The Tissint Meteorite was one of only 5 meteorites that were actually seen entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The meteorite fell into the Moroccan desert in 2011. Phillipe Gillet and his team have been studying the meteorite and have made the suggestion that the organic matter found probably came from life. One reason the team is pointing to this idea is because the carbon isotopes are too light to have been created by the atmosphere in Mars and instead were created by fluid enriched in organic matter.
While this could have certainly been the case, other scientists feel like there is not enough evidence to support this idea. In order to prove the carbon isotopes were created by life, the team holds the responsibility of coming up with more proof. One of the biggest criticizers on the new idea is Andrew Steele, a microbiologist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Steele too has released findings about the meteorite dating back to 2012 showing that the carbon came from volcanic processes and not living material. One of the biggest differences in the studies is that the scientists and their teams were looking at two different portions of the meteorite.
Allan Treiman who is a senior scientist for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory felt like organic bearing fluids that were not associated with life at all could have created it. These fluids are known to have come from volcanic rocks proving Steele to be correct. At this point in time though, neither scientists can prove the other’s theory wrong making there a need for much more evidence. If they want to prove that life did or did not exist on Mar’s more proof will be needed showing exactly where the carbon derived from in the meteorite.