Jeffrey Richard
1. neutronjockey
The word "possible" will be used throughout whatever announcement:

"Phoenix Mars rover scientist announce the possibility of organic constituents possibly found in a recent soil sample. The possibility of previous life on Mars was possibly possible. Possibly."

Vatican response: Vatican reconsiders stance on alien lifeforms calls Mars Phoenix Rover a hoax.

Stargate fans march on Vatican in Guy Fawkes day masks.

News at 11:00...
Pablo Defendini
2. pablodefendini
Funes said that ruling out the existence of aliens would be like "putting limits" on God's creative freedom.

Heh. Of course it would be a Jesuit who is charged with the intellectual gymnastics necessary for pre-empting the backlash against earth-centric, monotheistic religions that would ensue from First Contact.

Well played, Joey Ratz, well played.

*dons on tin foil hat*
Given the recent spate of E.T.-related noise coming from religious, governmental, and Hollywood outfits, I can't help but think that maybe they're privy to information that hasn't been released to the general public...
*/tin foil hat*
Paul Andinach
3. anobium
I don't know that Joseph Ratzinger gets particular credit for that one; I don't know of any Director of the Vatican Observatory who wasn't a Jesuit, and the Observatory's been around longer than Ratzinger has.
4. FredKiesche
I think they are using the word "possible" in the Phoenix announcement as a natural caution against the backlash of previously announcements regarding signs of life on Mars.

One story I read hinted that we might not see anything until mid-September in terms of substantive information. Hope it is sooner than that!
Clifton Royston
6. CliftonR
Here ya go, GUDsqrl: How to build your Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie from Zapato Productions Intradimensional, recently cited by the New York Times.
Pablo Defendini
7. pablodefendini
Well, it seems like all the commotion was for news in the opposite direction of what we all suspected (hoped for?). From the Mars Phoenix Twitter feed:

"The buzz this weekend was due to an interesting soil chemistry finding, still preliminary, but now avail here: http://tinyurl.com/6rscqn"

and from the NASA press release linked to above:

"Initial MECA analyses suggested Earth-like soil. Further analysis has revealed un-Earthlike aspects of the soil chemistry."

I shall now put away my tinfoil hat, and save it for another day.
9. rogerothornhill
Am I reading Schroeder correctly? Is all this back-and-forth an attempt to softpedal an error made three decades ago? Okay, admittedly, it's a highly significant error, but still . . . How many people still work at NASA who were part of the Viking missions? This is like the current administration reclassifying documents from the 1950s--does it matter anymore?

On the other hand, it would be just like NASA to frame something as a big announcement that might not be. That has been their raison d'etre since the 70s: announce big discoveries/new projects in order to prevent their budget from shrinking even further. This is, of course, why they switched from the old-style spacecraft to shuttles, a decision that even a lot of people in the agency thought was a bad idea.

Oh I hope they don't find life, not even little Robert Bloch "Catspaw" kind of creatures. If we actually lived in a universe full of aliens, it wouldn't be anywhere near as useful or pleasant to imagine them. Although I would still like to meet a Vorlon if at all possible, with or without encounter suit.
Jeffrey Richard
10. neutronjockey

It's a ruse. A ruse I tell you! They discovered evidence of organic matter and they're covering it up. That's why they had to brief the Prez first before making the announcement --- because he's part of the global-wide conspiracy to keep us in the informational dark ages.

Kate Baker
11. Kate_Baker
Of course it's all a ruse! According to a past astronaut, the government has been concealing visits from peaceful E.T.s for the longest time!

In all seriousness, unless its on the scale of a mass invasion or greeting, anything that shows up on Earth (or even Mars) will probably be discredited as a photoshop fake or hoax anyway.

I think it's kinda sad that overall, we've become such a jaded society with no real belief in anything truly incredible anymore. (Religion aside)

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