Findings of what appears to possibly be flowing water on Mars, seasonally in small rivulets does not much stimulate the odds of life existing on that planet now or in the past. It is interesting to consider though, within a quantum Gaian paradigm though.
Not being a scientist these comments are not to assert a scientific opinion-just my own. Since I recently read James Lovelock’s ‘The Vanishing Face of Gaia; The Final Warning’ it seems reasonable to apply something of his life as a quantum field that moderates its environment including the atmosphere point of view to the Martian criteria.
Mr. Lovelock mentioned that living organisms emit gases that show up in an atmosphere. Quantum levels for the existence of planetary life may exist that allow just select quantitative ratios of life to environmental resources to occur-somewhat analogous to conditions required to create hydrogen atoms and more complex elements.
The initial starting conditions for the growth of a life field should be quantitatively favorable to copious production of life even of a simple form. That environment ought to take a substantial time to develop, and it should have some stability to it. With the inception of life and its increase in a favorable environment its presence may immediately begin shaping environmental balances toward its own benefit.
Observing bacterial cultures growing on a uniform medium is not the same as growing cultures in a mineral and resource diverse environment. Perhaps it is possible to produce modular environments in which bacteria moderate their atmosphere, environment and its temperature substantially selecting to convert select chemical reactions from amidst a range of alternative possibilities.
The biosphere project of several years past that tried to have a sustainable enclosed environment for a few people-perhaps to model a future space station habitat for humanity, might be used a paradigm for creating miniature Gaia self-regulating life/planetary ecosystems so far as possible. I suppose they might be constructed in a variety of sizes and with various permutations of organic components, inorganic material and moisture as well as differing amounts of sunlight. Manufacturing such self-regulating biospheres might enable replication on Mars within geodesic domes constructed by robots. In the event that global heating increases to make a Gobi desert in the Midwest the production of self-regulating ecosystems in enclosed spaces-perhaps hollow artificial mountain ranges-might is of some value.
If Mars ever had life its planetary life field must have died a long time ago-maybe Earth’s life field-the quantitative concatenated presence of all life on Earth and its quantity and quality-is dying or on the downward slope. Lovelock points out that in regard to its age and likely maximum life span it has already used up 88% of its time-life on Earth is old, and on Mars it was probably aborted maybe a billion years past.
Human investigators and scientists of the past have considered individual portions of things rather than complete systems-necessarily so as the complete system was unknown while the piece was present.
Boulders rather than complete mountain ranges and time-elapsed progeny (mountain building) were easy to examine. Particular plants rather than the cellular profusion of life over billions of years as a field were considered. The relationship between living things and the minerals were set aside as secondary to the primary functions of a plant itself. The relationship of the plant and of the field of all plants and mobile living things to the inorganic status of the Earth and its atmosphere were for later scientists to regard.
The advance of science toward the study of complete, holistic bio-chemical life fields, and of quantum, discrete planetary Gaia self-reinforcing for a viable habitat biosphere units within the Universe is a process of advancing the frontiers of knowledge to integrate knowledge of portions of a unified field to a quantum level analysis of structural functions. Even quantum mechanics moves toward understanding of a field of quantum uncertainty and of all possible place or velocity that in some way allows the emergence of mass from the unknown concurrent with space-time. Even in the field of cosmology reductionism tends to produce models of an infinite profusion of separate evolving universes growing from roots in a primordial vacuum providing emergence of virtual particles. A holistic view of the infinite field of all possible universes is set aside, as is the study of complete holistic planetary ecospheres, as a little too difficult to describe mathematically or biochemically for now.