the evidence is found, scientists make intuitive leaps to the correct conclusion. The classic example is Einstein and relativity.

BUT, I've also pointed out that the evidence being offered in this thread to claim that the berries are somehow alive has been completely unpersuasive. What's more, there is no sign of any intuitive leap that should make us believe that they probably are alive, even in the absence of evidence. For example, no one has shown, even supposing that they are alive, what they are living ON.

You claim that the photo at the top of this page shows internal structure. I again ask, what structure? There is no structure! There are random markings and indentations. I see nothing of bilateral symmetry, nothing of repeating patterns, nothing suggesting lifelike structures or Martian equivalents of such structures as we would find them on earth.

By contrast, we have plenty of counterexamples of how the berries could have formed according to known mineralogical processes, and I provided a link several posts back to a scientific paper that discusses their morphology.

I'm not against overturning paradigms. But unless you have true evidence to sustain your claims, or unless you at least have a plausible story (like Einstein's story of relativity, even without evidence), then as I said earlier, your new paradigms aren't worth a pair of dimes.

Let's not forget that just because there have been historical examples of paradigms shifting, for every one example of that happening, we can probably come up with a hundred examples of big claims that would have shifted paradigms if they had panned out. But they didn't pan out.


Posts: no

Reply: 56

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 11:20 PM 

I've not avoided anything, Rocks. It seems you are the one avoiding things. After all, they are all rocks. That is the default hypothesis and the default hypothesis is always true regardless of any facts or data to the contrary. This is how you approach the possibility of life on Mars right on the Blog. Everyone knows this. Everyone knows that your mind is made up and that you do not want to be confused with any new data or facts. Oh, my mistake! In your mind, there are no data or facts that contradict the null hypothesis because the picture's blurry, we're seeing things, woo-woo-isms from woo-woo posters and so forth. You're mind is already closed and made up. Everything is rocks. The sky is rocks. The spectral water signatures are rocks. This is your precious null hypothesis and it is absurd. There is no null hypothesis here because Mars is one big giant unknown alien world that is only now being explored with the revelation of new findings and with the introduction of new ideas (hypothesis) to test. You appear to have no ability of your own to contemplate or challenge any type of null hypothesis and you have no ability to effectively counter an argument that goes against the null except by using the argument tactics that I have outlined above and in previous posts. This is unfortunate. I know. I know. You're right and I'm wrong. Rolling Eyes

"I'm perfectly prepared to be persuaded of evidence for life, when you offer some. When will that be, do you think?"

As I said before, this will never happen to you because your mind has already been made up on the subject regardless of any data or facts to the contrary.


Posts: no

Reply: 57

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 11:29 PM 

For you, there is nothing to see because in your mind, you are fervently convinced that there is "nothing to see". Thus all data and facts of any kind literally just go through one ear and then out the other.

They're Rocks

Posts: no

Reply: 58

PostPosted: March 11, 2005 11:41 PM 

Wow, did you even read my post in reply 55?

If so, why don't you go back and read it again?

We are talking, in this thread, about the claim that the berries are alive. Not that they once might have been alive; not even, much more modestly, that they were formed through some combination of minerological and biological influences. No, the claim is, that they are alive right now.

Do you, Marsman, seriously believe that these things are alive?

If you do, I'm afraid it is you who is permitting the facts of reality to go in one ear and out the other.

And yes, you are avoiding the questions and counterexamples put to you. Let me again remind you that you put forth the following argument: that the berries could not have been eroded into their smooth and uniform shapes by the low Martian atmosphere, and hence this is an indication that something lifelike is going on. But no one has claimed that the berries were formed by interaction with air. The claim, rather, is that they were formed in water: the whole significance of their hematite signature is that it points to ancient Martian standing water. Thus you have erected a strawman to argue against.

And you are also wrong to say that Mars is one big unknown alien world. Lots of things are known about Mars, which has been the subject of interplanetary probes since the 1960s. There certainly is lot we don't know about the planet, but this does not mean that we know nothing about it.


Posts: 708

Reply: 59

PostPosted: March 12, 2005 1:48 AM 

So here we go again. Unsubstantiated statements and arguments on both sides.

Their Rocks. This section of the site is about possible Mars biology. Whether we agree with posters opinions or not, all should be allowed to have their say. RW has now taken measures to reduce the signal to noise problem from 'silly posts', but I see nothing in this thread that requires intervention.

I do note that you have failed to respond to post 48 and this is a significant flaw in your approach. The distribution of spherule size is anomalous and would seem to preclude earth based distributions for either concretions or lapilli. No, this distribution alone cannot substantiate an argument for a biological cause, and comparison against earth distributions has inherent flaws. But this indication of a distribution which, on earth, would be an indicator of a biological origon certainly deserves detailed analysis from the 'sceptical scientists', who have recognised the distribution as gaussian, but have not provided any valid explanation for this. Can you?

RW and Marsman. reply 44 et al seem to show a brush rather than a RAT. But certainly images worth detailed analysis.

To date I have not seen a single image or post which would indicate any form of biology on mars, either past or present. I personally put the concept of living berries in the same category as the worms, spiders and bones that some posters at this site seem to find littering the martian surface. I support without reservation your right to express an opinion and to have a belief in living berries. I would just wish that the posts expressing these opinions were supported by logic or reasoned argument. Else if an image does arise with a potential marker for life, the 'boy who cried wolf' syndrome will ensure that it is not taken seriously.


Posts: 708

Reply: 60

PostPosted: March 12, 2005 6:23 AM 

whoops. For RW in above read FMR. Sorry Richard.

Previous 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 Next

Join the conversation:

Very Happy Smile Sad Surprised
Shocked Confused Cool Laughing
Mad Razz Embarassed Crying or Very Sad
Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes Wink
Powered by MTSmileys