If I sound a little testy here, it's partly because I've found those astronomer/geologists involved to be quite arrogant. I listened to Linda Howe's interview with Steve Squyers, principal investigator on the Mars Rover Missions, during which, when the subject of organic life on Mars was brought up, he became agitated and downright rude to Howe - as if she asked a forbidden question. The reaction was appalling, certainly not something you'd expect from real scientists. (You can read the transcript of the interview here, near the bottom.) The thing is, they know what they want to discover - or what they think they will see on Mars - and their big egos (or brainwashed minds) won't leave room for anything else. It's quite comparable to how the Bush administration went after the Iraqi WMDs, really.
Echoes my thoughts. You could very well be right, but at least be open to other possibilities.
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# +1 (Interesting) It's the pixel alignment you have to watch out for (108077-9191470, 1 point left)
# +1 (Informative) Re:contrast is almost moot (108077-9191705, 0 points left)
+1 (Funny) Linus at Microsoft? (107942-9179242, 4 points left)
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