Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Life on Mars

I've always thought that we would find life on Mars.  I expect that even fossils will be found, and to shake up everyone's (young earth creationists' and pure materialistic evolutionists') paradigm, the fossils will be similar to those on earth.  So, in the next few weeks you will be hearing about confirmation of life on Mars. I expect that both philosophical slants (above) will use this to prove their possitions


Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear more about why you expect what you're expecting! Do you believe in the panspermia theory? And how will the two groups you mentioned use fossils on Mars to bolster their beliefs?

jmj said...

I don't believe in the panspermia theory, however, I'm sure their voice will be heard loudly when (and if) they find similar live on Mars as on earth.

I think the reason that I belief that similar life forms are out there is that the universes is full of surprises and mystery (think of dark matter and etc.) and I just have a hunch that this will be one of those things that don't make sense to the evolutionist(meaning those who believe evolution occurred spontaneously from nothing and of its own volition)or the young earth creationist.

I do believe in a creator and if similar life forms exist on other planets simply tells me for reasons I don't understand, He chose to create life in other places. The life forms would be similar not because God doesn't have a lot of creativity, but because of the laws of nature (meaning chemical and physical principles) life can only vary so much. We have huge diversity here on earth and maybe there isn't much beyond that.

For example, due to the laws of optics and etc. it will take two eyes on Mars as well as on earth to have stereo-graphic vision. I'm not suggesting that two-eyed creates exist on Mars now, but possibly in the distant past, speaking of millions of years ago.

NOTAL said...

I highly doubt that NASA has found hard evidence for Martian life. This upcoming announcement feels too much like their last big announcement of "a completely new form of life", which was a fiasco (It was a severely flawed study, with poorly drawn conclusions http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2010/12/this_paper_should_not_have_been_published.html).

I, personally, doubt that there is any life on Mars. But I hope we find life somewhere else, the universe would seem like a lot of wasted space otherwise. The laws of nature that we understand lead me to think that any life will need to be very similar to us. For example, life needs to store lots of information, and carbon is probably the only element which could facilitate the type of long and variable polymers which are needed to store the information and have the varied functions needed. So I think any new life will be carbon based, and liquid water dependent. But there are probably other solutions to the information storage problem than the DNA that we use, other carbon based polymers could probably do the job. So while I would be surprised to find any non-carbon based life, I would also be very surprised to find that alien life uses the exact same format (it would be like aliens happening to use the same mp3 format to store their music).

If you believe that the universe was created in such a way that the laws of physics and chemistry are favorable for the spontaneous genesis of life, and the development of an evolutionary mechanism which can give rise to beings as advanced as ourselves, and capable of containing a freely choosing, self aware soul, then it would not be surprising if you find that this process has happened multiple times on multiple different worlds, and found similar solutions to the problems that life needs to solve.

Jaimie said...

Yeah, NASA is since backing away from their statement, sadly.

Virginia said...

For my part, I only have faith in my experience. And I have experienced many spiritual things and find them all valuable. Jesus in the Eucharist is so expansive and Buddha expounding on non-attachment is so sweet. Nanak speaking of the ALL, Avalokiteshvara on wisdom beyond wisdom. But Jesus suffering for ALL was a pattern for us all. We all need to have that heart. He did it so we could realize that. It is not about worshiping him, It is about being all that we can be.
I can be more than I am when I consider this,

jmj said...


Thanks for your comments. I may not fully understand your intended message behind your comment so if I have misunderstood, I offer my apology in advance.

If you are speaking of relativism, under the popular guise of “all roads lead to the same place” I believe there are inherent problems with that. While this type of thinking is very popular right now in the western cultures (and has been popular some of the east for a longer time) and it gives a sense of social peace (let’s all get along) it has some real logical concerns.

The problem is that if you read carefully the narratives of these different belief systems, they have contrasting and conflicting premises. While Buddhism, as you know, presents itself as a philosophy of life and not a religion, it is based on the religious notion that the impersonal god-force is woven into the fabric of nature (pantheism). The monotheistic religions ( I know that you know all of this) teach of a personal deity who created nature outside of himself. Then you have the problem between the three major monotheistic narratives, areas of great disagreement. Was Isaac the chosen father of nations or was it Ishmael? It can’t be both. Was Jesus a prophet (Islam), deity (Christianity) or a great deceiver (Judaism)? He can’t be all three.

So my point is, if someone wants to remain true to logic they have to pay the piper and make a choice at some point. Synthesis (promoted by some philosophies as the means to social peace) doesn’t make sense mathematically or in logic. For example, 3 can never equal 5.

Then there is the question of experience. I may misunderstand how you are using the term, but if you are using it the way that my friends have (and I probably have in the past) we are speaking of emotional experience. Emotions are wonderful and the spice of life, but they are not the clarifiers of reality, but the distorters thereof. I (who suffer from social anxiety) am told by my emotions that people hate me, when in reality they do not. Anorexics are told by their emotions that they are fat. I have many patients whose emotions tell them that they are sick, when, speaking medically and biologically, they are healthy as a horse.

So, I don’t trust my emotional experiences as a guide to truth. Often, and I’m not saying that you are saying this, people use this type of “testimonial” as something that is immune to to criticism in the same way that TV evangelists use “God told me” as a point no one has the will or courage to question. But I think we should always question experiences of others and our own because, as I said, I think they do more to distract from truth than to find it.

Just my two cents.