What If Evidence For Life Is Found On Mars?

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What If Evidence For Life Is Found On Mars?

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Post by Miles »

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On July 20, 2020 NASA launched a rocket to Mars carrying the new Perseverance rover whose job, after it lands on February 18, 2021, is to seek signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth.


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Should such signs appear and it's concluded that life did reside on Mars, would it threaten Christian beliefs?

"Passages like Genesis 1, John 1, and Colossians 1 clearly speak of God as the Creator of all things, and with no exception. Paul writes in Colossians 1:16 “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” If signs are found it's said they would only be of very small organisms. Nothing like trilobites or dragonflies. Yet if life did arise and then go extinct what's the message? Was it a failed attempt by god to get life going? Did it go so askew that god destroyed it? Did life on Mars simply run its course and peter out? Are the "signs" simply phony---scientists don't know what they're doing!

What do you see as the Christian response to evidence of ancient life on Mars?

Get your bets in now. The window closes Feb. 18, 2021.



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Re: What If Evidence For Life Is Found On Mars?

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Post by Peter »

Watched that launch from my backyard. You can feel the rumble in your chest. Always gives me goosebumps.

God only knows how Christians will square extraterrestrial life with their magical thinking. O:)
Religion is poison because it asks us to give up our most precious faculty, which is that of reason, and to believe things without evidence. It then asks us to respect this, which it calls faith. - Christopher Hitchens

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Re: What If Evidence For Life Is Found On Mars?

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Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to Miles in post #1]
What do you see as the Christian response to evidence of ancient life on Mars?
I expect they would deny it, claim the measurements were bogus, etc. Similar to how young earth creationists try to claim that radiometric dating is inaccurate purely because it contradicts their ideas and not for any science reasons.

I have an interest in this new mission because I had two diode laser gas sensors on the Mars Polar Lander (MVACS) mission that launched to Mars in 1999. We spent 4 years on the design, build and test of these instruments, then a software bug caused the lander to crash and we (and the other investigators) got absolutely nothing out of it. One of these sensors was on a thermal evolved gas analyzer (the other was for meteorological measurements) and intended to measure isotopes of H2O and CO2, with ideas that there may be some ability to infer biological activity. But getting to Mars and landing safely isn't easy, and although I lost out my good friend and colleague got another diode laser spectrometer onto the Curiosity rover that has been working now for 8 years and producing lots of useful measurements (especially of CH4). I'm rooting for the new rover to make it!

https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/spacecraft/instruments/sam/
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Re: What If Evidence For Life Is Found On Mars?

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Post by Miles »

DrNoGods wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:19 pm [Replying to Miles in post #1]
What do you see as the Christian response to evidence of ancient life on Mars?
I expect they would deny it, claim the measurements were bogus, etc. Similar to how young earth creationists try to claim that radiometric dating is inaccurate purely because it contradicts their ideas and not for any science reasons.

I have an interest in this new mission because I had two diode laser gas sensors on the Mars Polar Lander (MVACS) mission that launched to Mars in 1999. We spent 4 years on the design, build and test of these instruments, then a software bug caused the lander to crash and we (and the other investigators) got absolutely nothing out of it. One of these sensors was on a thermal evolved gas analyzer (the other was for meteorological measurements) and intended to measure isotopes of H2O and CO2, with ideas that there may be some ability to infer biological activity. But getting to Mars and landing safely isn't easy, and although I lost out my good friend and colleague got another diode laser spectrometer onto the Curiosity rover that has been working now for 8 years and producing lots of useful measurements (especially of CH4). I'm rooting for the new rover to make it!

https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/spacecraft/instruments/sam/
Interesting. Thanks for the input.

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Re: What If Evidence For Life Is Found On Mars?

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Post by EarthScienceguy »

Christians would ask the question "How did it get there?". Is it similar to anything here on earth? In fact, a creationist back in the 1990s, predicted that we would find life on Mars, along with the idea that the water that we would find there would be saltwater and it would have at least twice the salinity of what is found in the oceans today. (https://www.space.com/5399-mars-salty-life.html)

So I imagine that they would simply say that their predictions were correct.

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Re: What If Evidence For Life Is Found On Mars?

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Post by Miles »

EarthScienceguy wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:09 pm Christians would ask the question "How did it get there?".
With 69% of weekly church goers believing in creationism I would think most wouldn't bother to ask the question.
source
EarthScienceguy wrote: In fact, a creationist back in the 1990s, predicted that we would find life on Mars, along with the idea that the water that we would find there would be saltwater and it would have at least twice the salinity of what is found in the oceans today. (https://www.space.com/5399-mars-salty-life.html)

So I imagine that they would simply say that their predictions were correct.
And just who is this prescient prognosticator? Plus a link to his prediction please.

Don't keep us in the dark here.


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Re: What If Evidence For Life Is Found On Mars?

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Post by EarthScienceguy »

[Replying to Miles in post #6]

Walt Brown and here is an entire book on his theory.

https://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/

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Re: What If Evidence For Life Is Found On Mars?

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Post by Difflugia »

EarthScienceguy wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:09 pmIn fact, a creationist back in the 1990s, predicted that we would find life on Mars, along with the idea that the water that we would find there would be saltwater and it would have at least twice the salinity of what is found in the oceans today.
EarthScienceguy wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:32 pmWalt Brown and here is an entire book on his theory.
Walt didn't "predict" life on Mars until 2007, two years after real scientists suggested the possibility.

Walt's FAQ entry for "Is There Life in Outer Space?" on May 26, 2007 read:
Is there life in outer space? Except as noted on page 295 [plant remains on asteroids ejected from Earth —Diff.], probably not. Many people enjoy speculating on this subject, and some want to believe life is in outer space, usually life that is superior to ours. They may be right. However, little rational basis exists for this belief—either scientific or biblical.
By October, he'd changed his tune a bit:
Is There Life on Mars?

Probably, but not intelligent life. Nor did life evolve on Mars. Instead, Mars’ soil at certain locations seems to contain living bacteria launched from Earth by the fountains of the great deep and delivered by impacts of comets and asteroids. Here’s why.

Three independent groups of scientists have discovered methane (CH4) in Mars’ atmosphere. The quantities are small but significant, averaging about 10 parts per billion by volume. Sunlight slowly destroys methane, so something, somewhere, must be replenishing that methane. Also, methane in Mars’ atmosphere should mix uniformly in only a few months, but methane’s concentration varies around the planet and appears to be concentrated where water once flowed. Volcanoes on Mars are dormant, and today comets and asteroids rarely hit Mars, so today they are probably not the source of this methane. By elimination, this leaves isolated locations in Mars’ soil as the likely source for Mars’ methane.
If a scientist predicts something and then a creationist parrots it, it's not a creationist prediction.

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Re: What If Evidence For Life Is Found On Mars?

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Post by Diagoras »

EarthScienceguy wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:32 pm [Replying to Miles in post #6]

Walt Brown and here is an entire book on his theory.
I wouldn’t pay much attention to any of Walt Brown’s theories. His work seems to suffer from questionable initial conditions, lack of in-depth analysis, the arbitrary fitting of data to his model, questionable references and analogies, and dubious significance of his predictions.

Not my words, mind you. The words of another creationist:
https://creation.com/hydroplate-theory

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Re: What If Evidence For Life Is Found On Mars?

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Post by tam »

Peace to you!
Miles wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 3:47 pm .

On July 20, 2020 NASA launched a rocket to Mars carrying the new Perseverance rover whose job, after it lands on February 18, 2021, is to seek signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth.


........................................Image



Should such signs appear and it's concluded that life did reside on Mars, would it threaten Christian beliefs?

"Passages like Genesis 1, John 1, and Colossians 1 clearly speak of God as the Creator of all things, and with no exception. Paul writes in Colossians 1:16 “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” If signs are found it's said they would only be of very small organisms. Nothing like trilobites or dragonflies. Yet if life did arise and then go extinct what's the message? Was it a failed attempt by god to get life going? Did it go so askew that god destroyed it? Did life on Mars simply run its course and peter out? Are the "signs" simply phony---scientists don't know what they're doing!

What do you see as the Christian response to evidence of ancient life on Mars?

Get your bets in now. The window closes Feb. 18, 2021.



.
Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm pretty sure I'd just think, 'cool'. I'd just take it as evidence that the universe(s) was created to support life, and that here on Mars, conditions must have been favourable enough at some point, for some element of life to have found a way (at least for a time).

I suppose there could be more to it than that, but that is all I would think unless/until I learned something more.

Peace again to you!

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