NASA and the perpetrators of Science in Curiosity just do the right thing: ethics apply any serious scientist and follow the principle that “Exceptional Exceptional Claims Require Proofs”. That is, before saying he found something exceptional must try exceptionally .In the case of organic compounds that scientists seem Curiosity and its instruments have been found very near the surface of Mars, we must be very sure of what they are, if they are typical of Mars, or if they have “rained” on Mars , if you have been there since the Earth mounted on the rover, and even if you have been synthesized during the very process of detection or measurement. This is especially important with regard to the chlorinated compounds were detected: Are they there?How are they formed? If not there, how have formed?
All these questions can only be tackled and, with time, respond in the context of a proposed integrated and transdisciplinary science where questions are asked in an orderly and rigorous. Curiosity is a project of this kind.
These are not easy or quick. They are very serious, as their collective interpretation (not only with regard to chlorine) has a huge impact both in human consciousness and in our perception of our place in the universe and its history. The scientific process requires time, patience and rigor. Be very careful what you say, especially in historical science and enthusiasm must “watering” with scientific rigor and tranquility.
NASA has confirmed that there is an important discovery: there is evidence that rivers have existed on the surface of Mars. This is spectacular and the scientific community knows what it means for Life.
Today NASA has been realistic, responsible and fulfilled the rigor they deserve the citizens and subjects. In that order.
Juan Perez Mercader
and s currently Senior Research Fellow in Earth and Planetary Science and the Origins of Life Initiative at Harvard University, and Professor of CSIC on leave. Founder and principal promoter of the Center for Astrobiology, was its first director from 1999 to 2008. He was the architect and prime mover of the Spanish participation in the exploration of Mars at NASA’s MSL mission and the “Beagle-II” of the ESA.