“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”
When I was growing up in the 1970s, an account of something that had happened over 40 years previously was like ancient history, as far removed from my experience as the Vikings. Yet, a news item popped up on my browser, reminding me that the first photographs of the surface of Mars were taken over 40 years ago by the NASA spacecraft known as Viking 1.
The purpose of the two Viking spacecraft was to look for signs of life on the Red Planet. The unmanned spacecraft was equipped with automatic scoops to sample portions of the Martian surface. These samples were then heated and analyzed, using a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer. The GCMS machine was specifically looking for organic molecules, which might have had an organic source.
In the 1970s, NASA scientists had already convinced themselves that there must be simple life forms such as bacteria on the planet. But Viking found no such signs of life. To say that NASA operatives were disappointed would be an understatement.
Now, NASA scientists have revisited the Viking results, and some have concluded that the organic material must have been there, but that the heat of the GCMS actually destroyed the molecules. The Martian soil samples contained some perchlorate salts, which we know are explosive. Perhaps these were detonated by the GCMS, completely sterilizing everything else!
More than 40 years on, it is so hard for some to accept that God is the author of life.