Reprinted from the March 2004 issue of Science and Theology News with permission.

The hunt for life on Mars is once again big news. The last time was the 1996 headline about the discovery of life remnants in the Antarctic meteorite, probably from Mars. This particular claim has largely been discounted, but the big-picture issues are the same.

Most supporters of extraterrestrial life have a strong bias against any idea of a creator God. In their belief system, nature is the only reality. Thus, life arose from nonliving chemicals by itself through chemical evolution or abiogenesis. The Mars rock generated many articles gleefully proclaiming that the discovery would cause headaches for traditional theologians. By showing that matter has an inbuilt tendency to form life, a creator is unnecessary, and Earth and humanity are nothing special. Finding primitive life from Mars, though, would not show that it had evolved there.

First, it would not rule out an Earth origin for that life. If rocks can be blasted from Mars to Earth, the other way is also possible. And scientists have considered for years that light pressure can push bacterial spores from Earth's atmosphere into space. Second, evolutionists have not succeeded in showing how nonliving matter can jump the many hurdles required to form living cells. Finding life on Mars would say absolutely nothing about how it arose. Particles-to-people evolutionists deny the fundamental law of biogenesis: Life comes only from life. Conversely, creationist scientists apply this law to its logical conclusion: Material life has not existed forever, and life only comes from other life. Therefore, the source of material life must be nonmaterial life. The Bible says nothing to indicate that God created life anywhere but Earth. But it does not explicitly deny it. Some have speculated that God's omnipotence and glory might be expressed by many planets with life.

However, Scripture strongly implies that no intelligent life exists elsewhere, and the long-running Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, projects have failed to refute this. Earth was created to be home for creatures made in God the Creator's image. It was on Earth that the first human couple rebelled against its creator and brought the cosmos under His curse. Thus it would have affected Martians, Vulcans, Klingons and any other being in the universe. The second person of the holy trinity incarnated on Earth alone, took on human nature, died for the sins of those with whom He has the kinsman-redeemer relationship, then ascended to the right hand of God the Father. He did not take on Vulcan or Klingon nature, and He will have only one bride - the church - for all eternity. It would therefore seem hard to reconcile intelligent life on other worlds with the doctrine of the incarnation. It would also seem odd for God to create microscopic life on other planets, but we should not be dogmatic on this.

In conclusion, despite spending millions of dollars, NASA and others have not found the slightest proof for life anywhere but Earth. Behind the search is the metaphysical assumption that life evolved from nonliving chemicals on Earth, so there is no reason it couldn't evolve elsewhere. Chemical evolution has such major hurdles that if life were found on Mars, the most reasonable assumption is that it came from Earth somehow. Scripture mentions nothing about biology outside Earth, but looking at the big picture of the Bible, it seems hard to reconcile it with extraterrestrial intelligence.

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