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User talk:Rowan Forest

Reminder: Community Insights SurveyEdit

RMaung (WMF) 20:39, 3 October 2019 (UTC)

ET Status report?Edit

If interested - Latest comments re ET by astronomer Seth Shostak[1] - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 22:21, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

@Drbogdan: I think this is part of the astrobiology PR regarding ExoMars rover and NASA's 2020 rover. They are focused on biosignatures at the surface, which has not been done since the Viking landers in the 1970s so it is great and will certainly engage a lot of people. But I doubt we are any closer at discovering biosignatures since the surface has not changed since the Viking program and it remains extremely hostile in chemistry, dryness, low pressure, radiation and temperature. Past chemical biosignatures must be long gone, but I hope not if they look >5-7 m deep in lake sediments (as compared to 2 m for ExoMars rover). Otherwise I think the best they will get at the surface will have to be bioforms (fossilized inorganic shapes) - which at microscopic level are not enough to make the call. IMO, science missions will have to look at the deep subsurface (underground, under the ice caps, or inside deep caves), or at least land a payload that can actually sample the methane isotopes in the atmosphere -which is NOT currently planned for any rover or lander in the near or long term. I predict that these 2 rovers will come up empty handed, so SpaceX will use that fact to justify landing non-sterile equipment and eventually humans. Rowan Forest (talk) 22:45, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
@Rowan Forest: Thank you for your reply - your comments describe the current status of the search for ET *very well* IMO - I *entirely* agree with nearly everything you've noted - Thanks again for your comments - they're all *greatly* appreciated - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 23:24, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

@Rowan Forest: FWIW - seems life may thrive nearly everywhere on planet Earth, except in places that may be much too hot, acidic and salty? - may relate to finding (or not finding) ET in certain extraterrestrial environments?[2][3] - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 13:54, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

Mars surface water was salty and acidic, but maybe that was on the late stages while losing its atmosphere and was becoming dry. My money is in the deep aquifers, if extant. Rowan Forest (talk) 14:24, 4 November 2019 (UTC)
@Drbogdan: ...too hot, salty and acidic. This is exactly what the media doesn't get, and the scientists don't explain to reporters. Someone publishes a paper on an extremophile capable of X, and the press goes nuts preaching that X will easily contaminate or even colonize Mars. The hard fact is that no known extremophile is viable under all surface conditions on Mars. One extremophile may have a trick to withstand the cold, another microbe the low pressure, another microbe has a trick to repair UV damage, another microbe may thrive in salt, another one in low pH, etc. But NONE of them can live when exposed to all Mars environmental factors are combined. In fact most of them die when applying only 2 or 3 physical parameters out of the basic 10. Rowan Forest (talk) 15:20, 4 November 2019 (UTC)

@Rowan Forest: FWIW - a brief, but somewhat interesting (imo), article by Avi Loeb (chair/Astronomy Department/Harvard University)[4] - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 19:30, 5 November 2019 (UTC)

@Drbogdan: I am glad he speaks of panspermia and supports his students with such research. There is definitely proof of interplanetary transport and now, interstellar rock transport. I just wish he had not gone so fringe with ʻOumuamua being an alien spacecraft. "Crying wolf" may jeopardize funding of his future research if he uses fringe hypotheses to support reasonable ones. Rowan Forest (talk) 19:45, 5 November 2019 (UTC)


  1. ^ Shostak, Seth (4 October 2019). "We may be closing in on the discovery of alien life. Are we prepared? - New robotic craft bound for Mars should give us our best shot at finding life on the Red Planet". NBC News. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  2. ^ Belita, Jodie; et al. (28 October 2019). "Hyperdiverse archaea near life limits at the polyextreme geothermal Dallol area". Nature Ecology and Evolution. 3: 1552–1561. doi:10.1038/s41559-019-1005-0. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  3. ^ Andrews, Robin George (1 November 2019). "They Didn't Find Life in a Hopeless Place - In some of the world's saltiest, most acidic bodies of superheated water, even the most extreme forms of archaea couldn't survive". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  4. ^ Loeb, Abraham (4 November 2019). "Did Life from Earth Escape the Solar System Eons Ago? - There's no proof that it happened—but it's not impossible". Scientific American. Retrieved 5 November 2019.

Please comment on Template talk:Infobox military unitEdit

Hi... Could you please be participating in request for comment on Template talk:Infobox military unit. (Ckfasdf (talk) 07:12, 7 October 2019 (UTC))

Editor of the WeekEdit

  Editor of the Week
Your ongoing efforts to improve the encyclopedia have not gone unnoticed: You have been selected as Editor of the Week in recognition of mentoring and wire-ranging input. Thank you for the great contributions! (courtesy of the Wikipedia Editor Retention Project)

User:MX submitted the following nomination for Editor of the Week:

I nominate Rowan Forest to be Editor of the Week for a number of reasons and I cannot seem to figure out where to start. Rowan Forest was the first editor on Wikipedia who took me under his wing and taught me the level of excellence new editors should shoot for. This was back in 2011, when I was a high school student learning my ropes with the English language. I've thanked him many times over the years, but I don't think there's a greater way of showing my appreciation than nominating him for Editor of the Week. Let me talk about his work on Wikipedia now. Rowan Forest has been an editor since 2006 and has well over 50,000 edits and 200 new articles (not counting the already-existing ones he's expanded). Back in the late 2000s, Rowan Forest lay the foundation of Mexican crime articles. He was one of the few editors working on this part of Wikipedia (tirelessly translating from Spanish to English), and keeping the world informed on this new development in Mexico. He also has done extensive work in Mexican aviation articles (specifically for the Air Force). Rowan Forest's biggest contributions to Wikipedia are in astrobiology, astronomy, and planetary science (specifically Mars). He works with a number of other editors and is a trusted adviser in these topics. For my favorite Wikipedian, I wish him a great week as our recipient!

You can copy the following text to your user page to display a user box proclaiming your selection as Editor of the Week:

Rowan Forest
Editor of the Week
for the week beginning October 6, 2019
Produces a level of excellence all editors should shoot for since 2006. Laid the foundation of Mexican crime articles. Extensive work in Mexican aviation articles (specifically for the Air Force). Contributes to astrobiology, astronomy, and planetary science (specifically Mars) articles.
Recognized for
Being a trusted advisor with over 50,000 edits and 200 new articles
Notable work(s)
A member of WikiProject Genetics
Submit a nomination

Thanks again for your efforts! ―Buster7  11:48, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

  • Very proud to see you on the board. You're my mentor and favorite Wikipedian. Thanks for everything! MX () 12:52, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

Wow. I am glad I have been helpful to some people enough to remember me. Thanks, Rowan Forest (talk) 13:24, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

Thanks Rowan and what you say does make senseEdit

That's the explanation that should have been given when first reverting. So I'll drop the issue.

But, this is just a personal opinion: I still disagree--NASA is saying that we're as close as could be to finding life on Mars. The allusion is to PAST evidence, not merely to forthcoming one. As you probably know, that evidence existed for decades. This is a spectacular statement by a man who understands the situation better than most. He is implying: "We're almost sure there is life on Mars, based on evidence in OUR HANDS." This statement, alone, is more valuable than that entire Wikipedia article.

I think overall that is Wikipedia's biggest problem--the chronic "reverters." You put effort and time into something, and then people arbitrarily cancel everything--not because your contribution is worthless, but because they are too invested in that topic--or not smart enough to know their limitations.

Anyway, thanks again and I shall from now on stay away from this particular article.Brachney (talk) 19:15, 7 October 2019 (UTC)Brachney

@Brachney: Thank you for your message. Please do not be discouraged! Please let me explain: There is a history of someone adding quite fringe information in this and the Life on Mars articles over the years, and he often quoted out of context and even used fake references that did not support his entries. He is banned now, but there remains some degree of caution to prevent those articles from drifting that way again. It is true that some editors (myself included) have spent a long time maintaining and sanitizing those 2 articles from fringe publications in journals and in the mass the media. Please do not feel that this is akin to claiming ownership over the content or that we are avoiding changes. We just aim at being objective (as in the impartial scientific method), and we are careful to remain within the realm of uncontroversial science and not promote statements borne from hopes and desires.Dr Green is definitely not fringe (I give you that and more) and his statement made headlines and certainly got my attention too, but he spoke in terms of enthusiasm for the upcoming mission rather than on an impending discovery he is about to announce.
Certainly the 3 NASA Mars rovers have changed out knowledge of Mars and the data certainly increased the possibility (evidence) that Mars had habitable environments, BUT we don't know if the prebiotic chemistry was available to potentially start abiogenesis at the surface. Although the 2020 Mars Rover will give us new opportunities to search for past biosignatures, that is a far stretch from saying they are almost sure there was past life and it is about to be discovered by this planned rover. That would qualify in Wikipedia as something we call WP:Crystal ball. As you can tell now, editing a science article is a bit more demanding than most other topics.
Please, do not stay away from these 2 articles! You have the interest so help us improve and update them. Browse the WP:WikiProject Science, and I would be glad to help you or coach you editing some science articles in Wikipedia if you desire, so feel free to ask me questions. Cheers, Rowan Forest (talk) 22:41, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

Hello again Rowan: You have my heartfelt thanks for a thoughtful reply!Brachney (talk) 22:51, 7 October 2019 (UTC)Brachney

The fact that Rowan took the time to explain the intricacies of WP editing speaks to why he is not just Editor of the Week but a Leader among editors. ―Buster7  13:09, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

Space telescopes with only self-published sourcesEdit

Hi Rowan, related to your edit at Template:Space observatories, I've been thinking of deleting little known space telescopes that uses their own websites as refs, per WP:RSSELF and WP:PROMOTION. Specifiaclly, the Public Space Telescope and the Waypoint-1 Space Telescope, both of which having little to no coverage by third party sources. Both of them were written in Wikipedia by editors that were active very briefly, and their edits were limited to those concerning the respective concepts. Specifically, all info about the 'Public Space Telescope' was added by Tetraquarks, while the 'Waypoint-1 Space Telescope' was by Nadventr (the ip user is presumably the same as Nadventr). The image of Waypoint-1 Space Telescope used at List of space telescopes was uploaded to Wikimedia commons by the same Nadventr. As the edits of the two concepts seems like subtle attempts at advertising, I'm inclined to delete them from Wikipedia. Any thoughts? Kind regards, Hms1103 (talk) 10:07, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

@Hms1103: Hello. I simply found nothing on the Public Space Telescope, so we agree on that deletion. Regarding the Waypoint-1 Space Telescope, at least it seems to exist. Yes, it is a CubeSat commercial enterprise that has no coverage in the media, so it is safe to say its notability is questioned. Its web site states that it will be launched as a secondary payload in 2020, on board a SpaceX Falcon 9, so if it becomes notable between now and then we can add it back to the list.
Regarding user Tetraquaks, that name brings unpleasant feelings of disruption, but I can't remember anything specific about that user. Cheers, Rowan Forest (talk) 12:15, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for your input as always, I've removed mentions of the two telescopes to restrict it to a minimum. Hms1103 (talk) 09:47, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Life found on Mars in the 1970s?Edit

@Rowan Forest: FWIW - Seems an interesting updated article re the Mars Viking studies in the 1970s was just published in Scientific American[1] - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 01:27, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

@Drbogdan: G. Levin never dropped his case, which I admire. And he has a strong argument (chemically speaking) regarding the perchlorates messing with the organics, so that his metabolic experiment could not be confirmed by that second assay. The word "unconfirmed" is important. He has support from some respectable scientists so it is always good to keep that conversation open in Journals as he is doing it here. I too support his argument that there is an imperative necessity to perform organic analyses employing methods that do not require applying or full pyrolysis (not planned by the 2 future rovers). Raman will be useful, but is too broad. Having said that, little carbon has ever been detected on the surface (which may be meteoritic, not native of Mars), and the extreme low pressure, cold, and radiation are not exactly an oasis. Rowan Forest (talk) 14:30, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
@Drbogdan: The morphology he cites (large fungi and worms) is IMO fringe straight out of his friends from the Journal of Cosmology, but this other hypothesis is news to me:
  • The Martian atmosphere is in disequilibrium: its CO2 should long ago have been converted to CO by the sun’s UV light; thus the CO2 is being regenerated, possibly by microorganisms as on Earth."
I wonder what Bruce Jakosky (MAVEN orbiter team) has to say about that. They are at the forefront regarding the history of the Martian atmosphere. Cheers, Rowan Forest (talk) 14:51, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
@Drbogdan: Looked into it. The atmosphere had a much higher CO2 pressure in the past, and substantial amounts of carbonates were deposited in the presence of water. For a replenishing source today, all we have to do is observe the regolith and polar ice caps. No need to invoke Martians. The methane has much more of a fighting chance to be biogenic. Rowan Forest (talk) 05:02, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

In this other letter [1] he make quite false claims that simulations have shown that some Earth microorganisms can survive "and grow" on Mars. Nobody has subjected extremophiles to a full simulation, because all tested species have died before researchers apply all the factors combined. Sporulation (on simulations, on Mars or in low Earth orbit) does not imply thriving, growth, living nor survival; is it packed DNA at best, there is no life and no metabolism, it just buys the DNA time (e.g.: potential viability if the environment changes) before GCR radiation obliterates it. In fact, the viability of spores following exposure in LEO is reported as next to none, unless shielded. Same for Mars simulations, but the extended times of radiation exposure (radiation dose) have not been applied for obvious reasons, but can be estimated. Rowan Forest (talk) 15:12, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

@Rowan Forest: Thank you for your replies - and *Excellent* thinking about the 1970s Viking studies, and related references[1] - very well done IMO - doesn't seem I could add much more - seems you've covered the topic very well - Thanks again for your replies - and - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 15:46, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
For extant life, I fully support a re-flight of his experiment, but this one might be better because it has no ambiguity of cross-reactions: Signs Of LIfe Detector "SOLID demonstrated that antibodies are unaffected by acidity, heat and oxidants such as perchlorates, and it has emerged as a viable choice for an astrobiology mission directly searching for biosignatures." SO instead of looking for the by-products of metabolism, it would search for the machinery of metabolism. Cheers, Rowan Forest (talk) 17:22, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Diffusion confusionEdit

Re [2], see WP:DIFFUSINGCONFLICT. EEng 14:26, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

Thank you for the link. But Kees08's track record shows he does not create conflict nor avoids it. It is shown he diffused it effectively and constructively. In addition, there is simply nothing in his editing history to indicate he has a created conflict or worsen it. If his Admin request is rejected, let it be for lack of administrative-like activities, not for a false allegation/interpretation. Cheers, Rowan Forest (talk) 14:56, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
You misunderstand. I was merely pointing out that when you wrote diffusing conflict, you really meant defusing conflict. EEng 16:39, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
I see, its a typo. Sorry about that. Thanks, Rowan Forest (talk) 17:27, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
Nothing to be sorry about. If it didn't happen all the time I wouldn't have written an essay about it. EEng 19:23, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
@EEng: What's funny is that I thought it was a link to some related "policy" and I didn't even read it. Cheers, Rowan Forest (talk) 20:43, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
I can see how that approach saves a lot of time. EEng 21:03, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

Terraforming MarsEdit

Water with a high concentration of perchlorate, such as one of the moons of Jupiter, can withstand subzero temperatures but is toxic and sans a nuclear distillation method impossible to remove. More important than perchlorate is atmospheric pressure. It is after all atmospheric pressure that keeps water in liquid form, unless it is heavy with perchlorates. Atmospheric pressure is a function of what? Why is there water and methane ice at the poles of Mars and not at the equator? Centrifugal force? I think you know the answer already. Terraforming Mars is science fiction, but it does produce incomes, prestige and social status for many including Elon Musk, documentarians, scientists who make appearances on TV and become celebritiesOldperson (talk) 23:58, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

@Oldperson: The expected course of action in Wikipedia, is to quote reliable sources on why terraforming is not feasible. I'm not here to debate subjects; just add specific sources that bring about improvements. Rowan Forest (talk) 00:04, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
I understand all of that. Just sharing some thoughts, As regards my thoughts I seriously doubt that they will show up in RS,not because the questions are uncomfortable, and disadvantageous. My first "encounter" with the community/establishment was in reading how Alfred Wegener was treated when he posited the theory of Continental Drift. His theory,not him,has been rehabilitated under the name Plate Tectonics. Tragic that such a prescient scientist was ballyhooed out of his profession as a Kook and a crank.Oldperson (talk) 00:33, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

De novo gene birth?Edit

FWIW - thought the following recent review[1] re De novo gene birth interesting - seems some new genes could be created by life forms de novo - ie, created brand new, and not from some mix-and-match collection of older genes - as, apparently, might have been thought traditionally - could this de novo process be related in some way to the development of the very first genes? - to be somehow created brand new - and not from some previously similar precursor material(s) that might be closely related to the newly created genes? - if so, maybe some way related to OoL? - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 20:38, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

@Drbogdan: The mechanics of life never cease to surprise us. The "junk DNA" is more like a painter's palette, the raw material to create something new. Fascinating. Rowan Forest (talk) 22:39, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
@Rowan Forest: Thank you for your *excellent* reply - yes, I agree - the mechanics of life is fascinating - brief followup - seems, besides the process of the apparent jump-starting creation of brand new de novo genes, a similar process may be at play with the immunological system, whereby brand new antibodies to never-before-seen-by-the-lifeform antigens (Xenobiotics) arise, which may be apparently jump-started into existence (via a roulette-wheel type process that may stop when the best fit antibody-to-antigen is found?) - just wondering - if such a process occurs, besides with de novo genes and seemingly de novo antibodies, does such a similar process occur with de novo species as well - if so, almost a spontaneous generation process of sorts, whereby a brand new species is jump-started de novo into existence (perhaps mutation-related?), and which may not rely as much on earlier precursor material that we may have thought previously - be it earlier precursor genes, antibodies or, even, an earlier lifeform species - just a thought or two - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 11:33, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

Recent OoL refsEdit

@Rowan Forest: If interested, several more recent refs re OoL[1][2] - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 21:25, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

@Rowan Forest: FWIW - several possibly interesting articles[3][4] - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 17:39, 11 November 2019 (UTC)



Many thanks! --Iztwoz (talk) 07:44, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia: Unusual RequestsEdit

Um, what was all that about? I haven't been saying jack on reddit or Twitter to any of those effects mentioned and I fail to see humor in any of it. Is it anything to be concerned about or should i just ignore it as the ramblings of a block evader?Thanks,L3X1 ◊distænt write◊ 11:15, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

@L3X1: Google Starkiller88. He was banned years ago from Wikipedia and several other internet projects precisely because of his incoherent ramblings and deep paranoia. He has admitted to some kind of mental condition or imbalance and of his need for psych medication, but I do not think he is dangerous to people. Rowan Forest (talk) 14:15, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Outer Space TreatyEdit

Just wanted to reach out to you. The reason I removed the addition of mining on the outer space treaty was that it seemed to violate WP:SYNTHESIS. I could only find two mentions of the OST in the article provided, which didn’t seem to support what you are trying to say. Again, just wanted to let you know in case I missed something or you find more sources that directly address this. All the best. Garuda28 (talk) 18:28, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

@Garuda28: Hello and thank you for helping. I'm just getting familiar with this subject and reviewing the current legal status. What is OST? Cheers, Rowan Forest (talk) 18:31, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
@Garuda28: Definitely not synthesis!!!! Please stand by, I am collecting additional references. Thanks, Rowan Forest (talk) 18:42, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
@Garuda28: Hello again. The point is that mining will be regulated by this Treaty, which does not mention "mining" specifically. This lack of guidelines has created a multitude of interpretations on whether the OST allows it or not. I am not lobbying for any camp, just clarifying that the Treaty did not incorporate such laws 50 years ago, and are -apparently- quite required today. Rowan Forest (talk) 18:54, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
@Garuda28: Thank you for your patience while I finished editing the text and citing more references. The way space exploration is now, incorporates 2 key legal features: the peaceful sharing of space, and the exploitation of natural resources (claims & mining). I think one solid paragraph on the legality of space mining is enough and I don't see the need to expand it further... until the expected new legislations are introduced. Cheers, Rowan Forest (talk) 20:13, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

ITN recognition for Danuvius guggenmosiEdit

 On 10 November 2019, In the news was updated with an item that involved the article Danuvius guggenmosi, which you created. If you know of another recently created or updated article suitable for inclusion in ITN, please suggest it on the candidates page. Stephen 23:01, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

Thank you for doing that. I know it is very relevant to the study of homini and evolution, but I did not think of flagging it for the general public. Cheers, Rowan Forest (talk) 23:07, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

Mars: Oddly Behaving Methane & Now Oxygen?Edit

@Rowan Forest: FWIW - 1st martian methane is odd; now martian oxygen?[1][2] - iac - Enjoy ! :) Drbogdan (talk) 22:50, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

@Drbogdan: Quote: "Curiosity is not equipped to determine whether oxygen or methane was produced by living creatures." Neither will be the Mars 2020 Rover and ExoMars rover. Smooth logic going on there. Rowan Forest (talk) 23:24, 13 November 2019 (UTC)
@Rowan Forest: yes - agreed - your cmt made me chuckle - nonetheless - with such recent results, maybe not too late to include something on Mars 2020 to help sort things out? - guess we'll have to wait and see what develops - iac - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 23:53, 13 November 2019 (UTC)
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