That title is the conclusion of the creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Our last post on this topic was Newly Discovered Habitable Extra-Solar Planet, which was about:
… the discovery of an Earth-sized planet (three times the mass of Earth) orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star’s “habitable zone,” where liquid water could exist on the planet’s surface.
The article we quoted said:
Habitability depends on many factors, but liquid water and an atmosphere are among the most important.
It didn’t take long for the powerful intellects at ICR to bring their vast knowledge to bear on this discovery. We present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from Newfound Planet Is ‘100 Percent’ Sure to Have Life?, which appears at the ICR website. The bold font was added by us:
A newly discovered “exoplanet” (a planet outside the solar system) named Gliese 581g appears to be inside the “habitable zone” of its red dwarf star. Since this means that the planet’s surface could potentially hold liquid water, Steven Vogt, professor at UC Santa Cruz, expressed confidence that the planet indeed harbors life.
Well, he said it was likely to be habitable. Let’s read on:
But with only one of the required parameters present — temperature — how reasonable is it to assume the rest? Is there even water there?
That’s a fair question. Then they quote from another article, perhaps accurately, in which they claim Vogt said:
Personally, given the ubiquity and propensity of life to flourish wherever it can, I would say, my own personal feeling is that the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent.
Then ICR quotes Guillermo Gonzales, a creationist favorite. He’s a co-author of The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery. He’s also a “senior fellow” among the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
The Discoveroids have tried to make a big deal out of the fact that Gonzales was denied tenure at Iowa State University. He was Expelled! Now he’s teaching at some bible college. Anyway, he’s a Discoveroid martyr and ICR considers him an authority. They quote him as saying:
For the extreme case of synchronous rotation, the complete freeze-out of water on the dark hemisphere is very likely….Once water begins to freeze on a region of a planet with continuously sub-zero temperature, the stage is set for a runaway process of continuing freeze-out.
Egad — a freeze-out! ICR then uses that Gonzalez claim to counter the opinion of Vogt, saying:
Vogt did not suggest any solution to this problem, instead invoking a 19th-century, Darwin-inspired, assumed “propensity of life to flourish wherever it can.” What Darwin’s followers are not recognizing, however, is that any propensity for life to flourish is a direct result of the specialized machinery and coded instructions that living cells have been given —
Given? Wow! If living cells have been given “specialized machinery and coded instructions” — why, that implies a Giver! Hey, this is undeniable evidence for Oogity Boogity! We now continue that ICR sentence which we interrupted:
— rather than the result of a happy accident of just the right random assemblage of physical parameters and natural laws.
Yes, oh yes! What are the odds that a living cell just popped into existence because of a happy accident? It’s all so obvious! We continue:
In fact, those coded instructions make life possible precisely because they circumvent or exploit the laws of nature.
Aaaargh!! “Circumvent or exploit”? One is a miracle, the other is a natural occurrence. Come on, ICR — which is it? Anyway, here’s the end of ICR’s article:
So, given that there are no known natural entities capable of dreaming up those instructions, let alone capable of building biological machines than can effectively use them, the chances of life on planet Gliese 581g have to be zero.
Zero! So there you are.
Update: See Discovery Institute: Extraterrestrial Life Is OK.
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