Hugh Ross thinks so. From Tyler O’Neil at PJ Media:
On Wednesday, media outlets breathlessly reported that scientists have discovered a “lake of liquid water” on Mars. Fox News called it a “game changer” in the search for alien life, and Yahoo News reported something similar. The New York Times headline spelled out the implications: “Raising the Potential for Alien Life.”
He quotes Hugh Ross,
Ph.D. astronomer Hugh Ross told PJ Media that these reports twisted the truth. In reality, the scientists found what could be a lake, but Ross noted that it certainly does not contain life. The peer-reviewed study published in the journal Science reported on findings from 22 planetary astronomers in Italy working on data from the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding). The word “lake” is a gross mischaracterization of their tenuous discovery.
“This is not a possible site for life, it’s way too cold and way too salty,” the astronomer told PJ Media. “Even the most extreme forms of life on Earth are not able to handle this much salt and cold.” More.
The news copy around life on Mars generally sounds as though it is written for people who have an emotional need to believe that there is life on Mars, whether there is or not. Call it a specialized version of the Drake Equation. The last place to look for reasonable skepticism often turns out to be science writing.
See also: But if we don’t find life on either Mars or Europa… … are we justified in drawing the conclusion that life is just not very common in the galaxy and that we are special? As opposed to They Must Be Out There Somewhere, experienced as an act of faith? What makes that act of faith “science”?
If we are alone in the universe, shouldn’t that make us feel more special? Instead of meaningless? How exactly did we get from “alone” to “meaningless” via eloquence from tenured pundits? Where do we buy return tickets?
“Behold, countless Earths sail the galaxies … that is, if you would only believe …”
Don’t let Mars fool you. Those exoplanets teem with life!