What does the comet probe tell us about modern religious faith?

Combination photo of different images taken with Philae’s camera system shows the Rosetta lander on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Philae landed on the comet on November. 12 next to a cliff that largely blocked sunlight from reaching its solar panels. (PHOTO: AP)

What scientific benefits may come from the recently landed comet probe? There is currently a media frenzy that it may discover life — or at least a lesser hope of amino acids, components of life. When a probe was sent to Mars there was similar hope. Why? Because those who do not believe that the creation of life was miraculously done by God, are faced with finding evidence backing a scientifically probable alternative — which despite claims to the contrary, they do not remotely have.

Such alternative explanation would need three components: i. Explain how all the physical constants lined up to allow the conditions for life came to exist on earth (calculated by astronomer Stephen Hawking at 1 in 10 to the 63rd power i.e. 1 divided by a digit with 63 zeros after it). ii. Explain how life spontaneously generated from dead matter to self replicating living creatures. iii. Explain how those simple self-replicating living creatures changed over time into human beings, and explain the difference with other animals.

Creation debate
For Christians, while there are variants of the interpretation of the Biblical creation narrative, the basic answers to the above questions are simple and unified: God created the earth for human habitation, the universe, and man uniquely in his image. Nevertheless, for those who reject this view, they need to scratch for an alternative. Taking the second question of how life spontaneously generated from dead matter, the difficulty is that even the most devoted believers in this theory admit that there simply was not enough time between the creation of the earth and the appearance of life on earth for life to have evolved by random chance. They then must look for evidence that life evolved somewhere else in the universe and somehow came to earth. How could it get here? Either alien space ship or a comet. A comet is considered more scientifically plausible, since we know many of them contain ice and many comets did hit the earth during its history. The weaker form of this theory is that some of the component forms of life, but not life itself (e.g. amino acids) evolved elsewhere in the universe and then on earth evolved further into life. So they hope to find such amino acids or single cell organisms in the ice of the comet — to back up their theory. For those who actually understand some of the mathematical probabilities involved in these theories and are not just bamboozled by the media claiming to be scientific — let’s say the probabilities are so remote that it is hard to generate any illustration for example to gambling a non-mathematically trained person can relate to explain how low the chances are. The point is that those who believe these things are doing so out of faith and not scientific evidence or probabilities. It is faith somehow, someday, some scientist might find some new evidence or new theory that can plausibly explain what we simply observe with our eyes. I do not think the comet probe is going to find any evidence of life or even the building blocks of life – namely complex organic structures such as amino acids.

Nevertheless, the secular Western news media clings to the straw of this hope. And I suppose if they don’t find any on this comet, they can then send another more expensive probe to another comet or planet in the hope of finding it there. It also explains the endless wasted scientific effort monitoring radio frequencies in the hope of finding signals from extra terrestrial life.

But there is another way of interpreting the science of this comet expedition: * Man as an animal has landed a probe on a comet on the other side of the solar system. Does that not rather add evidence that man is different from other animals. The Biblical explanation is that he was created in the image of God (Genesis 1). Part of this was the ability to scientifically discover. How do secularists explain this? They can’t. * The comet (as part of the heavens Psalm 19) reflects the glory of God — and God’s greatness and glory is shown ever greater by our progressive discovery of more of it.


One Comment

  1. Hi Philip.
    You are right – atheist/evolutionist “believers” are clinging to this “thing” even more badly than one clinging to religion.
    You should see some of the debates raging on news24 and mail&guardian in this regard. It’s almost like a soapie, but in words.
    Sadly the lost are leading the lost blindly further into darkness and will not hear anything different. How great has science become?