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Re: Those Artifacts for sale (What's New)

Larry Smith writes:

> The page is http://www.nis.net/artifacts/. Frankly,
> I wonder about the integrity of any place that will
> sell you a meteorite from Mars.

I presume that you are questioning the identity of the object?  If so,
then your skepticism is probably misplaced.  There are some rare
meteorites whose composition suggest that they were ejected from the
Martian surface when previous meteorite(s) struck Mars.

I wonder about the integrity of the place for other reasons.  At the
risk of inciting another flame war (which I'd rather have avoided by
keeping the www site from being mentioned here in the first place [No,
don't worry, Larry, I know you didn't start it.] ...), the prices
they're charging (and the fact that they report that some high-priced
items have been sold!) indicate the instantiation of a research
paleontologist's worst nightmare.  They are, perhaps, dancing on a
thin line by trying to make items available for study first, but the
fact that they seem to be doing it in order to authenticate the finds
and hence get them to command a higher price leaves me feeling a
more than a little queasy.

Mickey Rowe     (rowe@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu)