[Originally published as Is There Life on Mars?]
“I was wondering what you might have to say about the most recent Mars lander (Phoenix) and the implications for ID/Creationism. If life/amino acids/protein molecules etc… of any size/kind is found would this not mean that Neo-darwinism is correct and that life occurs if you “just add water”? I am a teacher and have been an ardent supporter of ID/Creationism. To be honest I am a little disconcerted regarding the possible discovery of any building blocks or actual life on Mars due to its scientific and metaphysical implications.”
Thank you for your contribution to the lives of students. Teaching is a ministry for men and women of faith.
Your question needs to be understood in the context of the entire NASA program. The NASA program, everything it does, every mission it proposes and executes is built around only one factor, the discovery of life and/or the building blocks of life. As you have noted, their obsession with finding water in places other than Earth is based on the naïve and scientifically ludicrous concept that life can be simplified into “just add water and mix.”
We have four radio programs covering the subject of DNA that can be found HERE.
[Editor’s note: He mentions this here because those who study the actual complexity and genius language that is DNA will understand how far a few amino acids are from forming a strand of in vivo DNA.]
I would also suggest that the discovery of amino acids by themselves would be a meaningless discovery. Just as the Miller-Urey experiments were miserable failures at attempting to produce life in the laboratory, any possibility of life spontaneously generating itself from non-living molecules is virtually impossible.
Just add water and shake for 60 seconds or 60 billion years will never produce one living cell.
The complexity of even the smallest of creatures, bacteria, makes their spontaneous generation a fairytale for grown-ups.
For more information about the impossibility of Abiogenesis (the new word that replaces the debunked theory of Spontaneous Generation) I suggest Evolution the Grand Experiment by Dr. Carl Werner. He includes a marvelous section on the formation of DNA, the Origin of life from proteins, and the formation of amino acids. This text is written for teaching the subject and I assure you it will end any doubts you may have. I highly recommend it.
“As a result of the scientific info you are very certain that no life of any kind will be found on Mars or other planets/moons? I agree with your assumptions. However, if life/bacteria was found what would that mean biblically speaking? If life was on Mars, do you think that NASA would have said something by now? Also, if ther is no life found on Mars do you think that that would shake NASA’s belief in the “just add water” theory?”
The question concerning bacteria really comes from the concept that a bacterium is somehow primitive or less complex in some way than other life forms. While there is more complexity when you get to the level of organs and organ systems in what we refer to as higher life forms, the fact remains that all of the higher life forms are made from a combination of biochemical processes at the cellular level.
A living cell is far more complex than anyone ever imagined. I suggest taking a look at a wonderful set of DVDs called Unlocking the Mysteries of Life from the Institute for Creation Research. It illustrates the inner workings of the cell in such a way as to highlight the incredible, intricate complexity of the biochemical workings of a cell at the sub-microscopic level. After viewing this presentation there is no doubt that even the smallest organism has been intelligently designed.
I would take for my example the human stem cell
It contains within it all the genetic information for the creation of every other kind of cell in the human body, e.g. heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, brain, etc. It contains all the information for all the other stem cells or what we call blast cells in hematology. These are the basic cells that produce the various different types of circulating white blood cells, e.g.
- monoblasts, etc.
yet all of these specialized cells are derived from that one, primary stem cell. We are, as the Bible indicates, “fearfully and wonderfully made” and there is not enough time or matter in the universe for life to spontaneously come into existence through natural processes.
Now, the question concerning the discovery of bacteria on a neighboring planet or moon, would this be a fossilized specimen is a living specimen?
The premise of the Anthropic Principle states that our solar system in general and specifically planet Earth is uniquely fine-tuned for life. That premise actually precludes the possibility of carbon-based life anywhere else in the universe, but that argument aside, we already know that the environment on Mars is not suitable for life of any kind, so the only option here is fossils of bacterial life forms.
There is an explanation of how a fossil, bacteria or otherwise, could end up on the moon or on Mars. That would be from a meteorite of earthly origin in the same way that we have discovered rocks, e.g. meteorites from other planets, on Earth.
There is also the issue of the actual fossil
There are several ways for fossils to form. Fossils of such dubious origin and history would most likely be carbonization. This leaves only the outer impression of the organism, much like the famous Archaeopteryx fossils. Bacteria are small and come in various shapes and sizes, as well as in singles, pairs, chains, etc. Many natural formations in rocks mimic such shapes and configurations without being the result of fossilization.
The real issue at hand is the actual impossibility of life spontaneously generating itself from non-living materials. I can tell you from my 30 plus years in the kingdom two things.
- Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah who came according to the Scriptures, died and was raised from the dead on the third day for the forgiveness of sins, according to Scriptures.
- Nothing will be discovered that will in any way contradict or nullify God’s Holy Word. The Living Word of God, Messiah Jesus, is the Truth and the written Word of God is also the Truth. He, and therefore His written revelation are completely trustworthy.
Always in God’s grace,
Steve Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D. (c)
Chief Technical Advisor