NASA is making a major announcement about Mars research findings this morning (EST)


(Brad Kramer) #1

#2

This just in: Liquid water flows on Mars

(Too bad California can’t have some)


(Patrick ) #3

So if liquid water flows on Mars and water seems to everywhere in the galaxies, by Bayesian probability: Given liquid water on Mars and its abundance in galaxies AND life on earth, what is probability of life elsewhere in the universe? Seems to me to be much more than zero.


(sy_garte) #4

I agree that the probability of life elsewhere is greater than zero, but Im not sure how much greater. I know this goes against current consensus, but I think liquid water is a necessary but not sufficient ingredient of life. Let’s see what we find on Mars, that should give us some clues, I hope.


(Patrick ) #5

Agree that liquid water is necessary. Certainly it not sufficient. Although given a couple of billion years and liquid water with all the amino acids we see in space, together with an energy source, like a nearby star or heat from an planet interior, it seems unlikely that in our galaxy (200 billion stars with planets) and a 100 billion galaxies did generate life somewhere else sometime ago. The universe is an big place and 13.8 billions of years old to only have one planet with just 7 trillion conscious life forms on it.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #6

@sygar
@Patrick

It’s probably just our conditioning since we’ve never encountered natural bodies of water sterile of all life; (Some briny venues might come close, but as I understand it, even the dead sea has its microbial halophiles). So all in all, I find it hard to imagine a large body of water anywhere, whether underneath miles of ice on Europa or anywhere else that doesn’t have at least some microscopic critters jiggling around.


(Patrick ) #7

I went over to the AiG site, and Danny Faulkner already has done all the analysis on these findings. Sure enough, AiG is 100% certain that it isn’t liquid water. NASA must have been mistaken interpreting the data incorrectly. But, if the remote possibility that there is liquid water on Mars, it does nothing to the fact that Earth and Mars was poofed into existence in their present orbits one day 6000 years old. I can’t believe parents (grandparents) buy this stuff for their kids (grandchildren).


#8

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(sy_garte) #9

I agree with Eddie, and although I am a Christian, my skepticism about ET life has nothing to do with my faith. I really dont understand why creationists and atheists seem to agree that finding life on other planets would somehow be a blow to theism. I know two very committed Christians who are at the forefront of the search for ET life (Stephen Freeland and Jennifer Wiseman).

Patrick, I also agree that it would be quite odd if Earth were the only planet in the universe with life. The numbers are just too huge. I also think (as has been proposed in the book Rare Earth) that life might be quite common in our galaxy. OTOH, large complex animal life, or anything complex enough to have a brain and form a civilization is another story, mostly because of the need for oxygen to sustain such creatures. Oxygen is the most chemically efficient energy source for metabolism, and anaerobic life couldnt get beyond the single cell stage. So the question is how rare are planets with oxygen atmospheres?


(Patrick ) #10

Eddie,
But if life were abundant across the galaxy (universe), wouldn’t that make us (humans) on Earth less special? We could still be unique but we won’t be special. Doesn’t that have profound theological consequences?


#11

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(Patrick ) #12

Yes He did. But I don’t think that the Isreali’s of 3000 years ago were a particularly noble group to get this special treatment. They had very strange customs, morals and ethics to be considered special. Since from my genome, I am not decedent from this group, I don’t feel an affinity towards them. On the other hand, I feel my ancestors deserved this special treatment. For my ancestors life on the savanna was hard but they persevered. They nurtured their children and did the best that they could with the limited resources available. Although they had small brains, they were able to make stone tools, capture large animals for food, control fire to cook their food. They lived for millions of years like that, teaching their children and children’s children. I think they were special and I am glad they survived and learned new things so that I can live in comfort.


(Patrick ) #13

If there was other intelligent races in the galaxy, would they have sinned and would they need to be saved? Would God have to send his son to each of these places where intelligent races formed? In the particular life form of that race? Would he have to be killed to save that race?


#14

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(sy_garte) #15

That depends on what kind of life there were. So far we are the only species that worships God (at least some of us). If we found another species that worshipped God, that would still make us no less special. After all, Eddie and I both worship God, and yet the fact that I am not the only worshipper on the planet does not in any way reduce my specialness in the eyes of the Lord.


(Patrick ) #16

I don’t think you can generalize to our whole species. Certainly our species didn’t worship the same god over most of our species existence for say 200,000 years in all locations across the planet. It certainly doesn’t now. And certainly we don’t know anything about the beliefs of other human species like Neanderthals and Devosivans and Erectus. And even further back to Habilis and the newly discovered Naledi.


(Mazrocon) #17

@Eddie

I wonder how the existence (or non-existence) of extra-terrestrial life will affect Christianity? I can see the logic of your points that the Bible does not address these issues… but at the same time, when the discovery of dinosaurs came along it seems that Christianity almost “divided”. Some took this information and made Genesis 1 into a progressive creationist model (or a non-concordist model) while others took the information and put dinosaurs on Creation Day 6, put dinosaurs on the ark along with all the other animals, and even (though this is a gigantic stretch) put the Behemoth of Job 40 and cast him as a “sauropod dinosaur”.

I wonder if the discovery of extra-terrestrial life (the intelligent kind anyway) will start that “ancient alien astronaut theory” up and running again, and bring up passages like “the sons of God and the daughters of men” in Genesis 6:1-4, to the forefront again.

Just speculating here!

-Tim


(Patrick ) #18

How about Homo Naledi which is being discussed here? A soul? Image of God? Human behavior? Empathy? Love? Ability to imagine? Abstract thought? Assume for the moment, that they lived 2.8 million years ago (unconfirmed)


(Mazrocon) #19

@Patrick

In regards to your question about Israel not being a noble group, Deuteronomy 7:7,8 says this: “The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

The central theme of the Bible is that he picks people, that most people would not find “worthy” or “noble” in the eyes of others. He picks you not because of any particular abilities you have, but simply because he chooses you (I would suggest he looks more at character). Evidently, this message got lost among the Jews who thought they were “special” because of their genealogy or because they washed their hands before they ate their food. God picked Paul after Paul was killing Christians … if that isn’t an example of irony, or compassion, I’m not sure what is.

P.S. I’m not sure what to say about Naledi specifically (I thought we were talking about water on Mars?)

-Tim


(Brad Kramer) #20

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