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NASA scientists are pretty excited about the initial results of the Phoenix Mars lander's "flawless" first wet chemistry experiment which has revealed the Red Planet's soil to be "a close analog to surface soils found in the upper dry valleys in Antarctica", as wet chemistry lead investigator Sam Kounaves put it. With 80 per …

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@Chris C

You're a very odd man who obviously just likes a scrap, or just tries to use flawed science to defy logic (or perhaps more likely flawed logic to defy science).

Q. Can we assume that the laws of physics and chemistry are universal, no matter where you are?

A. Generally yes, there is no reason to believe that chemicals will react differently just because you're on Mars.

Chemistry and physics do work universally, within certain parameters, those parameters (atmosphere, gravity, known chemical compositions) are all known about so unless there's something that we don't know and have been unable to detect (some kind of cloaked wormhole or twist in space-time?) it is a fair assumption.

When Chris says "We are still learning about physics and chemistry here on Earth which constantly changes our understanding (and thus our "laws" of physics and chemistry)." Don't be misled, most of the time we discover *new* things which expand our understanding (carbon nano tubes, using diamond for computer chips, new plastics etc.) rarely (if ever, in modern times) do the "laws" change, I suspect burning hydrogen in the presence of oxygen will never produce chicken gravy.

Chris isn't a complete idiot, It's a valid question to ask, "will this work the same off earth?" but thanks to the thousands of experiments carried out in space and on the moon and on mars, the answer is "can't see any reason why not", so Chris, your question has been answered and "will this work the same off earth?" is now as valid as "will this work the same on Brighton beach or in the corner of my living room?"

I suspect that Chris likes to promote doubt into science, is it a fact to say "if I drop a hammer off a building it will fall to the ground?", the laws of physics say yes, so some would state it's a fact, it will hit the ground, but what Chris is saying is that it's possible that the hammer could just hang there, and no amount of arguing will make him change his mind that it might not hit the ground.

ps. There's no god either.

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@Chris C

Yes we can. Physical & chemical laws operate the same in London as in Sydney, in Earth orbit, and on the moon. Otherwise none of our lunar astronauts would have made it home.

Any astronomer will tell you that spectral analysis of light from stars can be used to determine their size, temperature, composition and the nature of the fusion reactions occurring in them - none of which would work if the physical laws at the location of the star did not match the physical laws we find on earth.

So how is it that you think that Mars will be any different to the rest of the universe? Occams razor alone says that the simplest option - that there will be no difference - is probably the correct one.

Oh, and one more thing.... hahahahahHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahahahahah...

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Happy

All we need now is a scallop farm and hollandaise factory

Sadly the red planet is seriously lacking in Nitrogen. Game over for our would-be vegetable overlords.

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Mike and Phil

He's trying to edge doubt of scientists into this. Three possibilities (none of which are mutually exclusive)

a) AGW denialists. The more he can make the science look bad the better for his arguments against AGW

b) Tobacco. The more science and correlation in complex systems is brought into question, the more likely it is to get "smoking causes cancer" kicked out

c) God botherer. Pesky scientists keep finding things out in ways that don't require a god. This lessens god as the gaps he can exist in get smaller. So rubbish them and fuzz the gaps and god gets a bigger appartment.

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