Intelligent Design

Life on Mars, ID, and a prediction

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As many of you probably saw in the news NASA announced significant new evidence that microbial life exists on Mars. The evidence is methane plumes. There are some rare abiotic mechanisms which can produce methane but the probability that those account for it are slim. For those who follow such things you might also recall that a meteor from Mars found in Antarctica bore what looked like fossilized bacteria. Along with the recent discovery by Mars surface explorers of water and minerals which only form in the presence of water it’s looking like a pretty strong case when all this is taken together.

So what does this mean for ID? Well, it means that those ID supporters who put stock in the notion of panspermia and directed panspermia are looking good. ID supporters like myself, UD author Doctor (MD) David Cook, and NASA physicist Rob Sheldon (see papers 45 and 46), are some of those. And of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the discoverers of the DNA double helix Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel who authored articles and a book about directed panspermia.

I will now make a prediction from an ID perspective. Any living organisms found on Mars will be based on DNA and ribosomes essentially identical to what all life on earth utilizes. This is because life, even the simplest forms, is too complex to have originated in our solar system very early in its history. Wherever it came from, and however it got here, it was the same basic structural form that landed in all places – Earth, Mars, and wherever else in our solar system it may have found suitable conditions.

45 Replies to “Life on Mars, ID, and a prediction

  1. 1
    Joseph says:

    Could artifacts of living organisms on Mars have come from Earth?

    If the History Channel is right then that is a possibility.

    Ya see volcano eruptions, meteor and asteroid impacts could have spewed living organisms into space which in turn could have landed on Mars.

    Just a thought…

  2. 2
    Granville Sewell says:

    Dave,
    I think I’ll wait until there’s a little stronger evidence for life on Mars than H_2O or CH_4 before worrying about what it means for ID! Here’s a BBC article that says the methane could be caused by either geological activity or life:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sci.....829315.stm

    Seems like abiotic creation of CH_4 is a lot more likely than abiotic creation of methane-creating bacteria!

    As for the “meteor from Mars” didn’t they finally decide that didn’t come from Mars after all?

  3. 3
    MaxAug says:

    I believe you are correct Joseph. If I’m not mistaken, Rana & Ross book on OOL discusses that. Though, obviously, it would be a very difficult process.

    But notice the authors don’t dismiss the possibility all this methane is due to geological activity. It is good to remember that a headline called “Mars is geologically active” wouldn’t be too much attractive in these ID wars days.

    Speaking of it, did you guys see Carl Zimmer article on OOL in the January edition of Science? Jesus, I wonder if peer review is based on friendship…

  4. 4
    O'Leary says:

    Dave, you forgot. ID doesn’t predict anything.

    However, I find your non-prediction intriguing.

    I gather bacteria were present on Earth very early, and thus perhaps also on Mars. If they have the same genetic structure, wouldn’t the most likely explanation be that the two planets swapped bacteria via rocks?

  5. 5
    Granville Sewell says:

    Re Mars meteorite found in Antartica, see Boston Globe article “Ten Years Later Few Experts Believe Mars Meteorite Contains Traces of Life”:

    http://scripts.mit.edu/~gamba/.....6%2006.pdf

    Hope springs eternal, but still no proof.

  6. 6
    MaxAug says:

    I just read the following comment elsewhere:


    If methane is such a sure indicator of life the surface of Jupiter must be covered with cows

    Ric Whittington, Brighton, uk

    😀

  7. 7
    jerry says:

    Dave,

    If life is on Mars then its structure should be able to verify or disqualify a front loading hypothesis since the front loading hypothesis means that the original seeding had the necessary genome for what is hypothesized to cause the latter life forms. If it is only a simple bacteria like organism then that should be a negative for front loading. One thing to look for would be the hox genes or genes associated with structures of multi celled organisms.

    There are probably a lot of other hypotheses that could be generated.

  8. 8

    This might explain it better – being a more simple explanation.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3535498.stm

  9. 9
    O'Leary says:

    It’s worth keeping in mind that the folk at NASA may be primed psychologically to see life because it is very important to the public support for their program. We might want to look at this in the context of the recession too.

    I wrote about that here:

    Extraterrestrial life: NASA says could be life on Mars- or could be rocks.

    In the same spirit, people have believed that there were canals on Mars or that Pluto was a big planet.

  10. 10
    IRQ Conflict says:

    Didn’t God say he made Adam from red clay? 😉

  11. 11
    GSV says:

    “This is because life, even the simplest forms, is too complex to have originated in our solar system very early in its history.”

    I don’t understand this at all, if the designer is powerful enough to alter evolution then why can’t He have ‘put’ simple bacteria in our solar system?

  12. 12
    whoisyourcreator says:

    In regard to Scot’s original post:
    “I will now make a prediction from an ID perspective. Any living organisms found on Mars will be based on DNA and ribosomes essentially identical to what all life on earth utilizes.”

    His prediction is close to becoming reality:

    “The new research, to be published this week in the New Journal of Physics, found nonorganic dust, when held in the form of plasma in zero gravity, formed the helical structures found in DNA. The particles are held together by electromagnetic forces that the scientists say could contain a code comparable to the genetic information held in organic matter …
    The findings have provoked speculation that the helix could be a common structure that underpins all life, organic and nonorganic.”
    —Robert Booth
    “Dust ‘comes alive’ in space”, The Sunday Times, August 2007.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t.....241753.ece

  13. 13
    Sal Gal says:

    There are some rare abiotic mechanisms which can produce methane but the probability that those account for it are slim.

    The conditional probability P(B | M), where B stands for “biotic origin” and M stands for “methane plume on earth,” cannot be applied on Mars without remarkable assumptions. Someone needs to state those assumptions outright.

  14. 14
    QuadFather says:

    In my opinion: Anyone getting excited about methane clouds on Mars is grasping at straws. Many of the articles on this story simultaneously express excitement while subtly acknowledging a variety of alternate – and perhaps, more likely – geologic explanations.

    That aside: I have never felt that predictions like the one in DavScot’s post are particularly strong, since the likelihood of his prediction coming to fruition is really a 50/50 shot – Marsian life either will or will not be DNA-based. That’s no more impressive than predicting the outcome of a football game.

    The prediction is further weakened by DavScot’s use of the word “essentially,” which makes his prediction all the more ambiguous and far too pliable to be confirmed or disconfirmed when we are one day looking at it in retrospect.

    That said, I think DavScot’s prediction could be the hopeful beginnings of a stronger, more rigorous ID prediction. But it needs a lot of work, first.

  15. 15
    dacook says:

    There is much more evidence for panspermia than methane plumes on Mars.
    It really began when Fred Hoyle and his partner Chandra Wickramasinghe noticed a nearly exact match between the spectrum of interstellar dust and dried bacteria.
    They did not go looking for this, but were trying to discover what accounted for a certain region in the spectrum. They were surprised, but went where the evidence took them and ended up putting panspermia on a scientific basis. They have been wrong about some things as the theory has developed, but that’s no different than any other scientific process.

    I too scoffed at first. But I bought and read a couple of Hoyle’s books and I am no longer scoffing. I am convinced there’s something to it and it ought to be taken seriously and investigated further. I also recommend any of Hoyle’s books on the subject.
    He was also an excellent science fiction writer. “October the First is Too Late” is one of the few books I’ve read more than twice.

  16. 16
    mad doc says:

    And, if there is no evidence that there is life on Mars this would seem to me to be very good evidence against panspermia. Also, if life can exist in outer space then surely Mars should be teeming.

  17. 17
    Sal Gal says:

    Here’s science fiction for you:

    Scientists predict that our sun will soon go supernova. It is infeasible to build and launch an “interstellar lifeboat” for humans, but the industrialized countries of the world band together to blast bacteria to known planets. A conscious form of life subsequently evolves from bacteria on one of those planets, discovers DNA-based life on a neighboring planet, and theorizes that life was designed by whatever was responsible for the transmission of life.

  18. 18
    Jehu says:

    If there was ever life on Mars, it most probably came from Earth via a meteor strike.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    This may be of interest:

    Scientific Evidence For The First Life On Earth – Evolution’s Second Worst Nightmare After The Cambrian Explosion

    http://www.godtube.com/view_vi.....e6050a9ab5

    Origin Of Life Paradox – Dr Hugh Ross, PhD.

    http://www.godtube.com/view_vi.....1e1263c949

    On The Origin Of Life And God – Henry F. Schaefer, III PhD.

    http://www.godtube.com/view_vi.....43dd87e4e8

    Origin Of Life – Evolution vs. Probability – A Hard Look At The Cold Facts – Prof. John Walton PhD.

    http://www.godtube.com/view_vi.....84c57107e7

  20. 20
    DaveScot says:

    Joseph

    Could artifacts of living organisms on Mars have come from Earth?

    It would seem rather difficult for debris from the earth to climb up the sun’s gravity well to Mars. Going from Mars to Earth however is as easy as falling off a log. (Edit: I just checked. Velocity for debris leaving Mars to get to the Earth = 5 km/sec. Earth to Mars = 40 km/sec. On the other hand Mars’ thinner atmosphere means less likelyhood of burning up in the atmosphere).

    Granville

    Rob Sheldon responded to this in another forum. He’s pretty convinced it’s real and specifically noted that chances are almost nil the methane was produced abiotically. There was also more than one Mars meteorite with what appears to be fossilized bacteria in it. Dated some 3.5 BYA.

    Jerry

    Sheldon’s hypothesis that comets are loaded with viral and bacterial life that rain down all over the solar system is my current favorite hypothesis for transport and delivery. The DNA loads in these microbes bootstrap evolution. Life moves from solar system to solar system when two stars pass each other close enough (about a light year) for their Oort clouds to mix together.

    Quadfather

    Ribosomes essentially the same as those in earth life using the same codes for the same set of 20 homochiralic amino acids? Seems to be very long odds that life originating twice independently would arrive at that exact same arrangement. Not even close to 50-50. Billions to one maybe.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    Dave,
    I’ve read through the papers Granville and Andrew provided and I have to side with them on this one.

    even if it is from life on Mars, which I find to be the weaker position, the sheer mathematics for the first self-replicating molecule still precludes a random occurrence on Mars and would suggest a-proiri that it had come to mars from earth,,LOL surely the math for life being “blasted” from Earth to Mars is far more likely than the 1 in 10^40,000 that is commonly postulated for the first life to occur randomly.

  22. 22

    Hate to sound like a Darwinist, but here goes…

    While the odds are lower for Earth to Mars than Mars to Earth, you have 3.8 billion years for such an event to occur at least once.

  23. 23

    From Fuz Rana and Hugh Ross’s Orign of Life book:

    The RTB Model foresees that the search for life (or life’s remains) on Mars will inevitably prove successful. It must, given the proximity of Mars to the Earth. In the same manner as nearly twenty Martian rocks traveled to this planet, numerous Earth rocks have landed on Mars. This exchange of rocks resulting from impact events proceeded throughout the two planets’ history. Given the abundance of life on (and in) Earth throughout the past 3.8 billion years, several million pounds, perhaps even tons, of Earth’s organic material have been deposited by now on Mars’s surface.

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    Well I guess I’m gonna disagree with Ross, Rana and Dave.
    All bacteria forms on earth are specifically tailored for particular environments, i.e. sulfate reducing bacteria, photosynthetic bacteria. The photosynthetic bacteria by itself requires many underlying constraints (nitrogen cycle, oxygen cycle, carbon cycle, etc..) for it to continue to live on earth for any significant duration of time. To believe that a bacteria has the adaptive flexibility to survive on a completely different planet with completely different underlying constraints begs incredulity prior to investigation (not to mention the exceedingly harsh “shock” that millions of years of traversing to mars would put on the bacteria.) This should be especially clear now that Dr. Behe has shown how limited life is in adaptive flexibility.
    Surely the chemistry of mars is known well enough now that this life on Mars conjecture can be given a decent burial.

  25. 25
    allanius says:

    Woe, dave; aren’t you going way out on a limb, Mr Bold Predictor!!!

    “Meteorite from Mars.” Hey–was that before or after Roswell?

  26. 26
    Patrick says:

    To believe that a bacteria has the adaptive flexibility to survive on a completely different planet with completely different underlying constraints begs incredulity prior to investigation (not to mention the exceedingly harsh “shock” that millions of years of traversing to mars would put on the bacteria.) This should be especially clear now that Dr. Behe has shown how limited life is in adaptive flexibility.

    That presumes that all life of the past was as limited in capability as certain strains of life today. Interestingly enough I was just reading a discussion on the topic of adaptive flexibility. Here’s a quote:

    Bacteria (and arecheans) excel at metabolism, and exploit dozens of metabolic pathways. Eukaryotes have only one. However, the diversity of bacterial metabolism probably isn’t the product of long evolutionary histories but an ancestral feature. It appears that early bacteria were jacks of all trades and could switch between different pathways depending on their environment. The living “protobacterium”

    Shewanella can get energy by oxidizing or reducing iron or sulfur, and probably in a lot of other ways, depending on their chemical environment. Ultimately these pathways are not too different. They all boil down to a proton pump. Later lineages of organisms evolved to specialize in one or the other of the primitive metabolic pathways, and to varying degrees lost their early flexibility.

    Interesting side notes: it has been speculated that some magnetotactic bacteria are ‘magneto-trophs,’ organisms that can derive their energy from the earth’s magnetic field. The energy density in the magnetic field is high enough that such a metabolism is theoretically possible.

    The only novel metabolic pathway that I’m aware of that may have evolved in eukaryotes is in fungi. Fungi found growing near the core of Chernobyl have been shown not only to be able to tolerate intense gamma radiation but to be able to use melanin to trap it as an energy source.

    The article on fungi is Tugay et al, 2006: The influence of ionizing radiation on spore germination and emergent hyphal growth response reactions of microfungi. Mycologia, 98(4), 2006, pp. 521-527.

    Here’s a passage:

    “The accident at the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station resulted in radiation contamination of large tracts of land and particularly the reactor building itself. Sustained exposure of microfungi to radiation appears to have resulted in formerly unknown adaptive features, such as directed growth of fungi to sources of ionizing radiation.

    We evaluate here spore germination and subsequent emergent hyphal growth of microfungi in the presence of pure gamma or mixed ß and gamma radiation of fungi isolated from a range of long term background radiation levels. Conidiospore suspensions were exposed to collimated beams of radiation and percent spore germination and length of emergent hyphae were measured. All fungal species isolated from background radiation showed inhibition or no response in germination when irradiated. Isolates from sites with elevated radiation showed a stimulation in spore germination (69% mixed radiation and 46% for gamma irradiation). Most isolates from low background radiation sites showed a significant reduced or no response to exposure to either source of radiation, whereas the stimulatory effect of experimental exposure to radiation appeared to increase in magnitude as prior exposure to radiation increased. We propose that the enhanced spore germination and hyphal growth seen in the exposure trials is induced by prior long term exposure to radiation and these factors could be important in controlling the decomposition of radionuclide-bearing resources in the environment.”

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    Consider me underimpressed!

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    The reason why I am underimpressed is because all concise studies of micro-organisms I’ve seen, have not generated any meaningful CSI that was not already preexistent. Though many points in the study do seem “weird” on first glance, The evidence you cite is hardly sufficient to warrant abandoning what we concretely know for the extremely limited (non-existent) ability of random processes to generate completely novel abilities. And I point out again, that the conditions you cite are here on relatively friendly Earth and can hardly establish the case for the extremely radical change you are expecting any life-form to make on another planet.

  29. 29
    dacook says:

    bornagain77:
    If, as one version of panspermia hypothesizes, pluripotential viruses and bacteria are constantly or intermittently raining down on all the planets of the solar system, the ones best suited for life on earth would survive here, the ones best suited for life on Mars would survive there.
    Just to be annoying to the Darwinists we could call this “natural selection”.
    If this scenario proves correct, DaveScot’s prediction will be correct: the basic biology will be the same, but the specific characteristics enabling survival in a particular environment will differ.
    It would then not be surprizing to find life that appears to have adapted to its environment. Maybe it didn’t adapt there. Maybe it was selected naturally to survive there.

  30. 30
    Bantay says:

    Isn’t it a little premature to be talking about methane being evidence of life on Mars? How would one rule out the possibility that the source of methane wasn’t the result of asteroidal bombardment? Methane-producing rocks?

    Or, an article at Reasons.org about methane on Mars has this to day…

    “Geologists point out that methane can be produced through nonbiological, geochemical pathways. For example, methane can form when hydrogen reacts with carbon dioxide. Hydrogen is readily generated when water reacts with the minerals olivine and pyroxene at the low temperatures and high pressures likely to exist within the Martian crust”

    There must be some other criteria than simply the existence of methane (or water for that matter) to assume life exists or existed on Mars.

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    Frankly, I’d have to see a heck of a lot more evidence than some fanciful allusion to “raining microbes” for that scenario to even make it into the ballpark of reasonableness for me.

  32. 32
    CJYman says:

    Pardon the sarcasm, but …

    The claim made re: life on Mars is pseudo-scientific nonsense since:

    1. There is no agreed upon and non-ambiguous definition of “life.”

    2. You have to have assumed that life lives on mars first in order to infer life. So they are merely trying to prove the assumption they’ve already made.

    3. Just because life creates plums of methane, there is no reason to give up on science and just say that “life did it.” We should look for laws which could account for said production of methane first. In fact, saying “life did it,” is a science stopper since we would then be giving up on scientific law and chance explanations. There could be another law out there which could account for the plumes of methane which we just don’t know about yet.

    4. We have never seen life live on Mars, so we can’t invoke this idea of “life” when we don’t know if it even exists on Mars.

    To see the point of my sarcasm, substitute “intelligence” for “life” and “complex, functioning, highly improbable machinery” for “[plumes of] methane” and “on Mars” for “extra-terrestrially.”

    IOW, life as a basic concept is life no matter where it is and intelligence as a basic concept is intelligence no matter where it is. Furthermore, it is perfectly scientific to use their effects to infer their existence.

  33. 33
    Domoman says:

    Man, does anybody have real data? All of these, “because of this, then probably this” crap, gets annoying. Can nobody provide any real answers?

    I feel like some hardcore, no-nonsense, input is needed when discussion possible life on other planets.

  34. 34
    Domoman says:

    “The new research, to be published this week in the New Journal of Physics, found nonorganic dust, when held in the form of plasma in zero gravity, formed the helical structures found in DNA. The particles are held together by electromagnetic forces that the scientists say could contain a code comparable to the genetic information held in organic matter …
    The findings have provoked speculation that the helix could be a common structure that underpins all life, organic and nonorganic.”
    —Robert Booth
    “Dust ‘comes alive’ in space”, The Sunday Times, August 2007.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t…..241753.ece

    If this is held to be true by any means, then that suggests that the universe itself is integrated with the coding for life. It would be like the ultimate anthropic reality!

  35. 35
    WeaselSpotting says:

    Dave Scot…Do you think that panspermia is inherently an ID notion? I mean, who’s to say that the seeding organisms didn’t originate in an environment more suitable for evolution (with higher early O2 content, the right catalytic minerals, etc.)?

  36. 36
    EvilSnack says:

    O’Leary: “If they have the same genetic structure, wouldn’t the most likely explanation be that the two planets swapped bacteria via rocks?”

    So Earth and Mars were bumpin’ into each other? Were early bacteria the planet’s equivalent of STDs?

  37. 37
    JGuy says:

    Dave:

    “I will now make a prediction from an ID perspective. Any living organisms found on Mars will be based on DNA and ribosomes essentially identical to what all life on earth utilizes. This is because life, even the simplest forms, is too complex to have originated in our solar system very early in its history.”

    I think it’s important to emphasize the distinction that this would be “an” ID perspective. Not necessarily a direct ID prediction. For example, your prediction is based on, it seems, front loaded evolution with the idea that all life might have evovled (correct me if I am mistaken)…whereas some ID proponents may have other theories – example creationists would typically believe in very limited front loading (ie. front loading within kinds of animals from the start).

    “Wherever it came from, and however it got here, it was the same basic structural form that landed in all places – Earth, Mars, and wherever else in our solar system it may have found suitable conditions.”

    If there is bacterial life on Mars, then there is also a creationist prediction that they would resemble life on earth at the molecular & morphological level. I would refer you to Dr Walter Brown’s ‘hydroplate theory’. He explains with this theory the origin of comets, meteors & asteroids (though not necessarily all).

    http://www.creationscience.com.....#wp4093458

    This is an old prediction of his in fact. Prediction #39 from the above link:

    PREDICTION 39: Bacteria will be found on Mars. Their DNA will be similar to Earth’s bacteria. Furthermore, isotopes of the carbon in Mars’ methane will show the carbon’s biological origin.

    http://www.creationscience.com.....#wp4093458

    If you ask me, Dr Brown is a step ahead of these other scientists. 😀

    JGuy out

  38. 38
    dacook says:

    bornagain77 #30:

    Frankly, I’d have to see a heck of a lot more evidence than some fanciful allusion to “raining microbes” for that scenario to even make it into the ballpark of reasonableness for me.

    Some items of interest for your consideration:

    19 May 1995: two scientists at Cal Poly showed that bacteria can survive without any metabolism for at least 25 million years; probably they are immortal.

    24 November 1995: The New York Times ran a story about bacteria that can survive radiation much stronger than any that Earth has ever experienced.

    7 August 1996: NASA announced fossilized evidence of ancient life in meteorite ALH 84001 from Mars.

    27 October 1996: geneticists showed evidence that many genes are much older than the fossil record would indicate. Subsequent studies have strengthened this finding.

    29 July 1997: a NASA scientist announced evidence of fossilized microscopic life forms in a meteorite not from any known planet.

    Spring, 1998: a microfossil that was found in a meteorite and photographed in 1966, was recognized by a Russian microbiologist as a magnetotactic bacterium.

    Fall, 1998: NASA’s public position on life-from-space shifted dramatically.

    4 January 1999: NASA officially recognized the possibility that life on Earth comes from space.
    19 March 1999: NASA scientists announced that two more meteorites hold even stronger fossilized evidence for past life on Mars.

    26 April 2000: the German team operating the mass spectrometer on NASA’s Stardust mission announced the detection of very large organic molecules in space. Nonbiological sources for organic molecules so large are not known.

    19 October 2000, a team of biologists and a geologist announced the revival of bacteria that are 250 million years old, strengthening that case that bacterial spores can be immortal.

    13 December 2000: a NASA team demonstrated that the magnetosomes in Mars meteorite ALH 84001 are biological.

    June 2002: Geneticists reported evidence that the evolutionary step from chimps to humans was assisted by viruses.

    2 August 2004: Very convincing photos of fossilized cyanobacteria in a meteorite were reported by a NASA scientist.

    25 January 2005: J. Craig Venter endorses panspermia.

    10 May 2007: E. O. Wilson endorses panspermia.

    18 Apr 2008: Richard Dawkins endorses panspermia.

    I had pretty much exactly the same attitude toward panspermia as you do when I first heard the idea. Out of interest, however, I bought and read some of Hoyle’s books. I think you would find them interesting as well.

    Here is one summarizing Hoyle’s work.

  39. 39
    JGuy says:

    dacook. Read my posting to dave (#36). I woudl agree wiht you that life may be able to make a space trip to another planet…say on a rock or in some ice?!?

    Doesn’t it make more sense though, mathematically & intuitively speaking that any life on Mars actually came from the [lush] Earth and that life didn’t hitch-hike (no pun intended) to Earth from Mars, ie. wallah!…life on earth! (from there)… rather life hitchhiking to Mars makes more sense…and Wallah!…..life on Mars is from here. Seems more logical, I think…

    buty as my prior post shows..it is one prediction based on a creationist theory.

  40. 40
    tribune7 says:

    19 May 1995: two scientists at Cal Poly showed that bacteria can survive without any metabolism for at least 25 million years; probably they are immortal.

    Bacteria! The ultimate goal of Darwinian evolution!!!!! 🙂

  41. 41
    bornagain77 says:

    Ancient bacteria dacook? well i got a few things about ancient bacteria:

    there are many ancient bacterium fossils recovered and “revived” from salt crystals and amber crystals that have been compared to their living descendants of today. Some bacterium spores, in salt crystals, dating back as far as 250 million years have been revived, had their DNA sequenced, and compared to their offspring of today (Vreeland RH, 2000 Nature). Scientists accomplished this using a technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). To the disbelieving shock of many scientists, both
    ancient and modern bacteria were found to have the almost exact DNA sequence.

    “Almost without exception, bacteria isolated from ancient material have proven to closely resemble modern bacteria at both morphological and molecular levels.” Heather Maughan*, C. William Birky Jr., Wayne L. Nicholson, William D. Rosenzweig§ and Russell H. Vreeland ; (The Paradox of the “Ancient” Bacterium Which Contains “Modern” Protein-Coding Genes)

    http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/...../19/9/1637

    and this:

    Revival and identification of bacterial spores in 25- to 40-million-year-old Dominican amber

    Dr. Cano and his former graduate student Dr. Monica K. Borucki said that they had found slight but significant differences between the DNA of the ancient, 25-40 million year old amber-sealed Bacillus sphaericus and that of its modern counterpart, thus ruling out that it is a modern “comtaminant”, yet, at the same time, confounding Darwinists since the change is not nearly as great as the Darwinists “genetic drift” theories require.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/...../5213/1060

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/f.....gewanted=2

    Commenting on a “Fitness” test, which compared the ancient bacteris to its modern decendents, Dr. Cano stated:
    “We performed such a test, a long time ago, using a panel of substrates (the old gram positive biolog panel) on B. sphaericus. From the results we surmised that the putative “ancient” B. sphaericus isolate was capable of utilizing a broader scope of substrates. Additionally, we looked at the fatty acid profile and here, again, the profiles were similar but more diverse in the amber isolate.”
    RJ Cano and MK Borucki (personal correspondence)

    Thus, the most solid scientific evidence available for the most ancient DNA scientists are able to find does not support evolution happening on the molecular level to the DNA of bacteria. In fact it conforms to the exact opposite, Genetic Entropy: a loss of information! According to the prevailing naturalistic evolutionary dogma, there “HAS” to be “significant mutational drift” to the DNA of bacteria within 250 million years, even though the morphology (shape) of the bacteria could have remained the same. In spite of their preconceived naturalistic bias, scientists find there is no detectable “drift” from ancient DNA according to the best evidences we have so far. I find it interesting that the naturalistic theory of evolution “expects” and even “demands” that there be a significant amount of drift from the DNA of ancient bacteria while the morphology is expected to remain exactly the same with its descendants. Alas for the naturalists once again,
    the hard evidence of ancient DNA has fell in line with the anthropic hypothesis.

    As well dacook you seem to be throwing all that is known for the origin of life out the window!

    On The Origin Of Life And God – Henry F. Schaefer, III PhD.

    http://www.godtube.com/view_vi.....43dd87e4e8

    Origin Of Life – Evolution vs. Probability – A Hard Look At The Cold Facts – Prof. John Walton PhD.

    http://www.godtube.com/view_vi.....84c57107e7

    as well i should point out that you have semi established that bacteria can withstand radiation but you have not even touched on the fact that many underlying chemical cycles lie in support of bacterial life! i.e. Has anyone actually simulated a Martian climate to see if bacteria can survive there in the first place, and if so how long is the life sustained before the constrants are “thrown out of wack” You seem to have left hard science behind and have fallen in with the “life happens if we just add water crowd”.

  42. 42
    dacook says:

    JGuy;
    Panspermia holds that life is ubiquitous in the universe. Therefore it’s neither Mars to Earth nor Earth to Mars. Rather it’s the universe to both Mars and Earth, with comets being the proposed delivery vehicle. Any back and forth between the two would be secondary.

    Your way (Earth to Mars only) still leaves the very large problem of how life got, or arose, on Earth in the first place.

  43. 43
    dacook says:

    tribune7;
    In panspermia, bacteria are not any sort of goal. They are a proposed delivery mechanism for genetic programs.

    Whether they were created by intelligence or naturalistic processes, either way it’s interesting they can survive so long, don’t you think?

    If designed, what is the purpose of such longevity?
    If by Darwinian processes, how, and where, was such longevity selected for?

  44. 44
    tribune7 says:

    In panspermia, bacteria are not any sort of goal.

    In Darwinism, survival is the goal. It seems if you get something immortal, then the goal has been reached so why evolve?

    And yes, it is interesting.

  45. 45
    QuadFather says:

    DavScot,

    Extraterrestrial lifeforms coded in the same language – ok, this would be pretty uncanny.

    I think you’d still have a very difficult time convincing your opponents that you’ve made a prediction on the basis of ID theory. Have there not been many predictions from the other side of the fence that extraterrestrial life likely resembles life on earth?

    Who gets to claim that their theory predicted an outcome consistent with both views? What does this add? How does this affect the weight of the prediction?

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