“Soaking Wet" Mars

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"Soaking wet" Mars excites scientists, according to BBC news, Nature Science Update and press releases from the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, 2, 5 & 18 March 2004. Rock formations at both sites currently being explored by robots on Mars appear to have the right physical structure and chemistry for being formed in wet conditions. Some rocks appear to be made of fine layers, as if they were formed in flowing water. These rocks also contain holes and indentations where crystals could have formed and then been dissolved away – a process that requires water.

Chemical analysis revealed sulphates, including a mineral called jarosite - a hydrated iron sulphate mineral formed in acidic lakes or acidic hot springs. There are also tiny spherules that contain haematite, another iron based mineral that forms in water. According to Steve Squyres, who leads a team of scientists analysing the photos and data sent from Mars Rovers, "These rocks were modified in liquid water and may have been precipitated in water."

The official reason for looking for evidence of water on Mars is to see if there is enough water to sustain a manned mission to Mars. However, most people want to know if water means there is life on Mars. Steve Squyres commented "this was a ground water environment that would have been suitable for life. That doesn’t mean that life was there. We don’t know that."

Editorial Comment: when this newsletter was sent out no-one had actually found any water on Mars – only rock formations that could have been, but not necessarily were, formed in wet conditions. Any fluid, including carbon dioxide and flowing air could make some of the rock formations seen so far.

The real reason scientists and the general public are desperate to find water on Mars is the belief it would prove that life simply evolves, without any creator, wherever the right chemicals exist. On earth, living cells can only live in watery environments, and wherever there is water there is life (even if it is only a few bacteria). However, even though water and other chemicals are necessary to sustain life, they do not create life. To make even the simplest living cells you need vast amounts of information, which is stored in genes, and copied and used by complex cellular machinery. Information cannot come spontaneously out of matter – it is imposed on it by an outside intelligence. If there are, or were, living organisms on Mars it won't help the evolutionist find out any more than "life exists wherever the Creator put it". But since they don't want that conclusion - finding life on Mars won't help them at all. (Ref. Mars, water, life)

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