Finally, we have a person on the board to evaluate others' opinions! Congratulations!
Since you are taking this position, I suggest that you use Karl Popper's philosophy of the evaluation of scientific hypotheses. (See https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/popper/
Popper accordingly repudiates induction and rejects the view that it is the characteristic method of scientific investigation and inference, substituting falsifiability in its place. It is easy, he argues, to obtain evidence in favour of virtually any theory, and he consequently holds that such ‘corroboration’, as he terms it, should count scientifically only if it is the positive result of a genuinely ‘risky’ prediction, which might conceivably have been false. For Popper, a theory is scientific only if it is refutable by a conceivable event.
If you use Popper's logic, the suggestion that NO2
is present as a gas in the tent is subject to the refutation that NO2
cannot exist as a gas at these temperatures. Application of Popper's rules to a hypothesis is most certainly indeed a half decent contribution to solving this mystery
in refuting a false hypothesis.
Anyone, of course, may extend the hypothesis with further conditions, such as the presence of a mechanical device to manufacture warm NO2
gas in the tent. Yes, of course, that overcomes this refutation by temperature. One can continue to apply bandages to one's proposals to cover the wounds placed by reality.
For my friends who wish to submit hypotheses for your evaluation, I suggest that we not be lazy. We should try to come up with ideas that are not instantly refutable by scientific principles present at the site at that time. This also includes irrefutable propositions like the Vaviaga
, the Fallen Angels
, the Ball of Ligtning. These cannot be refuted using science. Popper suggests that the irrefutable cannot be scientific.