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Wonders of Creation - Water on Mars

Was there water on Mars, and why is it so important to know?

The first of these questions can be answered with an almost certain "Yes". There is a lot of evidence which points to the conclusion that Mars used to have large amounts of water flowing about on its surface - as was reported at a recent Lunar and Planetary Science Conference where some 1,200 scientists gathered to compare notes.

The general picture is one of a planet once encircled by briny, acidic lakes and rivers.

Some general evidence includes layering of sediments, and what appear to be dried up river and stream beds, but these could have been formed by other forces.

Steven Squyres, lead scientist for the two Mars rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) spoke about what looked like the effect of water-flow at Meridiani Planum, and Gusev crater. He described the discovery of haematite (meaning red), a mineral usually found in the presence of water. Haematite forms as mineral-rich water flows through layers of loose sediments. The same mineral concretions have been found in the arid Navajo sandstone formations of Utah, where very briny . . .

Was there water on Mars, and why is it so important to know?

The first of these questions can be answered with an almost certain "Yes". There is a lot of evidence which points to the conclusion that Mars used to have large amounts of water flowing about on its surface - as was reported at a recent Lunar and Planetary Science Conference where some 1,200 scientists gathered to compare notes.

The general picture is one of a planet once encircled by briny, acidic lakes and rivers.

Some general evidence includes layering of sediments, and what appear to be dried up river and stream beds, but these could have been formed by other forces.

Steven Squyres, lead scientist for the two Mars rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) spoke about what looked like the effect of water-flow at Meridiani Planum, and Gusev crater. He described the discovery of haematite (meaning red), a mineral usually found in the presence of water. Haematite forms as mineral-rich water flows through layers of loose sediments. The same mineral concretions have been found in the arid Navajo sandstone formations of Utah, where very briny water once flowed through the sands some time in the past. It is interesting at this point to consider that, according to the Bible, the whole Earth was once underwater, during the year-long flood of Noah's day. At the end of the flood, as the land masses rose and the water drained off, the briny water passed through sediments and formed haematite deposits. The Earth has dried out a great deal since then, which is why we find evidence of briny water in arid deserts today. If it happened here on Earth it could also have happened on Mars.

One of the Mars rovers checked the soil with a spectrometer and found high concentrations of sulphur and bromine - both typical signatures of evaporates, and clear evidence that briny water once flowed there. The rover also found the mineral jarosite, which forms only in acid brines.

For many scientists it is very important that they know if there was water on Mars because they believe if there was water, then there might also have been life. To find life on Mars, for them, is evidence that life can evolve, and if so, then there may be life all over the universe. If there is life elsewhere in the universe, it may be intelligent. If it is intelligent, it may be more intelligent than Man, and therefore either a possible blessing or a threat to Man. As you can see, one leap of faith leads to another, and another, and it all starts with water.

The only problem with the whole theory is that water by itself cannot construct a living cell - neither can the random mixing of non-living chemicals. Life depends on a complex organization of molecule-sized pieces, all arranged intelligently to form a functioning 'machine?, which can feed, reproduce and move about in response to its environment.

The search for life on Mars, as based on the assumption that it can simply appear, is part of a world view held by many scientists. For example, the national Academy of Science (NAS) in USA recently produced a handbook for US public school teachers 'teaching Evolution and the Nature of Science?, in which students were to be taught that naturalism was the only explanation for everything. A survey of all 517 NAS members, in which half responded, showed that 72.2% were overtly atheistic, 20.8% agnostic, and only 7.0% believed in a personal God.

When we look into the pages of Genesis we find that when God originally created everything it was "very good", yet when we look at the moon and other planets they appear to have been ravaged and destroyed by storms of meteorites. Perhaps, not so long ago, Mars was radically different, with clean lakes and rivers and a mild atmosphere, but when Adam and Eve sinned, God partially destroyed it? The evidence certainly suggests this. Perhaps the discoveries of the Mars rovers simply confirms what the Bible says: "For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now." Romans 8:22 The allusion is to a woman about to give birth - she goes through a short time of pain and suffering, but when the child is born her agony is replaced by joy. In a similar way, one day God will remove the pain and suffering of this present fallen world, and replace it with a new age of immense blessings.

Richard Gunther
Copyright 2005

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