Could Space Dust Help Spark Life? | The Institute for Creation Research

Could Space Dust Help Spark Life?

Physicists in California and Hawaii found evidence that solar wind performs curious chemistry on space dust to produce water, and they suggested that this discovery will help support a naturalistic origin of life on Earth or other planets. But how much help will it really bring?

Evolutionary origin-of-life scenarios face enormous hurdles. How can just the right raw chemicals arrive together in just the right configurations and proportions for just the right amount of time under just the right conditions and then assemble themselves into a semblance of a cell? And those are just the first few hurdles that nonliving chemicals face on their imaginary march toward reproducing life.1

Despite the ridiculous improbability of this fantastic series of events, many scientists believe that it somehow happened and regularly play up any inkling of a hint that a single step in this long chain might actually happen by natural processes.

The latest of these attempts occurs in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where researchers reported the discovery of thin remnants of water surrounding space dust.2 It appears that solar wind provides the high energy required to bump elements off of oxygen-containing silicate minerals within a dust grain, as well as hydrogen ions that bond with the released oxygen to form water.

Supposedly, the dust could have rained down onto the earth, carrying the water—and possibly even some carbon compounds—that the first spontaneously evolving cell would need.

Hope Ishii, of the Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology and co-author of the study, said, “It is a thrilling possibility that this influx of dust has acted as a continuous rainfall of little reaction vessels containing both the water and organics needed for the eventual origin of life on Earth and possibly Mars.”3

Can we apply some critical thinking to this “thrilling possibility”? First, water does not make life—it actually destroys life’s critical chemicals when they are found outside living cells. Water plus any chemical combination does not make life. If it could, a century of chemical experiments by those desperate to demonstrate chemical evolution would have discovered the correct cocktail by now. Besides, if intelligent investigators can’t find the right recipe, then what chance do undirected laws of nature have?

Second, assuming that space dust can supply sufficient water, would it also supply the requisite nucleic acids, proteins, phospholipids, carbohydrates, cholesterols, and vitamins?

Third, even if we pretend that space dust actually did supply all of that, what about the information needed for life—the coded instructions that specify both daily cellular activities and cell division protocols? Science shows that information always arises from intelligence and never from natural laws.

Solar wind and space dust just are not enough to supply what only a Creator could craft—living, reproducing creatures.

References

  1. See McCombs, C. A. 2009. Chemistry by Chance: A Formula for Non-Life. Acts & Facts. 38 (2): 30.
  2. Bradley, J. P. et al. 2014. Detection of solar wind-produced water in irradiated rims on silicate minerals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111 (5): 1732-1735.
  3. New UH Mānoa faculty make a big splash. University of Hawai’i news release. Posted on hawaii.edu January 24, 2014, accessed January 30, 2014.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on February 17, 2014.

The Latest
NEWS
'Prehistoric' Paddlefish?
Evolutionists consider the freshwater paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) of the class Actinopterygii to be a prehistoric creature, a primitive bony fish “50...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Earth
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation...

ACTS & FACTS
To the End of the Earth
The book of Acts recounts the apostles’ journeys across the Roman Empire from Jerusalem and Judea “to the end of the earth,” preaching...

APOLOGETICS
Lightning, Soil Bacteria, and God’s Providence
Nitrogen is vital for human survival, yet few appreciate how lightning and soil bacteria contribute to Earth’s nitrogen cycle. That Earth’s...

ACTS & FACTS
The Bobtail Squid's Living Cloaking Device
Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) live among the sand flats and sea plants of the Hawaiian archipelago. Along with other bobtail squid, these...

ACTS & FACTS
Seeing Distant Starlight in a Young Universe
Many see distant starlight as an unanswerable objection to recent creation. Both creationist and evolutionist astronomers agree that distant galaxies...

ACTS & FACTS
Yellowstone National Park, Part 2: Canyons and Catastrophe
by Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Brian Thomas, Ph.D.* About three million visitors tour Yellowstone National Park’s 3,440 square miles each year.1...

ACTS & FACTS
How Did the Bat Get Its Wings?
Where did bats come from? Evolutionists presuppose that some kind of rodent received just the right mutations to over “a few million years”...

ACTS & FACTS
Biblical Insights into Today’s Violent Mob Mentality
Some scenes from the evening news get etched into our memories. I recall seeing a college professor step outside his building and become suddenly surrounded...

CREATION PODCAST
Are Dinosaurs in the Bible? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 26
If the Bible is true, wouldn't it mention dinosaurs? If God made dinosaurs, when did He make them? Did they live with humans? What ultimately happened...