Washing Machines on Mars | The Institute for Creation Research

Washing Machines on Mars

Several news outlets yesterday heralded early reports from NASA that the Curiosity rover on Mars has found evidence that the red planet could have supported primitive life.1, 2, 3

But imagine reading the following in the news instead:

The Mars rover Curiosity once again pushes forward the frontiers of science. The rover has the ability to drill holes in Martian rocks, and to chemically analyze the resulting powder. Such an analysis has recently revealed that Martian rocks contain the following chemicals: sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and carbon. The significance? These are all elements found in washing machines and laundry detergent. Yes, it seems that conditions on ancient Mars were just right for the existence of operational washing machines!

Aside from the concluding sentence, the above paragraph is entirely true. Curiosity did find these elements on Mars (they are fairly common elements in the universe). And indeed, such elements are used whenever someone does a load of laundry. But few scientists would draw the conclusion that washing machines once populated the surface of Mars.

The reason is simple. It is fallacious to assume the existence of a complex structure on the basis of the mere existence of its raw material. In addition, there is no organizing principle on Mars or informational instructions by which such basic elements could be naturally organized into something as complicated as a washing machine.

Living organisms also are comprised of many of these same elements. Like a washing machine, the elements are organized in an intricate and organized way according to the information in a blueprint. There is no known mechanism by which such a structure can come about without a blueprint and creative information.

So why do we see news articles concluding that Mars possibly had life on the basis that it has some of the same elements? If we wouldn't conclude that there were probably washing machines on Mars, then why would we infer the existence of something far more complex and intricate?

References

  1. Landau, E. NASA: Yes, Mars could have hosted life. CNN. Posted on lightyears.blogs.cnn.com March 12, 2013, accessed March 12, 2013.
  2. Klotz, I. Mars had the right stuff for life, scientists find. Reuters via Yahoo!, March 12, 2013.
  3. Wall, M. Wow! Ancient Mars Could Have Supported Primitive Life, NASA Says. Space.com. Posted on www.space.com March 12, 2013, accessed March 12, 2013.

Image credit: NASA

* Dr. Lisle is Director of Physical Sciences at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado.

Article posted on March 13, 2013.

The Latest
COVID-19
Teaching Kids About Creation During Quarantine
Thanks to public health recommendations regarding COVID-19, many families are spending more time together than ever before. If that’s your situation,...

COVID-19
Some Fake Coronavirus News Used to Spread Malware
As a systems administrator, I see thousands of emails come in where someone is trying to get a user to click on a link. A lot of these are just plain old...

NEWS
Turtles, Birdwatching, and Living Through Tough Times
How can learning about turtles and doing some birdwatching be useful during this time? Local disasters are declared, and ordinary life activities are restricted,...

NEWS
Volcanic Ash Turns to Stone in Months
How long does it take for the volcanic ash to turn to stone? Most uniformitarian scientists claim this is a slow process that should take many years, even...

NEWS
Traces of "Oldest Ancestor" Found
A new study released on March 23, 2020, claims that evolutionary scientists have identified the oldest human ancestor. The fossil evidence for this assertion...

COVID-19
Three Positives from COVID-19
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is no surprise to God. God knew about this pandemic before the dawn of His creation. Some people may question why God allows such...

COVID-19
The Gospel and COVID-19
It is obvious that life in America, and most parts of the world, has drastically changed in the last few months due to the novel coronavirus. Whether we...

COVID-19
A Time for Firsts Amid COVID-19
All of us have experience with firsts, and today is no exception as America sails through the uncharted waters of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)....

COVID-19
What’s the Difference Between Virus and Bacteria?
As we are embroiled in a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to know the basics of these tragic viral infections and why the medical community...

NEWS
ICR Beginning Search for a New President
As was noted in my article “Biblical Succession” in the April issue of Acts & Facts, the ICR Board of Trustees has authorized a national...