May 5, 2018 | David F. Coppedge

Mars Is Not a “Life-Friendly” Star Wars Planet

The new Mars InSight lander that launched this morning will be digging for geology, not life. Most likely, as before, it will find lifeless dirt and rock.

In a pre-launch piece at the Los Angeles Times, Amina Khan speaks of the planet Mars with the suggestive phrase “life-friendly” twice: e.g.,

Rovers, landers and orbiting spacecraft have found evidence of lakes, rivers, volcanoes and life-friendly chemical combinations on Mars. Seismology allows scientists to glimpse the internal machinations that led to those features.

It takes a vivid imagination, though, to speak of a dry, dusty surface permeated with salts and toxic perchlorates as “life-friendly.” One cannot blame Khan alone for having an overactive imagination. NASA itself, perennially saturated with a hydrobioscopic view of the universe, justifies almost all of its Mars propaganda with the illogical syllogism that water implies life. Mars, however, is not much more habitable than Europa, Titan, Enceladus or its other favorite candidates for watery lagoons replete with evolved organisms.

NASA PlanetQuest tweets the day before InSight launch.

Another result of NASA’s “life-friendly” astrobiological perspective shows up in its support for the Star Wars cult. The NASA/JPL “PlanetQuest” Twitter account capitalized on “Star Wars Day” and the launch of the latest sequel, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” with a series of tweets comparing the film franchise’s fake planets with real exoplanets found by NASA’s Kepler mission.

The Mars InSight mission overview page, however, does not mention life. It doesn’t even mention searching for water. The mission will be looking at raw geology:

Previous missions to Mars have investigated the surface history of the Red Planet by examining features like canyons, volcanoes, rocks and soil. However, signatures of the planet’s formation can only be found by sensing and studying its “vital signs” far below the surface.

In comparison to the other terrestrial planets, Mars is neither too big nor too small. This means that it preserves the record of its formation and can give us insight into how the terrestrial planets formed. It is the perfect laboratory from which to study the formation and evolution of rocky planets. Scientists know that Mars has low levels of geological activity. But a lander like InSight can also reveal just how active Mars really is.

Here, “vital signs” and “evolution” refer to geological processes, not life. The primary instruments on InSight are a seismometer and a heat sensor that will be driven 5 meters down below the surface. It has no instruments to look for life.

Do the NASA publicists at JPL feel a need to titillate the public with tweets about life, when the real mission scientists are more interested in geology? None of the spokespersons in Khan’s article talk about life, either. Khan must have just assumed that JPL is digging for “life-friendly” conditions because of the lab’s perennial promotion of astrobiology.

The pseudoscience of astrobiology, as we reported (11 Apr 2018), has nothing to show for it since the “science” was invented in 1996. It came about because of another media flap about Mars life when overactive imaginations saw possible organisms in a Martian meteorite that landed in Antarctica. Later falsified, the rock did its damage. Duped by all the fake science of Martian life, the federal government funded NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, which continues promoting hydrobioscopy and SETI to this day in its Astrobiology Magazine., complete with its cartoons like “The Abominable Snow Aliens of Europa.”

Some of the narrators and guests in mission control after the launch continued fact-free speculation about the possibility of life on Mars. Fox News said, “Scientists say they hope the experiment will provide them with clues about what Mars was like in the past and if those conditions could have accommodated life.

Update 5/08/18: Another paper on equated water with life, and yet admitted that perchlorate is hostile to prebiotic chemistry: “A new experiment designed to detect amino acids on Mars, in spite of the reactive perchlorate in the Martian soil that typically breaks organic compounds down, could fly on a future mission to Mars to help in the search for life there.” The word ‘life’ appears two dozen times in this short article.

Mars InSight streaks across southern California skies (DFC)

CEH supports planetary exploration. The astrobiology part is superfluous, useless and illogical, but the gathering of new data from space has a long track record of supporting creation. How? By showing that the solar system is young, and by showing the uniqueness of the Earth. We expect that trend will continue if InSight succeeds. Place your bets now.



  • Buho says:

    Science today is tainted by materialist beliefs of abiogenesis and evolution. Very good science is being done, but research programs are misdirected and the conclusions are dirtied by these errant beliefs. I can only imagine 22nd century historians looking back at the 21st century and boggling at the superstition in science.

  • tomrose says:


    Nobody knows how life originated. Full stop. Scientists are investigating different possibilities to see HOW life MIGHT have originated.

    Science does have one underlying belief. It is that the regularities we find in nature (scientific laws) are the same throughout the universe and throughout time. All we know is what we can see in our tiny part of the Cosmos, so this is an act of faith. But apart from that Science is not a belief system. It is an endeavour to avoid error by basing our ideas about how the world is, and how it came to be that way on evidence.

    So far as the origin of life is concerned, science does two things

    a) figuring how the regularities that we observe in nature (so called pure science or basic science) could have produced life
    b) evaluating the evidence for and against those hypotheses

    The only belief in science (done properly) is that what we “believe” about the world should be based on evidence, and not on how we would like things to be.

    The science of Biological evolution is about how life diversified and developed. It is not an explanation of how life originated. Evidence for evolution comes from the fossil record, from similarities in DNA and from the fact that we can change living organisms by selective breeding. Taking man out of the equation “natural selection” decides who lives and who reproduces, rather than the farmer or plant breeder , and operates over millions of years, rather than a few centuries.

    Given an organism that can create copies of itself, with variations that affect survival/reproduction then evolution is a logical necessity.

    Of course it is possible that a “God” started off the process. But to think that is an act of faith … that is to say believing something to be true without good evidence. And the writings of pre-scientific nomads are not evidence.

Leave a Reply