First, some real science news, then the creationist reaction. PhysOrg has this headline: ALMA finds ingredient of life around infant Sun-like stars. They say:
Two teams of astronomers have harnessed the power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile to detect the prebiotic complex organic molecule methyl isocyanate in the multiple star system IRAS 16293-2422. One team was co-led by Rafael Martín-Doménech at the Centro de Astrobiología in Madrid, Spain, and Víctor M. Rivilla, at the Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri in Florence, Italy; and the other by Niels Ligterink at the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands and Audrey Coutens at University College London, United Kingdom.
“This star system seems to keep on giving! Following the discovery of sugars, we’ve now found methyl isocyanate. This family of organic molecules is involved in the synthesis of peptides and amino acids, which, in the form of proteins, are the biological basis for life as we know it,” explain Niels Ligterink and Audrey Coutens.
IRAS 16293-2422 is a multiple system of very young stars, around 400 light-years away in a large star-forming region called Rho Ophiuchi in the constellation of Ophiuchus (The Serpent Bearer). The new results from ALMA show that methyl isocyanate gas surrounds each of these young stars.
Earth and the other planets in our Solar System formed from the material left over after the formation of the Sun. Studying solar-type protostars can therefore open a window to the past for astronomers and allow them to observe conditions similar to those that led to the formation of our Solar System over 4.5 billion years ago.
Okay, that’s enough. As you can imagine, this is the sort of thing that horrifies creationists. According to Genesis, Earth was created for life, and there’s no mention in the bible of any other worlds, so there’s no possibility of life anywhere else. The very idea of finding life on other worlds is … well, it’s blasphemy!
A typical reaction comes from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. His new post is titled “Ingredient of Life” Discovered in Distant Star System. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Well, it seems scientists have done it. They’ve discovered an ingredient needed for the evolution of life around distant stars! Now all they need is a planet just the right distance from just the right star with just the right environment (and of course all the rest of the ingredients for life, including an information and language system) — and then they’ll have life!
Of course, I write this tongue in cheek. Scientists are no closer to discovering a naturalistic mechanism for the origin of life (here on earth or elsewhere in the cosmos) than they were before this discovery. What these scientists found in a distant star system was the hazardous material methyl isocyanate.
It appears that Hambo isn’t impressed. He says:
[C]alling this find an “ingredient of life” (as their title does) is a big stretch. What they’ve really found is just a highly toxic chemical and then added evolutionary assumptions about the formation of stars, earth, and life to the find.
Yeah — pay no attention to those hell-bound scientists and their infernal evolutionary assumptions. Hambo continues to demolish the discovery:
Now, it’s claimed that the star system in which this chemical was found contains “young stars in their earliest stages of evolution.” But Dr. Danny Faulkner, AiG’s PhD astronomer who taught astronomy at a secular university for over 26 years, says,
[Hambo quotes his creationist astronomer:] The system in question, IRAS 16293-2422, consists of three stars, each probably having mass similar to the sun. The system is located in the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex. Most astronomers think that stars are born in such dense clouds of dust and gas, so they have interpreted stars embedded in the cloud as having recently formed. Note that this is an interpretation, not clear evidence that these are stars in their infancy. [Bold font in Hambo’s post.]
That settles it. This so-called discovery isn’t anything at all. Oh — our last excerpt from Hambo’s post is a real winner:
These stars don’t give us a window into the formation of stars or our own solar system. We would agree that they are young stars though because all the stars are young, created just 6,000 years ago on Day Four of Creation Week.
So there you are, dear reader. Once again, Hambo is there to clarify things for us. Those infernal secular scientists haven’t found anything, and Genesis is still The Truth™.
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