California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher apparently doesn't have any real science interest in planetary exploration, so during a hearing with a panel of planetary scientists today before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology's Space Subcommittee (Motto: "Science is a Lie from the Pit Of Hell"), he figured he'd at least check up on something that's been bothering him. Particularly, whether there's any evidence of ancient civilization on Mars, since he hears that Mars has been around for thousands of years.

The unlucky scientist who had to take Rohrabacher's question without giggling even once was Ken Farley, project scientist for NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission. Really, it was all his fault for saying that until about 3.6 billion (not thousand. Way more) years ago, Mars probably had lakes, rivers, and possibly even an ocean. Well, gosh, if it had all that, maybe there were Martians, huh? So if Mars was so different a few thousand years back, Rohrabacher wanted to know, "Was it possible there was a civilization on Mars thousands of years ago?"

A fresh-baked Mark Watney Martian potato (low-poop variety) to Farley for his very patient reply:

Farley: So, the evidence is that Mars was different billions of years ago, not thousands of years ago, and there is no evidence that I'm aware of that --

Rohrabacher: Would you rule that out? See, there's some people that -- anyway --

Farley: I would say that is extremely unlikely.

So is Dana Rohrabacher just weird, or is he willing to risk seeming weird because he's testing whether NASA knows about the secret child sex-slave colonies up there, huh?

We want answers, dammit. Also, it's your OPEN THREAD.

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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