ICR’s New Position on Alien Life

We recently wrote Creationists & Life on Other Worlds, in which we described the latest view of a few major creationist organizations (described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page) concerning the likelihood of life on other worlds. The reason we wrote that was because both AIG and the Discoveroids were reacting to recent findings by the Martian rover suggesting that water once flowed beneath Martian surface.

Answers in Genesis (AIG) was saying that alien life is possible, but it won’t be intelligent, and its existence won’t explain life’s origins. The Discovery Institute feels that it’s not possible at all, because Earth is a privileged planet. We also mentioned that the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) had previously declared that there was no life elsewhere because it would contradict the bible and prove the evolutionists correct.

But now — we know this is difficult to grasp — ICR is changing its position. We don’t see how they can do that, because their creation science comes to them from scripture (which never changes), but they’re nevertheless wiggling around on this subject. Their new article is Strong Evidence for Life on Mars? First they briefly mention what the Martian rover found and the speculation that has generated. Then they give their — ahem! — evolving position. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Creation scientists do not expect intelligent extraterrestrial life to exist in the universe, and they generally think it is barely possible that “simple” extraterrestrial life exists.

That’s a big change from what they were saying a year ago — (see ICR Flat-Out Predicts: “No Alien Life Exists”. We’re shocked — shocked! Their article continues:

Evolutionary scientists, on the other hand, tend to ignore the enormous difficulties with secular origin-of-life stories and reason that if life evolved here, then it likely evolved elsewhere in the universe as well. So, they reason a discovery of extraterrestrial life would somehow validate evolution, despite its apparent improbability.

Ignoring ICR’s claim that there are “enormous difficulties” with the origin of life and that finding life elsewhere would only “somehow” validate evolution, we can state the matter more simply. At the moment, Earth is the only planet orbiting within its star’s habitable zone where we are certain there is liquid water and on which life exists. However, present indications are that that there could be Maybe Billions of Habitable Planets. If life exists here, then there is no reason to believe that it can’t exist elsewhere. Let’s read on from ICR’s surprising article:

But even if there was water on Mars’ surface once, it does nothing to assist evolutionary speculation about life’s origin. Although water is necessary for life, water cannot produce life. In fact, the presence of water is problematic for secular origin-of-life stories, since it tends to break apart the complex biomolecules necessary for life through spontaneous chemical reactions known as hydrolysis.

Hydrolysis? Egad — water is so unstable that it’s actually harmful to the emergence of life! We continue:

Moreover, even if microbial life were found on Mars, the same insurmountable difficulties that plague secular stories about life’s origin on earth would also plague stories about life’s origin on Mars. Far from making the evolutionary story more believable, the discovery of microbial life on Mars would require two wildly improbable series of fortuitous coincidences — one on Earth and another one on Mars!

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’d have two miracles to explain! The theory of evolution could never survive such a blow. Here’s more:

In summary, this “strongest argument” for life on Mars is very weak — like claiming that the discovery of aluminum ore on Mars is evidence that ancient Martians built space shuttles.

We’ve seen worse analogies. But we can’t remember when. Moving along:

Scientists have not found life on Mars. And although they think they have found evidence of past surface water, they can only speculate about present subsurface water. But water cannot produce life.

Got that? Water can’t produce life. Here’s now their article ends:

Even if microbial life were eventually found on Mars, its existence would still require a miracle.

So where does that leave us? ICR is reluctantly willing to accept that some kind of life might be found on Mars — or maybe elsewhere — but they still think it would be impossible, just as it is on Earth. Then they’d be confronted with multiple impossibilities. The only logical explanation is Oogity Boogity!

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14 responses to “ICR’s New Position on Alien Life

  1. Another gem from the redoubtable ICR!

    Theirs is a classic “Heads I win, Tails you lose” bit of rhetoric. One could write a comprehensive manual on fallacious arguments using examples solely drawn from the ICR, AIG, and of course the most astounding sophists of them all, the Discoveroids.

  2. Good to see you back, Megalonyx.

  3. And who says creationist dogma can’t be shoehorned to fit with new data as it emerges?

    Rewind a few centuries to when evidence became overwhelming to even the most die hard believer that the Earth was round not flat. Imagine the believers giving up: “Oh f…. it! It’s round”. The they immediately start pouring thru Scripture to find a few verses to “prove” it then loudly bleat that’s what the Bible said all along.

    Same crap, different century.

  4. Over the years creationists have gone from outright impossible to wildly improbable. Of course they never put a number to what would be probable in their minds. One in a million? Is that probable? More than one in ten million, I guess.

    The latest estimate from the Kepler telescope is that the Milky Way galaxy may harbor 4.5 billion Earth-like rocky planets. That’s up considerably from “none” (outside of the Solar System) just a few years ago. The ICR must be feeling the squeeze that it’s only a matter of time. It’s a Galileo moment for them. Kiss that “special” relationship good-bye.

  5. The creationists must be thinking that no intelligent life is likely to be discovered during their lifetimes, so they will be spared the trouble of explaining it, if & when it’s discovered.

  6. They once claimed that their (old) position was based on “a literal reading of Genesis 1,” which raises the question of where their new one comes from. They couldn’t possibly be using science to inform their dogma, could they? I hear that’s satanic.

  7. It’s interesting that both AiG and ICR are now shifting their positions and laying the groundwork for a response to the discovery of life elsewhere. If they truly believe that Earth is special, as a literal reading of scripture would indicate, they would be confident that no life exists anywhere else in the universe. But that, apparently, is not their position. They are covering their bets.

    I think this says something about their integrity.

  8. But now — we know this is difficult to grasp — ICR is changing its position.

    It’s a miracle!

  9. Each in the “Cast of Characters” gives a different view. The one who lucks out and gets things most right is billed as an infallible seer. They call the technique cherry picking for prophets.

  10. Dear Sensuous Curmudgeon,
    I only recently became aware of your blog. It’s most enjoyable. Keep up the good work.
    Roy Tressler

  11. Because biomolecules in your body also just collapse all the time, due to all the water they’re in. That’s why life can’t exist at all.

  12. Actually, Earth is a special place, with conditions ideally suited for human life. But it’s because we evolved in this environment, not because the environment was specially designed just for us.

  13. Ceteris Paribus

    Hmm, seems likely that the ICR has been infiltrated by clandestine members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka the Mormons).

    Apparently in the early 1820’s the angel Moroni provides some golden plates to the founder of Mormon, Joseph Smith. My understanding is that previously unknown books of the Holy Scriptures were inscribed on the plates, and duly and truly transcribed and translated into English by Smith

    These scriptures are said to furnish the foundation for the current Mormon view that sufficiently righteous and fecund Mormons, well, males only of course, will in the great hereafter be given their very own planets someplace out in the universe.

    Upon which planets, these new kings will be responsible for seeing to it that the population increases just as it has on Earth, for the eternal glory of god.

    If we soon see the ICR publishing articles agreeing with the Mormons that Noah’s Ark came to ground someplace in Missouri rather than Asia Minor, we will know for sure what is happening inside the cult membership of the ICR.

  14. “Even if microbial life were eventually found on Mars, its existence would still require a miracle.”

    No, it would require an explanation.