[Taxacom] More "Martian" fossils?

David Campbell pleuronaia at gmail.com
Tue Mar 8 16:45:11 CST 2011

>       The Journal of Cosmology (apparently an online journal only) has
> apparently published a recent paper by a Dr. Hoover with similar claims
> (like those of NASA scientists back in the 1990s that Martian meteorites
> from Antarctica contain microbial fossils similar to cyanobacteria on
> Earth).  Those claims were highly criticized and these recent claims
> seem even MORE doubtful (if they were not from more contaminatable sites
> than the frozen Antarcitic).   My view continues to be that positive
> proof of ancient Martian microbes wlll probably ultimately require
> collection of rocks on Mars itself (not meteorites).  The less frozen
> such meteorites are, the more likely they are prone to terrestrial
> contamination.

The new Hoover paper claims to have microbial fossils in a wide
assortment of meteorites, mostly not of planetary origin.  The claim
that life is present in asteroids and comets is rather implausible, to
say the least, and the abstract's description of chemical tests
failing to find nitrogen with older fossils sounds suspiciously like
different modes of preservation were not taken into account-organic
fossils need to be the reference for comparison to supposed
carbon-rich fossils, not relatively inorganic exoskeletons.  Inorganic
carbon can form tubes of varying dimensions and branching patterns.

Dr. David Campbell
The Paleontological Research Institution
1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca NY 14850

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