It must be terrifying to be a creationist. They live in constant fear that another of their ever-dwindling portfolio of miracles will turn out to be something that scientists can routinely explain and duplicate. The biggie, of course, is the creation of life from non-living material. Sooner or later — probably sooner — that will be done in someone’s lab.
Almost equally devastating will be the discovery of life on another planet. Genesis strongly suggests that Earth is utterly unique, but it’s now thought that there are Maybe Billions of Habitable Planets in our galaxy, and it would be amazing indeed if none had life.
So every day in the life of a creation scientist is potentially the day when they’ll learn what is to them absolutely devastating news. All they can do is keep grinding out their silly posts and hoping that the game will go on a little longer. The latest discovery that has them in a tizzy was described a few weeks ago at PhysOrg — see Newly discovered exoplanet may be best candidate in search for signs of life. It says:
The newly discovered super-Earth LHS 1140b orbits in the habitable zone around a faint red dwarf star named LHS 1140, in the constellation of Cetus (The Sea Monster). Red dwarfs are much smaller and cooler than the Sun and, although LHS 1140b is ten times closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun, it only receives about half as much sunlight from its star as the Earth and lies in the middle of the habitable zone. The orbit is seen almost edge-on from Earth and as the exoplanet passes in front of the star once per orbit it blocks a little of its light every 25 days.
“This is the most exciting exoplanet I’ve seen in the past decade,” said lead author Jason Dittmann of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Cambridge, USA). “We could hardly hope for a better target to perform one of the biggest quests in science—searching for evidence of life beyond Earth.”
This super-Earth may be the best candidate yet for future observations to study and characterise its atmosphere, if one exists. Two of the European members of the team, Xavier Delfosse and Xavier Bonfils both at the CNRS and IPAG in Grenoble, France, conclude: “The LHS 1140 system might prove to be an even more important target for the future characterisation of planets in the habitable zone than Proxima b or TRAPPIST-1. This has been a remarkable year for exoplanet discoveries!”
As you can imagine, creationists are upset. That’s what we see today in the latest post from the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia . It’s titled The Latest “Earth-Like Planet”: LHS 1140 b, written by Danny Faulkner. Here’s AIG’s biographical information about him. They say he taught physics and astronomy until he joined AIG. His undergraduate degree is from Bob Jones University. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
On April 19, 2017, a team of researchers announced the discovery of the latest “earthlike” planet, LHS 1140 b.
Like those scare quotes? Danny used them in the title of his post too. We’ll skip his description of the newly-discovered planet, and his emphasis on all the factors that may — he hopes — make it inhospitable to life. That kind of negativity is standard when creationists discuss such things. We’ll skip right to his conclusion:
Despite the problems with each supposed earth-like planet they have discovered, most scientists are undeterred, because in the evolutionary worldview life must exist on many planets. But the more extrasolar planets that we discover (the number is closing in on 4,000), the more we realize how special the earth is. This is consistent with the expectations of the creationary worldview, but it is a huge problem for the evolutionary worldview.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Consider the statistics. Out of probably billions of candidates, we only need to find life on one of them and the creationists will be devastated. But for them to keep their game going, they need to show (or wait for us to show) that there’s no life on any of them. It’s a game they can’t win, but they’ll keep playing as long as they can.
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