Mars has component minerals for life

Paul Raven @ 27-06-2008

NASA\'s Mars Phoenix Lander - artist\'s impressionLatest word from the Phoenix Lander suggests that the soil of Mars contains the right sort of minerals to support certain forms of plant life – apparently asparagus would thrive there. I now have visions of an Edgar Rice Burroughs chase scene set in a forest of towering asparagus … [image courtesy NASA]

Of course, if you listen to a certain irritatingly vocal minority of asshats, we shouldn’t be wasting our time and taxes searching for the origin of life on other planets because “[l]ife originated on Earth when God spoke it into existence“. O RLY?

I think I’ve reached a tipping point with creationists; I used to find them infuriating, but recently I’ve found I just pity them. If the glory of God serves only to blind you to the glory of the universe, life must be depressingly short on moments of genuine marvel.

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6 Responses to “Mars has component minerals for life”

  1. Darren T says:

    You have got to read Ken MacLeod’s The Night Sessions mate… 🙂

  2. JustinP says:

    Anyone up for an insurrectionist asparagus/turnip-planting Mars conspiracy? I reckon we could probably get EU funding. 😛

  3. Steve Skojec says:

    Please don’t discount all creationists. Some of us aren’t nearly so unimaginative as others.

    Because we believe in a God who creates all living things should cause no hesitation in marveling at those things and how they have developed. The glory of the universe, properly understood, DOES glorify God. How cool is it to have a God who made all of this, especially if we find out (as we certainly may) that we’re it – that the only sentient creatures in the universe are men, and this, all of it, is our sandbox.

  4. Paul Raven says:

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on the existence of God, Steve, but if you’re not an enemy of science and the expansion of human knowledge, we’re on the same side.

  5. SMD says:

    There’s not really a whole lot that’s cool about a omnipotent being that kills people, demands acceptance with the punishment of hell, condones incest, murder, genocide, infanticide, etc. If that’s cool, then clearly I’m in the wrong country.

    You should read the comments to that religious…rant. It’s amazing how incredibly logical the NASA supporters are and how amazingly illogical the creationist camp is. The Earth is still 4600 years old, remember? *rolls eyes* I feel sorry for scientists, because they constantly have to battle this ignorant pile of garbage…and you know all the scientists want reality to be seen, but there’s just nothing you can do to get past blind faith.

  6. Steve Skojec says:

    There’s not really a whole lot that’s cool about a omnipotent being that kills people, demands acceptance with the punishment of hell, condones incest, murder, genocide, infanticide, etc. If that’s cool, then clearly I’m in the wrong country.

    There’s nothing cool about all that happening when it’s all just meaningless and in the end we’re all finished for good, either. I prefer my version. When one believes in God at least there’s hope, and a better reason to do what is right or noble than simply because of how they’re feeling that morning.

    The sort of blind faith you’re talking about, I’m afraid, is more a function of evangelical Protestantism than Christianity per se. I’m a Catholic, and if you look at the history of science, we contributed quite a lot. Sure, there was the Galileo incident (which isn’t as simple as revisionist history makes it out to be, BTW), but Copernicus nearly became a priest, Gregor Mendel WAS a priest, and the Jesuits produced more scientific research during their time of prominence than just about any other group in the world. They also built innumerable Universities. For a look at all that Catholicism has contributed to the arts, sciences and education, I recommend Dr. Thomas Woods Jr.’s “How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization”.

    One of the tenets of my faith is that faith mustn’t contradict reason. It may at times supersede it, but even in the most rigorous scientific mind, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Because one can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Quantum physicists know this all too well.

    So no. I’m not an enemy of science. I believe it has its limits, and should be bound by ethics and morals, but I would not and could not be the sci-fi fan I am if I didn’t like the “sci” part. 😉