Looking For Life In All the Wrong Places – by Gary Stearman – www.prophecyinthenews.com
 Subject: Life on Mars. Again and again, the red planet pops into the news, as NASA explores the environment there. They are looking at ancient water channels and ice. There, they believe, they might find traces of the life that once thrived in an ancient era. Just a glimpse of a microscopic Martian bug would send shock waves through the scientific community.
Within the heart of man, God has placed the desire to learn, and to expand his command over his environment. This was the fundamental statement of his creation:
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Gen. 1:26).
In the descent that followed the first Adam, man’s God-given dominion became the lust for domination. Man fled from the face of God, and looked in every conceivable place for the answers to life’s riddles. Everywhere – at the feet of every idol – he sought for the secrets of his lost immortality. He imbued the stars and planets with life and personality. Jupiter was king, Venus was fertility and Mars was war.
Today, empowered by technology, and driven by science, the search for life has become a religion, and its god is the hope that life will at last be proven to spontaneously appear wherever the conditions are right: creation minus God.
Searching Mars is one of man’s most passionate motives. Ever since the days of Giovanni Schiaparelli and Percival Lowell, who spent hours at their telescopes, "Martians" have been part of the human vocabulary. In the 19th century, Schiaparelli imagined that he saw seas and canals there.
In the early 20th century, Lowell, at his Flagstaff, Arizona observatory, thought he saw vegetation and flowing water. His imagination sparked the sci-fi revolution that witnessed Orson Welles’ famous "War of the Worlds" radio production of 1938. He envisioned a dying race who came to earth for our natural resources.
They saw Mars as a desert, where water once flowed freely, and waning life begged for discovery. And so do modern explorers, who now have the power to send mechanical emissaries to survey its sands in a search for some clue that life once thrived there. Since July of 2003, twin exploration rovers, called "Spirit" and "Opportunity," have roamed the surface near the equator, looking for signs of water, past or present.
These and other automated machines continue to photograph the planet Mars at close range. Now, Phoenix has landed at the north pole, where it has begun to probe the surface for signs of life.
The official goal of "The Phoenix Mission," is to find signs of life in the ices of the north. The University of Arizona, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Lockheed Martin Space Systems have combined forces to advance the search for life. In their own words:
"The science team will co-locate for the first three months of the mission, to operate all the instruments and to perform the first analysis on data that may provide important answers to the following questions: (1) can the Martian arctic support life, (2) what is the history of water at the landing site, and (3) how is the Martian climate affected by polar dynamics?
"To answer these questions, Phoenix uses some of the most sophisticated and advanced technology ever sent to Mars. A robust robotic arm built by JPL digs through the soil to the water ice layer underneath, and delivers soil and ice samples to the mission’s experiments. On the deck, miniature ovens and a mass spectrometer, built by the University of Arizona and University of Texas (Dallas), will provide chemical analysis of trace matter. A chemistry lab-in-a-box, assembled by JPL, will characterize the soil and ice chemistry. Imaging systems, designed by the University of Arizona, University of Neuchatel (Switzerland) (providing an atomic force microscope), Max Planck Institute (Germany) and Malin Space Science Systems, will provide an unprecedented view of Mars — spanning 12 powers of 10 in scale. The Canadian Space Agency will deliver a meteorological station, marking the first significant involvement of Canada in a mission to Mars."
Get that? It even has an on-board microscope (imaging system), to view those Martian bugs.
On May 25, 2008, Phoenix executed a perfect landing, and began to send back pictures. A week later (on June 2), it lifted its first scoop of Martian soil as a test of its robotic arm. The practice scoop was emptied onto a designated dump area on the ground after the Robotic Arm Camera photographed the soil inside the scoop. The Phoenix team plans to have the arm deliver its next scoopful, later this week, to an instrument that heats and sniffs the sample to identify ingredients.
That first scoopful of dirt held promise, showing white material. "That bright material might be ice or salt. We’re eager to do testing of the next three surface samples collected nearby to learn more about it," said Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis, Phoenix co-investigator for the Robotic Arm." 
The Lust for Life
Huge sums of money are being spent to explore the Solar System, and there is nothing wrong with exploration, as such. But current exploration proceeds, not on the basis of glorifying God, but for the specific goal of glorifying humanity.
Scientists are looking for life, not to prove the existence of God, but to prove that life is its own creator. Should they find microscopic life on Mars, their fundamental belief in the universality of life will be elevated. They will be able to argue that nature, not God, is the Intelligent Designer.
But, as Paul effectively states, they should understand that life did not arise from physical chemistry; it was created. In fact, the Creator has shown Himself to them:
"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
"And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things" (Rom. 1:19-23).
At the moment, the Phoenix explorer is busily at work, sorting through the icy soil of Mars, looking for the "creeping things" (microorganisms) that will validate their theories of life. If they find them, you can expect exultation in the ranks of secular thought. But they are looking for life in all the wrong places.