|» ||Study: Life on Mars Next to Impossible|Chemicals there called perchlorates would destroy any bacteria present.
Science fiction writers have long been picturing humans living on Mars in colonies, but new research suggests that picture will remain science fiction. Mars is a hostile place for life. It is cold, lacks much in the way of liquid water, and it is bombarded by ultraviolet light. But there is more bad news — something called perchlorates.
Perchlorates are chemicals which have been spotted by several orbiters and landers sent to the Red Planet. These chemicals, which are often used in rocket fuels, occur naturally in Martian soil. The bad news for believers in Martian life is that, according to scientists from the University of Edinburgh, perchlorates exposed to ultraviolet light kill bacteria twice as fast as UV light alone.
The picture gets even much worse. Within Martian soil are chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and rust. When combined with the perchlorates and hit by UV light, they will kill bacteria 11 times faster than UV light by itself. If bacteria, Earth or Martian, can’t survive on the surface of Mars, what kind of life could?
Some scientists are pinning their hopes on the possibility that bacteria could be surviving a few feet below the surface of Mars, where ultraviolet light can’t reach them. Perhaps some answers could be forthcoming when the European Space Agency’s ExoMars rover is launched in 2020. That machine is capable of drilling several feet into the soil.
Comment: Both politicians and many scientists are showing they are not keeping up with all the research being done on Mars. A U.S. congressman recently asked at a House Science Committee meeting, “Is it possible that there was a civilization on Mars thousands of years ago?” A geochemistry professor told him the chances are extremely unlikely. Those scientists hoping that organisms could be surviving below the surface of Mars need to explain where those organisms came from if the rest of the planet is so hostile to life.
Despite the fact that evidence for past or present life on Mars is lacking, many space scientists are still pushing for a program to land humans on Mars in hopes of finding life. However, from time to time, the truth comes out that, at the present time at least, such a voyage appears impossible, unless, of course, we don’t mind the astronauts arriving on Mars as corpses. In the July/August Discover magazine, a secular publication, was the admission: “Scientists still don’t have a solution for shielding interplanetary astronauts from radiation” [“Gimme Shelter,” page 72].
It appears more and more that only Earth was designed for life. This is the picture the Bible provides. It explains how God created the Earth, beginning on Day One. Interestingly, God waited until Day Four to create the stars (and presumedly the other planets). It would seem strange that He would wait that long to create life on other worlds but makes sense if Earth was to be the only location for life and the only home for those beings, us, which He created in His own image.
However, among all people, Bible-based Christians are the strongest believers in other worlds. But these worlds do not exist in our present universe, but in the super-dimensional existence known as eternity. The world on which we believers all have our spiritual eyes fixed is known as heaven (surely not hell), and there is only one path we can take to get there.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).
Reference: Avery Thompson, “Mars Is Even Less Hospitable Than We Thought,” Popular Mechanics / Yahoo News [July 7, 2017]. (Photo of Mars from NASA.)
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QUESTION OF THE DAY
Can tanning beds cause skin cancer?
Yes. Almost 9,000 cases of melanoma (deadliest form of skin cancer) and 254,000 cases of basal and squamous-cell skin cancer were linked to the use of tanning beds, according to a U. of North Carolina study, Tanning beds produce slightly less UVB radiation, which causes sunburn, but also a more concentrated dose of UVA rays which damage cells and suppress the immune response.
Source: “Health Wire,” Consumer Reports on Health [June, 2017], page 3.
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