Although some evolutionists are keen to defend the idea that life originated from inanimate matter on the ancient Earth (see item "#1", for example), other evolutionists have promulgated the idea that microbial life may have evolved elsewhere, then hitched a ride to Earth on an outbound meteoroid.
One of the locales of interest to the latter group is Mars. With evidence of a watery past and temperatures more like Earth’s than any other planet in the solar system, Mars is seen by some as a natural candidate for the abiotic origin of life. Scientists are already hoping to find fossils on an upcoming mission to Mars (that’s the title, by the way, of a film that helped popularize the idea that humans descended from Martians). So we shouldn’t be surprised to learn about an expensive new instrument currently in development at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology designed to detect evidence of Martian life.
In fact, the scientists behind the instrument seem to have skipped over the question of whether Mars ever hosted life, for the device is designed to search for Martian DNA or RNA. The project is the centerpiece of the so-called Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (with the name presumably an homage to the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). The scientists hope to find room for their instrument on a future Mars probe, where it would test soil for genetic signatures and analyze any that are found.
Although MIT researcher Christopher Carr admits that it’s “a long shot,” he insists that “we could be related to life on Mars[, s]o we should at least be looking for life on Mars that’s related to us.” Again, it seems to us he has simply presumed Martian life into existence, given his greater interest in whether Martian and Earth life are related.
Many evolutionists take it on faith that life exists, or existed, on Mars—despite the absence of evidence.
The same assumption is clear in comments by NASA’s Christopher McKay: “It is not implausible that life on Mars will be related to life on Earth and therefore share a common genetics. In any case it would be important to test this hypothesis.” McKay is even worried about astronauts being exposed to infectious Martian microbes!* But what is clear is that many evolutionists take it on faith that life exists, or existed, on Mars—despite the absence of evidence. Free-thinking and scientific skepticism notwithstanding, the almost humorously named Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes shows that these researchers have bought into the evolutionary faith hook, line, and sinker.
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