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Gullies Posit Water on Mars

on December 9, 2006
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[email protected]: Water could be flowing on Mars today

The science hullabaloo this week is that liquid water may have recently flowed on Mars, according to one interpretation of recent photography from the late Mars Global Surveyor. Although Martian water is known to exist in the form of ice and may exist underground, this is the first indication of any recent, liquid surface water.

The photographic evidence for the liquid water comes in the form of growing gullies on the surface:

One of the gullies was snapped first in 2001, and then again in 2005. During that time, about 300 metres of new deposits had been formed. In another gully, formed sometime between 1999 and 2004 in a crater in the Centauri Montes region, a number of finger-shaped branches appeared over an area of about 600 metres.

Some scientists credit water for the formation of these finger-shaped branches and gully extensions.

Thus, some scientists credit water for the formation of these finger-shaped branches and gully extensions. For example, in a widely reported quip, Kenneth Edgett of Malin Space Science Systems (part of the Mars Global Surveyor team) claimed this evidence was a “squirting gun” in favor of liquid water on the Martian surface.

Yet the enthusiasm lacks ubiquity: geologist Allan Treiman of the Lunar and Planetary Institute counters the common view, “Nothing in the images, no matter how cool they are, proves that the flows were wet, or that they were anything more exciting than avalanches of sand and dust.” Even so, evolutionary scientists believe “they [now] have a better idea where to look” for microbial organisms, and thus are not largely challenging the findings.

So what should a creationist think? Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that it is evolutionists who effectively believe that “where water is, life will soon follow.” Since creationists realize that the origin of life takes far more than chemicals, it doesn't really matter-in terms of the creation/evolution debate, anyway-in what form water exists on Mars.


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