|Evolution in the News - December 2006|
|by Do-While Jones|
The debate goes on as to whether or not there is water on Mars.
Exactly one year ago (21 December 2005), the journal Nature published an article titled, “Mars not so wet after all?” 1 The subtitle was, “Alternative explanations posited for minerals thought to be left by puddles.” It contained good, scientific explanations why there could not have been any water on Mars for a long time, if there ever was any at all.
This was not good news for the space community because if there never was any water on Mars, life never could have evolved there, so there isn’t any reason to send space probes there. At least, that’s the thinking of some people.
Just to make it clear, Science Against Evolution is “pro-science.” We favor scientific research, including planetary research. We aren’t afraid of what might be found on other planets. Science is good, and science should be funded to the maximum possible extent. We would like to see much more money spent on Mars exploration.
Not everyone is as pro-science as we are. There are some people who think the only reason to go to Mars is to prove that evolution is true. No price is too high to pay to prove evolution. Scientists know there are people who believe this. That’s why they must find evidence of water on Mars. Water is not just necessary for life, it is necessary for funding! When the Apollo space program failed to find water on the Moon, public interest in Moon missions evaporated.
Scientific news is always presented in such a way as to make it appear to the general public that scientific research is worthwhile. That’s really what has happened here.
The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft had a great run, but after 10 years and more data returned than all earlier missions combined, it has passed on. NASA lost contact with the orbiter last month and has no new tricks up its sleeve for getting it back. 2
The MGS is dead, and we really do need to replace it. The best way to do that is to show that its Mars Orbital Camera (MOC) produced valuable data. Over the years, it took pictures of the same gullies, and comparison of the first pictures with the last pictures showed some changes, presumably due to wind or water erosion. These results have to be reported in such a way as to capture the public’s imagination (and pocketbook).
On page 1573, MOC team leader Michael Malin and colleagues at Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) in San Diego, California, report that water appears to have flowed down two gullies sometime during the past few years, even though liquid water can't long persist on the cold, nearly airless martian surface. "This is the sort of thing you dream about, what everybody's been waiting for," says planetary scientist Jennifer Heldmann of NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. The discovery lends support to the existence of liquid water so near the surface, at least in places, that it can spurt out on rare occasions. And where there's liquid water, there could be life. 3
Discovery of life (past or present) on Mars definitely proves one of two things. Either it evolved there, or it was created there.
Actually, evolutionists stand the most to lose by planetary exploration.
Considering first the deterministic point of view, we can refer to Christian de Duve (1991); as an authorative example. In his book on the origin of life he writes:
. . . Given the suitable initial conditions, the emergence of life is highly probable and governed by the laws of chemistry and physics . . . 4
Evolutionists generally believe that anywhere the conditions permit life to exist, life will evolve. The “cosmic imperative” is at the foundation of the Drake equation. If conditions for life are (or were) suitable on Mars, and life didn’t evolve there, it is bad for the evolutionists.
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Mark Peplow, Nature, 21 December 2005, “Mars not so wet after all?” https://www.nature.com/articles/news051219-10
2 Richard A. Kerr, Science, 8 December 2006, Vol. 314, “Mars Orbiter's Swan Song: The Red Planet Is A-Changin'” pp. 1528 - 1529, https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.314.5805.1528
4 Quoted from the introduction of The Emergence of Life: From Chemical Origins to Synthetic Biology by Pier Luigi Luisi, in the Cambridge University Press catalogue http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521821177&ss=exc