Life on Mars at Last?

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on March 1, 2019

NASA’s Curiosity rover has found what scientists have been searching for since Viking I landed on Mars 42 years ago—signs of life.

Actually, no one is saying that Curiosity has found unmistakable life signs. Rather, it has found evidence of several different “organic” molecules in the soil and methane in the atmosphere. Both could be by-products of life, but many nonbiological processes could also produce them.

The complex organics in the soil are particularly exciting to evolutionary scientists. NASA researchers are hopeful that since these molecules have been preserved for so long (three billion years by their evolutionary estimates), microbes that produced them could also be preserved.

To their credit, the researchers are not so blinded by their evolutionary assumptions that they are rushing to conclude they’ve definitely found the telltale signs of life. As one researcher put it, “I suspect it’s geological. I hope it’s biological.”

Sadly, that hope comes not from a desire to glorify the Creator of all life, but from an urge to prove that life “just happens” whenever conditions are right. Or, to put it another way, it’s a form of worshipping the creature rather than the Creator (see Romans 1:25).

The Bible implies that God designed the earth alone to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). Since the destiny of the whole universe revolves around events on earth, and Christ chose to become a man and dwell on earth, it is very unlikely we will ever find creatures elsewhere.

If a probe ever does find life on another planet, the first question will be whether the readings are the result of microbial contamination from earth. However, scientists sterilize spacecraft before launch specifically to remove that possibility. But even if conclusive evidence of indigenous bacteria were found on Mars, we would know they didn’t evolve but the Creator put them there when he made the heavens and the earth “and all that is in them” in six days (Exodus 20:11). So this discovery wouldn’t prove anything about evolution or its likelihood to occur.

This article was taken from Answers magazine, September–October, 2018, pg 33.