Strong Evidence for Life on Mars? | The Institute for Creation Research

Strong Evidence for Life on Mars?

No liquid water is present on the surface of Mars, but researchers have suggested that a lake may have once existed on the surface of the red planet.1 Researchers inferred, based upon photographs taken by the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the presence of a former lake in the northern hemisphere.2 The lake's waters are believed to have flowed into the crater from an underground source.

The researchers suggested that these possible underground water sources may have allowed microbes to live below the Martian surface. They have suggested that life may have originated below the surface on Mars, and therefore life on Earth also started below the ground.

Creation scientists do not expect intelligent extraterrestrial life to exist in the universe, and they generally think it is barely possible that "simple" extraterrestrial life exists. Evolutionary scientists, on the other hand, tend to ignore the enormous difficulties with secular origin-of-life stories and reason that if life evolved here, then it likely evolved elsewhere in the universe as well. So, they reason a discovery of extraterrestrial life would somehow validate evolution, despite its apparent improbability.

Of course, there is currently no evidence whatsoever for any extraterrestrial life on Mars or anywhere else. However, evolutionary scientists would see the discovery of liquid water (or even past liquid water) on Mars as in indication that life could have existed on the red planet—the next best thing.

But even if there was water on Mars' surface once, it does nothing to assist evolutionary speculation about life's origin. Although water is necessary for life, water cannot produce life. In fact, the presence of water is problematic for secular origin-of-life stories, since it tends to break apart the complex biomolecules necessary for life through spontaneous chemical reactions known as hydrolysis.3

Moreover, even if microbial life were found on Mars, the same insurmountable difficulties that plague secular stories about life's origin on earth would also plague stories about life's origin on Mars. Far from making the evolutionary story more believable, the discovery of microbial life on Mars would require two wildly improbable series of fortuitous coincidences—one on Earth and another one on Mars!4

In summary, this "strongest argument" for life on Mars is very weak5—like claiming that the discovery of aluminum ore on Mars is evidence that ancient Martians built space shuttles. Scientists have not found life on Mars. And although they think they have found evidence of past surface water, they can only speculate about present subsurface water. But water cannot produce life. Even if microbial life were eventually found on Mars, its existence would still require a miracle.

References

  1. Choi, C. Q. Giant Mars Crater Shows Evidence of Ancient Lake. SPACE.com. Posted on space.com January 21, 2013, accessed January 21, 2013.
  2. Michalski, J. R. et al. 2013. Groundwater activity on Mars and implications for a deep biosphere. Nature Geoscience. 6 (2): 133-138.
  3. Sarfati, J. 1998. Origin of life: the polymerization problem. Journal of Creation. 12 (3): 281-284).
  4. Psarris, S. 2009. DVD. What You Aren't Being Told About Astronomy, Volume 1: Our Created Solar System. Creation Astronomy Media.
  5. 'Strongest evidence yet to there being life on Mars.' The Telegraph. Posted on telegraph.co.uk January 20, 2013, accessed January 21, 2013.

Image credit: NASA

* Dr. Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Article posted on February 8, 2013.

The Latest
NEWS
Does Oddball Platypus Genome Reveal Its Origins?
How in the world did a creature as odd as the duck-billed platypus originate? This creature lays eggs like a reptile, has venom like a reptile, spurs like...

NEWS
Is Evolution ‘Fake Science’?
The organization BioLogos, which advocates that Christians accept secular evolutionary claims, recently published an online essay entitled “How to...

NEWS
Cambrian Explosion Alive and Well
A new editorial in GSA Today is claiming that secular scientists should cease using the term “Cambrian Explosion.”1 It’s not...

NEWS
Abraham Ate Bananas?
Since the word banana does not occur in Scripture, any evidence of bananas in ancient Middle Eastern diets would have to come from the ground. New research...

NEWS
3-D Human Genome Radically Different from Chimp
All plant and animal genomes studied so far exhibit complex and distinct three-dimensional (3-D) structures in their chromosome configurations depending...

NEWS
Amazonian Artwork and the Post-Flood Ice Age
An extensive series of South American Ice Age artwork may be of interest to biblical creationists. In 2017 and 2018, scientists discovered a nearly eight-mile-long...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Dinosaurs
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

NEWS
Inside January 2021 Acts & Facts
How is ICR winning science and scientists back to Christ? What is the significance of fossil bone collagen discoveries? Did pterosaurs have feathers?...

ACTS & FACTS
Savvy Sons of Light
Many Christians grow uncomfortable when their pastor teaches about money. If it’s any consolation, I know many pastors who feel the same way....

ACTS & FACTS
Did God Make Harmful Parasites in the Beginning?
Parasites are a unique form of life in today’s world. These invertebrates come in all shapes and sizes, from single-cell animals (e.g., Plasmodium...