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Water on Mars - Chasing Phantoms

Updated on August 18, 2009

The Hype

In the last decade there has been a lot of hype about water on Mars. The latest evidence is still very inconclusive and really points out the religious zeal with which scientists are pursuingĀ  the idea that there actually is water on Mars. Part of the reason they want to prove it is that they want there to be some sort of proof of the possibility of life on other planets. Why? Mars resembles Earth and Earth conditions more than any other planet in the solar system. Supposedly, only the Earth is at the right distance from the sun to benefit from a combination of conditions that allowed life to form and for animals, plants and people to evolve.

Another Perspective

For Creationists and Bible believers, proving evolution by sending expensive probes to other planets is adverse to rational thinking. When you look at the facts, both Creationism and evolution take faith to believe in, and it is easy to see the blind pursuit with which evolutionists go about proving their theories. Both theories stem from a biased set of assumptions that can not be conclusively confirmed or denied. However, the facts support Creationism and in when it comes to evolution, facts are constantly being re-evaluated to verify the veracity of evolution. Take the geologic layer that is presented as proof of the evolutionary time scale. Why isn't it consistent all across the planet? However, the layering of material, (animals, plants, rock and dirt), found all over the world is consistent with a world wide flood. Now, I can go on and on about this and still never receive vindication, and I do not have the scientific background to defend Creationism before someone outguns me. One person who can reasonable and logically argue for Creationism is Kent Hovind. Before making any assumptions about him, it would be wise to watch one of his programs. If one puts away their bias and watches with the idea that Creationism is a valid theory, (and it is), then you will likely learn something and question the validity and logic of evolution.

The Frantic Search

Why delve into evolution and Creationism when mentioning water on Mars? Simply because it is obvious that the search for water is driven by the need to find any kind of evidence of life outside of Earth. First of all, it is ridiculous to assume that we might find life in our solar system when so many variables are needed for life to form according to the theory of evolution. Mars does have the closest atmosphere and gravity and temperatures needed compared to other planets here. But it is obvious that there is no evidence of life on the surface. No animal tracks, no cities, no microbes - except the ones supposedly found in Antarctica on a piece of rock someone decided might have come from Mars at some point in history - and might contain what can possibly be construed as theoretical nano-bacteria. Can anyone say "far fetched"? Researchers are still arguing about whether these possible fossilized remains that might be theoretical nano-bacteria are actually indigenous to the rock or contaminants from the Antarctic region that entered it after it fell from the sky. It might be prudent to mention that an experiment was conducted to prove whether or not bacteria could survive reentry and were strapped to the heat shield of a returning space craft, and can you believe it? They didn't! This of course has more to do with the idea of panspermia - that life evolved on Earth from microbes of extraterrestrial origin. And this is why we are spending billions of dollars on programs to find water or even evidence of water on Mars.

Possibly water droplets, possibly contaminants from fuel, possibly something else
Possibly water droplets, possibly contaminants from fuel, possibly something else

More Assumptions - Ignoring Valid Possibilities

They are so obsessed with the idea of proving life being able to exist on Mars via water, that all assumptions are made with bias towards the evidence of water. Such as the ice uncovered by the Phoenix dirt scoop. It could possibly be frozen water, but it could be something else. On a planet with a completely different kind of soil and atmosphere, it is unscientific to focus only on the possibility of water. It is possible the ice is something else, but only arguments are given for why it is water, and any questions that challenge that assumption are quickly brushed aside with the idea that nothing else can form into a frozen solid state on Mars and turn to vapor so quickly. Is that so? With an atmosphere composed mostly of carbon dioxide which sublimes into gas at -78 degrees Celsius, why is it not possible to assume that it is actually carbon dioxide that is found underneath the soil when Martian temperatures swing from -87 degrees Celsius to -5 degrees Celsius? Proponents of the water ice theory claim that if it was carbon dioxide, it wouldn't have disappeared in the way the ice supposedly vaporized.

Carbon Dioxide - the Likeliest Culprit

Interesting to think that water ice first turns to liquid before vaporizing, and carbon dioxide in solid form, (also known as dry ice), does not have a liquid state. Is it not possible to assume that when exposed to direct sunlight, this elusive creature might heat up and fly away? After all, a large area that has been explored by removing soil has uncovered this same ice layer. Would it not be logical to assume that it is an element that makes up the most common part, (95.72%), of the Martian atmosphere? In severe contrast, oxygen only makes up .2%, (one fifth of a percent), and water makes up .03%, (three hundredths of a percent). This means that in the colder regions and climates on Mars, we can expect to find carbon dioxide ice hiding under rocks and dirt.

Other Possibilities

What we should be doing instead of looking for fleeting proof of water that might, might, point to evidence of life being able to possibly have evolved on Mars some time, is look for ways to use what really is there, and look at the feasibility of sustaining a long term human presence for the purpose of not just exploration, but also engaging in commerce and advancing technology and best of all, turning the elements of Mars into fuel for ships and constructing support facilities for the purpose of expansion elsewhere. Why bother at all? Growth is necessary for humanity to thrive. Both on the individual level and the national level. More than that, we may find things we can mine or even construct in a low gravity environment on Mars that may rival or even exceed what we can do on Earth.

Replace Narrow Mindedness with Real Science

It is great we are sending probes to other planets and learning so much, but the hyper sensationalism over the search for water needs to end, it is clouding true exploration and the reason we are out there in the first place. Atheists complain incessantly over the constant reminders of God in public and government and schools. Yet, they push their agenda of having no God at all in the same places, and it seems that the scientists who are the most influential in the solar exploration programs, are pushing their own evolution agenda, and doing so in the name of science, mindlessly and zealously seeking water to prove that life might have formed on Mars. So what? Some day we may dig deep enough and find an underwater lake on Mars with bacteria living in the wet dirt at the edges. Great, then we can study it, but hopefully without bias.

Refocus on Exploration and Expansion

Our tax dollars should not be spent on proving the possibility of evolution, but rather once again be directed toward exploration and discovery which is great for advancing science and producing technological advancements. We should be about the business of lifting up the human spirit, glorifying God and educating ourselves. This process doesn't waste taxpayers' money like trying to prove atheism. Searching for evidence to prove we are nothing but monkeys or bacteria doesn't enlighten and doesn't help to build a better human race, it merely convinces people that all the beautiful things God has created for us are actually meant to be scorned and relegated to a trash heap. Most of all, let's keep space exploration scientific. Searching for water on a planet most likely to have it and most likely to be colonized first is wonderful, but to close one's eyes to everything else in that pursuit to the point of rejecting other knowledge gains is disingenuous, and a slap in the face to the citizens who sacrifice their hard earned dollars to that venture. Mars is beautiful, let's go there with open eyes, open minds and a spirit of learning more about the universe around us.


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    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Ha ha! That was great - I've never heard that. Thanks Billrrrr.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 7 years ago from Cape Cod

      One of the great comics of the 20th. century said that the search for intelligent life should begin on this planet. Great hub. Decades ago I read "Chariots of the Gods" and was thrilled by it. Still am.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thanks Brutus, brilliant too?

      I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that there is life somewhere else, some of the things we can read in the Old Testament could be spaceships and aliens.

      Who knows, we may meet a rock creature that spells out the words, "no kill I."

      I'm a sci fi buff, so we're both freaks brother!

    • Brutus Orkney profile image

      Brutus Orkney 7 years ago from AZ

      AM, an absolutely brilliant and well written piece. In my opinion, Mars was once as bristling with life as earth is today...Heck, science on some levels supports that potential. Having said that, I also believe in God and creationism. I've lived through far too many of "those" situations in life to not believe that way. As for Mars and life at this point...Yep, I'm a freak, but I'm thinking there's some kind of life up there. Could it be possible that "life" up there, may resemeble nothing we currently understand?...Either way, thanks for an excellent read and for challenging my thoughts today Alexander!!

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I love your comments Silver, we see eye to eye on many things. I can't add much to what you said, I totally agree with where you took the idea of non-similarities of alien life.

      I never thought about what sustains spiritual life. I was going to say God, and maybe that's true, but what about demons? Perhaps demons can be explained by the fact that God made every person and angel eternal (although I can't support the eternal lifespan of angels with scripture).

    • Silver Poet profile image

      Silver Poet 7 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

      Excellent hub. Well thought out. I agree with you--real science is observation, not creating a theory and then trying desperately to make it be true.

      And then just because life on Earth requires water, do they think that life on other planets could not have existed without water? What if there are/were creatures that lived without water? People argue for and against the existence of spirits. Spiritual beings don't ingest the water of our plane of existence. I do not know what they live on, but it isn't the same thing we live on, obviously.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thanks Micky.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Nice info! Great work!

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thanks for stopping by Nell, glad you enjoyed the hub.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, I tend to sit on the fence where mars is concerned, maybe there was life there millions of years ago, not like us of course but when it was nearer the sun it was possible, but I do believe that there is life farther away, and maybe one day we will prove it, but of course as you said, nobody really knows anything, we are just left with our own beliefs, great hub, thanks nell

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 8 years ago

      Well- it seems that a lot of stuff evolves - but not man! Still throwing rocks at each other! Thanks!

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thanks for visiting and commenting shai77, there is always another angle.

    • shai77 profile image

      Chen 8 years ago

      Loved the Hub and the pics are also great.

      I think that it is great that we are looking for lives in other planets.

      Though it looks like it does not make sense from time to time,i Admire the human imagination and the desire to discover new worlds

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thanks for the comment gwennies, glad you liked it.

    • profile image

      gwennies pen 8 years ago

      Although I do not understand all the science of how this came about, or why we feel the need to explore other planets in our universe, I liked the information given in this hub. Thanks for enlightening those of us in ignorance.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Unfortunately, political debate (and other) is part of our advancement. I have been reading about failed aircraft lately, and it seems that many of them didn't get used because of politics or just plain money. Or timing.

      In any case, it is wrong to spend tax payers money on something the majority does not support. That's not science, that's oppression. Sorry we disagree.

    • profile image

      Warped 8 years ago

      Religion? Science? Evolution? Creation? Who's right? Who's wrong? Everyone has an opinion why we should or shouldn't explore, and the reasons don't matter. What I find amazing is being alive as all this is happening and the incredible and extraordinarily unbelievable leaps in technology in the last century. Step back for a second and be grateful you don't live in the dark ages.

    • thefount profile image

      thefount 8 years ago from North Central Louisiana

      I love the pics too man!

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thanks so much thefount, it "evolved" as I started in on it :-)

    • thefount profile image

      thefount 8 years ago from North Central Louisiana

      I also agree and understand. It's obvious to me that much thought and preparation went into this hub. Thanks!

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thanks Vladimir, I'm glad the first comment is from someone who agrees and understands.

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 8 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Atheistic scientist disparately searching for life outside of our planet since earth is too young for supporting evolution of man.

      Thank you. Great hub.


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