AIG Reacts to the Martian Landing

We’ve previously described the positions of the major creationist websites on the existence of extra-terrestrial life (see Mars Landing Sunday — Creationist Nightmare?). But we haven’t yet seen their reactions to NASA’s successful landing on Mars.

Now we have the first reaction. It’s from Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. AIG is the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.

AIG’s post is The Curious Case of Martian Mania. Their condescending title suggests that there’s something wrong with anyone who’s excited over NASA’s accomplishment. The article explains to their faithful, brain-dead followers that there’s nothing to fear from anything that the new Martian rover may discover. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

With the successful on-target Mars landing of the robotic rover dubbed Curiosity, a normally staid group of engineers and scientists erupted with joy on Sunday evening as a fruit of their labor was achieved. People watching from around the world vicariously shared in the excitement — and still are as the videos of the tense moments before touchdown are re-watched.

How ridiculous that anyone would have such a reaction! AIG continues:

Curiosity is essentially a roving laboratory. Its mission: to search for evidence life could have once existed on Mars. While the feats demanded by landing Curiosity are an early rehearsal for those required for a possible manned mission in the 2030s, the quest to find evidence for life is at the heart of the present mission.

And creation scientists like those at AIG know what a foolish mission it is! Then they give us some excerpts from one of their earlier articles on the Mars mission:

Though no Mars lander has ever found any evidence of life, past or present, NASA researchers are hopeful.

Silly scientists! Let’s read on:

Of course, the presence of small organic molecules would not prove life ever existed on Mars. Organic molecules, thought to be the products of spontaneous chemical reactions, have been found in meteorites. … The researchers believe that larger organic molecules — those with ten or more carbon atoms — would be more suggestive of a biological origin but would also be more likely to have broken down over time.

It’s a fool’s mission! NASA should devote their resources to searching for something real, like Noah’s Ark! AIG continues:

[T]he researchers suggest the rover explore “young” craters — those they believe to be less than 10 million years old. … The idea of course is that the surface inside a fresher crater has had less time exposed to cosmic radiation than an undisturbed nearby older surface.

That makes sense, doesn’t it? Not to AIG. Here’s more:

The methods of estimating the dates of events on Mars are as subject to unverifiable assumptions as methods from estimating the age of the earth — and even more so, actually, since there has been no radiometric dating of material ever performed on actual Martian samples.

AIG uses that argument to dismiss evidence for an old Earth, so it’s no problem for them to dismiss the same kind of evidence on Mars. Moving along:

Regardless of age, it does make sense that any organic molecules beneath the surface would have experienced less total exposure to radiation than undisturbed landscapes. Yet the presence of organic molecules does not prove life exists or ever existed on Mars.

See? Evidence means nothing to those people. Another excerpt:

While the Bible does not say that God didn’t create life on other planets, the Bible does tell us God created all life on earth during the first six days of Creation week about 6,000 years ago.

Yes, we know. On with the article:

However, evolutionists generally think that life could have evolved anywhere conditions are right. They therefore believe that finding life’s footprint on Mars would confirm life evolved there just as they believe it did on earth.

And that’s the creationists’ greatest fear. But they’re ready for it:

However, no mechanism has ever been observed on earth or anywhere else whereby life could randomly emerge from non-living elements.

So far that’s true, and the creationists know they’re living on borrowed time. Until that happens, they’ve got to fend off the possibility that life may be found elsewhere. Here’s how they plan to handle it:

And if life were ever to be found on Mars, knowing it was there would not prove how it got there. Assuming it was not a contaminant from earth, its existence would just be a testimony to the fact that God can create life anyplace He chooses.

That’s weak — very weak — but it’s the best they can do. Hey — no one ever said that denying reality was easy.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “AIG Reacts to the Martian Landing

  1. I believe they picked the crater because strata are visible. And as well all know, layers of rock were deposited by Noah’s flood. BECAUSE MARS WAS SINFUL.

  2. Of course, the presence of small organic molecules would not prove life ever existed on Mars. Organic molecules, thought to be the products of spontaneous chemical reactions, have been found in meteorites

    Thanks for the own goal AIG. You’ve just admitted that organic molecules can form without the need for a designer. You need to talk some guys at the DI about that.

    Fortunately, there’s plenty of research that shows that once organic molecules are formed, it’s almost child’s play to form long chain organic polymers and much more complex molecules (like amino acids and nucleic acids).

  3. I am so glad they are preparing themselves!

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    Ogremkv for the win!

  5. “The methods of estimating the dates of events on Mars are as subject to unverifiable assumptions as methods from estimating the age of the earth — and even more so, actually, since there has been no radiometric dating of material ever performed on actual Martian samples.”

    Gotta love the Creationist “heads I win tails you lose” style of argument.

    So, they say that radiometric dating is useless/based on unverifiable assumptions – but doing so on Mars is even more useless because they haven’t done any radiometric dating on any Martian materials yet!

    The food there is terrible! And the portions are too small!

  6. Yet the presence of organic molecules does not prove life exists or ever existed on Mars.

    Not so fast, Cretinoids! Yes, simple organic matter may not have biological origins. It could (theoretically) have been generated through chemical processes. At least some scientists admit that’s possible. BUT Curiosity is searching for complex organic structures, like microbial fossils. That would pretty much be a definitive indicator of the presence of ancient life on Mars.

  7. Well, David Klingon-hoffer has issued the discoveroids official response to Curiosity’s landing: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/08/why_they_sent_t063011.html

  8. Technically it’s true, the AIG article is very weak.
    However, I believe they deserve credit for creativity. If not creativity, then perhaps for persistence. Their story hasn’t changed in several thousand years and by golly, they’re sticking with it!

  9. The whole truth

    klinghoffer is obviously really worried that Curiosity will find signs of past life or extant living things on Mars, and he also thinks that he’s specially created from “especially elevated” ingredients. Yeah, dust is an “especially elevated” ingredient. LOL

    He actually has the nerve to say:

    “Broadly speaking, they sent Curiosity to Mars in an effort, however doomed, to refute intelligent design.”

    Hey klinghoffer, ID isn’t anywhere near that important, and neither are you. In fact, broadly and specifically speaking, you’re just an insignificant, cowardly little twit, and ID is a dishonest theological crutch for fearful, arrogant, weak-minded sheeple.

  10. OrgeMkV: “Thanks for the own goal AIG. You’ve just admitted that organic molecules can form without the need for a designer. You need to talk some guys at the DI about that.”

    Actually that’s one thing – specifically, switching definitions of “organic” in a way that fools ~90% of the people – on which AiG and the DI agree. What AiG and the DI do need to publicly air out is their hopeless disagreements on “what happened when.” AiG insists that the “evidences” independently validate a 6-day creation of universe, Earth and life, and a global flood that sorted all the fossils, all within the last few thousand years. Most DI folk think that species appeared over billions of years, possibly via common ancestors (though with some designer intervening somewhere, once, maybe periodically), and that the flood needs to be taken on faith because “ain’t no evidences.”

  11. As most of you know, but ~90% of the public does not, what I am about to say does not in any way weaken either the fact of “~4 billion years of common descent with modification,” the theory of evolution, or the fact that abiogenesis had to occur at least once by definition.

    While many complex carbon-based compounds and irreducibly complex (using at least one of Behe’s bait-and-switched definitions) systems have been observed to arise spontaneously, what eludes us is a long-term sustaining autocatalytic set. That would have both Biblical and Discoveroid anti-science activists frantically scrambling back to the drawing board (where I have no doubt they’ll have more word games to fool the public). Some fascinating research suggests that that “holy grail” could be discovered this century. But in the meantime, to paraphrase Archimedes, give me a lifeless planet with millions of cubic miles of water containing dissolved and suspended carbon compounds, millions of square miles of catalytic solid surface, plenty of heat and light for energy, and a few million years…

  12. DavidK says: “Well, David Klingon-hoffer has issued the discoveroids official response to Curiosity’s landing”

    I’m workin’ on it.

  13. Realist1948

    Klinghoffer wrote, “Broadly speaking, they sent Curiosity to Mars in an effort, however doomed, to refute intelligent design.”
    Bullfeathers! They sent Curiosity to Mars to obtain data. They have already collected some very important engineering data that confirms that the entry, descent and landing systems all worked as intended. In other words, they now have data which confirms that the design assumptions were correct, or at least “close enough.”

    Soon Curiosity should be able to start collecting scientific data, which may help confirm or refute a variety of hypotheses. Science will go in whatever direction the data leads it.