Back to the Live Blueberry thesis - Page 4

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LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 61



PostPosted: March 12, 2005 9:31 AM 

Re. Brian, #59

At last, another poster (along with AC) who, although convinced of the merits of the current paradigm, seems willing to at least look at the claims of the other side. Bravo!

You said:

"... 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"

The concept of living berries is very highly speculative. However, I think it differs from the "worms, spiders and bones" discoveries, in that I am recognizing that any putative Mars lifeform at or near the surface must differ significantly from Earth life in most respects even though it may be similar to earth life in a few respects.

I've asked myself, If the postulate that methane and formaldehyde is coming from living things turns out to be true and if Gil Levins LR results have any validity, what are the features that we see on the ground that might possibly point to living organisms on the surface of Mars?

I look at Meridiani planum and see the ubiquitous berries, looking for all the world like a layer of martian grass covering the plain.

I note that the berries all appear to come from an underlying matrix, even when they seem to originate from the surface of rocks.

I note Henry and Marsmans measurement data that suggests that these things do not operate in the same statistical framework as rocks, lapilli and Earths concretions, but do operate in the framework of biology like onions and crinoid stems.

I note that reputable scientists are at odds with the accepted explanations for the concretion thesis of blueberry formation.

I note that other reputable scientists have discounted the theory that blueberries are analagous to lapilli.

I note the presence of stalks on some berries that appear to be quite dissimilar to the stalks on earth's concretions.

I note that some broken berries appear to have an internal structure analagous to pachytheca hooker.

I note that most pictures of berry fields show a significant number of damaged and degraded berries and that the berries in the most recent release seem to have been quite easily scraped showing an internal structure.

I consider therefore that the validity of the current hypothesis that berries were formed de. nove several billion years ago is unlikely to be true if the berries that we see today can be degraded quite easily.

I note that the Opportunity instrument suite cannot give a full picture of the chemical constituents of the blueberries

I note that the Opportunity instruments are also incapable of determining if Organic chemicals are there or not.

I note that the Opportunity instruments cannot and have not been able to confirm the existence of superoxides on the surface of Mars

I note that there seems to be good evidence for the episodic flow of water on the Martian surface.

I have many other notes. Most of them indicate that the current default hypothesis needs some work to cover all the bases.

So I came up with the highly speculative live berry hyperspeculation. Chances are that it is totally incorrect, but it may, on the other hand, turn out to be in better accord with the facts and observations than the Concretion hypothesis when we get a better equipped rover to Meridiani. I am not trying to impose an earthcentric biology on Mars.


You said:-
"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"

My hyperspeculation about living berries, is just that, a highly speculative proposal. It does not rise to the level of a belief as I can walk away from it if you provide facts which invalidate it. I have not seen those facts so far.

Do you think that logic and reasoned arguments must be in total accord with the tenets of the current default hypothesis?

You said:-
"....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"

Could that image above only be valid if it is something you recognize like a fossilized hominid skull? In my view, there have been several images, which have been discarded, that looked like possible candidates for life and would have been investigated if the objective of the Mission was anything other than finding clues to ancient water. There are images, especially over the past few weeks, that suggest a non-geological origin of the textures etc. contained therein, but I'm sure Squyers et al will continue to insist that they have seen no evidence of biology, and indeed, they have'nt seen any such evidence, for earth biology, that is.

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 62



PostPosted: March 12, 2005 9:36 AM 

Hi Brian

Re. your earlier post in which you referred to RW, who, I don't think has posted on this thread. I hope you are not equating me with RW.

Extra Sense


Posts: 1471

Reply: 63



PostPosted: March 12, 2005 10:40 AM 

Here is a couple of berries, which are plants by any measure:

They might spring to life, if conditions are right!

e Razz s

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 64



PostPosted: March 12, 2005 2:49 PM 

Hi extrasense, could you post a side by side 3D of the image above or one of the 2D images.

Thanks

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 65



PostPosted: March 12, 2005 3:13 PM 

Hi All

I withdraw my suggestion in an earlier post that the images that were published yesterday show that the berries were soft.

A further look at the sol 401 berries show that it is probably only the surface layer that is relatively soft and was removed by the Brush, but that the internal layer that is seen in the later images was exposed by the RAT, not the brush, and might therefore be quite hard.

A comparison of the brushed and Ratted berries is here.

In any case, the RATted images of the sliced berries show an internal structure which I've tried to indicate on the posted figure above. It is clear that they are a number of globular segments in at least 2 of the three blueberries brushed and ratted. It looks like 7 such segments in the bottom berry to me, but the exact number of internal globes is not clear.

This internal strucure is not analagous to any of the earth concretions and does not seem similar to pachytheca hooker either.

Winston Small

Extra Sense


Posts: 1471

Reply: 66



PostPosted: March 12, 2005 3:19 PM 

I guess you still have not get 3D glasses. Embarassed

es

Anonymous


Posts: no

Reply: 67



PostPosted: March 13, 2005 2:58 AM 

LWS. Re reply 62, note my correction in reply 60 For RW read FMR. A senior moment I'm afraid. No, I do not categorise you with RW or ES.

Re reply 61, A logical and reasoned argument or analysis must address the subject matter, objectively and in detail. Above all the argument must be sustainable. Do you believe you are in fact doing this? For example, in your post #65 you seem to confuse what appears to be a brush with a RAT, and make claims as to internal structure. Unless I am very mistaken, the image post brush is the surface of the spherule with coating removed. There are interesting aspects to the post brush surface that you may like to address. But your arguments may benefit from review and reconsideration.

Brian


Posts: 708

Reply: 68



PostPosted: March 13, 2005 3:02 AM 

LWS. Re reply 62, note my correction in reply 60 For RW read FMR. A senior moment I'm afraid. No, I do not categorise you with RW or ES.

Re reply 61, A logical and reasoned argument or analysis must address the subject matter, objectively and in detail. Above all the argument must be supported. Do you believe you are in fact doing this? For example, in your post #65 you seem to confuse what appears to be a brush with a RAT, and make claims as to internal structure. Unless I am very mistaken, the image post brush is the surface of the spherule with coating removed. There are interesting aspects to the post brush surface that you may like to address and perhaps some review and reconsideration would be in order.

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 69



PostPosted: March 13, 2005 6:54 AM 

Brian. re. 68

Sorry. I must admit that these inputs I make on this board are in essence thinking aloud. I am not writing a thesis nor writing a peer reviewed paper. I am just throwing out ideas for the people who have the resources to follow up. On the other hand, I think that I am addressing the subject matter objectively and in as much detail as is reasonable with the information available.

Carefully read my inputs with the apparent objectivity you have shown so far and you will see that I have attempted to answer all the points raised by, e.g. Anonymous Coward, that would appear to negate any possibility of a past or present live blueberry. There has been no response from him on these points so far.

Re. my #65, that was an attempt to correct an initial confusing of the brush and ratted images caused by thinking aloud, a confusion which I think you still have.

That first image I saw appeared to have been a brushed image and I therefore considered that an internal structure had been exposed by merely brushing and ergo, the blueberry was relatively soft. A second look at the true earliest image of the berries showed the very small light circular telltale signs of brushing but with no apparent effect on the berries. A follow up look at what I originally thought was post brushing images showed that the second to fourth images were most likely of of incipient RAtting. I.e. just surface ratting, not the deep ratting that we have been accustomed to. Hence my illustration in reply #65 to correct my previous statement.

Look carefully at the "post brush" image in my #65 and you will see that it is of a brushed surface. The telltale signs are all there.

see here for the pancam image of the ratted surface;

I therefore think that it is you who are mistaken. The post-rat image shows 3 berries whose tops have been sliced off and it shows roughly circular regions in the cross sections of two of those berries. It shows a definite epidermal like layer on each berry. There is no indication of a featureless internal structure from these images.

But this was just one fortuitous example of structure in the berries. Marsman has provided several examples of structure in broken or otherwise degraded berries.

I agree with you that there are several interesting aspects of these berries but to the post-rat structure not the post brush structure which was totally featureless.

I think I understand where you are coming from. You want a tightly reasoned paper with all the I's dotted and T's crossed. When I get some time I will oblige as I think there is enough material to make a reasonable case for spherules possibly being fossils or even being currently alive. However, for now I will continue to think aloud.

Winston

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 70



PostPosted: March 13, 2005 7:25 AM 

Hi Brian

The post brush image is here. Check it carefully. You can see the fine light dust from the brush and a few surface streaks. The berries appear to be unaffected by the brush.

Winston

Henry


Posts: 2896

Reply: 71



PostPosted: March 13, 2005 8:00 AM 

Winston (Reply 65):

In my opinion, these images in reply 65 are either A) untouched, then secondly B) brushed only, not ratted.

In fact, I have never before seen brushed-only MI images of berries: these are the first I have seen. In my opinion all previous images of berries have either been A)untouched or B)ratted, but never C)brushed only.

Why NASA has waited so long to try this is beyond me.

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 72



PostPosted: March 13, 2005 10:46 AM 

Hi Henry

You are right. The berries in reply 65 were apparently not RATTED.

However, the first image was also brushed and was not a true pre-brushing image. It is clear that there was at least a light brushing of the berries in my reply #108.

However, I agree with you that the subsequent sol 401 images were brushed, not Ratted.

Today's images at exploratorium makes this even more evident here.

All this strengthens my earlier points about structure in the berries and relative softness of the material of the berries. Indeed it takes me back to my first point that the process exposed structure in the berries (and I might add, that may be difficult to explain for a concretion)

The images of the two berries showed a relatively thin external layer (probably the haematite layer) enclosing a multilobed inner subsurface area in which structure is quite evident.

Today's images show other berries that could not be seen in the brushed images that are inside the rock. Those images do not show the same structure as is seen in the surface berries.

Today's post ratted images also show that the ones seen yesterday have disappeared in the ratting process. Since the ratting process does not have an embedding aspect similar to the wax embedding used in microtomes, any structure that might have been below the original berries would have been lost because of the scraping action of the RAT.

I think we are now getting a clearer picture of the structure of the berries.

A relatively thin globular external "epidermal" layer; internal to this another relatively thin layer that is structured ainto well demarcated areas, and internal to this another layer that consists of the chaotic type shapes characterizing the ground matrix.

Are'nt Earth's concretions, generally made up of relatively featureless, concentric layers?

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 73



PostPosted: March 13, 2005 10:58 AM 

Hi Henry

A correction to my post above. I should have referred to post 70 not 108.

One other point I forgot to mention re the deductions that can be made from the recent berry images.

It is possible that the berries inside the rock are immature, showing no apparent structure as compared to those that are on the surface or that have emerged from cracks etc. on the rock surface.

Your images of broken berries show what look like internal structures. Yesterday's images of berries on the surface of the rock showed structure, but the images of scraped berries inside the rock show no apparent structure. COuld they be immature stages in the rock which develop structure as they are exposed to the external environment?

Food for thought.

I've gone through your draft of the paper and I'm sending you my comments by email.

Winston

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 74



PostPosted: March 13, 2005 11:16 AM 

Hi Brian

You were correct re. my Ratting predicament (reply 65) and I was correct the first time around.

Winston

Gregc


Posts: 131

Reply: 75



PostPosted: March 13, 2005 12:53 PM 

LWS,

Gregc Very Happy

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 76



PostPosted: March 13, 2005 3:21 PM 

Hi GregC, Thanks very much for that image at reply #75. It accords almost totally with my speculation re. the probable biotic nature of the Blueberries.

Brian,

You asked about the facts underpinning my speculation.

Here is a very short summary of the rationale behind why I think that the blueberries might be organs of a living organism.

The evidence of significant degredation and breakage of spheres, along with the ease with which the Opportunity brush removed the surface layers of a few berries recently, suggests that those berries that we now see littering the surface of Meridiani could not have been there for billions of years. Pop goes the concretion hypothesis.

If the berries were not formed billions of years ago in a shallow sea environment then there is some probability that they are constantly being replenished, not necessarily on an annual basis but perhaps with each obliquity or ice age on Mars

The berries constitute only a very thin layer on the soil surface, even though they are billions of them (as shown by Oppy's trenching experiments) That population appears to be subject to significant degradation that should mean their disappearance in only decades or hundreds of years if they were not being replenished. Now what are the chances that Oppy should have fortuitously now come to sample the last vestiges of a several billions old population? I probably have'nt explained that properly but think about it and you will soon get it. That population of blueberries is being replenished.

There are just too many of the berries in a thin layer per unit area of soil surface and the current rock surfaces are too sparsely populated with berries for the berries to be reasonably explained as having been derived from the rock billions of years ago.

Henry and Marsman's studies suggest that the berries have a population distribution characteristic of biota.

The evidence of internal structure from several images suggests that they are or were probably living organs as well.

The stalks seen on many blueberries are unlike the stalks of some earthly concretions, being sometimes curved and cylindrical and also perhaps geotropic, ie. probably of biotic origin.

The distribution of the blueberries on the surface suggests that they are predominantly being formed out of the soil surface, but with some coming through cracks in the rock surface.

Practically all blueberries on rock surfaces appear to originate on seams or crevices in the rock. Those on seams almost always can be seen lying on the ground matrix type materials. This was evident from the first images last year, and has continued consistently up to now. Now why would loose berries dropped there from rocks, a few billion years ago, line up on these rocks in a consistent non-random pattern when thay are likely subjected to winds, episodic water events, dust devils, etc on a fairly regular basis that should push them against one another randomly around the landscape.

Instead, on the soil surfaces they appear to remain certain constant distances from one another (ie are self repelling Wink know that they should not get into the space of other berries; form duplets and triplets and chains, in some cases but are almost never jumbled together as would be the case if wind was a factor in their distribution. It is interesting that there are several cases where, it looks like water recently flowed down channels, that larger berries are oriented at the edges of such flow patterns.

A few images of isolated rocks on the open plains show a distribution of berries on the rocks that is very characteristic of growth by fungi from a plug of inoculum onto the surface of solid media.

There was an indication that berries were repopulating the edges of the air bag marks left by the Rover in the Eagle Crater and which had been removed by the impact. Unfortunately Oppy did not go back to carefully examine that area. In addition, there were also some indications that there were berries in the heat shield crater. Again, Oppy was not instructed to thoroughly examine that area.

There are several things that the Rover team can do to build up a case to falsify this speculation.

a) Check the haematite content of an area with several berries that has been MI'd; Lightly brush off the area,MI and then check the haematite content of the brushed area; Brush again and repeat until satisfied that haematite is no longer there.

b) try some more brushing and ratting of blueberries at different sites to get a clearer picture of any possible blueberry structure.

d) If the rover ever gets back to this area of Meridiani, go back to a pre-arranged area near the edge of the "choatic terrain?" and take some time lapse MI images of the berries at the edges of a rock

c) Have Mars ESA look specifically for H2O, H2S, CH3CHO and CH4 over the Meridiani planum area, if possible, as compared with the gusev area.

d) The "go measure " team could expand their investigations to studying the spatial distributions of berries on rock surfaces to determine if such distributions are consistent with a non random placement on edges etc (as my eye suggests). or are indeed random.

The clincher argument for practically proving the living berry hypothesis is out there.

Winston Small

Gregc


Posts: 131

Reply: 77



PostPosted: March 14, 2005 7:28 AM 

Hi Winston,
"Instead, on the soil surfaces they appear to remain certain constant distances from one another (ie are self repelling know that they should not get into the space of other berries; form duplets and triplets and chains, in some cases but are almost never jumbled together as would be the case if wind was a factor in their distribution. It is interesting that there are several cases where, it looks like water recently flowed down channels, that larger berries are oriented at the edges of such flow patterns."

Consider the results obtained in this old thread. [LINK]

Gregc Very Happy

Very Happy

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 78



PostPosted: March 14, 2005 8:01 AM 

Hi GregC

Thanks very much for that link. You did some very good work there. Sorry that I did'nt know of it before, having only discovered this forum, a bit over a month ago.

Magnetism might be a factor, but I think the MI's consistently show spaces between the berries which suggests that magnetism could not be the only factor.

There, however, seems to be significant static electricity on the martian surface as gauged from the several pictures of clumped dust clinging to the instrument plates. (Which has also been interpreted as a clue that the theoretical superoxides are also not present)

Good exchange on the possible influence of magnetism on the distribution of blueberries! This forum has thrown up some good ideas and experimentation to support such ideas.

Winston Small

Gregc


Posts: 131

Reply: 79



PostPosted: March 14, 2005 8:36 AM 

Hi Winston,
You relate "Static Electricity"...truly a factor to be considered and along with magnetism, that just might explain the "Filaments"
that we see in some of the MI's attached to the berries.

Gregc Very Happy

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 80



PostPosted: March 14, 2005 9:41 AM 

Hi All

Could this be a preview of another phase of the blueberries on the surface?

A phase in subsidence?

Winston Small

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