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Lichens on Mars vs the Hematite Hoax. Why Life Flourishes on the Radiation- Iron-Rich Red Planet.
Abstract and Figures
There is life on Mars as documented with 100 comparative photos. This evidence includes pigmented/melanized fungi and lichens, fungi shedding crustose and secreting calcium oxalate, fungi preparing to spore, spores on the surface sprouting embryonic mushrooms, fungus growing out of the ground, lichens with hollow stalks, vast colonies of lichens attached to rocks and oriented skyward similar to photosynthesizing lichens on Earth, and documentation that the claims of spherical hematite is a hoax--a byproduct of religious extremism at NASA--which is why the hematite claims were immediately rejected as inappropriate and implausible by a number of investigators who proposed instead they are tektites and accretionary lapilli produced by meteor impact and volcano. Be they on the surface or attached to Martian rocks they have no resemblance to terrestrial hematite. The “spheres” of Mars are uniform in shape and size (1mm or 3mm to 6 mm) and all were initially described as “yellow” “orange” “purple” and “blue” the pigmented colors of photosynthesizing organisms. Terrestrial hematite “spheres” are colored red to dark red, consist of less than 2% hematite which form a thin layer on the surface and have a wide variety of sizes and shapes and are infiltrated by fungi and lichens. A review of the Opportunity teams’ methodology and instrumentation reveals that data was contaminated and confounded by numerous uncontrolled variables including problems with instrument calibrations and they relied on inference, speculation, data manipulation, and spectra from panoramic images that were selectively eliminated in a failed attempt to make it conform to laboratory samples. The iron-rich radiation-intense Red Planet provides an ideal environment for fungus and lichens to flourish and promotes growth and sporing and production of melanin which protects against while simultaneously utilizing radiation for metabolic energy. Algae secrete calcium and lichens and fungi produce calcium oxalate that “weathers” and dissolves minerals and metals which are utilized as nutrients and are stored on cellular surfaces. Terrestrial species are iron-rich and precipitate hematite which makes these fungi and lichens ideal bioindicators of metal and minerals; whereas on Mars they are likely supersaturated with these and other minerals and metals as reflected by spectral data. Fungi and lichens secrete calcium oxalate which coats and surrounds mycelium, but upon exposure to dry surface conditions forms waves of calcium “cement” that may cement these organisms to layers of calcium oxalate fossilizing and making them “harder than rock.” Yet others grow out of the ground and are obviously alive. Given evidence documenting biological residue in Martian meteorites, biological activity in soil samples, seasonal increases in methane and oxygen which parallel biological fluctuations on Earth, and pictorial and quantitative morphological evidence of stromatolites fossilized tube worms and metazoans, growth of mushrooms and fungi, and vast colonies of rock-dwelling lichens, it is concluded that the evidence is obvious: There is life on Mars.
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