Is Water on Mars a Nail in God's Coffin?

By Thomas Heinze

Atheists have claimed for years: "Wherever water is found in its liquid state, life forms. No Creator needed!" Now a Mars rover has found evidence that Mars may once have had liquid water.

During the announcement, NASA's spokesman said, "Our ultimate quest on Mars is to answer the age old question, "Was there life, is there life on Mars." Atheists hope the answer will be yes, and they want to believe that this will drive another nail in God's coffin.

Living things do contain water, but are also known for protein, DNA, RNA, etc. These molecules, often called macro molecules, are too large and complex to form anywhere in nature except in already living cells.

Atheists respond, "Of these, only RNA would have to have formed spontaneously in nature, it would then have gone on to form the other substances. The RNA of cells, however, like their DNA, not only will not form in nature, the best scientists cannot even make it in their laboratories.

Leslie Orgel is one of the most respected of the origin of life scientists who are searching for a way that life could have started without God. In his chapter in a recent book, {Life's Origin, 2002, p. 140} he introduces the problem of producing an RNA information system with the saying, "Garbage in, garbage out," and goes on to explain that origin of life experiments produce mostly garbage. He chooses the most wildly successful and famous origin-of-life experiment of all time as his first illustration: "For example, Miller's classic experiment ... produces tar along with a percent or two of a complex mixture of racemic amino acids ... ." He is saying three things:

  • This, the most famous of all origin-of-life experiments, produced all garbage except for a percent or two of the desired amino acids. These are the building blocks of proteins that are the main ingredients of cells.
  • The amino acids that made up that percent or two were "racemic," which means mixed right and left handed. Since only pure left handed amino acids will work in living things, that percent or two was garbage also.
  • Orgel is pointing out that unless there is a way that nature can produce a pure enough form of the building blocks of protein, and of RNA, to be useful, it is hard to see how either one could go on to form a cell.

By showing the difficulty of producing something as simple as useful amino acids in a way that might happen in nature, Orgel spotlights the problem of producing functional RNA which is almost infinitely more difficult. Orgel asks how processes on the primitive Earth, that proceed in such a messy way, could produce living cells, "those exquisitely designed chemical factories, from such unpromising starting materials?" He goes on to explain: "This is the central and as yet largely unanswered question facing investigators on the origin of life." Orgel is silent as to where the information in the RNA would come from, but all other known information comes from intelligent minds.

Whether or not liquid water was present is but a tiny part of the huge problem of life evolving from chemicals. Most atheists start with faith that in one way or another, life must have started without a Creator, and believe that so strongly that they hardly notice the evidence. Otherwise they would see that the reason scientists can't find a way that chemicals could have evolved to form a first living cell is because they couldn't, and didn't. God created life!

For more information on the difficulties for evolutionists posed by recent discoveries in biology, read "How Life Began", and "In The Beginning...Soup?" by Heinze. For an overview of the current debate, read "The Collapse of Evolution" by Scott Huse.