Wednesday, November 26, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Mars life conclusions are premature

By
From page A12 | March 29, 2013 |

I don’t know how The Enterprise editorial staff reached the conclusions stated in the “Our View” column of March 26: “No little green men, but plenty of life,” “Rover finds proof that Mars likely once supported life” and “the Red Planet once supported life.”

The official NASA news release on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity’s latest discoveries says nothing this dramatic: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1438.

In reality, Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, announced, “A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment. From what we know now, the answer is yes.”

In short, what Curiosity has revealed is that all the right elements and conditions to support life were present on Mars 3 billion years ago. However, unlike the conclusion-leaping Enterprise editors, NASA scientists understand that evidence of a life-nurturing environment is a far cry from demonstrating even fossil evidence for microbial life on Mars at this point.

It’s akin to walking into a completely furnished model home. Just because the Realtor outfitted it with every creature comfort in an effort to sell the product, that doesn’t mean that anyone lives there. Someone may have dwelt there in the past, but only more research could prove that.

If and when a future explorer, robotic or human, returns proof of past or present extraterrestrial life on our ruddy round neighbor, the news will warrant headlines of epic proportions because the event surely will be one of the greatest in history.

Until that momentous day, editorial writers should exercise care and restraint in reporting and interpreting scientific findings. You don’t want to be branded as “the boy who cried ‘ET.’ ”

David Takemoto-Weerts
Davis

Comments

comments

Letters to the Editor

.

News

Food fight … in a good way

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Fremont Weir parking lot remains closed

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1

 
Year-end films to see, or not, on KDRT

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

LCI marks 50 years with special service

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Happy Thanksgiving from The Enterprise

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Free bike clinic, ride set Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Learn to use Skype at Connections Café

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Girls who volunteer may apply for grant

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Round up at the registers for Davis schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis Community Gift Project brightens holidays for children

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Speaker proposes changes in humanities doctorate

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Senior Center hosts holiday sing-along

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sutter sponsors qigong for holiday de-stress

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Boy Scouts start Christmas tree sales on Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Volunteers needed to grow plants for habitat restoration

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Rainbow City community meeting set Dec. 1

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
Musings in the wake of Ferguson decision

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Planting love at new home

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Innovation parks comparison

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Let’s not lose another good DHS coach

By Chris Saur | From Page: B1

 
Blue Devils prepare for a new season on the mat

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

No excuses, but there’s hope for UCD after 2-9 season

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Joseph, Manzanares lead 10 All-Big Sky Aggie picks

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS wrestling is not just for boys

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Davis Little League offers early sign-up discounts

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Kings get past Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Features

Salute to non-steamed broccoli

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

It really is ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Elzyne Thompson

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Death notice: Buddy Ralph Mills

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, November 26, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Ready, Set, Shop!

Shop locally: You can have your pie and eat it too

By Enterprise staff | From Page: RSS1

Santa’s little helper: secrets to happy holiday shopping

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: RSS2

Make sure it gets there: deadlines for shopping and shipping

By The Associated Press | From Page: RSS2

Downtown lights up at holiday open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: RSS3

Full of warm wishes and over-sharing, the holiday card lives on

By The Associated Press | From Page: RSS4

Shop smart: Protect your wallet and your identity this shopping season

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RSS5

Woodland celebrates the holidays downtown

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RSS5