Scientists have discovered evidence of liquid water flowing on Mars. Now the question is how they know that and whether is matters. Astronomy has little to do with science and is mainly based on assumptions, so let’s not get too enthusiastic.
“Chemical analysis of dark streaks on the surface of the planet has identified the presence of hydrated salts that are the signature of liquid salty water.” When you read “chemical analysis” you would think they have taken a sample and analysed that in a lab, but that’s not true. They have taken a variety of photos and the interpreted what they saw. But there is a minor problem: Mars is not the earth. And who says that things look the same at another planet? What looks like water here might look like dust at Mars. Or maybe there are all kinds of elements at other planets that we don’t have on earth, which would make it impossible to identify them. So the evidence of water is based on the assumption that things are the same at Mars and that’s highly questionable.
“The researchers found hydrated salts, which precipitate from water, on all the streaks they examined.” Again: how do they know that? Maybe these salts do not precipitate from water on Mars, but form in another way. If those salts are indeed what the astronomers assume, which is impossible to say.
“NASA’s planetary science director Jim Green described the discovery as revolutionary.” If these findings were facts, then maybe it would be revolutionary, but there is no way of knowing that. “Mars suffered a major climate change and lost its surface water.” Wow. They know that all from just a series of photos? That could only be possible if they would use the services of a psychic, but that wouldn’t be considered scientific. But the astronomers’ fantasies obviously do qualify as such.
The search for extraterrestrial water is based on the assumption that there needs to be water before there can be life. Says who? Why couldn’t it be possible that on other planets there is life that doesn’t need water? This approach is remarkably narrow minded and doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
So what is actually this remarkable, revolutionary discovery? A new series of photos of Mars and that’s about it. Everything else is assumptions. The truth is that we don’t know what is happening outside out planet. Maybe some day we will get a bit more information about Mars, but it will still be very little. And what happens outside our solar system we will never know. Is there life out there? I would say that’s quite likely. But we will never know, because it’s way too far away. And why would any extraterrestrial being want contact with us? We earthlings have done a very bad job looking after our planet. So why would anyone from out there want to have anything to do with a bunch of idiots like us?
Astronomy is a nice hobby, but just don’t call it science. It’s not and never will be, because it cannot be.