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Brian


Posts: 708

Reply: 81



PostPosted: March 15, 2005 4:56 AM 

LWS,
None of yout notes can be substantiated. Many points, such as berry separation can be rejected. If you don't believe me do some research on other earlier threads within this forum.

RATs expose asymetric spherules buried within sedimentary deposits, such as your post 72. This scream concretion. No, there ain't no energy source within a surface rock in this environment to sudtaib a living berry that domehow rises to the surtace.

Vostok is indicative of a crater filled by regolith, and there is every indication that sufficient depth of sedimentary deposits across the entire area has been eroded to provide the berry population.

Spherules are HARD. The rovers needed re-programming in RAT sequencing to prevent termination of commands to RAT because of this. The rocks are SOFT. Just look at the RAT image to see this.

I would be delighted if you could provide a single sustainable indicator of living berries, but I believe your post 72 proves the opposite. Concretion. Please prove my conviction wrong. No-one would be more delighted than me. But it is disturbing to watch an intelligent poster drift towards the illogical outerdark inhabited by ES and RW.

ERic


Posts: no

Reply: 82



PostPosted: March 15, 2005 7:59 AM 

Brian,

"provide a single sustainable indicator of living berries"

Spherical 'concretions' that doesn't roll down hills and that do not accumulate in depressions. This should be enought to raise questions about the true nature of this spherules.

I hope this helps, ERic

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 83



PostPosted: March 15, 2005 8:27 AM 

Hi Brian

Thanks for your reply to my various posts above. I'll try to respond to the substantive points made.

You said:

"None of yout notes can be substantiated"

Remember that I am not an astrobiologist. As I indicated earlier I am just throwing out speculations based on a number of observations and deductive thinking. I leave the substantiation to the Scientists with the relevant resources and clout, but, based on their preconceptions, it is unlikely that they would attempt to substantiate any of what I've said. for, if the kicking off point is that life can't exist on Mars, the only way that any of these points can be substantiated is when a well equipped exploration gets there. The falsification suggestions I've made in one of my posts above are therefore unlikely to be taken up.

However, I think that several of my points are indeed valid and can be substantiated and that the concretion hypothesis is not a certainty but is riddled with certain problems that have prompted questions by geologists who have proposed other models.

You said:

"Many points, such as berry separation can be rejected. If you don't believe me do some research on other earlier threads within this forum".

I've seen some of the research re. magnetism and it is'nt fool proof. Grateful If you could point me to the others. However, Several berry field images, show significant separation of berries in places where, if wind were indeed moving those berries around, the distribution should be more random.

Grateful if you would specify the other points which can be rejected as well as the points which may have some merit, in your view, as you said "many points can be rejected " instead of "all points".

You said:

"RATs expose asymetric spherules buried within sedimentary deposits, such as your post 72. This scream concretion. No, there ain't no energy source within a surface rock in this environment to sudtaib a living berry that domehow rises to the surtace".

I agree that those images strongly suggest concretions. My suggestion related to those entombed berries was that they might be featureless, immature, resting stages (needing minimal energy) which only elaborate the features found in the exposed berries when they are at the surface. I can't substantiate this, of course but I think it is a reasonable explanation if one assumes that the berries might be alive. Remember, we are talking about a putative organism that is likely to be almost totally different to an earth organism.

You said:

"Vostok is indicative of a crater filled by regolith, and there is every indication that sufficient depth of sedimentary deposits across the entire area has been eroded to provide the berry population".

I think the jury is still out on that speculation. There is still argument by geological heavy hitters as to whether or not the original layer of berries might have been several hundred meters or just a few meters. My speculation that the layer of berries now being seen might be a case of regeneration cannot be invalidated with the current hard evidence available.

You said:-

"Spherules are HARD. The rovers needed re-programming in RAT sequencing to prevent termination of commands to RAT because of this. The rocks are SOFT. Just look at the RAT image to see this".

I don't doubt that the spherules inside the rocks are hard. I'm just saying that the recent scraping of those 3 SURFACE berries by the brush indicated that those berries were covered by a relatively soft external layer and exposed a structured inner inside, and that the inside of several surface berries have been seen from eroded and split berries to be also structured and seemingly easily erodable. Marsman has shown at least 2 berries where the innards are well eroded. these certainly do not betoken hard innards lasting for billions of years. In addition, I've shown that the Rover instruments are incapable of characterising the inner 78% of the volume of an exposed typical berry and indeed cannot estimate the chemical content of one berry only, so current data cannot prove that the berries on the surface are totally made of hematite.

You said:

"I would be delighted if you could provide a single sustainable indicator of living berries, but I believe your post 72 proves the opposite. Concretion. Please prove my conviction wrong. No-one would be more delighted".

The sustainable indicator of living berries will only come when Geologists recognize that Mars life is unlikely to look like current earth life, carefully reexamine the various abiogenic proposals and recognize that the concretion hypothesis may be unsustainable and that the several small indicators of life, like Henry and Marsman's statistical measurement results, are worthy of testing.

I think I have pointed out a number of inconsistencies in the concretion hypothesis. You don't accept my offerings, and that's fine, but don't reject them only on the basis that they can't be currently substantiated in your view. Many of the tenets of the concretion hypothesis also cannot be substantiated.

You said:;

"But it is disturbing to watch an intelligent poster drift towards the illogical outerdark inhabited by ES and RW"

Thanks for describing me as an "intelligent poster". However, I think that my postings here have been far from illogical. They differ substantially from the default hypothesis but I don't think they are illogical, unless you define logic as being totally within the box of the default hypothesis. I think I have set out a logical framework for a living berry and tried to answer the specific challenges, albiet in a piecemeal fashion. The speculation still needs work. but none of the examples you have brought up invalidates that speculation, IMHO.

None of us can be 100% sure that the concretion hypothesis is correct. I'll try to develop a structured short paper over the next 2 weeks or so to provide "chapter and verse" to the hypothesis of the living blueberries.

Thanks again for responding

Winston Small


mann


Posts: no

Reply: 84



PostPosted: March 15, 2005 1:33 PM 

An ongoing proccess, or one that has long been over?

Pure chemistry, or biological involvement?

You would think that with a years worth of images, and data, we would be closer to an answer.

The images must have captured, the procccess of formation one way or another.

the most dynamic area so far to me, is an area at the bottom of Endurance. The evaporates are very soft and seem a bit more hydrated.
Are these evaporates in the making?
are berries growing here?

Are these grains being incorperated into the Evaporates?

No imgs yet, but im waiting.
there are lots of little berries here, along with tubes and fibers.

jamdix


Posts: 101

Reply: 85



PostPosted: March 15, 2005 4:13 PM 

I think it would be more easier to understand berries if they are considered partially biologically active and may having organic and inorganic zones like sea shells and corals. Sea shells continue to exist after the biological part dies and they can be preserved inside sediments through geological times. Point is existance of burried old berries inside hard and soft material does not prevent berries are still developping by a biological process.

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 86



PostPosted: March 15, 2005 7:07 PM 

Hi ERic, Mann and Jamdix

very good points.

As Eric intimates, the concretion hypothesis would be hard pressed to explain why the omnipresent wind would place a concentration of presumably loose berries at the top of a gently sloping rock, line up others on surfaces of the rock that always clearly have ground material and leave the balance of the rock surface devoid of berries. But then, to the majority of us, the concretion hypothesis is gospel and must not be questioned. Any thing that calls it into question must be avoided like the plague.

I think that a good study by the "go measure" team of a random sampling of the distribution of berries on rock surfaces as well as on soil surfaces might well pay dividends in terms of identifying their randomness or non-randomness of placement and therefore incrementally build up the case for or against the living berries.

Mann, I think that it is possible that the images have captured, again and again, the process of the formation of the evaporites and of the berries. The problem is that very few people are seeing it. I have commented from the time that these images were released, on another forum, that what we were seeing was not necessarily a process of dissolution of the evaporites but a process of building up of both the evaporites and the berries. I.e the process was ongoing and not one which stopped billions of years ago. The dark ground matrix seems to possess some "initials" (AC, Initials are defined in good biological dictionaries) that lead to the formation of the berries of different stages. Many images show this clearly. Outside the ground matrix is some white or light material that just might be showing us how the evaporites themselves are being formed but conventional opinion is that they are showing wind degredation of the spherules. Practically every MI image with berries clearly shows the process but we are brainwashed to think that it cannot be so and we see instead the opposite process as required by the concretion hypothesis.

In my view, the finding of berries within the soft evaporite rock would then be a result of the evaporite being formed and enveloping the berries and other material that were formed on the surface as your image seems to show.

Jamdix, that's a good idea, imo. I think that the hematite aspect has probably fooled a lot of people into thinking that the berries cannot be organs derived from past or present lifeforms. I think that it might be possible that the hematite is just a fortuitous product of an alien metabolism that is of immense benefit for the survival of the berries and that internal to a hematite layer, is the organization that we can see in damaged berries, that contribute to the alien metabolism of the berries whatever chemistries it rides on.

I think that last weekend's demonstration of the brushing of the 3 berries can contribute to a quantum leap in our understanding of the berries if the Rover team is willing to just consider that the concretion hypothesis might not explain all aspects of the berries and are willing to test other hypotheses. eg. If the rover brush could be used to move some berries on the soil surface and note the force required to do so; if the brush could be used to overturn some berries on the soil surface and see what is underneath and also to determine if they are attached to the surface; we could get some better indication of the structure and attachment of these berries and if a significant number are attached to the substrate.

Could you imagine what a finding that several berries in the soil have stalks attached underneath them going into the ground matrix could do to the concretion hypothesis? It would be a very easy experiment to do.

Alas these hopes are vain, knowing the orientation of the team. It is a pity that Astrobiologists who have stated that it is quite likely that we might look at alien life and not recognize that it is life because it is so different to earthlife, do not seem to have recognized the possibility that they are staring at billions of examples of mars life and are not even making an attempt to see if it might have some biosignature or not and are just passing it over as "just rocks" without adequate testing.

The berries may turn out to be just rocks but I think that there is a distinct possibility that they are not. It would not affect the success of the Opportunity rover in any way to do some of these experiments since it has already surpassed all its objectives. But It is very unlikely that they will do anything in this regard. They are already steaming away from Vostoc and onward to the "Whatsis terrain".

I can only hope that we will find some nice blueberries on clearly discernible stalks with some nice flowing episodic water when we reach there. That may be the only thing to convince Brian that there might be a slim possibility that the concretion hypothesis needs some work.

Winston Small

Francisco J Oyarzun


Posts: 230

Reply: 87



PostPosted: March 16, 2005 1:56 PM 

You raise some fascinating implicit accusations, Winston!

How many times has Opportunity been instructed to dig a trench and MI it? In how many such instances was the removed regolith under a berry patch!??

Francisco J Oyarzun


Posts: 230

Reply: 88



PostPosted: March 16, 2005 3:11 PM 

Actually, I find that your suggestion to look for berry stems by either

  • brushing berries on sand, sideways, or
  • digging a trench right under a patch of healthy-looking berries
is too good to drop. I strongly suggest we forward the idea to some "Athena Team" members; particularly those who either
  • are touching on the berry subject at this week's LPSC, or
  • are in Nathaliie Cabrol's Atacama circle.

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 89



PostPosted: March 16, 2005 4:54 PM 

Hi Francisco.

I had not intended to make any accusations. I was merely suggesting that, until last weekend's demonstration that the Rover could lightly brush the berries, I thought that the only mechanical action it could take was pushing them into the ground. Now, it looks as if it is capable of pushing them sideways and looking for any possible attachment to the soil.

I've looked at several blueberries in situ on the rocks and on the soil surface. The majority of berries with holes in them have clearly been detached from whatever surface they were borne on, as in the sol 25 images. There are a beautiful series of MI images of berries taken from around sol 25 to about sol 40 in which a few berries with a peculiar stem can be seen to be attached. This stem or double stem does not appear to me to be the work of a random geologic agent, no matter how many millions of years it has had to act.

My quick survey of berries on the surface show none with holes in them and no suggestion of any kind of stem. The stems are only on the ones emerging from the rocks. It is likely, that in the default hypothesis, no stems should now be found on the surface after millions of years exposure. However, random movement of the berries on the surface should have exposed the undersurface of some of them. If the holes are produced by the breakage of the stems, we should therefore see a fair number of berries on the surface with holes. As I indicated, there appear to be very few of these in evidence. hence my postulate that the berries on the soil surface are probably still attached to stems in the soil.

What I'm suggesting as an experiment should give some indication of a number of things that I will detail later. You can probably guess several of the consequences.

Re. contacting the MER people, etc., with the idea. I have good reason to think that they monitor this site. One even posted here in response to a query of mine. However, if you think that the suggestion is one worthy of follow-up and you have contacts with the groups you suggested, please feel free to contact them.

Thanks again for your suggestions and helpful comments as I've been developing this speculation day by day.

Winston

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 90



PostPosted: March 16, 2005 4:56 PM 

Hi Francisco

I forgot to mention that the series of images around sol 25 of the trenching, show some very interesting aspects of the berries and the soil surrounding them. strings of "soil" connected by thin wefts, very biological looking "cells" etc.

Winston

marsman


Posts: no

Reply: 91



PostPosted: March 16, 2005 6:39 PM 

We should look for whatever it is that is attaching the spherules to the soil on the dunes like velcro and this could be anything (stalks, fibers, filaments, etc.).

/R

marsman

ustrax


Posts: no

Reply: 92



PostPosted: March 17, 2005 10:03 AM 

Can this help?
Micro imgs from the 13th of March
(thank you thank you thank you Scidude!!!)

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 93



PostPosted: March 19, 2005 8:10 PM 

Hi Geologists

A major plank of my speculation that berries are currently living is my view that the concretion hypothesis cannot explain why there is a totally uniform layer of billions of berries across square miles of Meridiani planum, unbroken by the numerous small craters or karst features found on the plains. appearing as if, when the surface is broken, the berries grow onto the new surface.

Grateful if some geologists will explain to me why I am wrong and what process of saltation over eons, etc. will produce this result of a very thin surface layer of berries that show that they are not indestructible.

Winston Small

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 94



PostPosted: March 29, 2005 12:52 PM 

Hi All

I think I got a little response to the above query on another thread.

Here's another question. How do you explain the circular distribution of the berries on the rock in this image?

Wind action? Small eddy currents in the sea that produced the concretions eons ago?

Winston


ustrax


Posts: no

Reply: 95



PostPosted: March 30, 2005 6:57 PM 

As anyone read the article on Space.com concerning the earth impact-spherules?...

Francisco J Oyarzun


Posts: 230

Reply: 96



PostPosted: April 7, 2005 8:09 PM 

Yet another scholarly paper on pyrite concretions on Earth:

http://jsedres.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/full/71/1/155

I dare say their Figure 2 looks a lot like some of the stuff we see from Mars!

mann


Posts: no

Reply: 97



PostPosted: April 7, 2005 8:40 PM 

Yep.

LWS


Posts: 3062

Reply: 98



PostPosted: April 7, 2005 10:05 PM 

Hi Francisco

This looks like the most plausible analogue so far for the blueberries. There are several similarities and some differences, particularly in size. Good find

Winston

LWS Author Profile Page


Posts: 3062

Reply: 99



PostPosted: January 21, 2007 11:52 AM 

Hi All

Was just looking back at this thread and wondered how far we have advanced in clarifying the origin of the blueberries in the nearly 2 years since this thread was inactive.

Since then, I think there are a few more converts to the ideas of; current episodic water being present on the surface of mars; an enhanced possibility of microbes being present on or near the surface of mars; a possible association of the blueberries with microbes; etc.

Has the concretion camp got any further evidence in its favour? or has there been further disarray created because of splits in that camp re. the exact mechanism for the formation of the blueberries in an ancient shallow lake or an ancient playa environment?

Any further thoughts?

Winston

brian Author Profile Page


Posts: 708

Reply: 100



PostPosted: January 22, 2007 3:42 AM 

Hi LWS,

I don't think there is need of further evidence for concretions - so far I have seen no compelling or substantiated argument for another source. We have seen the concretion indicators from tyhe begimning, berry sockets, spherules uncovered within rock by ratting, spherules dug up in trenches and spherules split in situ. Yet not a single biological indicator.

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