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Planets Likely to Have Life Named

on October 17, 2009
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National Geographic News: “3 Worlds Most Likely to Harbor Life NamedIt’s the “Standard Microbial Habitability index,” an attempt to quantitatively define a planetary body’s suitability for life.

The new index assigns a value to five planets or moons to represent the ability of each to support life.

The new index, presented at a meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, assigns a value to five planets or moons to represent the ability of each to support life. The scale ranges from 0 (inhabitable) to 1 (most habitable), with the planetary bodies receiving a decimal figure within that range.

National Geographic News offers pictures and commentary on the objects of the study, which was led by Abel Mendez of the University of Puerto Rico–Arecibo. Mendez’s team considered Saturn’s moon Enceladus, Mars, Jupiter’s moon Europa, Saturn’s moon Titan, and Venus (in addition to Earth) as habitability candidates. Their results? Enceladus and Venus tied Earth at 0.4 on the scale, with Mars and Europa not far behind at 0.3. Titan brought up a distant rear with 0.001. As for the individual specifics:

  • Enceladus may have a subsurface ocean—but it “could be very deep,” says Mendez, and thus it may be difficult to reach.
  • Mars has long been the center of speculation about possible life—but the habitable zone could be about 4 miles (6 km) underground, says Mendez, and thus we must dig deeper to find it.
  • Europa may also have a subsurface ocean, but it is thought to be shallower and “perhaps easier to explore” than the ocean on Enceladus.
  • Titan received a “not so good” verdict, with Mendez noting the moon’s extreme temperatures and pressures.
  • Venus earned a surprisingly positive appraisal, supposedly because “[t]he potential habitat for life in Venus’s atmosphere is actually bigger than in Earth’s atmosphere,” Mendez told National Geographic News.

These astronomers will continue to have faith that alien life may exist.

It is interesting to note that in the absence of any actual evidence for extraterrestrial life, evolutionists (including many astronomers) continue to suggest that the signs of life may be, in effect, “just beyond our reach.” At this rate, without tearing apart every molecule of every planetary body in our solar system (or galaxy), these astronomers will continue to have faith that alien life may exist. Of course, this attitude is primarily created by the evolutionary view of life: that it merely springs up when and where the underlying conditions are right.

The National Geographic News piece reports Mendez’s view: “Even if life started or was introduced in any of these bodies, it requires a relatively stable environment to maintain it.” In other words, the greater concern to Mendez is not the origin of life, but the survival of life. Yet surely that should increase the habitability of Earth, which according to evolutionists has sustained life for more than a billion years.

We therefore find it strange that Venus—a planet that is incredibly hostile compared to Earth—scores as high as Earth on the index. This is despite the fact that even evolutionists agree that Earth is spectacularly suited for life, which we consider evidence of design. Also is the obvious point that Earth’s “likelihood” of harboring life should be 1.0—we know there is life here!

While the Bible does not specifically state that God did not create organic life anywhere else in the universe, such is a reasonable implication of Scripture. Similarly, while the idea of evolution would not be disproved were alien life not found, nor would be proven if life were found, extraterrestrial life is a logical extension of the idea that life has a natural origin. When one begins with the biblical perspective, one can easily see that the search for alien life is a by-faith extension of evolutionary beliefs, and that its total failure to date is a reminder of the bereft nature of evolution as well.


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