By Wasif Abu Yusuf
What’s happened at NASA?
Last week NASA sent out a cryptic press release about solving a “major” mystery on Mars. Beyond that the space agency provided little information — until an announcement Monday (28/9/15) morning. So what was the “Mars mystery” that NASA solved? Flowing water on the red planet.
But we have plenty of water here! What’s the big deal?
Surprisingly, this announcement of water on Mars isn’t the first of its kind. But NASA’s statement has reignited enthusiasm over the possibility of alien life on our planetary neighbour. Water is essential for life to exist on Earth, we all know that. But for the intelligentsia, knowing that H20 is flowing on the Red Planet has increased a long held belief that extraterrestrial life could exist somewhere on Mars as well as one day potentially tapping into its water supplies. So now, more than ever, NASA wants to send probes to the Martian surface to find out for sure.
Well, the secular academics believe that any alien life lurking on Mars will most likely be in the form of tiny microorganisms — not complex biological beings like the ones on our planet. This means organisms hiding inside soil samples or hard to reach places. They believe alien life would look like microbes here on Earth, or they may look like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
So if we have water, we have life!
Unfortunately, this requires a leap of faith. It is an idea that assumes abiogenesis is possible – the idea that life will result spontaneously from lifelessness.
Surely experiments must have been conducted to back NASA’s claims…
Well, the spontaneous generation of life theory eventually has been proved false by hundreds of research studies. Some of the earliest controlled biological experiments by Italian physician Francesco Redi (1626–1697) for example. Redi proved that maggots appeared in meat only after flies had deposited their eggs on it. Maggots didn’t spontaneously generate on their own as it was believed by less rigorous experimenters.
Interestingly, Redi continued to believe that spontaneous generation could occur in certain instances. After the microscope proved the existence of bacteria in 1683, many scientists concluded that these “simple” microscopic organisms must have “spontaneously generated,” thereby providing evolution with its beginning. Again, Pasteur and other researchers, soon disproved this idea, and the fields of microbiology and biochemistry have since documented quite eloquently the enormous complexity of these compact living creatures.
Now what about Miller’s famous experiment? Well his work to produce amino acids can’t be considered as evidence for abiogenesis because although amino acids are the building blocks of life, the key to life is information. Natural objects in forms resembling the English alphabet (circles, straight lines and similar) abound in nature, but this doesn’t help us to understand the origin of information (such as that in Shakespeare’s plays) since this task requires intelligence both to create the information (the play) and then to translate that information into symbols.
It’s strange you say this because contemporary academics don’t seem to recognise this.
Nearly all biologists were convinced by the latter half of the nineteenth century that spontaneous generation of all types of living organisms was impossible. But now that naturalism dominates science, Darwinists reason that at least one spontaneous generation of life event must have occurred in the distant past because no other naturalistic origin-of-life method exists. As theism was filtered out of science, spontaneous generation gradually was resurrected in spite of its previous and overwhelming defeat.
Yet so many people completely ignore this fact.